How to Identify a Chevy 350 Motor

by Russell Wood

The Chevrolet 350-cubic-inch V8 is one of the most popular engines ever produced. It's so common, that you can find derivations of the original design in even the newest GM vehicles. But because of that popularity, there are dozens of variations of the motor out there, giving custom car builders lots of different options for engines. The problem is that, because of those variations, finding the exact motor that you're looking for in your project becomes a bit more difficult. Fortunately, Chevrolet has stamped or cast identification numbers in the blocks of the engines, making them easy to identify.

Look at the rear of the engine block for casting numbers, by where the transmission mounts to the engine. There will be at least one set of numbers on the block. If you need to clean up the block to read the number, use the wire brush in combination with the degreaser.

Write down that number, and go to MorTec.com. MorTec has a list of every casting number available, making research easy.

Look for a second casting number on the rear of the block. This number isn't on every block, but if it is, it will represent the displacement of the engine. A 5.7L code, for instance, means it is a 350-cubic-inch engine.

Look at the front of the block, just forward of the valve covers. There is a metal pad on the passenger side of the block that has a series of numbers etched in it. If necessary, clean up the pad with degreaser and a wire brush.

Write down the code on the paper, and look it up on the MorTec website. MorTec also has reference codes for the front block numbers, which indicate at which plant the block was manufactured, and inwhat kind of car it was previously installed

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About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.