How to Tell Engine Size by Block Number

by Cameron Easey
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Auto Engine image by Andrew Breeden from

Engines come in many sizes, depending on the type of vehicle and the manufacturer. You can determine the size of an engine by checking numbers that are either part of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or that have been stamped on the block. Car manufacturers use a specific number to identify the type of engine for use with a particular vehicle model. You can tell the engine size by first locating the casting number on the block or the VIN.

GM Casting Number

Step 1

Open the hood and set the support bar. Find the pad that is near the alternator and water pump. Make a note of the number on that pad.

Step 2

Raise the front of the vehicle up off the ground with the car jack. Place the jack stands under the frame then lower the car jack.

Step 3

Get on the automobile creeper and position yourself under the engine and transmission area. Locate the engine casting number that is stamped on the block. Make a note of the number on a piece of paper.

Go to the Kendrick-Auto website to cross-reference the casting number to find the size of the engine.

Using The VIN

Step 1

Open the hood of the vehicle and set the support bar.

Step 2

Locate the stamping plate that is on the block. Make a note of the 17-digit VIN on a piece of paper.

Step 3

Find the eighth letter or number in the VIN. This letter or number is used to indicate the type of engine that is used in the vehicle.

Cross-reference the letter or number with the List of American GM VIN codes.

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