Block castings

GearHead72

Veteran Member
May 24, 2004
921
Shawnee, KS
The original 2 bolt main 350 that came out of my Camaro has an 014 on front next to the area where the timing cover was. I know that 010 and 020 are the numbers to look for, but was curious where mine fit into the scheme of things.
 

BrianBerry

Veteran Member
Apr 13, 2005
160
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by mgtshawnee:
The original 2 bolt main 350 that came out of my Camaro has an 014 on front next to the area where the timing cover was. I know that 010 and 020 are the numbers to look for, but was curious where mine fit into the scheme of things.</font>


I work at a GM foundry. We make engine blocks, heads & cranks.

The numbers you are talking about (010, 020) are only sand core identification numbers. The 010 is a side core for a small block chevy, and it does not guarantee that the block is a 4 bolt or not. Most were 4 bolt blocks, but some 2 bolts were built with 010 side cores, or whatever side core was available. The 010 designation has nothing to do with metallurgy (nickel content)
 
7

73454

Guest
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by BrianBerry:

I work at a GM foundry. We make engine blocks, heads & cranks.

The numbers you are talking about (010, 020) are only sand core identification numbers. The 010 is a side core for a small block chevy, and it does not guarantee that the block is a 4 bolt or not. Most were 4 bolt blocks, but some 2 bolts were built with 010 side cores, or whatever side core was available. The 010 designation has nothing to do with metallurgy (nickel content)
</font>

How DOES one identify one of the high nickel blocks then?
 

Eric68

Veteran Member
Mar 5, 2004
562
Kentwood, MI
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by BrianBerry:

I work at a GM foundry. We make engine blocks, heads & cranks.

The numbers you are talking about (010, 020) are only sand core identification numbers. The 010 is a side core for a small block chevy, and it does not guarantee that the block is a 4 bolt or not. Most were 4 bolt blocks, but some 2 bolts were built with 010 side cores, or whatever side core was available. The 010 designation has nothing to do with metallurgy (nickel content)
</font>

If 010 cast into the block has nothing to do with metalurgy then your post is worthy of being on Myth Busters . . .

It has been commonly accepted and published for a LONG time that 010 meant high nickel (1%) and 020 meant high tin (2%).

My 509 casting 400 has 010 cast under the timing chain cover -- are you saying this block was cast from the same mold as the 350 block I currently have in the car?

------------------
68 Camaro with 383 SBC
Best ET 10.97 @ 122.8 MPH all motor . . . and no trailer.

[This message has been edited by Eric68 (edited July 06, 2005).]
 

BrianBerry

Veteran Member
Apr 13, 2005
160
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by 73454:
How DOES one identify one of the high nickel blocks then?</font>

Each time we make a batch of iron, a 10 ton crane will move across the metal staging area and pick up certain metals and dump them into the cupola. Each batch is done this way, and the irom metalurgy between each batch can differ slightly. Certain iron batches are made for certain parts and heated to certain degrees. The only true way to tell the nickel content is by part number. But that alone is only a guideline, and cannot be relied on 100%. Most high nickel blocks will also have a brighter sheen after a chemical cleaning. It would be the same sheen if a standard block was shotblasted 2-3 times.

Iron properties will differ from each run. Some will be harder due to longer mold line time, and some are slightly harder due to a multi travel through the shot peening booth.

But don't be fooled that harder iron is better. GreyIron (blocks, heads) under a microscope look like a slivered chip, whereas nodular iron (cranks, carriers) look like perfectly round balls. Grey iron that is hard will easily crack. Grey iron that is soft will easily wear. Nickel blocks are nice to have, but they will also be subject to mold line time. In the end, it'just a brag to a select few if you have a nickel block.
 

BrianBerry

Veteran Member
Apr 13, 2005
160
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Eric68:
If 010 cast into the block has nothing to do with metalurgy then your post is worthy of being on Myth Busters . . .

It has been commonly accepted and published for a LONG time that 010 meant high nickel (1%) and 020 meant high tin (2%).

My 509 casting 400 has 010 cast under the timing chain cover -- are you saying this block was cast from the same mold as the 350 block I currently have in the car?

</font>

You need to understand how sand cores are created & assembled to have an idea of what I am talking about. The timing cover front slab core is a different sand core than the side slab cores or the rear slab core.

Each sand core has an identification number, so we can trace it back to the core number if there is a problem with the finished product. Because once the block has been poured, and mold line time has expired, the entire block mold goes through a shakeout process where the sand mold is destroyed and the iron block is extracted. Once this happens, all of the sand cores have been destroyed, and the numbers on each facet of the block is all we have left to trace identification.

Other identification areas are just inside the waterpump holes. You will see water jacket numbers there. You will also see numbers on the underside of the block, next to the first cam journal. This is the barrel core number. The large single digit number near the part number is the drag core pttern number. Alongside that, you might see CFD or GM-D, which means "central foundry Defiance, or GM-Defiance. SMCO means Saginaw metal casting operations.

Every facet of a block or head will have identification marks to tell me what particular core was used to create that particular part.

And as in your case, some cores are universal. Even all the big blocks & small blocks we make today use similar iron recipes. Some may have hotter iron batches such as the 3.8 cylinder head, but the ingredients are the same.... unless it's a bowtie run.

Hope this helps.
 

GearHead72

Veteran Member
May 24, 2004
921
Shawnee, KS
very informative BrianBerry...Thanks! I believe the block #'s from the back are 3970014. Also, I have already pulled the motor and know it's a 2 bolt main. I will most likely get a 4 bolt when I am ready to build.

[This message has been edited by mgtshawnee (edited July 06, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by mgtshawnee (edited July 06, 2005).]
 

BrianBerry

Veteran Member
Apr 13, 2005
160
<font face="Arial,Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by mgtshawnee:
very informative BrianBerry...Thanks! I believe the block #'s from the back are 3970014. Also, I have already pulled the motor and know it's a 2 bolt main. I will most likely get a 4 bolt when I am ready to build.

[This message has been edited by mgtshawnee (edited July 06, 2005).]

[This message has been edited by mgtshawnee (edited July 06, 2005).]
</font>


When we pour iron, the only reference to what we are making is the last 3 digits of the part number. "We're making 781's today!" We never refer to any other identification such as core numbers. The iron blend is purely based on the casting part number.

Think about going out to buy a GM block. Try and ask the parts guy that you want a part number "xxx", BUT with a 010 side core or a 020 front core. He will look at you strangely, and then laugh at you, because the differences are indexed by part numbers only, not by core numbers. His parts book is indexed by part numbers only as well. GM indexes all the differences with their parts by different part numbers.

Once all the cores are screwed together to make a core package, the package assemblies can sit on shelves for days before they are placed in the mold for an iron pour. And... once all the core pieces are screwed together to make a core package, there is no possible way for us to see inside to verify what core numbers were used to make the core package.... Because of this, we cannot follow the myth that 010 ID's mean "high nickel", because it's impossible to view the 010 ID once the package is screwed together & shelved. The only ID we have is the part number.

[This message has been edited by BrianBerry (edited July 06, 2005).]
 




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