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The 327/300 engine that was originally in the car would have had the VIN number stamped on the block to prevent theft of a high performance engine. This would be how you would tell the difference between a car with the 327/300 and a 283 car. 283 blocks don't necessarily have the vin stamped on them as they were not classified as a performance engine at 195 HP. Not sure about 1964, but in 1963 you could also tell the difference by the fuel line coming from the tank. The 327 and 409 had a larger fuel line with a return line to the tank. If you have that return line then you could look at the radiator and as long as it is original, the size of it would indicate a 327 or a 409. Also if your fan is currently properly placed in the fan shroud and it is a factory fan shroud then your car was most likely a SBC and not a W.

Now with that said all of these things can be installed currently with aftermarket parts making it very difficult to know what a car had. You can even have an engine block re-stamped with the VIN.

Nice looking car. You have the same color as mine on the exterior, but my interior matches the exterior color, so no white seats for me. I was originally going to repaint it red during frame off, but the factory color is growing on me.
 

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300 horse was the base engine. It is the exact same engine as the 275 horse only tested at a higher RPM (the higher you spin a motor the higher the peak horse power up until you hit the peak then it falls off and parts start to come unglued). It was all a marketing ploy as Ford was coming on strong (dropped the Y-block in favor of the 260-289-302-351 series of small blocks), and Chrysler was releasing their RB series of motors.

As a base engine it would not have been marked with a partial VIN in 1964. Only the "W" motors and the 350, 370 horse 327 motors out of the Corvette would be marked back then.

The 327 and 409 had a larger fuel line with a return line to the tank. If you have that return line then you could look at the radiator and as long as it is original, the size of it would indicate a 327 or a 409.
Base engine had a 5/16th inch fuel line any other V8 would have had a 3/8th inch fuel line. The radiator was the same size in terms of height and width, they added additional rows of tubes to make it thicker. The high performance engine added a row of tubes to the core and A/C added another row, so a 409 with A/C would have had four rows of tubes.

The higher the horsepower the bigger the radiator has to be as you shed a third of the power to the ambient air to bring down the bottom of the Otto cycle thermodynamic curve. The lower the bottom of the curve and the higher you can raise the top (by increasing the static compression ratio or adding boost or more oxygen) the more power that can be extracted to do work.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
My cowl has a “6A” in the upper left corner. From what I gather this means it was made in the first week of June 1963 am I correct? If so, I believe that in order to be “period correct” I will need to find an engine block with suffix code within 3 months to a week of June. Also, an L74 engine would end with “SB” in the suffix. Am I on track?
 

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My cowl has a “6A” in the upper left corner. From what I gather this means it was made in the first week of June 1963 am I correct? If so, I believe that in order to be “period correct” I will need to find an engine block with suffix code within 3 months to a week of June. Also, an L74 engine would end with “SB” in the suffix. Am I on track?
The June and first week is correct, but back then in June they would still have been making current model year cars. I would think it would be June in 1964 if your car is a 64 Impala. Have to go back and look at my cowl tag as I think my 63 was either a may or June car also, but in 1963. Later in the run. I think most of the time the swap to next model year happened around September.
 

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The L-48 (base model 350 (which is what a TargetMaster is) made 300 SAE hp, and 380 lb⋅ft of torque. Your 327 made only 320 lb⋅ft torque in the base engine for comparison.

It is torque that accelerates a car not horsepower. Horsepower is what you want for the Bonneville salt flats or the NASCAR High banked tracks. In that case the car is no longer accelerating, it is trying to overcome friction and air resistance to maintain speed.

A longer stroke 350 makes the same power as the shorter stroke 327; but at a lower RPM, and it makes more torque than a 327 due to the longer stroke. This is why a 307 makes more torque than a 302, but the 302 makes more peak horsepower. They put the 307 in pick-ups and heavy cars, and the 302 in a light weight semi competition race car. Just count the number of times a Z/28 car owner stalls his pride and joy trying to park it at a car show compared the the short bed pick up that has no issues backing into a space. The Z will beat it at the track but the 307 is more practical on the street.

Big Dave
 

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The L-48 base model 350 (which is what a TargetMaster is) made 300 SAE hp, and 380 lb⋅ft of torque. Your 327 made only 320 lb⋅ft torque in the base engine for comparison.

It is torque that accelerates a car not horsepower. Horsepower is what you want for the Bonneville salt flats or the NASCAR High banked tracks. In that case the car is no longer accelerating, it is trying to overcome friction and air resistance to maintain speed.

A longer stroke 350 makes the same power as the shorter stroke 327; but at a lower RPM, and it makes more torque than a 327 due to the longer stroke. This is why a 307 makes more torque than a 302, but the 302 makes more peak horsepower. They put the 307 in pick-ups and heavy cars, and the 302 in a light weight semi competition race car. Just count the number of times a Z/28 car owner stalls his pride and joy trying to park it at a car show compared the the short bed pick up that has no issues backing into a space. The Z will beat it at the track but the 307 is more practical on the street.

Big Dave
 

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The L-48 base model 350 (which is what a TargetMaster is) made 300 SAE hp, and 380 lb⋅ft of torque. Your 327 made only 320 lb⋅ft torque in the base engine for comparison.

It is torque that accelerates a car not horsepower. Horsepower is what you want for the Bonneville salt flats or the NASCAR High banked tracks. In that case the car is no longer accelerating, it is trying to overcome friction and air resistance to maintain speed.

A longer stroke 350 makes the same power as the shorter stroke 327; but at a lower RPM, and it makes more torque than a 327 due to the longer stroke. This is why a 307 makes more torque than a 302, but the 302 makes more peak horsepower. They put the 307 in pick-ups and heavy cars, and the 302 in a light weight semi competition race car. Just count the number of times a Z/28 car owner stalls his pride and joy trying to park it at a car show compared the the short bed pick up that has no issues backing into a space. The Z will beat it at the track but the 307 is more practical on the street.

Big Dave

Big Dave hit the nail on the head. "Torque" is a better 'goal' than hp for a street car. Especially with the 2 speed power glide auto transmission.

Some info:

Nominally, the 327, 350, and the '383' all have the same 4" bore (same 'small block'). The 327 has a 3.25" stroke, the 350 a 3.5" stroke, and the '383' a 3.75" stroke.

Some info on my car ('63 Impala convertible):

I have a relatively 'mild' built '383' (red line at 5300rpm) that (on the dyno) produced slightly over 400 lbs-ft of torque at 2500 rpm (the lowest rpm recorded) and a max of 445 lbs-ft at 3800 rpm. Hp maxed at 385 @ 5300 rpm. Compared to the hydraulic lifter 'base' 409, that's about 20 lbs-ft more max torque, and about 45 more hp. Mated to my 4 speed manual, the car is a honey to drive. I almost never wind it higher than 4000 rpm (mostly shift closer to 3000 rpm) and I have 400+ lbs-ft of torque available to me.

Some 'food for thought':

I'm not familiar with a widely accepted definition of 'period correct'. 'Number's matching' is a term I understand and would use if I were trying to build a OEM type car.

If I had chosen to, I could have made that engine look like a OEM 327 to all but the most knowledgeable of the differences. My car is NOT 'number's matching', but the engine is a sbc. A '383' could have be built with over the counter GM parts after GM introduced the 400 cu in sbc engine (1968?, or so?). So, is a 383 'period correct? I don't know. It could be, if one defined the 'period' as the 1960's.

A little more info:

The 250 hp 327 came with 2" 'ram horn' exhaust manifolds and dual down pipes. The 300 hp 327 came with 2 1/2". The dual tail pipes for both were 2".

An opinion:

The 2 1/2" are sufficient for street use (I do not recommend headers).

Hope this is helpful.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The L-48 base model 350 (which is what a TargetMaster is) made 300 SAE hp, and 380 lb⋅ft of torque. Your 327 made only 320 lb⋅ft torque in the base engine for comparison.

It is torque that accelerates a car not horsepower. Horsepower is what you want for the Bonneville salt flats or the NASCAR High banked tracks. In that case the car is no longer accelerating, it is trying to overcome friction and air resistance to maintain speed.

A longer stroke 350 makes the same power as the shorter stroke 327; but at a lower RPM, and it makes more torque than a 327 due to the longer stroke. This is why a 307 makes more torque than a 302, but the 302 makes more peak horsepower. They put the 307 in pick-ups and heavy cars, and the 302 in a light weight semi competition race car. Just count the number of times a Z/28 car owner stalls his pride and joy trying to park it at a car show compared the the short bed pick up that has no issues backing into a space. The Z will beat it at the track but the 307 is more practical on the street.

Big Dave

Big Dave hit the nail on the head. "Torque" is a better 'goal' than hp for a street car. Especially with the 2 speed power glide auto transmission.

Some info:

Nominally, the 327, 350, and the '383' all have the same 4" bore (same 'small block'). The 327 has a 3.25" stroke, the 350 a 3.5" stroke, and the '383' a 3.75" stroke.

Some info on my car ('63 Impala convertible):

I have a relatively 'mild' built '383' (red line at 5300rpm) that (on the dyno) produced slightly over 400 lbs-ft of torque at 2500 rpm (the lowest rpm recorded) and a max of 445 lbs-ft at 3800 rpm. Hp maxed at 385 @ 5300 rpm. Compared to the hydraulic lifter 'base' 409, that's about 20 lbs-ft more max torque, and about 45 more hp. Mated to my 4 speed manual, the car is a honey to drive. I almost never wind it higher than 4000 rpm (mostly shift closer to 3000 rpm) and I have 400+ lbs-ft of torque available to me.

Some 'food for thought':

I'm not familiar with a widely accepted definition of 'period correct'. 'Number's matching' is a term I understand and would use if I were trying to build a OEM type car.

If I had chosen to, I could have made that engine look like a OEM 327 to all but the most knowledgeable of the differences. My car is NOT 'number's matching', but the engine is a sbc. A '383' could have be built with over the counter GM parts after GM introduced the 400 cu in sbc engine (1968?, or so?). So, is a 383 'period correct? I don't know. It could be, if one defined the 'period' as the 1960's.

A little more info:

The 250 hp 327 came with 2" 'ram horn' exhaust manifolds and dual down pipes. The 300 hp 327 came with 2 1/2". The dual tail pipes for both were 2".

An opinion:

The 2 1/2" are sufficient for street use (I do not recommend headers).

Hope this is helpful.

Pete
I’ve been using the term “period correct” because what I’ve learned is pre 1968 chevys (except corvettes) did not place any of the VIN on the block so in my case with a cowl tag showing 6A it would be best to find a 3782870 block made within 3 months to a week of the first week of June 1964. I’m assuming there is no such thing as “numbers matching” pre 1968 chevys other than corvettes.
 

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The 350 was introduced in 1967 (in the Camaro initially as an incentive to buy their new hot rod). This is because the 327 lacked enough torque to move the full size cars. Compare a 1968 Impala to a Cadillac that had a 472 cube motor. Both the Caddy and the Impala used the same car body (GM's B-body that was shared by all full sized cars). Every year the car got heavier and heavier as it grew in size and formerly optional equipment (such as A/C became standard equipment.

The heaviest car that GM ever made was the 1971-'76 series of B-body cars. Only Chevy was lacking a big engine to power these land barges (the 427-454 was a truck engine that was being phased out of production due to California emission requirements). The SBC 400 engine (produced from 1970-'78) was the largest engine that Chevy made for the Impala after 1973. You will find them in heavy full size cars and light trucks (pick-ups and vans). It was never offered with a manual transmission; and never had a four barrel carb from the factory, as it was designed to move your mom's car, not to go racing. Every other GM B-body car offered a 455 or a 500 cube engine in the case of a Caddy in the seventies, because of the weight (mass) of these vehicles.

Newton figured out the problem back in 1687 when he postulated his second law of motion (F=ma). Stated as Force in horsepower equals your rate of Acceleration times the Mass of the car. So to get a car that moves you, you either need to increase the force, or decrease the weight as the are opposite sides of the same equation.

This is why Chevy introduced their Chevelle sized (mid size) cars in 1977-'99 B-body line. They dropped over a half ton of weight by making the car smaller and using aluminum instead of steel where ever they could. This was because during the smog era (1971-'94) engines where real pooches, that couldn't get out of their own way.

I don't remember seeing a picture of your engine, but any engine can be disguised to look like an older one if you are willing to pay for the required machine work on a rebuild. Chevy made the changes to the engines over time to reduce cost, emissions, or pollution from dripping fluids.

Big Dave
 

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I’ve been using the term “period correct” because what I’ve learned is pre 1968 chevys (except corvettes) did not place any of the VIN on the block so in my case with a cowl tag showing 6A it would be best to find a 3782870 block made within 3 months to a week of the first week of June 1964. I’m assuming there is no such thing as “numbers matching” pre 1968 chevys other than corvettes.

"Numbers matching' does not mean 'original' as I define it. It simply means the various parts COULD have been original based on their production dates (parts being produced in a reasonable time frame to have been available during assembly of the car). Your example of the block is an example of 'numbers matching' of that component.

In my definition, 'numbers matching' applies to the vehicle, it does not stop with the block. Any part with a number that can be traced to a production date (transmission for example) 'counts' towards a 'numbers matching' car. IF one installs cylinder heads (Vortec's for example) that that were not available during the assembly of the car , such an installation would disqualify that 'engine', and the vehicle, as 'numbers matching'.

Is my definition of 'numbers matching' universally accepted? I don't know; probably not. It is a common one. To make sense of my comments, understanding my definitions is required.

As always, just trying to be helpful.

Pete
 

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GM was the be all, and end of Quality Control in the fifties and sixties It started in WWII back in the forties when Mil Spec was invented to keep air planes from falling out of the air). GM's QC program was held up as the shining example of accountability, and their program of statistical QC inspection process were taught every where (including Japan's new auto and motor bike industry).

Every casting had a date stamp (a little plug that was inserted into the green sand mold, or low pressure investment casting mold) so that any defects could be traced back to an individual work shift on a specific date. Every part made was tested statistically and whole batches were rejected if a representative sample failed the test.

Without a partial VIN stamped on a part (reserved for cars made before 1967 to those that had a factory rated motor that exceeded 300 horsepower) the casting date is as close as you can get to a numbers matching car. As every date (rubber hoses, V-belts, castings, and machined parts were all marked with the date of assembly; which closely matched the build date of the motor (stamped on the front of the block). It takes time to get everything together to build a motor so the individual parts proceed the build date by 7-10 days normally, and the motor by about 7-18 days before the build date on the car.

Like I said; every four to six years, a union negotiation over a contract would crop up. GM's usual mode of operation was to run lots of overtime to build up a surplus of inventory of all of the car parts so that should a strike occur. The factory could still stay open, and fill orders for cars, but at a reduced rate. During these strike years the build dates and the car part dates would very wildly.

1970 was a famous date as the Camaro was continued to be built as a 1969 first gen because the strike lasted three months preventing the change in dies needed to make the second generation Camaro. So a 1969 Camaro was made for a year and half which throws off build dates, but major parts had a partial VIN stamped to identify originality.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I have a question about the wire spinner hubcaps: were these an option for all 1964 impalas or was it available, at the time, only for those with 409s? Thinking about acquiring a pair.
 

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I have a question about the wire spinner hubcaps: were these an option for all 1964 impalas or was it available, at the time, only for those with 409s? Thinking about acquiring a pair.
None of the above. They were a dealer installed option from their Chevrolet Service part inventory. This way the dealer made more money and the car arrived at the dealer with the hub caps installed because they where stolen off cars on trains while being shipped from the factory to the dealership. Thefts got to be such a problem that the factory shipped full wheel covers in the trunk.

Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Hey all! Today while polishing up the white walls I noticed the passenger side rear wheel is a lot further away from the fender/frame than the driver side. I did some research and most point to the panhard bar. Is this common is most X frame chevys? My car is too low to see if the panhard bar is bent so I figured I’d get memebers thoughts.
 

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Hey all! Today while polishing up the white walls I noticed the passenger side rear wheel is a lot further away from the fender/frame than the driver side. I did some research and most point to the panhard bar. Is this common is most X frame chevys? My car is too low to see if the panhard bar is bent so I figured I’d get memebers thoughts.
It isn't bent it is a fixed length. If you are going to lower your car you will need a shorter Panhard bar. No one makes one, but they do make an adjustable length one that can be longer or shorter to center your rear end.

Panhad bar moves the rear from side to side as it moves up and down because it rotates about the pivot point on the frame:


Changing the mounting point changes the travel of the rear end:


Big Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Sorry to revive and old thread but looks like I may have found an era correct 327/250hp that came from a 64 impala. Dated: E-18-4 Stamped "S" (64 Impala 250 hp)... Casting # 870. One issue, it is a positive ventilation engine and since my vehicle is a California built car I would need the closed positive ventilation. Can a positive ventilation engine be easily converted to a closed positive ventilation?
 

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The open (draft tube) or Closed systems fit on the same engine. Just a matter of finding the bits to make it a closed system. My 64 (originally a 283) was made in California (Van Nuys) so it has the Closed system on it already. The parts transferred from the 283 to the '64 327 block just fine.

Air cleaner base with the tube and flame arrester. I think the opening for the air cleaner is different between the 327/200 (Rochester 4GC) vs the 327/300 (Carter AFB shown here). This base was a reproduction that I got.
Automotive tire Rim Auto part Camera accessory Circle




Vent Tube that replaces the Draft tube of the open system. This is the original from my 283, works here on the 327.
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive design



Oil fill tube with non-vented cap. I would suggest getting an original from a junkyard or ebay. The one Big Dave mentions waaaay back in this conversation has a very different look on the nipple for the tubing.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive exterior



Note. I had the cap painted black on the engine stand photos. I later learned it should be a kind of flat gray color for the cap.

Vehicle Motor vehicle Car Automotive design Hood


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle
 

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When looking for parts for the closed PCV system, you may be able to find some parts at Corvette parts vendors.
 
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