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'How to buy a small block chevy' by Bikewrecker!

Locating the block:

  1. Obtain a Buy'n'Sell or classified section from a free newspaper.
  2. Count how many beer cans you can turn in for the refund.
  3. Look through the paper for a used small block. If you can't find one, call anyone who has tools for sale, and ask if they might have one.
  4. If there's more than one for sale, phone each one and tell them that someone else has one for less. Do this until you have the price below the amount of the beer can refund.
  5. Once you've located the best deal, get into your Ford Pinto and head on down to the guy's place. When you get there, offer him $20. Don't pay any more than that until you've checked out the block casting number. Tell him $10 if there's oil all over the block.

Identifying the block:

Chevy small block casting ID numbers
Casting Number Inches of Displacement Years Used Used In
3556519, 3737739, 3849852 283 1958-'61 Trucks and passenger cars
360851 262 '74-'76 MONZA
3703524 265 1955 Passenger cars
3720991 265 '56-'57 Trucks and passenger cars
3731548 283 1957 ?
3789935, 3849852, 3864812 283 '62-'64 Trucks and passenger cars
3849852, 3849935, 3896944, 393288 283 '65-'67 Trucks and passenger cars
3782870, 3789817, 3852174, 3858180 327 '62-'64 Trucks and passenger cars
3782870, 3789817, 3858174, 3892657 327 '65-'67 Trucks and passenger cars
3814660, 3914678, 3932386, 3955618 327 '68-'69 Corvette, Camaro, and other high performance applications
3855961, 3932388, 3958618, 6259425 350 '68-'76 Passenger cars. 2 bolt mains.
3956618, 3970010, 3932386 350 '68-'76 Trucks and high performance applications. 4 bolt mains.
3914636, 3932373, 3970020 307 '68-'73 Trucks and passenger cars.
3951511 400 '70-'73 Heavy duty trucks and passenger cars. 4 bolt mains.
3951509, 3030817 400 '74-'78 2 bolt mains.
  1. Blocks with casting number 3703524, first six months production used mechanical cams, not hydraulic.
  2. Blocks with casting number 3970010, sometimes machined for 2 bolt mains.
  3. '67 302 Camaro used a 327 block.
  4. '68-'69 302 Camaro used a 350 block.

Making the deal:

  1. If the guy didn't take your first offer, throw him a beer and tell him he's a good sport.
  2. Try and delay by looking at the engine for hours while he drinks the beer. This is the perfect opportunity to find 'problems'.
  3. Ask the guy if he can start the engine. If he gets out a can of ether, tell him 'NO! THAT CAN BLOW THE HEADS CLEEEEEEN-OFF!'
  4. If he says he can start the engine, tell him 'there's no rush. Sit down and drink your beer because I want to look some more first.'
  5. Be sure to mention the other deals, like the one for $5 that only needs a new $3 head gasket.

If you still haven't got the right deal, refer to the 'tampering with the engine' section of my How to Buy a Used Car page.

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