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What year motor?

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I have a 1931 Chrysler model 70 Royal Sedan, 6 cylinder, serial no. 7997080 per the nameplate on the passenger door pillar. The car has a 1930 dashboard which apparently is not unusual since I have read that Chrysler used leftover '30 parts in a number of '31 models. I don't know what month this car was built. The engine is stamped with a number V27696. There is an indication from paperwork received with the car that this engine is a replacement and not the original. The engine has a Delco 650G distributor mounted on top of the head. The dist has a flat cap with the plug wires coming out the side and has two sets of points.

Can anyone identify the year and month the engine was made? Is it a 1931 or perhaps a 1930? Or a 1929? I have seen several photos of 1931 Chryslers with engines having the distributor mounted on the side of the block rather than on the head. Are these engines earlier or later than mine?

Thanks to all who might be able to provide info on this..............Glen


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Is this a Canadian car by chance? My book is missing the numbers from 7802915 to 7998713. They fall between 1931 and 1932. My engine numbers in the book stop at V27181 in 1930. I have no Canadian numbers.


I spent several hours on the forum trying to find an answer in the archives before posting my questions. I noticed several posts by you regarding car identification and am thankful you responded.

After posting last night and again this morning, I rumaged through the paperwork that came with my car and may have answered by own questions. I found seven pages of what appears to be copied from a bound book or magazine showing photos and detailed info on Chrysler cars from 1929 through 1933. ( could this be a Canadian publication? ) Attached is the page for the 1931 Series 70 Six.

This page shows these cars used the Fedco numbering system early in 1931 but switched numbering later in the year. These numbers run from 79970001 to 7998712 but I think the addition of an extra zero in the first number to make an eight digit serial number might be a printing error and that it should read 7997001. My car with No. 7997080 falls within this range and, therefore, was likely produced in late 1931.

The attached page shows engine production from V27182 through V29413. With mine falling between these numbers, it also appears to have been produced around the same time in 1931. I'm trying to determine if my car and engine match or not. I have read that the build sheets for the '31 model 70's are not available. Is there another way to determine if my car and engine left the factory together?

Also, can you advise when Chrysler changed from the engine with the top mounted distributor to the side mounted type? The above info indicates the top mounted dist type engine like mine was produced through late 1931 but I think I've seen photos of '31's with a side mounted distributor. In addition, I've seen top monted distributors with flat caps and wires exiting the side along with top mounted distributors with conventional wires out the top of the cap. Some also have dual points for the six cylinder models and some have single points. This is totally confusing. Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated.



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Glen....sounds as if you got it narrowed down. It sounds like you probably have the correct engine. 1930/31 was a weird time when things were changing. Most of the 1931s (sixes) I know of have the distributor coming out of the side of the block. Some models still had the distributor coming through the head.

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Am I right in saying that there was a gradual change around this time from the seven main bearing engines to the four bearing six cylinder engines which might explain the different distributor positions?

You may be correct. I have a 1929 Model 70 Instruction Book which shows a cross section of the engine with 7 main bearings, top mounted distributor with plug wires coming out the side and down draft carb. I agree that with 7 mains, it could be difficult to use a top mounted distributor and they therefore went to a side mount on the 4 main blocks.

According to the serial number as cited in one of my above posts, my engine was produced in late 1931 but is identical to the one shown in the 1929 booklet. Researching photos of '30 and '31 cars on the internet shows both top mounted and side mounted distributor engines in these cars with the '31's predominately of the side mount type and with up draft carbs. Of course, one couldn't determine from photos if these engines were original or not. I would think the more robust 7 main block and more efficient down draft carb would be the newer vintage but apparently not. To answer your question, it may be that Chrysler produced the 4 main/side distributor engine in 1931 but used both the older and newer types throughout the year. Perhaps each engine type was used for distinct car model types until the older style was used up. After all, this was the height of the Great Depression and they were likely to have used all the parts they had on hand, not caring about using older model year parts in newer cars.

In my case, it appears I have a car produced in late 1931 but with a '30 dash board and an engine produced in late 1931 with a design going back to 1929. To confuse things further, the paperwork from the previous owner refers to the motor as a '30 when he sent it to a shop for rebuilding.

At this point, I still do not know if my engine is original to the car or not but I hope I'm getting closer. With the build sheet unavailable, however, I do not know how to make a final determination of this. Should I start a new thread asking forum members to tell what model and year cars they have and which engine is in their car???


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There were two series 70 Chryslers in the 1929-1932 period.

The first V-70, covered two model years -

1930 - P-001-WP to P-180-YE, with engine numbers V-1001 to V-27181, and in production from July, 1929 through to June, 1930.

1931 - P-180-YD to P-188-ED, engine numbers included in above, and in production from July, 1930, through to May, 1931.

The second series 70, the Finer 70, model V*-70 -

1931 - 7,997,001 to 7,998,712, engine numbers V-27182 to V-29413, produced from May, 1931 through to July, 1931.

1932 - 7,998,713 to 7,999,973, engine numbers V-29414 to V-30378, started July, 1931.

Remember, after the FEDCO numbers were dropped and through to the end of the 1957 model year, ALL Canadian-built Chryco cars and Fargo Trucks had serial numbers starting with "9". Canadian-built Dodge trucks were "89" until 1942 when they, too, started with "9". Prior to 1942 Dodge export model serial numbers in the early 1930's (DE, DI, and DM) started with "9" as did 1937 Evansville-built Dodge cars, and LA-built Dodge Trucks (1932-1945).

Canadian-built V-70 models were NP-450-P to NP-542-P. Did not know what the first serial number was for the 1932 V-70, but apparently no V*-70 models were built in Canada.

V-70 models used a 218.6-cid 7-main, flathead six (3.125" bore and 4.75" stroke) at the beginning switching to a 3.375" bore and 5.00" stroke, 268.4-cid engine (at serial number P-116-SE and engine number V-13858, November, 1929.). The 268.4-cid engine was actually the model W, series 77, engine. The 218.6-cid engine put out 75 bhp at 3200 rpm while the 268.4-cid was 93 bhp at 3200 rpm.

Seven-main bearing sixes, with their top mounted distributors, in 1930 were old engineering, being descended from the first Chrysler Six, model B, of 1924-25. The model V, series 70, was the last of the seven-main sixes and its replacements, the CJ and CM, were four main bearing sizes with the distributor on the side.

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Serial number 7997080 is actually the 80th 1931 Finer 70 (V*-70) built, sometime in May, 1931.

The first V*-70 built was number 7997001 and the last 7999973, for a total of 2,973 Finer 70 models built - 1,712 for 1931 and the remaining 1,261 for 1932.


I can't thank you enough for the info you posted on my car. Looking at your numbers, it seems very likely my engine is original to the car and not a replacement. Is there a way to actually verify this aside from the build sheet which Chrysler says in not available?

As mentioned before, the older design 7 main block with down draft carb seems like a more advanced engine than the later 4 main one with up draft carb. Do you have any thoughts on why Chrysler made this change other than the newer engine seems to be cheaper to produce? Your explanation on the dates of these two engines solves the mystery of why photos on the internet show both top mounted and side mounted distributor engines in 1931 model year cars.

It is also interesting that my car was built in late May 1931 yet had a 1930 era dash board. I wonder if they were still producing the '30 dash boards in May "31 or were they leftovers from 1930 production runs?

Thanks again................Glen

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