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Stamps for restamping a block

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Hello, I would like to know if someone out there knows where I may be able to get a set of stamps made for restamping my 64 Electra block. The original engine had a meltdown, and I had to get another block (luckily a replacement block with no VIN). I want to stamp it with the correct VIN and use the correct font of letters, and I have a good set of rubbings off the original motor to use as patterns. If anyone knows of anyone that makes these, please let me know. Thanks, Matt.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I hope I'm not offending anyone, but I have my doubts about whether the procedure that Matt is considering is quite copacetic. Isn't the VIN unique to the block? If the block is gone, isn't the VIN gone too, at least as far as the engine is concerned?

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Not offending me, but this is my car, and I have no plans on selling it. I just want the VIN back on my motor. It is a VINless block, so I do not really see a problem putting the VIN on it. And lets face it, with a 64 Electra, it really will not do anything for the value if the motor is stamped or not like it would with a Corvette or some other high dolllar car. It is a four thousand dollar car and will always be a four thousand dollar car, I just want a VIN on it for my sake. Thanks, Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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John, you are right, it is a factory replacement block. I looked at the websites with those stamps. Close, but for some reason, the numbers are not gothic normal. They are some other font, and the six is a different one all together, looking more like a lower case 'o' on the bottom of an upper case 'L'. Thank you for the info, though, it is greatly appreciated. Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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Matt,

You're probably right... and it probably is the combo of two letters. The marking on my block, both the right deck and the front look like a dyslexic dexterity challenged third grader did it. I don't think they won points for neatness.

JMC

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Lots of dealership mechanics would stamp the car's data #'s back on the replacment engine/block. Henry

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Maybe I'm missing something here . . . if you're not going top sell the vehicle, what difference does it make if it has the correct number on it? I also don't recall those vehicles carrying a value premium for being "matching numbers". Plus, who's going to be looking for correct engine numbers anyway?

As for restamping blocks, you need to check with your local state vehicle registration people before you do that. It could be illegal, even if you don't plan to sell it.

A key point is "how the vehicle is defined" for registration purposes. If it is defined by the Body Number, then what's on the engine might not be terribly significant. BUT if the vehicle is defined by the Engine Number, then altering that could carry some legal consequences. In those cases, an engine change would require some papers to be filed with the state to that effect and then the state could issue their own number for registration purposes.

You can probably make a general inquiry with the vehicle registration people as a "What if?" situation or get a copy of their registration statutes. If they suspect something, it could open a can or worms, even if things are on the 'up and up'.

You can do as you desire, but please do your homework first (other than for the correct font of stamp) with respect to the legallity of what you propose to do.

Just because some dealership people might have done it doesn't always mean it was right or that the dealership could have been reprimanded for it later.

Just some thoughts . . .

NTX5467

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Personally, I can't see there being much of a legal issue as described with numbers on the blocks: if that was the case, wouldn't engine swaps be pretty much out of the question?

As far as restamping correct numbers on an engine, if the guy wants to do it, what's the problem? What's the difference between that and getting reproduction glass with the correct dates on it? Or a reproduction radiator with the proper dates embossed in the tanks? Or radiator hoses and spark plug wires with the proper markings?

The Corvette (NCRS) boys have been on the leading edge of what's allowed and frowned upon as far as resto stuff goes, and they now allow restamped blocks to be judged as original.

As for finding the correct stamps, I don't know what the cost would be, but you might be able to have one custom made--one stamp with the whole thing on it. Look under "stamps", etc. in the phone book and see if they can steer you towards anyone who might be able to make a steel stamp for you.

-Brad

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NTX5467 - Please do not take this as being rude, but why question the legality of MY vehicle? Do you not think I have done my legal homework? Why would I post a potentially illegal operation question on a public discussion board if I did not think what I was doing was OK. Like I said before, I want the block with the correct number (with the correct font) on it for MY own reasons, it is for ME, and that is the way I want MY car that I am not going to sell, simple as that. I have a certain way I like things to be, and this just so happens to be the way I like my motors in my Buicks. Seriously, I just wanted to know if anyone out there knew of anyone that forges custom made stamps, not be asked questions of why I would want something as petty and stupid as the correct numbers on my worthless Electra. Again, please do not take this as being rude, that is not my intention, and have a cool Tuesday. Thank you, Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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Why do you need the correct numbers on the block? Who is going to see them and what does it matter if they are correct? Sorry, I just do not understand why you feel the need to do this, as you said, "its only an electra". crazy.gif

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caGSxlr8 - Simple, it is my Electra and that is the way I want it. If I want to mount a slant six in the trunk and stamp my girlfriends name on the block, it is my car, my idea, and my decision, so why question it? Honestly, I thought this discussion board's purpose was to help each other out with questions and problems concerning ALL aspects of our Buicks (this includes the restamping of our Electra blocks), not to brow beat and question the decisions and desires of others and THEIR cars. Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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Matt,

Sorry, did not mean to offend you frown.gif Stamping a non-original block with original VIN numbers in my book is being done for no good reason except to deceive someone for some reason, thats it. Go ahead, stamp it with your girlfriends name, at least there will never be a question on its originality.

I guess if you are <span style="font-weight: bold">NEVER</span> going to sell the car it does not matter what you do, but I still don't know why you would waste your time (I know its your car tongue.gif )

Why question it? Why not? Someone should.

Don't let my opinion reflect on this BB, Simple, its my opinion and thats what I think about this. tongue.gif

Mike

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Matt,

...uh, easy there big fella....

I don't think the intent was to question the legality of the vehicle, impune your research skill or question your motive.

The engine number as a registration issue was a very good point. California doesn't care what the engine number is... but woe be unto you if its a post-'73 car and it doesn't have the correct smog motor in it. Other states are different. I think it was a good head's up. Dealing with the DMV in any state is fraught with enough administrative land mines without inadvertantly adding one to the list.

By the way, it appears that all the stamping was done with individual hand-held dies, so I wouldn't go to the expense and hassle of a custom-made stamp.

Cheers,

John

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caGSxlr8 - I am not and will never try to deceive anyone. I have retained the original block for proof that it has been replaced, and in the glove box is a picture of said block and number, so the truth and proof are there for all to see. You just do not know me. I am very particular about my cars, so much so that I will search all the salvage yards I can get into just to find the correct stamped third period 1963 Flint production waterpump bolt for my Wildcat (or Electra, or LeSabre, what ever car I am working on at that time). We all restore our cars the way that makes us happy. I am the only one I have to please when it comes to the correctness of my cars, so the block stamping is important to me and me alone. Question all you want so all the bases of this thread are covered, and if you run across someone that custom forges metal stamps, please let me know. Thanks, and have a cool Tuesday! Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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Not many are more anal retentive than me, so I understand the "personal satisfaction" issue about having the "correct" numbers on the engine. (I also know the disappointment of not having the "original" engine in an otherwise nice original car. However, re-stamping will not cure this problem---it only masks it!)

Without getting into the moral/legal issues, I wanted to point out the irony here: The only person (YOU) that is likely to care about the numbers is also the same (and only) person that will know the engine is a re-stamp! So how much satisfaction (and for WHO)is there?

Also, consider this: While you profess to have no intention to mis-represent the originality of the engine, what about the NEXT owner? Odds are the car will be sold sometime in the future--either before or after your death.

Suppose someone buys the car believing it is the original engine. If they find the "truth" (either due to incorrect stamping, or casting date codes that don't match vehicle), there could be a misrepresentation issue.

The difference, of course, in mounting the slant six with girlfriend's name in the trunk, is that one is obviously a modification, the other could be considered forgery. It is analogous to painting a copy of a Picasso and signing your own name vs. signing Picasso's name.

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John, please re-read some of the replies... YES, some of them were to question my intents and motives. Look at the post above yours, it states that the ONLY reason to restamp a block is to deceive. So automatically I am deceitful? How wrong. If what I am doing to my car is FULLY doucmented for all to see, where is the deceit? Honestly, I am done aguing. I will take my queries elsewhere. Thank you, Kid 4 Speed Matt.

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Oh, well, THEN it should be stamped only with the ACTAUL stamps that stamped it AT THE FACTORY. I've, read thru this thread and it is more absurd than the KKD threads.

Let him stamp his engine.

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The Federal Government forced all car manufacturers to use a certain type of Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in the early 50's. Buick started this in 1955 and the number is on the body ID plate (and elsewhere). The old serial number system on the engine no longer has a bearing on the DMV vehicle registration. smirk.gif

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Matt,

I understand completely your point of view on this. In fact, let me know what you end up with as a solution because I want to do the same thing eventually to an engine I have..

Group,

So what would your position be on modifying firewall plates to match the change to another factory paint color, or to another factory interior color scheme or style? I know that there is a company out there that MAY do this (though they do not directly say that they will), they definitely do restorations and reproductions though, matching fonts and all.

www.datatags.com

Actually, these guys may be a good place to inquire about the engine stamp fonts.

Mark

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When I made my post on this issue, I did so raising the awareness that such a seemingly "harmless" situation could have some serious consequences attached to it at a later date. Therefore, just as it struck your fancy to do that might not make it entirely legal. I sensed from your initial dialogue that you and others might not be fully aware of these issues and could set yourselves up for later problems.

Granted, the Corvette enthusiasts have been at the forefront of exactly factory correct restorations for decades. It's one thing to reproduce paint/ink stamps on the frames but it can be something else to restamp an engine--especially if the engine that is restamped was previously stolen from another party and the original stamps ground off.

BUT what you might not understand about stampings on Chevrolet small block V-8s is that when you "deck" the block it can make a '69 Z-28 302 cid engine with the correct application stamps into a common 4 inch bore block as the stamping surface is on the same plane as the cylinder head gasket surface (which is being machined). In that case, saying the engine is the original can't be proven so it siginificantly affects (in some people's eyes) the ultimate value of the vehicle as only the date code casting is all that's left to document the engine. In the early '70s or thereabouts, the blocks also had the last part of the VIN stamped into that pad area too, in a different stamp (which would also probably be removed by the decking operation). But, it is possible to chemically "raise" those earlier numbers in some cases.

So, restamping and such in the Corvette part of the vehicle hobby can also be questionable. Even if the first owner sells it to another person with the full disclosure, who's to make sure that the original information is passed on to the third and subsequent owners? As pointed out, the vehicle will surely change hands in the future if it isn't scrapped first.

It was not my intention to question that sufficient homework on this issue had been done before the original question was posed. So far, all I've seen is the defense of the reason to do it and not what the local statutes are in that respect, which would further indicate to us all that you were well versed on those issues.

The issue about engine year can be significant, as in California or any other state that has emissions checks. If you put a later model engine in an prior year model vehicle, it will need to have all of the correct emissions hardware of the vehicle from which it came out of before it will pass inspection. I realize that has been stated to not be the case, but proving what you have is a correct "replacement" engine for that vehicle might be necessary at some point in time, should the question ever arise. If the state people see a block with the allegedly correct stamping on it, as they being deceived?

As for restamping data plates, I suspect those companies will only go on the information provided with some sort of verification statement that the supplied information is accurate and correct. In that orientation, they are only providing a service with supplied information and not generating that information themselves, which would place any liability on the information provider if any quesitions arise. This can also lead into further issues of "cloned" vehicles being legal. A cloned vehicle would be, for example, a '69 Dodge Coronet body shell onto and into which were placed the guts and such from a genuine '69 Super Bee vehicle which the person presently owned, but was damaged beyond repair. The same things could exist regarding many GM and Ford muscle cars too.

A DFW area Mustang shop found out several years ago that removing body data plates was a "No No" when a state auto theft task force raided that restoration shop. They guy had innocently removed the data plate on the body to paint under it and reattach it. Even in a restoration project that is honest, removing that plate violated state laws. There was also a Mustang pure race car that the VIN plate had been removed from--another big "No No", even though it was used for strictly off-road use. In the case of the data plate on the Mustang, it did have VIN identifiers on it.

As I previously mentioned, how the vehicle is defined (whether by the Engine Number of the Chassis Number) is the key item to the legality of such restampings. In modern times, I don't know of anybody that has taken the time to restamp replacement engines with the original engine's numbers at the dealership level--they don't get paid any extra for it so the possibility of it happening is very slim.

My orientation was to present some side issues in the original restamping subject as "awareness" issues and not to demean the poster or his intelligence in any way. If, perhaps my comments was taken that way, I apologize, but from what I saw, I felt those issues needed to be raised. I presume everyone in here is an adult and can make their own determinations of their actions, but by the same token these actions they could set themselves up for future problems in the process.

Thanks for your time and consideration,

NTX5467

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Hi Matt.

Not going to get into the deep about the restamping your motor. I know from experiance that back in the 60's I had several buddies working at a Chevrolet Dealership as mechanics, They were always restamping blocks, 327, 396, 348, 409s

When someone blew up their motor and wanted a new block, the dealer would restamp the block with the old serial number. Dealers had a special guide for the number dies, it held all the numbers to be used and spaced the numbers correctly. ONe blow with a heavy hammer and all the numbers were stamped.

JIm Schilf / palbuick@aol.com

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Several of the Olds Technical Information Bulletin sets I have go into detail about transferring the original component numbers from the part being replaced to the replacement part. They especially emphasized this procedure for warranty claim items. Not only engines- carbs, alternators, etc.

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