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My engine might not be the original??


Seedee
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As the title suggests I'm very perplexed on this and maybe someone can shed some light onto this....

 

So in a nutshell, I have a feeling that my Olds 303 may not be "year correct" to my 1949 Olds 88... And here's why. 

 

Looking through my shop manual it clearly states that the engine number is stamped upside down on the front driver side below the cylinder head. Nothing there.

 

I just got in an advance technical manual and it states there are two places where the engine number is stamp. First one as mentioned above and another stamped on the passenger side cylinder head that can be seen from the driver side looking across the engine... NOTHING! 

 

I look, and I look... And then I see a pad extruding from the engine block tucked under the exhaust manifold...lo and behold is the engine number! But this doesn't make sense... What year engine is this??? The transmission tag matches what the manual says it should be but not the engine.... If anyone can shed some light on this I'd appreciate it! 

 

Forgot to add incase you can't read it, the engine number is: 8A199122H

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Seedee (see edit history)
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On 3/11/2021 at 10:49 PM, Oldtech said:

8A is correct for a 49 V8.   1st engine number is 8A1001

Thanks for that, though since it is year correct by that. I wonder why the engine number is stamped on that pad and not what both of my manuals state where it should be... Also, from what I have read the "H" suffix only appears on 1950 engine. Could it be that their standard practices changed and wasn't noted in preparation for the 1950 models? ( My car seems to be possibly built at the end of 49 judging by the dates stamped on door insulations in my car) guess I won't know unless by some miracle a service bulletin is floating around and found!

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I can't help you with the H but it could be a plant identification.  I think the explanation of a pad on the block below the head is exactly what you have. 

It is also possibly an early 1950 production as Chilton says 1950 numbers start at 8A194001.  They weren't always that exact about numbers .  1951 starts with 8C so its early 50 at the latest. 

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21 hours ago, Seedee said:

Thanks for that, though since it is year correct by that. I wonder why the engine number is stamped on that pad and not what both of my manuals state where it should be... Also, from what I have read the "H" suffix only appears on 1950 engine. Could it be that their standard practices changed and wasn't noted in preparation for the 1950 models? ( My car seems to be possibly built at the end of 49 judging by the dates stamped on door insulations in my car) guess I won't know unless by some miracle a service bulletin is floating around and found!

Olds only used suffix letters on 1949 to 1951, and H was Hydramatic and all 1949 V8 engines were Hydramatic as Olds did not offer a V8 Standard trans in 1949.  Suffix letters were not used after 1951.  See chart below:

 

 

1949--8A1001 TO 8A193864 H PREFIX=HYDRA MATIC
1950--8A194001 TO 8A568689 H PREFIX= HYDRA MATIC
1951--8C1001 TO 8C287312 B PREFIX= SYNCHROMESH
1952--8R1001 TO 8R214478

 

Block serial number location differs between 303 and later 324.  Both of these were stamped on an extended surface of the block deck that can be seen between the exhaust locations.   303 was between number 5 and 7 cyl. and 324 was between 1 and 3 cyls.

 

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It would be unusual that an engine number would be on the cylinder head. That may be an error in the technical manual (yup, they made errors) that may have meant “below the cylinder head” 

 

The other explanation is fitting a remanufactured engine. Not sure if these had an engine number or the pad was left blank to stamp on the old number. ( which sometimes may not have been done )

Just my two bobs worth 😀😀😀😀😀

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On 3/15/2021 at 9:40 AM, rodneybeauchamp said:

It would be unusual that an engine number would be on the cylinder head. That may be an error in the technical manual (yup, they made errors) that may have meant “below the cylinder head”

 

This is what the advance technical manual says :

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So I guess they were trying to make the mechanics life a little easier rather than have them break their necks trying to see the block number on the front! The manual was printed December of 48 so since this is technically a "1950" engine though with a 49 engine number this paragraph is moot.

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On 3/15/2021 at 9:40 AM, rodneybeauchamp said:

It would be unusual that an engine number would be on the cylinder head. 

Not unusual at all in Oldsworld!😺

 

The Rocket Scientists did that thru 1967. The engine ID moved to a point at left front side of the block starting 1968.

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I’m going to guess the manuals don’t reflect actual manufacturing practices. 
 

I don’t know about the 40s and 50s, but I do know that today engineering departments don’t always put manuals at the top of their priority list. Let’s just say that manuals can go out reflecting a more “aspirational” perspective. 


Just don’t ask me how I know this. 😳

 

- John

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