Home Mechanics & Processes Chevy 327 Engine Identification: Everything You Should Know

Chevy 327 Engine Identification: Everything You Should Know

by Kelvin Yates

Chevy started producing its 327 engine in the 1960s, and within that period, the engine had four variations depending on the performance and fuel economy you wanted. The first versions of the Chevy 327 engine produced had about 250 to 340 horsepower. It also made a fuel-injected model that produced up to 360 horsepower. Here are some ways that you can perform a Chevy 327 engine identification.

Identifying your Chevy 327 engine will save you some stress when you want to repair or replace the engine. The best way to identify your kind of Chevy 327 engine is to check your car’s user manual; there, you will find all the information you need about your engine, including maintenance options. 

Some numbers you see on a valve cover or air intake will make it very easy for you to identify your kind of Chevy engine. Most Chevy engines come with codes that give information about where and when they were made, the horsepower they can produce, and their size. On most straight six-cylinder engines, you will find the code on a pad on the engine block’s passenger side at the back of the distributor.

Chevy Small Block

Most car enthusiasts believe that the Chevy Small Block engines set a milestone in automotive engine history. It’s a V8 engine that many sports cars, boats, custom motorcycles, and off-road trucks have featured.

The Chevy Small Block came as a replacement for Chevrolet’s “stove-bolt” six-cylinder engine, and since then, several Chevy Small Blocks have been produced. Below is a list of some of the best Chevy Small Blocks.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #1. 265 Turbo-Fire V-8

The 265 Turbo came with a 3.75-inch bore and 3.00-inch stroke. It produces 162 horsepower and 257 lb-ft in the base model. The optional four-barrel carburetor gives 180 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. If you fit it into the Corvette, the 265 Turbo-fire V-8 will produce 195 horsepower with a dual exhaust system. Chevy then made a more potent Power Pack option.

Later, there were three more power options for the 265; they included the;

  • 210 horsepower with a single four-barrel carburetor
  • 225 horsepower with dual quads
  • 240 horsepower dual four-barrel carburetor and a high-lift camshaft. 

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #2. 283 Turbo-Fire V-8

The Chevy Small Block got more displacement in its third year, it has a larger 3.875-bore, and it increased to 283 cubic inches. The 283 came with two options: carburetors or mechanical fuel injection. The engine produced 185 horsepower with two-barrel carburetors, 220 horsepower with four-barrel carburetors, and 245 to 270 when you use it with dual four-barrel carburetors.

There are models of the 283 that came with the Rochester Ram-Jet fuel injection system; they produced 250 horsepower. Among it all, the 283 horsepower fuel-injected Super Ram-Jet was the most powerful.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #3. 327

The Chevy 327 is one of the best Chevy Small Block engines, it produces 170 horsepower and an optional Small Block V-8 got a complete 4.00-inch bore, 3.25-inch stroke, and a displacement score of 327 cubic inches. The 327 had 250, 300, and 340 horsepower options based on the carburetor and compression ratio.

It also had a mechanical fuel injection option that produced up to 360 horsepower with one of the best compression ratios. In 1965, the 327 reached 375 horsepower with a four-barrel Holley carburetor and 375 horsepower with the Rochester Ram-Jet fuel injection system.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #4. 302

The Camaro came as a competition for the Ford Mustang, and by doing this, it introduced two Small Block displacement options. The brand created 302 for race cars, and its components contain the 327’s engine block and 283’s crankshaft. This engine produces 290 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 290 lb-ft of torque.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #5. 350

Also, based on the 327 engine block, the 350 was popular in passenger cars and trucks. It came with a new crankshaft of a 3.48-inch stroke. The first version was the L-48; it produced 295 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The 350 became popular in the Nova in 1968, and not long after, it became the base engine in the Corvette In 1969.

The L-48 and ZQ3 reached 300 horsepower levels, and later, two more versions (LT-1 and L-46) came into existence, producing 350 horsepower.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #6. 400

The 400 was the largest version of the first-generation Small Block. It had a 4.125-inch bore and a 3.75-stroke crankshaft. It was available throughout the 70s, and the initial models produced about 265 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #7. LT1

The LT1 is a second-generation Small Block engine. It used a new block and reversed flow cooling system. The cooling system allowed the heads and combustion chamber to stay cool. All second-generation Chevy Small Blocks came with a water pump, intake manifold, and pulley system.

The LT1 also used a speed density fuel management system, mass flow air sensor, and sequential port injection.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #8. 327 Engine

There are different versions of 327, common with Corvettes and trucks. The 327 engine changes yearly, but 327 cubic inches of displacement from a 4-inch cylinder bore, and a 3.25-inch stroke was constant.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #9. 1962-1963

The first 327 was found in the 1962 Corvette, and it increased the cylinders of the 283-cubic inch, small block V-8. A fuel-injected model produced the highest output, and others had a single four-barrel carburetor.

The 327’s within these years produced 250 horsepower at 4,400rpm, 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, 340 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, and 360 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #10. 1964

327 engines maintained their lineups but increased their outputs, especially the two prominent versions. They produced 365 and 375 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, but the compression ratio reduced to 11:1

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #11. 1965-1966

Chevy launched the fifth version of the 327 in 1965, producing 350 horsepower at 5,800 rpm, and the compression ratio was 11:1. In 1966, the 327 had three models, and all came with carburetors. They made 275 horsepower at 4,800 rpm, 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, and 350 horsepower at 5,800 rpm.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #12. 1967-1968

Within these years, there were five options for the 327 engines; one with a two-barrel carburetor produced 210 horsepower at 4600 rpm. The other models produced 275 horsepower at 4,800 rpm—300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, 325 horsepower at 5,600 pm, and 350 horsepower at 5,800.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Small Blocks: #13. 1969

Chevy produced two versions of the 327 in 1969, and both had two-barrel carburetors. They made 210 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and 235 horsepower at 4,800 rpm. 1969 was the final year of 327 engine production.

Small Block Chevy Engine Code Stamping Numbers

All Small Block Chevy engines have stamped ID code, which gives information about the assembly plant code, production date, suffix code, engine VIN, and block casting number. Engine code stamping numbers provide helpful information about the engine and the vehicle.

For instance, the serial number will give information about the assembly factory (to learn more, check out our guide on do catalytic converters have serial numbers), the transmission details of the car, the vehicle model, and the assembly dates. You can find a Small Block Chevy engine code stamping number at the back ledge of the block at the back of the driver’s side, mostly close to cylinder #7.

Or you can find it on the passenger side ledge close to cylinder #8. A stamping number includes:

  • Engine serial number
  • Engine VIN
  • Block casting number
  • Block date code

Here are some examples to get you acquainted with how to read and identify a 327 engine, based on its serial numbers:

Engine Serial Number – T0525ed

T – Assembly factory (Towanda)

05 – The month of the assembly (May)

25 – Day of the assembly (25th)

ED – Engine suffix code (Chevelle, manual transmission)

Engine VIN – 17n123456

You will find the engine VIN close to cylinder #2 at the front passenger side of the block, or you can find it at the top of the flat block above the timing cover.

1 – GM Division (Chevrolet)

7 – Production year (1967)

N – The assembly plant (Norwood, Ohio)

123456 – last six digits of the vehicle’s VIN

Block Casting Number

The block casting numbers are always at the back ledge of the block at the back of the driver-side cylinder head close to cylinder #7.

Block Date Code

You will find the block code at the back ledge of the block at the back of the passenger side cylinder head close to cylinder #8. An example of a block date code is A72.

A – January

7 – 7th

2 – 1962, 1972, 1982, or 1992

If you see “C106”, this denotes;

C – March

10 – 10th

6 – 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996.

SBC Casting Numbers

An SBC casting number can have up to 8 digits that may look like “361959” or “22551660”. You won’t find any alphabet in a casting number. However, blocks like GM or CFD have alphabets but are not part of the cashing number.

GM Engine Codes List

All GM engine has an eight-digit code that gives information about where and when the engine was made. The engine suffix indicates the year and body style of the engine. The first digit will be a capital letter that indicates the plant that built the engine, and there are only 7 GM plant codes:

F – Flint

H – Hydramatic

K – St. Catherines, Ontario

M – GM of Mexico

S – Saginaw Service

T – Tonawanda

V – Flint

The next four digits are all numbers, and they indicate the date the engine was cast. The first two numbers indicate the months, while the last two indicate the day. For instance, if the number is 0208, the GM engine was cast on August 2. The remaining two or three digits indicate the coded suffix; if your code is CMP, you have a 305 engine with 240 horsepower.

Engine Serial Number Lookup

Your engine serial number functions like the VIN, giving more detailed information about the engine. An ESN can indicate whether your engine is turbocharged or naturally aspirated; it can describe the model year of your engine. In some cars, the engine serial number can give information about the number of cylinders, the additional features, and so on.

The Chevy engine serial number is mostly seven to eight digits that you will find on the engine block. It has a prefix and a suffix order; the prefix contains information about the assembly, while the suffix comprises data that may include horsepower figures or the make and model of the vehicle. An example of a serial number is V1015CKX.


V – The production plant where they produced the engine

10 – The month of production

15 – Day of production


CKX – you find this engine in the 1972 Corvette, 1973 Camaro, or 1976 Corvette; they all have a 350 cubic-inch displacement. 1972 Corvette produces 200 horsepower, the 1973 Camaro produces 145 horsepower, while the 1976 Corvette produces 180 horsepower.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification

Chevy V8 Engines

Chevy has produced some of the best V8 engines ever. Also, the brand has created several eight-cylinder cars, and this is why the brand has a large fanbase. The brand has several impressive engines that make it difficult to pick a favorite. However, below are the best Chevy V8 engines you can get.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Chevy V8 Engines: #1. First-Gen Small Block Chevy

Every engine that powered Chevrolet cars throughout the 50s and 60s or those that powered 305 and 350 cubic-inch vehicles in the 80s is one of the best Chevy V8 engines ever. Whether it’s the 265, 327, or 283 cubic engines, you can be sure you are picking some of the most impressive eight-cylinder engines produced by Chevy V8. These engines offer simplicity and power. They are durable, easy to use, and maintain.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Chevy V8 Engines: #2. 454 LS6

The 454 LS6 is a big block Chevy V8 engine, which was very popular during the muscle car era. The 396, Ultra-rare 427 L72, L88 motors, and 409 are some of the best picks. The 454 cubic inch LS6 has high compression, a solid lifter camshaft, a large valve lift, and a big 800 cfm Holley carburetor. It produces up to 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Chevy V8 Engines: #3. 5.7 LS1

The 5.7 LS1 is a third-generation Chevrolet Small Block. It has an aluminum block and a coil-on ignition, producing up to 350 horsepower.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Chevy V8 Engines: #4. 7.0 LS7

The 7.0 LS7 is special among all V8 LS engines because of its impressive naturally aspirated output. The LS7 produces 505 horsepower and is present in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Chevrolet Camaro Z28.

Chevy 327 Engine Identification, Best Chevy V8 Engines: #5. 6.2 LT1/LT2/L86/L87

The 6.2 LT1, LT2, L86, and L87 are fifth-generation small-block Chevy V8 engines. L86 and L87 are found in SUVs and trucks; the LT1 produces 460 horsepower, LT2 produces 490 horsepower, while L86 and L87 produce up to 420 horsepower. One unique feature of the 6.2L is its reliability and sophistication.

Big Block Chevy Engine Code Stamping Numbers

Once you locate the stamping number or code of a Big Block Chevy engine, identifying what kind of engine it is, is very easy. The stamping number contains a prefix and suffix that gives information about where the engine was assembled and the date; it will also provide information about the engine type.

If the engine code is stamped at the top of the timing chain cover, it indicates that the engine is a Big Block Chevy engine. If you have S0924 as the prefix code;

A – Saginaw

09/24 – 24th of September.

If you have QB as the suffix code, it means 1962 Impala, CID:409, HP:409, and four-speed transmission.

BBC Casting Numbers

Big Block Chevy casting numbers include;

  • 340220
  • 361959
  • 364776
  • 364779
  • 473478
  • 3732811
  • 3751872
  • 3755011
  • 3771705
  • 3782870
  • 3788068
  • 3795623
  • 3798962
  • 3830814
  • 3855961

SBC Suffix Code

A Small Block Chevy suffix code indicates an engine’s year and Horsepower number. SBC suffix code includes;

  • HR
  • HS
  • HT
  • HU
  • HV
  • HW
  • HX
  • HY
  • HZ
  • IA
  • ID
  • IL
  • IN
  • IP
  • IQ
  • IR
  • IS
  • IT
  • IV
  • IW
  • IY
  • IZ
  • J
  • JA and so on

327 Small Block

The 327 Small Block engine is one of the most powerful production conventional Small Block engines. The L84 is one of the best 327 Small Blocks; it produced 375 horsepower and is a high-winding screamer. The L76 is another example of a 327 Small Block; it produced about 353 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. Most 327 Small Blocks featured domed pistons, which enabled them to have a constant compression ratio of 11:0:1

327 Engine Suffix Codes

Each suffix code indicates the type of carburetor, transmission, and availability of air conditioning. The 327 engine suffix codes include;

  • R
  • RA
  • S
  • SA
  • RB
  • K
  • SB
  • SG

Small Block Chevy Casting Number Location

You will find the casting number of a Small Block Chevy on a machined pad on the front passenger side cylinder head at the back of the alternator. The casting numbers may include the following;

  • 3782870
  • 3814660
  • 3830944

Chevy 327 Engine Identification

FAQs On Chevy 327 Engine Identification

How To Tell What Engine I Have

The easiest way to know your engine is to check the VIN in your owner’s manual or under the hood. The eight digits in your VIN will give you every information you need about your car and the type of engine powering it.

What Does The V Stand For In V8

The V stands for engine formation or the way the cylinders are arranged in the engine. It means there are two cylinder banks with an equal number of cylinders arranged at an angle to form a V-shape for anyone viewing from the front. This arrangement is common because it requires less space.

How To Read A Chevy VIN Number

The order of a Chevy VIN is; 1. Country. 2. Manufacturing division, maybe GMC or Chevrolet. 3. Make, either bus or truck. 4. Brake design, maybe heavy duty, anti-lock brake, or four-wheel disc. 5. Chasis type, either small trucks or military vehicles. 6. Series such as towing capacity. 7. Body type. 8. Engine type. 9. Algorithm single digit for calculating VIN accuracy. 10. Model year. 11. Assembly plant. 12-17. Serial number.

How To Find Engine Size On Engine Block

Your car engine can be in different sizes, depending on your type of vehicle and the brand. You can identify the size of your car engine by checking your VIN or the number stamped on the engine block. These numbers contain all information about your engine, including the size.

What Is A Small Block Engine

A Small Block engine has a smaller size, smaller bores, shorter strokes, and less displacement. Small Block engines don’t produce much power but offer simplicity, acceleration, and handling. They are lighter in weight, and this contributes to their impressive performance. Small Block engines are also called mouse motors; their displacement is less than 400 cubic inches.

What Liter Is A 350

A liter is about 61 cubic inches; then, a 350 cubic inches engine will be 5.7 liters.

What Does 4 Bolt Main Mean

4 bolt main is the number of bolts (4-2 on each side) holding the main bearing caps to the block of an internal combustion engine. People prefer r 4 bolt main because it is stronger than a 2-bolt mains.

How To Find Engine Code

You can find the engine code in the lower corner of your windshield close to the driver’s side. You can also find your engine code through the VIN.

Do Engines Have VIN Numbers

Engines have VIN numbers, all in the engine code or engine number. You can find your VIN on the side of the windshield on the driver’s side.

How To Identify Chevy 6 Cylinder Engines

Chevy 6-cylinder engines have a clear and straightforward engine numbering system, which is why it is straightforward to read and decode. The engine contains a 7-8 digit code of numbers and letters. The suffix indicates the year vehicle, transmission details, and horsepower number, while the prefix indicates the date and location of manufacture. You will find the numbers on the engine block at the back of the distributor assembly.

What Is A Chevy Big Block

A Chevy Big Block always has a displacement of 400 cubic inches or more, small bores to enable efficient breathing, longer strokes, and an overall bigger shape. Big block engines offer more power and come in 2-bolt and 4-bolt mains. The larger strokes, smaller bores, and big valves in Chevy Big Blocks improve efficiency and displacement, especially for trucks or vehicles that require more power to run; this is why Big Block engines are the best in higher-demand situations. Chevy Big Blocks weigh more because of their size, mostly referred to as porcupines.

Conclusion On Chevy 327 Engine Identification

Identifying your Chevy 327 engine becomes easy when you locate the engine code stamping numbers. The stamping numbers will give every information you need about your Chevy 327 car engine.

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Roy Anderson July 10, 2023 - 4:41 pm

I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to identify the engine in my 1956 Chevy. The block number is 05I4239F56FB.
The car has the power pack setup with 4 bl carb and factory dual exhaust.

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Paul Hadley July 10, 2023 - 4:42 pm

Hi Roy,

Thank you for reaching out and providing the block number of your 1956 Chevy engine. Based on the information you provided, I can assist you in identifying your engine.

The block number you provided, 05I4239F56FB, contains important details about your engine. Here is a breakdown of the code:

05I: The first two digits, “05,” indicate the month of production. In this case, “05” represents May.

4239: The following four digits, “4239,” represent the day of production. Therefore, your engine was likely produced on the 23rd day of May.

F: The letter “F” denotes the engine suffix code, which provides information about the specific configuration of your engine. Unfortunately, without additional context or a complete engine suffix code, it is challenging to determine the exact details of your engine.

56FB: The last two digits, “56FB,” most likely indicate the application or vehicle the engine was intended for. However, without further information, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact meaning of these digits.

To further identify your engine, it would be helpful to locate the complete engine suffix code. This code is typically found on a pad located on the front passenger side of the engine block, near the cylinder head. With the complete suffix code, we can provide more specific details about your engine, such as horsepower rating and transmission compatibility.

If you are unable to find the complete suffix code, there are other methods to identify your engine. You can consult the vehicle’s identification plate or build sheet, which might provide additional information about the engine specifications.

Alternatively, reaching out to specialized Chevy enthusiasts or contacting a reputable classic car restoration shop could also be beneficial. These experts possess extensive knowledge and experience with Chevy engines and can help you accurately identify the engine in your 1956 Chevy.

I hope this information helps you in your quest to identify your engine. If you have any further questions or require additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Kirk Lowell December 16, 2023 - 1:02 am

I have just a 327 engine, I think.

The casting number on the rear driver’s side of engine is 3782870.

Numbers on the passenger’s side front engine pad are S166858 and F0208HB.

Would you please decode these numbers and tell me what they all mean??

Avatar photo
Rae Castillon December 18, 2023 - 2:35 pm

Hi Kirk,

Certainly, I can help decode the numbers you provided for your Chevy 327 engine:

1. Casting Number 3782870:
– The casting number 3782870 is commonly associated with the Chevrolet small-block V8 engines. In particular, it is often linked to 327 cubic inch (c.i.) engines.

2. Engine Pad Numbers:
– S166858: This is the engine suffix code. It indicates specific details about the engine. In this case, “S166858” does not directly correlate to a known suffix code, so it might not be a standard Chevrolet engine suffix code. It’s possible that it’s been modified or the original code is not recognized.

– F0208HB: This is the engine assembly date code.
– “F” indicates the month, which is February.
– “02” indicates the day of the month, which is the 8th.
– “08” indicates the year, which is likely 1968.
– “HB” might indicate the engine assembly plant and shift, but it’s less common and might vary.

Based on the casting number and the date code, it appears that your engine is a Chevrolet small-block V8, and it may be a 327 cubic inch engine produced in February 1968. However, the suffix code is not standard, so you might want to consult a Chevrolet expert or reference materials specific to your engine to determine more details about its specific characteristics and history.


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