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What do I have?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by zcubed, Oct 19, 2001.

  1. zcubed

    zcubed Registered Member

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    Hello everyone. I'm new, and I have VERY limited mechanical ability. I have a '78 that i always thought had a 400 engine (that's what it came with according to the vin). The rig's been in my family since the mid '80's and never driven much. I retrieved and am trying to revive it, and I was under the impression it had a 400. A while back a friend looked at it, and he thought it was small for a 400. I didn't give it much thought, because he's not a mechanic either. Yesterday, i got it inspected, and we opened the hood. The guy there also thought it looks small for a 400. I called my dad, and he said that the engine was rebuilt a while ago. He's not a mechanic either, and he doesn't remember much about it. All he could remember was something about a "half block?" So now, how can I tell what engine I have, as far as displacement? What's a half block? Last week I had an Edelbrock intake and carb. put on. I told edelbrock i have a 400 when i was getting there rec. on the parts. It turns out the 2101 man. is recommended for 302, 327, 350, & 400 small blocks. All i know for sure is that I have a V-8. Sorry to be such an idiot, but I would like to know what I have. Any suggestions on how I can find out? Thank you for any replies.

    <font color=red>_____________________________________________________</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>I'm hooked on gin and tonics like yo mamma's hooked on phonics!</font color=blue>
     
  2. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    350 and 400's are identical on external dimensions - I'd wager that it's still a 400. As for the ½ block, I'd guess that he meant short block, which is a new engine, but without heads, the old ones are reused.

    Of the 5 toughest dogs in the neighborhood, my cat's ranked #3
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  3. zcubed

    zcubed Registered Member

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    Thanks, Pugsley. My dad said the reason the engine was rebuilt was because it "burned up." Does this mean that the same block could still be used, or do you have to start from scratch? Is there a serial number or something that I could look for on the engine and then see what block is there? Thanks.

    <font color=red>_____________________________________________________</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>I'm hooked on gin and tonics like yo mamma's hooked on phonics!</font color=blue>
     
  4. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    Look at your damper (big round hunk of iron on the front bottom of you motor, in front of your timing cover) if your damper has a huge notch on one part of it, its a 400. It is externally balanced. It there is no missing notch than its a 305 or 350.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76>http://www.geocities.com/bigkern76</a>
     
  5. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    It's probably still useable - there's several people on here that can look up the serial# for you.

    Of the 5 toughest dogs in the neighborhood, my cat's ranked #3
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  6. zcubed

    zcubed Registered Member

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    Thank you, Blazer_Boy. At first look, I didn't think it had a notch -- I was looking for a "cut-out" or gap, that would not make the damper round (like if one piece of pie is missing). Upon closer inspection, I did notice a notch that was on the outside of the damper. In other words, there was no notch on the face of the damper that faces the radiator, but there was a notch around the circumference of the damper that faces the fender wells. The notch appeared to run about halfway around the circumference. Does this sound like I looked at the right part and found the notch you were referring to? Thanks again. I can rest easy tonight if I've identified my engine. :)

    And thanks again to you, Pugsley. I may see if I can find the serial number. There's a lot of grease under there. :)

    <font color=red>_____________________________________________________</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>I'm hooked on gin and tonics like yo mamma's hooked on phonics!</font color=blue><P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by zcubed on 10/19/01 11:50 PM.</FONT></P>
     
  7. BB454

    BB454 1/2 ton status

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    zcubed - Your post reminded me of a story I heard once.
    A lady walked into a lawnmower shop and wanted to buy a new spark plug for the thing. The salesman asked her for the make and model so he could give her the right part. Her only reply was - "It's a red one"

    No pun mate, just a little joke.


    BB454
    IF IT DOES NOT HAVE 8 PISTONS - IT'S BROKEN !
     
  8. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    From what you said about the 'notch' running half way around the circumference of the damper, I am pretty positive the motor IS the 400 small block. [​IMG]



    I'm not picking my nose...I'm just pointing at my brain!! [​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/thatK30guy>The K30 Collection</a>
     
  9. MUDNUTT

    MUDNUTT 1/2 ton status

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    try to look for the freeze plugs on the side of the block. if its a 400 it will have 3 of them. all others had only 2.
    deck

    <font color=blue>DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT[​IMG]
    <font color=red>PROUD TO BE AMERICAN[​IMG]
     
  10. Highlander

    Highlander 1/2 ton status

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    From what you said it sounds like you still have a 400 It's a good motor I ran one in a Land Crusier I really like it. As for the motor being small I would think they all were thinking of a big block like a 396 or 454 if so your 400 would look small.
    good luck with your toy Eric

    <a target="_blank" href=http://cethern.tripod.com/erics-home-page-and-other-stuff/>http://cethern.tripod.com/erics-home-page-and-other-stuff/</a>
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  11. zcubed

    zcubed Registered Member

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    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I will assume that I do have the 400 small block. It does seem to be running pretty good. I guess I need to learn how to work on it myself. It gets EXPENSIVE paying for labor; plus, I've gone through about 4 mechanics trying to find one I'm comfortable with. Anyway, thanks again for all your help in helping identify this engine.

    <font color=red>_____________________________________________________</font color=red>
    <font color=blue>I'm hooked on gin and tonics like yo mamma's hooked on phonics!</font color=blue>
     
  12. Mr.Chevy4x4

    Mr.Chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    Just for reference, not all 400 small blocks had 3 freeze plugs on each side. Some of the earlier ones had 2 on each side.

    '85 K5 : Run it til it breaks, then fix it and go again!
     
  13. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

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    That is true, some had two, but there was a casting mark where the third freeze plug would be later, it looks kinda like a freeze plug. Another thing to remember is before you go changing parts on that 400 with other small block parts that the heads, harmonic balancer (damper), flywheel, and oil pump shaft are different than other small blocks. The heads have steam holes drilled in them to ease the over heating problem the 400's had where as other small block heads don't have them, but they can be added, the 400 is externally balanced so the flywheel and damper are counter weighted and balanced to the engine where as the others were internally balanced and you can swap dampers and flywheels with most other simular size small blocks (IE: 305 to 305...350 to 350..etc..), and the oil pump shaft has some machining on it for clearence reasons inside of the block where as other small blocks have a straight oil pump shaft.

    John

    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=) [​IMG]

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  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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