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Thread: What Engine is in the 1971 Buick Riviera i bought?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    kahl am ma
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    Question What Engine is in the 1971 Buick Riviera i bought?


    Im new in the world of Forums so excuse me if im in the wrong place tith this post, also im not from america so my english provably is not the best i hope you understand me anyways

    recently i bought a 1971 Buick Riviera in horrible conditions and im confused about the engine it came with.. it looks kind of small for a bigblock haha

    here i have the numbers i found on the engine maby some of you would be so kind and help me with the identification of the block

    the numbers are kind of hard to read but this is what it looks to me:

    i found 3 numbers at diferent places

    1: XD
    2: 28A188465
    3: (the hard one to read i dont know if the two ``O´´ are part of the code because they are more like big dots, the ?? mean im not sure if there are more digits or letters looks like it could be one or two more... something like an S or C?)

    78 DON
    ?? 218 O 10000708

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    1st. off if a Buick engine the distributor will be in the front. To tell if it's a big block or small block all you have to do is look at the valve covers. 5 bolts holding them down is a 455. 6 bolts holding them down is a 350.

    Tom T.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 1999
    A, B
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    This visual engine identification article may help you:

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    Members can be contacted by clicking on their "handle", but you are much better off to post to the thread!

  4. #4
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    Sep 1999
    Dbl Oak,TX
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    28A188465 - VIN derivative

    2 = Pontiac - GM division which built the car
    8 = 1978 - model year
    A = Lakewood, GA - plant which assembled the car
    188465 = car serial number - started at 100001

    Engine code

    XD = Pontiac 301 V8, 1978, A or B body, 140 Hp, 2 bbl carb, TH350 automatic transmission, L-27 engine option

    ?? 218 - Build date code

    ?? = C would be for March, S not used
    21 = 21st day of month
    8 = 1978 year

    Block casting number

    10000708 = used on '77-81 Pontiac 301

    In 1978 Buick used the 301 in some LeSabres. Attached are some pictures from the '78 Buick shop manual. Distributor is in the rear and turns counter-clockwise. The engine size 301 should be cast in the side of the block per standard Pontiac practice.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

  5. #5
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    Apr 2004
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    the 1971 Riviera only came from the factory with a 455 cubic inch engine. having somebody swap in a 301ci Poncho is just painful to think about.

    if you happen to find a BUICK 455 ( Oldsmobile and Pontiac also had "455" engines, but they are completely different architectures ), have a local Land Rover v8 guy work on it.
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