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-- Where to find the numbers!
YEAR ENGINE TYPE CODE
1963 V-6 198   JL
V-8 215   JM
V-8 215 HP JN
V-8 401* 2bbl JR
V-8 401* 4bbl JT
V-8 425* 4bbl JW
1964 V-6 225 Std.Eng. KH
V-6 225 low comp. KJ
V-8 300 Std.Eng. KL
V-8 300 low comp. KM
V-8 300 Std.Eng. KP
V-8 300 low comp. (export) KR
V-8 401*   KT
V-8 425* 4bbl KW
V-8 425* 2X4bbl KX
1965 V-6 225   LH
V-8 300 Std. Eng. LL
V-8 300 HP LP
V-8 400(401)* GS LR
V-8 401*   LT
V-8 425* 4bbl LW
V-8 425* 2X4bbl LX
1966 V-6 225   MH
V-8 300   ML
V-8 340 low comp. MX
V-8 340 2bbl MA
V-8 340 4bbl MB
V-8 400* GS 401 MR
V-8 401*   MT
V-8 425* 4bbl MW
V-8 425* 2X4bbl MZ
Click for more on 425 identification
1967 V-6 225   NH
V-8 300   NL
V-8 340 2 bbl NA
V-8 340 4 bbl NB
V-8 400   NR
V-8 430    MD
V-8 430    ND
1968 L-6 250 3 spd. manual SA
L-6 250 2 spd. auto w/o a/c SD
L-6 250 2 spd. auto a/c SE
V-8 350 2 bbl PO
V-8 350 4 bbl PP
V-8 400   PR
V-8 430   PD
1969 L-6 250 3 spd. manual w/o a/c LA
L-6 250 3 spd manual a/c LE
L-6 250 ST-300 w/o a/c MA
L-6 250 ST-300 a/c ME
V-8 350 2 bbl RO
V-8 350 4 bbl RP
V-8 400   RR
V-8 400 Stage 1 RS
V-8 430   RD
1970 L-250 3 spd. manual SA
L-6 250 THM350 SB
V-8 350 2bbl SO
V-8 350 4bbl SB
V-8 350 4bbl SP
V-8 455 4bbl SF
V-8 455 4bbl SR
V-8 455 4bbl GS Stage 1 SS
1971 L6-250 man. trans. ZB
L-250 auto. trans. ZG
V-8 350 2bbl LeSabre TC
V-8 350 2bbl except LeSabre TO
V-8 350 4bbl except LeSabre TB
V-8 350 4bbl LeSabre TD
V-8 455 4bbl GS TA
V-8 455 4bbl TR
V-8 455 4bbl GS Stage 1 TS

SERIAL NUMBERS OF PRODUCTION BUILT ENGINES The new engine code for 1963 is as follows:
 198 Cu. In.  V-6  JLOOO
 215 Cu. In.  2 bbl V-8  JMOOO
 215 Cu. In.  4 bbl V-8  JNOOO
 215 Cu. In.  Export Low Comp V-8  JPOOO
 401 Cu. In.  2 bbl V-8  JROOO
 401 Cu. In.  2 bbl Low Comp V-8  J5000
 401 Cu. In.  4 bbl V-8  JTOOO
 401 Cu. In.  4 bbl V-8 Low Comp  JUOOO
 425 Cu. In.  4 bbl V-8  JWOOO
 425 Cu. In.  4 bbl Low Comp V-8  JXOOO
The "J" prefix indicates 1963 year. This will change annually. The other prefix letters designate the style of engine. The last three digits will designate the day of the year.

NOTE: This planned method should have been started August 13, 1962.

On models from 1972 through 80, the fifth character of the VIN provides engine identification. This character appears on the dash VIN plate, but not on the engine itself.
YEAR ENGINE TYPE CODE VIN
1972 V-8 350 2bbl WC H
V-8 350 4bbl single exhaust WB J
V-8 350 4bbl dual exhaust WB K
V-8 455 4bbl single exhaust WF T
V-8 455 4bbl dual exhaust WF U
V-8 455 4bbl, Stage I WS V
V-8 455 4bbl WA W Riv GS
1973 L-6 250 auto. trans. CCA  
L-6 250 auto. trans. w/ emission ctl. CCB D
L-6 250 man. trans. CCC D
L-6 250 man. trans. w/emission ctl. CCD D
V-8 350 2bbl dual exhaust XC G
V-8 350 2bbl single exhaust XC H
V-8 350 4bbl single exhaust XB J
V-8 350 4bbl dual exhaust XB K
V-8 455 4bbl single exhaust XF T
V-8 455 4bbl dual exhaust XF U
V-8 455 A-body GS Stage I XS V
V-8 455 4bbl XA W
1974 L-6 250 man. trans. CCR D
L-6 250 auto. trans. w/emission ctl. CCW D
L-6 250 auto. trans. CCX D
V-8 350 2bbl dual exhaust ZC G
V-8 350 2bbl single exhaust ZC H
V-8 350 4bbl single exhaust ZB J
V-8 350 4bbl dual exhaust ZB K
V-8 455 2bbl single exhaust ZF P
V-8 455 2bbl dual exhaust ZF R
V-8 455 4bbl single exhaust ZF T
V-8 455 4bbl dual exhaust ZF U
V-8 455 A- Body GS Stage I ZS V
V-8 455 4bbl ZA W
1975 L-6 250 man. trans. CJU D
V-6 231   AD C
L-6 250 auto. trans.,
exc. Calif.
CJY D
L-6 250 auto. trans.,
Calif.
CJL D
V-8 260 exc. Calif.,
no a/c
QE F
V-8 260 exc. Calif.,
with a/c
QJ F
V-8 260 Calif.
no a/c
TE F
V-8 260 Calif
with a/c
TJ F
V-8 350 2bbl. AB H
V-8 350 4bbl. AM J
V-8 400**   YM S
V-8 400**   YT S
V-8 455   AF T
  • 231 V6, the engine serial number is on the front of the right cylinder bank
  • 260 V8, the engine serial number in on the oil filler tube on the front of the engine.
  • 400 V8, the engine serial number is located on the machined face of the cylinder block, below and in front of the right-hand cylinder head.

On most 1975 and later engines, the production code number can be found with the engine serial number.

     *      Engines which are known as "Nailheads".

     **    Pontiac

Here is some interesting information about one of the more mysterious motors in our ID tables. There's been no doubt that this is a Pontiac mill. It appears in the 1975 Buick Shop Manual and has its own chapter for service. The rear axle table shows the intended usage was in the LeSabre and the Estate Wagon models.

It is entirely reasonable to see the Pontiac 400 being proposed as a California-only alternative to the 455. Who knows why the Electra 225 and the Riviera would have continued on with just the 455 for that state?

There are serious doubts that such cars were ever built however. There is no mention of a 400 engine in the sales brochure for 75. A Buick parts list from 83 shows no such engine used in 75. This parts list does show California and 49-state applications including 455s for California. There is even a Buick service bulletin regarding tune ups issued in September, 1975 that shows no such engine. The engine table attached to that bulletin shows every other combination under the sun that Buick supplied that year. No 1975 400s have turned up in messages on this site as far as I can remember.

Maybe some Buick engineers tweaked up the 455 to get it to pass California emissions after the shop manual was sent to the printers? Then the plan to install the Poncho motors was scrapped?

To my knowledge there is no data at all on a 76 application for this engine in a Buick. If anyone could guide us to some more resources for further information, it would be most appreciated. (You can post them on the web board.)

There are a few other non-Buick design engines (like the Chevy in-line sixes) that were used in the earlier years. These are not listed as such in the ID tables, mainly due to oversight. But maybe Bob C. can make the needed changes to show them as 'foreign' sourced motors.

          Todd




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