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U.S. Engine Codes

Appendix 2

This appendix contains information on identifying 1935-1964 U.S. built cars, 1951-1966 U.S. built engines, 1935-1964 Canadian built cars, and 1951-1963 Canadian built engines. I have provided some examples showing how to decode Canadian cars and engines.

U.S. Buick Car Serial Numbers (VIN) 1935-1953

Information on U.S. car serial numbers can be found in "The Buick, A Complete History" (ref. 4) and the "Standard Catalog of Buick 1903-2004" (ref. 5). For 1935 and 1936 the serial number is seven digits. For 1937-1953, the serial number consists of eight digits as follows:

1st digit is the assembly plant:
1 = Flint, MI
2 = South Gate, CA
3 = Linden, NJ
4 = Kansas City, KS
5 = Wilmington, DE
6 = Atlanta, GA
7 = Framingham, MA

Last seven digits are the sequential production number unique to that particular car.

U.S. Buick Car Serial Numbers (VIN) 1954-1964

Information on U.S. car and engine serial numbers can be found in the "Catalog of American Car ID Numbers 1950-59" (ref. 6) and the "Catalog of American Car ID Numbers 1960-69" (ref. 7). The car serial number or VIN used by Buick has the same basic format for 1954-1964. The serial number consists of nine digits.

1st digit is the car series:
0 = Special V8 (4000)
A = Special V6 (4000)
1 = Special Deluxe V8 (4100)
B = Special Deluxe V6 (4100)
3 = Skylark V8 (4300), Sportwagon Custom (4300), or Sportwagon standard (4200)
C = Skylark V6 (4300)
4 = Special (40) or LeSabre (4400)
5 = Super (50)
6 = Century (60), Invicta (4600), or Wildcat (4600)
7 =Roadmaster (70 or 75), Electra (4700), or Riviera (4700)
8 = Limited (700), or Electra 225 (4800)
2nd digit is the model year:
A = 1954
D = 1957
G = 1960
J = 1963
M = 1966
B = 1955
E = 1958
H = 1961
K = 1964
C = 1956
F = 1959
I = 1962
L = 1965
3rd digit is the assembly plant code: 1 = Flint, MI
2 = South Gate, CA
3 = Linden, NJ or Fremont, CA (1964)
4 = Kansas City, KS
5 = Wilmington, DE
6 = Atlanta, GA
7 = Framingham, MA or Baltimore, MD (1964)
8 = Arlington, TX or Kansas City, MO (1964)
Last six digits are the sequential production number unique to that particular car: starting at 001001 for each plant for 1954-1963 fullsize cars, all 1964 cars
starting at 501001 for 1961-1963 Special/Skylark

U.S. Buick Engine Serial Numbers 1935-1966

For 1935-1956 U.S. built engines, the engine serial number is different than the car serial number (VIN). For 1935-1941 the first digit of the engine serial number indicates the car series and for 1942-1956 the last digit of the engine serial number indicates the car series (4=Special, 5=Super, 6=Century, 7=Roadmaster, 8=Roadmaster or Limited, 9 Limited). For 1957-1964 U.S. built engines, the car serial number (VIN) and engine serial number are the same. For 1965-1966 U.S. built engines, the engine serial number is the same as the last eight digits of the car's serial number (VIN).

On 1936-1952 I8 320 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on a machined surface on the right side (passenger side in U.S./Canada) of the cylinder bank to the rear of the distributor. On 1951-1953 I8 263 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on a machined surface on the right side of the cylinder bank in front of the distributor (similar for 1935-1950 small series engines). On 1953-1956 V8 264 and V8 322 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on a machined surface on the top outer edge of the left (driver side in U.S./Canada) cylinder bank, between the middle branches of the exhaust manifold. On 1951-1956 engines, a ¼" long dash (-) after the engine serial number indicates a 0.010" oversize cylinder bore engine.

On 1957-1966 V8 364, 401, and 425 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on the left side (driver side in U.S./Canada) of the engine on the top of the engine block just in front of the valley pan. On 1957-1966 U.S. built V8 364, 401, and 425 engines, the engine production code is stamped upside down on the right side (passenger side in U.S./Canada) of the engine on the top of the engine block just in front of the valley pan. Table A2-1 list the U.S. engine production codes for all 1959-1966 U.S. built engines (ref. 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). On 1957-1961 U.S. built engines, a ¼" long dash (-) after the engine production code indicates a 0.010" oversize cylinder bore engine. For U.S. built engines in 1957-1958, a stamped letter X before the production code indicates a series 50-60-70-75-700 engine equipped with 9.5:1 compression ratio pistons instead of the standard 10.0:1 compression ratio pistons.

On 1961-1963 V8 215 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on the engine forward of the right (passenger side in U.S./Canada) cylinder head and the production code number is stamped upside down next to the engine serial number.

On 1962-1963 V6 198 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on the engine forward of the right (passenger side in U.S./Canada) cylinder head and the engine production number is stamped on the front of the block below the left (driver side in U.S./Canada) cylinder head. On the 1964-1966 V6 225 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on the left (driver side in U.S./Canada) front face of the crankcase, just below the head gasket and the production code number is stamped on the crankcase between the front and middle branches of the right (passenger side in U.S./Canada) exhaust manifold. On cars with power steering it will be necessary to remove the power steering pump bracket to view the complete engine serial number.

On 1964-1966 V8 300 engines and 1966 V8 340 engines, the engine serial number is stamped on the left (driver side in U.S./Canada) front face of the crankcase, just below the valve cover and the production code number is stamped on the right side (passenger side in U.S./Canada) of the crankcase and can be viewed between the middle branches of the right exhaust manifold. On cars with power steering it will be necessary to remove the power steering pump bracket to view the complete engine serial number.

Table 2.1 - U.S. Engine Production Codes for all 1959-1971 Engines and for 1972-1976 V8 Engines
Year Type Code Disp.
(in3)
Comp.
Ratio
Torque
(lbs.-ft)
Brake
Horse
Power
Carb. Engine
Designation
Air Cleaner
Markings
Notes
1959 V8 3F 364 8.5:1 340 210 2V Wildcat 364 "Wildcat" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Manual transmission only.
1959 V8 3F 364 10.5:1 384 250 2V Wildcat 364 "Wildcat" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Automatic transmission only.
1959 V8 3F 364 10.5:1 405 300 4V   Dual opposing "Wildcat" lettering above a picture of a leaping Wildcat. Power Pack (4V carb, dual exhaust, automatic trans.).
1959 V8 4F 401 10.5:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 Dual opposing "Wildcat 445" lettering above a picture of a leaping Wildcat. Automatic transmission only.
1960 V8 L3G 364 9.0:1 375 235 2V Wildcat 375E "Wildcat 375E Regular Gas" text with a picture of a leaping Wildcat. “Regular gas” option in U.S. and low compression export engine. Standard engine in Canada for 4400 series for first part of 1960 model year. E=economy. Automatic transmission only.
1960 V8 3G 364 8.5:1 340 210 2V Wildcat 364 "Wildcat" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Manual transmission only.
1960 V8 3G 364 10.25:1 384 250 2V Wildcat 384 "Wildcat" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Automatic transmission only. Standard engine in Canada for 4400 series for second part of 1960 model year.
1960 V8 3G 364 10.25:1 405 300 4V Wildcat 405-4B   Power Pack (4V carb, dual exhaust, automatic trans.).
1960 V8 4G 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 Dual opposing "Wildcat 445" lettering above a picture of a leaping Wildcat. Automatic transmission only.
1961 V8 LH 215 7.6:1 205 145 2V     Low compression, export only. LH code also used in 1965.
1961 V8 H 215 8.8:1 220 150 2V Fireball V8    
1961 V8 HH 215 10.0:1 230 185 4V Skylark V8 "Skylark V8" and "185" lettering on snorkel. High Performance
1961 V8 L3H 364 9.0:1 375 235 2V Wildcat 375E "Wildcat 375E Regular Gas" text with a picture of a leaping Wildcat. “Regular gas” option in U.S. and low comp. export engine. Automatic transmission only.
1961 V8 3H 364 10.25:1 384 250 2V Wildcat 364 "Wildcat" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Automatic transmission only.
1961 V8 3HH 364 10.25:1 405 300 4V Wildcat 405-4B   Power Pack (4V carb, dual exhaust, automatic trans.).
1961 V8 L4H 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only. Automatic transmission only.
1961 V8 4H 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 Dual opposing "Wildcat 445" lettering above a picture of a leaping Wildcat. Automatic transmission only.
1962 V6 6I 198 8.8:1 215 135 2V Fireball V6 “Fireball V6” lettering  
1962 V8 LI 215 7.6:1 205 145 2V     Low compression, export only.
1962 V8 I 215 8.8:1 220 155 2V Fireball V8    
1962 V8 HI 215 10.25:1 235 190 4V Skylark V8 "Skylark V8" and "190" lettering on snorkel. High Performance
1962 V8 L2I 401 9.0:1 412 265 2V Wildcat 375   “Regular gas” option in U.S., automatic transmission only.
1962 V8 L2I 401 8.75:1 N/A N/A 2V     Low comp. export engine, automatic transmission only.
1962 V8 2I 401 10.25:1 424 280 2V Wildcat 410 "Wildcat 410" text and picture of leaping Wildcat Automatic transmission only.
1962 V8 L4I 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only. Automatic transmission only.
1962 V8 4I 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 Dual opposing "Wildcat 445" lettering above a picture of a leaping Wildcat. Automatic transmission only.
1963 V6 JL 198 8.8:1 215 135 2V Fireball V6 “Fireball V6” lettering  
1963 V6 JZ 198 7.6:1 N/A 135 2V     Low compression, export only.
1963 V8 JM 215 9.0:1 220 155 2V Fireball V8    
1963 V8 JN 215 11.0:1 240 200 4V Skylark V8 "Skylark V8" and "200" lettering on snorkel.  
1963 V8 JP 215 7.6:1 205 145 2V     Low compression, export only.
1963 V8 JR 401 10.25:1 424 280 2V Wildcat 410 "Wildcat 410" text and picture of leaping Wildcat  
1963 V8 JS 401 9.0:1 412 265 2V     "Regular gas" option in U.S.
1963 V8 JT 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 "Wildcat 445" lettering  
1963 V8 JU 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only.
1963 V8 JW 425 10.25:1 465 340 4V Wildcat 465 "Wildcat 465" lettering  
1964 V6 KH 225 9.0:1 225 155 1V Fireball V6 “Fireball V6” lettering  
1964 V6 KJ 225 7.6:1 N/A N/A 1V     Low compression, export only.
1964 V8 KL 300 9.0:1 310 210 2V Wildcat 310 "Wildcat 310" lettering  
1964 V8 KM 300 7.6:1 N/A N/A 2V     Low compression, export only
1964 V8 KP 300 11.0:1 355 250 4V Wildcat 355 "Wildcat 355" lettering High performance..
1964 V8 KR 300 7.6:1 N/A N/A 4V     High performance, export.
1964 V8 KT 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 "Wildcat 445" lettering  
1964 V8 KV 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only.
1964 V8 KW 425 10.25:1 465 340 4V Wildcat 465 "Wildcat 465" lettering  
1964 V8 KX 425 10.25:1 465 360 2x4V Super Wildcat "Super Wildcat" lettering on chrome lid  
1965 V6 LH 225 9.0:1 225 155 1V Fireball V-6 “Fireball V6” lettering LH code also used in 1961.
1965 V6 LK 225 7.6:1 N/A N/A 1V     Low compression, export only.
1965 V8 LL 300 9.0:1 310 210 2V Wildcat 310 "Wildcat 310" lettering  
1965 V8 LM 300 7.6:1 N/A N/A 4V     Low compression, export only
1965 V8 LP 300 10.25:1 335 250 4V Wildcat 355 "Wildcat 355" lettering  
1965 V8 LR 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 "Wildcat 445" lettering Skylark GS "400"
1965 V8 LT 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 "Wildcat 445" lettering  
1965 V8 LV 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only.
1965 V8 LW 425 10.25:1 465 340 4V Wildcat 465 "Wildcat 465" lettering  
1965 V8 LX 425 10.25:1 465 360 2x4V Super Wildcat "Super Wildcat" lettering on chrome lid  
1966 V6 MH 225 9.0:1 225 160 2V Wildcat V-6    
1966 V6 MK 225 7.6:1 N/A N/A 2V     Low compression, export only.
1966 V8 ML 300 9.0:1 310 210 2V Wildcat 310 "Wildcat 310" lettering  
1966 V8 MM 300 7.6:1 N/A N/A 2V     Low compression, export only.
1966 V8 MA 340 9.0:1 340 220 2V Wildcat 350 "Wildcat 350" lettering MA code also used in 1969.
1966 V8 MB 340 10.25:1 365 260 4V Wildcat 375 "Wildcat 375" lettering  
1966 V8 MX 340 8.1:1 N/A N/A 2V     Low compression, export only.
1966 V8 MR 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445   Skylark GS "400"
1966 V8 MS 401 11.0:1 450 332 4V     Skylark GS "400", race only, Quadrajet carb.
1966 V8 MT 401 10.25:1 445 325 4V Wildcat 445 "Wildcat 445" lettering  
1966 V8 MU 401 10.25:1 445 340 4V     Skylark GS "400", Quadrajet carb. and automatic trans. only.
1966 V8 MV 401 8.75:1 435 315 4V     Low compression, export only.
1966 V8 MW 425 10.25:1 465 340 4V Wildcat 465 "Wildcat 465" lettering Quadrajet carb. and automatic trans. only.
1966 V8 MZ 425 10.25:1 465 360 2x4V Super Wildcat "Super Wildcat" lettering on chrome lid Automatic trans. only.
1967 V6 NH 225 9.0:1 235 160 2V 225-2    
1967 V8 NL 300 9.0:1 310 210 2V 300-2 Service instructions only  
1967 V8 NM 300 7.6:1 N/A N/A 2V 300-2 Service instructions only Low compression, export only.
1967 V8 NA 340 9.0:1 340 220 2V 340-2 "Wildcat 350" lettering  
1967 V8 NB 340 10.25:1 365 260 4V 340-4 "Wildcat 375" lettering  
1967 V8 NX 340 8.1:1 N/A N/A 2V 340-2   Low compression, export only.
1967 V8 NR 400 10.25:1 440 340 4V 400-4    
1967 V8 MD 430 10.25:1 475 360 4V 430-4 430-4  
1967 V8 ND 430 10.25:1 475 360 4V 430-4 430-4  
1967 V8 NE 430 8.75:1 N/A N/A 4V 430-4   Low compression, export only.
1968 L6 SA 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Manual transmission only. SA code also used in 1970.
1968 L6 SD 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Automatic transmission w/o AC
1968 L6 SE 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Automatic transmission w/ AC
1968 V8 PO 350 9.0:1 350 230 2V 350-2    
1968 V8 PP 350 10.25:1 375 280 4V 350-4    
1968 V8 PW 350 7.6:1 N/A N/A 2V 350-2   Low compression, export only.
1968 V8 PR 400 10.25:1 440 340 4V 400-4    
1968 V8 PD 430 10.25:1 475 360 4V 430-4    
1968 V8 PE 430 8.75:1 N/A N/A 4V 430-4   Low compression, export only.
1969 L6 LA 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Manual transmission w/o AC.
1969 L6 LE 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Manual transmission w/ AC.
1969 L6 MA 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Automatic transmission w/o AC. MA code also used in 1966.
1969 L6 ME 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Automatic transmission w/ AC.
1969 V8 RO 350 9.0:1 350 230 2V 350-2    
1969 V8 RP 350 10.25:1 375 280 4V 350-4 "350-4" or "GS 350"  
1969 V8 RW 350 8.0:1 N/A N/A 2V 350-2   Low compression, export only.
1969 V8 RR 400 10.25:1 440 340 4V 400-4 "400-4" or "GS 400"  
1969 V8 RS 400 10.25:1 440 350 4V 400-4 "GS 400" and "Stage 1" GS Stage 1
1969 V8 RD 430 10.25:1 475 360 4V 430-4    
1969 V8 RE 430 8.75:1 N/A N/A 4V 430-4   Low compression, export only.
1970 L6 SA 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Manual transmission. SA code also used in 1968.
1970 V8 SB 350 9.0:1 375 285 4V 350-4   Automatic transmission.
1970 V8 SO 350 9.0:1 350 230 2V 350-2    
1970 V8 SP 350 10.25:1 410 315 4V 350-4 Hi. perf. "350-4 HI Compression" or "350-4" on GS  
1970 V8 SF 455 10.0:1 510 370 4V 455-4 "455-4"  
1970 V8 SR 455 10.0:1 510 350 4V 455-4 "GS 455"  
1970 V8 SS 455 10.5:1 510 360 4V 455-4 "GS 455" and "Stage 1" GS Stage 1
1971 L6 DF 250 8.5:1 N/A 145 1V 250-1   Manual transmission.
1971 L6 EA 250 8.5:1 235 155 1V 250-1   Automatic transmission.
1971 V8 TB 350 8.5:1 360 260 4V 350-4 "350-4" Skylark, Skylark Custom (series 43000 and 44000)
1971 V8 TC 350 8.5:1 350 230 2V 350-2 "350-2" LeSabre (series 45000)
1971 V8 TD 350 8.5:1 360 260 4V 350-4 "350-4" LeSabre (series 45000)
1971 V8 TO 350 8.5:1 350 230 2V 350-2 "350-2" Skylark, Skylark Custom (series 43000 and 44000)
1971 V8 TA 455 8.5:1 455 330 4V 455-4 "455-4" Riviera GS, Stage 1, or Hi-Perf 455
1971 V8 TR 455 8.5:1 450 315 4V 455-4 "455-4" or "GS 455"  
1971 V8 TS 455 8.5:1 460 345 4V 455-4 "GS 455" and "Stage 1" GS Stage 1
1972 V8 WC 350 8.5:1 270 155 2V 350-2   VIN letter = G, dual exhaust
1972 V8 WC 350 8.5:1 265 150 2V 350-2   VIN letter = H
1972 V8 WB 350 8.5:1 275 180 4V 350-4   VIN letter = J
1972 V8 WC 350 8.5:1 285 190 4V 350-4   VIN letter = K, dual exhaust
1972 V8 WF 455 8.5:1 360 225 4V 455-4   VIN letter = T, single exhaust
1972 V8 WF 455 8.5:1 375 250 4V 455-4   VIN letter = U, dual exhaust
1972 V8 WS 455 8.5:1 390 270 4V 455-4   VIN letter = V, Skylark GS Stage 1
1972 V8 WA 455 8.5:1 380 260 4V 455-4   VIN letter = W, Riviera GS Stage 1 or Hi-Perf 455
1973 V8 XC 350 8.5:1 265 155 2V 350-2   VIN letter = G, dual exhaust
1973 V8 XC 350 8.5:1 265 150 2V 350-2   VIN letter = H, manual trans
1973 V8 XB 350 8.5:1 270 175 4V 350-4   VIN letter = J
1973 V8 XB 350 8.5:1 285 190 4V 350-4   VIN letter = K, dual exhaust
1973 V8 XF 455 8.5:1 360 225 4V 455-4   VIN letter = T, single exhaust
1973 V8 XF 455 8.5:1 375 250 4V 455-4   VIN letter = U, dual exhaust
1973 V8 XS 455 8.5:1 390 270 4V 455-4   VIN letter = V, Century GS Stage 1
1973 V8 XA 455 8.5:1 380 260 4V 455-4   VIN letter = W, Riviera Stage 1 or Hi-Perf 455
1974 V8 ZC 350 8.5:1 270 150 2V 350-2   VIN letter = G, dual exhaust
1974 V8 ZP 350 8.5:1 270 150 2V 350-2   VIN letter = H, California
1974 V8 ZM 350 8.5:1 260 175 4V 350-4   VIN letter = J, California
1974 V8 ZB 350 8.5:1 260 175 4V 350-4   VIN letter = K, dual exhaust
1974 V8 ZI 455 8.5:1 355 175 2V 455-2   VIN letter = P, single exhaust
1974 V8 ZH 455 8.5:1 370 190 2V 455-2   VIN letter = R, dual exhaust
1974 V8 ZF 455 8.5:1 335 210 4V 455-4   VIN letter = T, single exhaust
1974 V8 ZK 455 8.5:1 355 230 4V 455-4   VIN letter = U, dual exhaust
1974 V8 ZS 455 8.5:1 370 255 4V 455-4   VIN letter = V, Century GS Stage 1
1974 V8 ZA 455 8.5:1 360 245 4V 455-4   VIN letter = W, Riviera Stage 1 or Hi-Perf 455
1975 V8 AB 350 8.0:1 270 145 2V 350-2   VIN letter = H
1975 V8 AM 350 8.0:1 260 175 4V 350-4   VIN letter = J
1975 V8 AF 455 7.9:1 345 205 4V 455-4   VIN letter = T, single exhaust
1976 V8 PA 350 8.0:1 270 140 2V 350-2   VIN letter = H, L32
1976 V8 PE 350 8.0:1 280 155 4V 350-4   VIN letter = J, L77
1976 V8 SA 455 7.9:1 345 205 4V 455-4   VIN letter = T, L74