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11/25/12 10:16pm - Original Message: 'Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 12
Hi guys.  I recently bought my first C3, a 1969 coupe.  It was sold to me as a 427/390 car that had the engine replaced a long time go.  I didn't care much about it being a numbers matching car since I was looking for a weekend driver.  Now that I have started to get involved I'm torn between just getting it street ready or going a bit further.  If I decide to go further I would want to verify what the correct engine should be and possibly look for one.  So far I have this:
VIN - 194379S713485 (1969 Chevrolet Corvette 2 Door Coupe built in St. Louis, MO, production number 713485 (confirming Jan. 1969))
Build Date - F17 (January 17th, 1969)
Trim - ZQ4 (Black Vinyl)
Paint - 986 - (Cortez Silver)
Engine codes point towards a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro 350.
Transmission shows an A code (Muncie M20) can't see other codes to know if it matches.
Rear has a "Posi" tag on it but I didn't get through the grime for codes yet.
I believe the fuel tank was replaced and have no hope of locating a tank sticker, although it is leaking and I started to get it out today...on hold for next weekend now.
The tach has a 5600 redline.
The shifter console plate has the 427/390 info plate.
There are two gas lines running up the passenger side rail that appear to be original.
It has a small block hood.
There is no rear stabilizer bar.
I think these are all of the items that I have uncovered so far and realize any of them could have been changed.  Some make me believe that it could be a big block car, but other counter that.  Please correct any of the above since I am a novice and am pulling this from several unverified sources at this time.  What else could I be looking for? Suspension differences?  Anything else?
Thanks for your help.  I see this becoming addicting.
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11/25/12 11:44pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
A big block car would have had the rear stabilizer bar originally. Easy enough for someone to remove. Front springs would have been stouter, also. Look to see if you can see any tags on the springs...they are usually located well up in the upper spring pocket in the frame. A lot of them have not survived the years, but it is possible they did. If you can see the tags, and see the part number on them, that will help determine the suspension.
All original big blocks had the big block hoods. There is speculation that some came with small block hoods if there was a shortage, but I really doubt it, since the big blocks did require the extra clearance of the big block/LT1 style hoods.
 Others will chime in with more info....Thumbs Up


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Joel Adams
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11/26/12 8:06am - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 12
Thanks.  I'll try to locate tags on the springs and post what I find.  A past owner did drop the driver's side real wheel when a bearing went and did a bit of damage.  I'm hoping he removed the sway bar at that time. 
I did some more internet digging and do have what looks like the large radiator and the aluminum overflow can.  Can anyone confirm that was big block only?
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11/26/12 8:17am - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
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Here are some picture of my project....
Feel free to comment, good or bad.
 
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11/26/12 1:08pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
knotacare
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Newark, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1968 Conv, 454HO,500HP-600TQ, TKO-600,3:70 HD rear,hotrod air, custom paint & suspension,1973 Ruby Red,T-top, 383 Stroker, TK)-500,frame off restro, 1977 Yellow (1 of 51 ) L-48 4 spd, 99% original.

Joined: 7/26/2004
Posts: 453
BB had the big 4 core radiator & the u joints on the half shafts had the french locks on the outside. Sounds like you might have a SB car converted to a BB. BB's also can with the HD rears. Once you get the numbers you'll know.
Alan


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11/26/12 7:57pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
danascar
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Germansville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Coupe 358ci 4 speed Black w/Medium Saddle interior w/79 custom leather seats

Joined: 1/28/2010
Posts: 763
knotacare said: BB had the big 4 core radiator & the u joints on the half shafts had the french locks on the outside. Sounds like you might have a SB car converted to a BB. BB's also can with the HD rears. Once you get the numbers you'll know.
Alan

Pics certainly look like it is the Camaro 350 as per the engine code. So it is either an original BB car the was converted to SB or an original SB car with 427 shifter console ID plate. Will be an interesting investigation.

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Dan T
 

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11/26/12 11:10pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 12
This is what I found today....in the dark, with a flashlight. 
There are french locks on the u joints of half shafts.
I see what appears to be green tape on the front springs, can't make out any writting.   Not sure if this means anything.
I worked on cleaning up the rear but can't make out anything on the ground with a flashlight.
I didn't find anthing on the radiator.  Any hints on where to look?
 
 
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11/26/12 11:33pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
knotacare said:  the u joints on the half shafts had the french locks on the outside.


Not sure what ya mean there...ALL of the half shafts, afaik, had the french locks on the wheel end.
The big block, and high horse small blocks used the different yokes on the diff...the ones that used caps/bolts instead of u-bolts w/nuts.


But really...ANY of this stuff is easy enough to swap out, as witnessed by the overwhelming number of big block Sharks out there today.... far more than GM ever actually produced. Unfortunately, the VIN in '69 don't give any indication of the original engine, other than "V8".
My feeling, from looking at the pics, is that is was originally, and still is, a small block car.

The green tag on the front springs is good...that means the original springs are still on it. Big blocks had firmer springs, and installing a small block in where a big block was will make the front end sit too high. If the car looks right, as far as the way it sits, that's just another indicator of it being a small block originally.

The front stabilizer bar was also larger in diameter than the small block, but small block with the HD suspensions also had the larger bar, so....

I say forget the story about it being a big block, and just enjoy the journey of bringing it back to life.Thumbs Up


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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11/27/12 12:27am - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 12
The shafts do also have the caps and bolts, not the u-bolts and nuts.
I'll check the ride height and front stabilizer as well.
 
Adams', I agree with just getting to work and enjoying it.  That is the number one goal.  But, this has been a large part of the fun for me so far.  It's also been very helpful in learning about my car, and Vettes in general.  I know without the build sheet/tank sticker or some other documentation I may never know for sure, but wanted to make the attempt.  Thanks to you an everyone else for the input!! I know I'll need a lot more as the real work begins. 
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11/27/12 8:35am - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
Best guess is it was prolly an L46(350hp/350) originally. Still a desirable car. But the tach redline isn't correct for the L46, I don't think. The mystery continues! Thumbs Up

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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11/27/12 9:57am - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
Case75
Former Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
It's too bad that GM in the US doesn't keep records like GM Canada does. All I had to do was fill out a form with my cars VIN number and mail it to the GM Canada archives. A few weeks later I got a letter back with all the options, paint codes, build date, ship date, original selling dealer and the number of the same model imported into Canada. GM Canada has records for every car sold in Canada since 1946. I found out that my '75 is one of 2887 coupes imported that year and of that only 1067 had air conditioning.
 
Good luck on your investigation. To me, knowing the history of a vehicle is half the fun of ownership. Love those '69's!


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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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11/27/12 9:19pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
kp1a
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Joined: 11/7/2012
Posts: 12
Thanks guys, I am really enjoying all of the feedback.  I've decided that this will definately be a more involved project than I originally anticipated.  The plan was to repair the fender, rusted out muffler and spruce up the interior and drive it.  It looks like it will become much more than that.  I'll keep posting updates as they occur for anyone interested. 
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11/28/12 1:30pm - Reply: 'Re: Deciphering my '69 '
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
kp1a said: I've decided that this will definitely be a more involved project than I originally anticipated....  



Welcome to Corvette Ownership!! That's pretty much how it always is....and you never really "finish" them...lol

____________________________________
Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
My Link


(click for Texas-sized view!)
             NCRS

"Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comforting to cry in a CORVETTE than in a Kia"
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