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  • 3 Post By glennsexton
  • 3 Post By NTFDAY
  • 2 Post By jerry clayton

Thread: 1979 SBC 400 police interceptor

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  1. #1
    DrGoob is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Aug 2015
    Car Year, Make, Model: 69 Chevy C10

    1979 SBC 400 police interceptor


    Hey Im thinking about buying a 1969 chevy pickup. The guy that has it said that he and his father swapped the motor from a 1979 Chevy (Nova?) Police car. He said that the police car engines were different than the regular Chevy engines.... Is there actually a difference? I can't find anything on Google about there being different 400sbc's for that year. Is there anything special about this motor? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    glennsexton's Avatar
    glennsexton is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Mar 2005
    Car Year, Make, Model: 63 Nova SS

    Welcome to CHR:

    Not to burst your bubble, but the 1979 Novas used by police departments were a reflection of the horrible performance era. The Nova 9C1 was offered to police agencies between 1975 & 1979. They were available with either a 170 horsepower 4.3L 265CI SFI engine(typical of a city police department) or a 200 horsepower version of the L99 350 used by state police. The 350s had some heavy-duty components (e.g., forged crank, heavy valve springs, etc.) that improved durability but they didn't get any performance-enhancing modifications.

    None had 400s – none were high performance.

    Get numbers off the engine and we can help you determine what it really is.

    NTFDAY, Rrumbler and rspears like this.
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  3. #3
    techinspector1's Avatar
    techinspector1 is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    May 2003
    Zephyrhills, Florida, USA
    Car Year, Make, Model: '32 Henway

    There is a casting number on the rear of the block on the driver's side, just in front of the bellhousing mating surface. It will usually be glommed up with grease and debris, so you will need to use a heavy-bristled brush and maybe a little solvent like kerosene to clean it up enough to read it. You'll also need a very strong flashlight or mechanic's trouble light to shine in there between the firewall of the car and the back of the motor.
    Here's the engine block casting number (looking from the rear of the motor).....

    Here's a set of brass, steel and heavy plastic bristle brushes available at Walmart....
    Cleaning Tools Toothbrush Style Mini Wire Brush 3Pcs - Walmart.com

    The other main identifier is a stamped number and letters on the passenger side of the block just past the end of the cylinder head, stamped into the block very close to the top water pump bolt on the passenger's side. It will be an alpha-number something like this....V0312CTG.
    You may have to remove the alternator or other engine-driven accessory to see it clearly.

    If you'll post those two numbers, the casting number from the rear of the block and the suffix number from the front of the block, we can probably nail down what the motor is and what vehicle it was built for at the factory.

    Remove one of the valve covers from the motor and post the casting number of one of the heads with us and we can really nail down the performance characteristics for you....

    Last edited by techinspector1; 04-22-2016 at 07:06 AM.

  4. #4
    DrGoob is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Aug 2015
    Car Year, Make, Model: 69 Chevy C10

    thanks for the reply, i havent bought the truck yet, but plan to within the next week. i will talk to the guy and see if i can go up and check out the numbers first. i will keep you updated thanks!

  5. #5
    NTFDAY's Avatar
    NTFDAY is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Aug 2003
    Car Year, Make, Model: '66 Mustang, 76 Corvette

    The easiest way to tell if it's a 400 or not is by the harmonic dampener. The 400 has a deep indentation about half way around the dampener that the 350 doesn't have. The reason is that a 400 is externally balanced and the 350 is internally balanced.
    Ken Thomas
    NoT FaDe AwaY and the music didn't die
    The simplest road is usually the last one sought
    Wild Willie & AA/FA's The greatest show in drag racing

  6. #6
    jerry clayton's Avatar
    jerry clayton is offline CHR Member Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Feb 2006

    Most 400 blocks only have 2 freeze plugs on each side while the other blocks have 3-----be careful looking as view could be blocked by motor mount, headers, starter,etc
    NTFDAY and 40FordDeluxe like this.

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