Bad E-bay purchase. Need engine code info! Please help!

twosfamily

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
4
Karma
0
Car
I ain't got a car
Hello. A friend (yes,really a friend, not me incognito!) just purchased a 1991 Camaro with a supposedly "rebuilt, high performance" engine. It is not the original engine. The rear code on the block, on the passenger side near the dizzy says: 4088548. The tab on the front of the block on the passenger side has the following codes: V0808UPB, the partial vin is: TGS535204. From what I have found so far it could be a mid-80's 350? I can not find anything on the UPB part of the V0808UPB? I am also finding nothing on the TGS535204? I can see the stampings very clearly, I believe I am reading these correct. I feel bad for my friend, he purchased this car from E-Bay and it was grossly misrepresented. The more proof he has of the misrepresentation the better! Any help with this would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 

hurst01

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
181
Karma
19
Location
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Car
1929 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet
Look behind the drivers side head between the transmission mounting surface and the head. There should be a raised number on the block such as 5.0L or 5.7L. It will be about 3 inches from the top outside transmission bolt. If it is a 91 engine it should also have center-bolt valve covers. The mid 80s engine could still have center bolt valve covers, beginning around 1986.

If indeed, it is a rebuilt high performance engine and the seller disclosed that it is not the original engine, what is it that you are looking for?

Ed
 

hurst01

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
181
Karma
19
Location
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Car
1929 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet
twosfamily,

Found it. You are missing a 1 at the front of the number. Your engine is 14088548...350...86-88...2 or 4 Bolt Main.
 

twosfamily

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
4
Karma
0
Car
I ain't got a car
Thank you for the info! I thought it was around those years. I was looking for some confirmation. The seller claimed it was a late model 98-up block with 4-bolt main. He claims 12:1 forged Speed Pro pistons. He claims forged crank. He also claimed GM Pro (?) heads with 1.6 roller rockers. He claimed custom grind cam with .588/.588 lift. It also has 4" spacer and Holley 650 double pumper. The reason I wanted info on the block is because when my friend bought his car over to my place I started looking at the set-up and noticed numerous amateur "fixes" everywhere in and outside the car. The engine does not sound like it has much of a cam. It also performs very poorly considering what it is supposed to have as internals. While looking at the engine a few things made me question the validity of the claims. I started by identifying the parts that where obvious and deciphering the codes that are easy to get at. I really do not want to start tearing the engine down. So, I removed the oil filler cap on the drivers valve cover and immediately noticed it does not have roller rockers. I also noticed the code. They are 187 swirly 305 heads. Serious red flags are going off. It is obvious the seller is lying or just truly has no idea what is in his engine. I just figured the more concrete info I can give my friend, the easier it will be to prove the misrepresentation. Thank you again for your help!
 

hurst01

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
181
Karma
19
Location
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Car
1929 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet
As far as the block goes, the 86-88 block is for the most part the same, depending on whether the block is a full roller block or not. A 98 block is definitely a roller block. An 86-88 is iffy because Chevrolet had a roller cam in late 86 in some applications. The 305 heads will have a smaller combustion chamber, but must also use a 350 head gasket or the pistons can hit the gasket. It could be that the seller meant to say that the rockers are roller tip... some people don't know the difference. Are the heads center-bolt valve covers?
The 4 bolt main means a lot to a lot of people but truth be known, there's been a lot of 2 bolt main race engines built a long time before the 4 bolt block was ever heard of. Once the oil pan goes on no one ever knows for sure. I can't take one side or the other because I don't know the situation, but I hope things work out for your friends satisfaction.
Stop in and frequent the forum from time-to-time, there will be some changes mad and different topics added for high performance, low-budget builds along with what ever else we might dream up. If you have a suggestion that you would like to see added feel free to yell.
 

twosfamily

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
4
Karma
0
Car
I ain't got a car
This site really is a great resource! I will definitely be here often. I have owned a restoration shop for the last 25 years and I always look for new resources to help in builds. Nobody can know everything and we can always learn something new every day! And I am always willing to share what I have learned over the years. Thank you again for your help! What confused me a little on the block was that there are no 5.0 or 5.7 anywhere on the block where it should be. The 1 that is missing in the number looks as though it was never there to begin with, the casting looks like it was never ground or changed? The other numbers on the front tab I can find little info on. Anyway, I finally read the E-bay ad my friend purchased the car from. It does say 98-up block. Which it is not. It also states "full roller engine". Which it is not. It also states GM Pro heads. I have never heard of any GM Pro heads, other then the Pro-Stock heads which these are obviously not. Then when they decoded as 187 heads, which are the center bolt 305 heads, I really started to see the picture. I realize that many use 305 heads on 350 engines, but few use 305 swirlies without serious porting due to runner passage shape flow issues. With so many good choices on aftermarket performance and even GM performance heads (aluminum or cast) why use 305 swirlies other then if you are on a budget? Which is fine if your budget does not allow for new heads, but don't sell them as GM Pro heads. I was shown a pic of the engine in a rebuilding stage with the heads and valve covers on. I could see the intake runners very well and they were never touched with any porting. The rockers are not even roller tip. He definitely has enough info and proof now to make a case. Thanks again!
 

hurst01

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
181
Karma
19
Location
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Car
1929 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet
If you have owned a resto shop for 25 years we might be able to set up an area for you to post tips on restoration. This could be a good place for wanna-be restorers to pick up information. I am a long-time engine builder but mostly do street rods now and build my own engines for them. I have never been into engine identification because I pretty much know what fits what. Once I get into one I really don't care what it came from.
I have done a lot of resto work on late 60s Camaros and Chevelles. If you might be willing to share some knowledge I will get with the Site Admin and toss it around.
 

twosfamily

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2013
Messages
4
Karma
0
Car
I ain't got a car
Hello Ed,

Late 60's early 70's Camaros and Chevelles are a blast to restore. I noticed that 1929 Buick mentioned in your tag. Is that a street rod or original? I know what you are saying in regards to engine identification. It really only matters to me when I am restoring a "one-of-" car or rare original (or when someone is selling something as something it is not!). I would be more then happy to contribute to this site in any way I could. My only constraint is my time.

Kind regards,
Todd
 

hurst01

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 21, 2012
Messages
181
Karma
19
Location
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Car
1929 Buick, 1957 Chevrolet
The 29 Buick will be finished out as a Street Rod. It will have a 1995 LT1 383 Stroker with a 4L60E. I spend so much time helping out others that I never get to work on it.
 
Top