Author Topic: Service Engines (CE coded)  (Read 27334 times)

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Service Engines (CE coded)
« on: December 05, 2014, 10:09:49 AM »
I have been researching CE blocks (mainly small blocks) for some time now, and have a couple of questions that hopefully Kurt and/or the other CRG researchers can help with:
1. Does CRG have any examples of warranty documentation for a service replacement engine being installed in a 67-69 Camaro, and if so, are there any known examples of the block casting date preceding the build date of the car? (and if so, curious as to how much earlier?)
2. Did the dealer always issue paperwork for the replacement engine recording the new pad stamp number?
3. What was the process for supply and demand of service engines? i.e. were CE blocks produced by the engine assembly plants on demand from the dealership (assuming the zone rep authorised it), or were they machined, assembled (long, short or bare) and stamped 'CE' alongside regular production engines and set aside until required?

From the serial numbers allocated to Flint and Tonawanda for service engines, seems that would've been an excessive number of blocks/fitted engines etc to store and maintain somewhere, but then it would've taken time for the dealer to order the replacement, for the engine plant to machine, assemble and ship the part across the country, then for the dealer to fit it, all while the loyal customer was without their car.....
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

JohnZ

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4362
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 05:19:18 PM »
I have been researching CE blocks (mainly small blocks) for some time now, and have a couple of questions that hopefully Kurt and/or the other CRG researchers can help with:
1. Does CRG have any examples of warranty documentation for a service replacement engine being installed in a 67-69 Camaro, and if so, are there any known examples of the block casting date preceding the build date of the car? (and if so, curious as to how much earlier?)
2. Did the dealer always issue paperwork for the replacement engine recording the new pad stamp number?
3. What was the process for supply and demand of service engines? i.e. were CE blocks produced by the engine assembly plants on demand from the dealership (assuming the zone rep authorised it), or were they machined, assembled (long, short or bare) and stamped 'CE' alongside regular production engines and set aside until required?

From the serial numbers allocated to Flint and Tonawanda for service engines, seems that would've been an excessive number of blocks/fitted engines etc to store and maintain somewhere, but then it would've taken time for the dealer to order the replacement, for the engine plant to machine, assemble and ship the part across the country, then for the dealer to fit it, all while the loyal customer was without their car.....

1. I had a copy of the service order when my Z engine was replaced with a "CE" short block (plus one new 186 cylinder head) in June, 1970, but it's filed away.

2. I doubt if any dealers made any effort to stamp anything on the pad - they made their money by getting the job done below flat rate and getting the car out the door; stamping "numbers" in those days would have seemed pointless.

3. "CE" short blocks were built based on demand, normally on weekend overtime; without intake and exhaust manifolds and cylinder heads, they had to be manhandled off the end of the engine plant assembly line with hoists and forklifts and placed on wooden pallets which later became shipping crates.

"CE" engines weren't "stocked" at regional parts depots - dealer order for an engine went to GMSPO (GM Service Parts Operations), who sent it to Flint V-8 (or Tonawanda, depending on the engine), and the engine plant shipped the engine direct to the dealership. "CE" engines were only supplied as short blocks or "fitted blocks" - not as "long blocks".
'69 Z/28
Fathom Green
CRG

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 08:15:17 PM »
Thanks John!
So there is no way a CE block could be cast before the build date of the car it was fitted to?
Just to clarify, in point 2 above, I didn't mean would the dealer stamp the pad, but would the dealer record the pad stamp number by writing it on the warranty paperwork?
I understand that there was little margin (if any) for the dealer here, in fact recently followed a thread (link HERE) questioning if the service blocks were even painted by the dealer. Several guys who were involved in the day said not unless the parts dept supplied the paint, but some mechanics would give them a quick paint job if there was some paint left over in the clean-up area.
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

x77-69z28

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 984
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 10:34:00 PM »
Tim, I think it can be close. Of course depending on how fast you blew up your original block. My 70Z has a CE block cast a week after the production date of the car. It has the replacement POP.
69 Z/28 X77 burnished brown, 711 int 05A bought in 78
70 Z28 forrest green, green int, M40, bk vinyl roof PROJECT
99 SS hugger orange 6spd NO TTOPS bought new 1 of 54
15 z/28 Arctic white, A/C 505 HP #251

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 10:57:58 PM »
Tim, there are a lot of factors involved.  Why are you curious?

If a car has paperwork on a warranty replacement engine, there is no doubt to it's origin.  If someone just has a CE block in their car, there is no way to prove when it was put there without dealer docs showing that.  

It could have been put there under warranty or 40 years later.  Only docs will prove when it was done.

I am not sure if there was a standard procedure for dealers to follow in regards to whether or not they recorded the CE block number on the paperwork. But they should have recorded what parts were used in the repair.
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 ci, M21, 12 bolt
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 12:29:17 AM »
Thanks guys.
Bryon, I'm curious because in several discussions on CE blocks, well-respected members and contributors here and elsewhere have stated that the next best thing to a car's original block is a CE block with documentation, then descending in order from a NOM but correct casting, suffix and date coded block, all the way down to a crate engine as the least preferred.
Therefore I am curious as to what original warranty replacement documentation was provided to the owner by the dealer, and if that documentation did not include the CE stamp number from the pad, how would one go about proving that a car still has the block that GM replaced under warranty?

I'm sure I recall seeing a post (either here or at TC) that suggested it was possible to have a block dated earlier than the car it was fitted to, hence my question on whether blocks were set aside for service replacements, or machined, fitted with rotating assembly (if required) and stamped on demand.
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 01:13:56 AM »
I'm sure I recall seeing a post (either here or at TC) that suggested it was possible to have a block dated earlier than the car it was fitted to, hence my question on whether blocks were set aside for service replacements, or machined, fitted with rotating assembly (if required) and stamped on demand.
Found that thread - http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=213236
It was actually Kurt who wrote the reply (#4) that I remembered:
"Any 69-74 SB with CE on the pad could have gone into the car. It could be dated before the car.... "
So surely that means that at least some blocks were held in inventory before machining and stamping?
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2014, 01:57:35 AM »
Tim,

JohnZ would best be able to answer you question on the machining and stamping.  Or maybe bergy.

I would think that the blocks used would just be from the normal flow of cast parts.  Once they were built, they were stamped.  But I could be wrong.

From John's post above...
"CE" short blocks were built based on demand, normally on weekend overtime;

I think it COULD be before the car build date, but that would not be common unless the engine was blown almost immediately.  But it is possible.

Bottom line, if you don't have the docs to prove it was replaced under warranty, it is just another NOM.  

I think still having the warranty paperwork to prove it after all these years would be rare.

Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 ci, M21, 12 bolt
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 11:45:03 PM »
I have several CE big blocks and at least one CE small block.
Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 ci, M21, 12 bolt
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016

KurtS

  • CRG Coordinator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4632
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 04:29:03 AM »
John's info that they were not held in inventory is a surprise to me. It could be different during the production year.
A given short/fitted block could service a multitude of applications, so it wasn't like stocking a white elephant. I recall some mechanics saying they were delivered from the zone warehouse, but nothing absolute.
Kurt S
CRG

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 07:15:12 AM »
Thanks for the further comments. I'm intrigued by this subject, as there must've been literally tens of thousands of CE blocks issued annually, yet not much is understood about them.
For example, I recently spoke with the owner of a 3959512 Flint block with casting date K 29 8 with this pad stamp CE946309 (not keen on the funky paint color though....... must've been a 70's customisation thing). So it was cast in 1968 for the 1969 model year. But being the ~26,309th Flint service block stamped, if it was machined and stamped soon after casting (on 29th November 1968) then that'd mean a bunch of Chevy engines needed to be replaced relatively early in the new model year, even considering all the Chevy models. Especially as the Service Bulletin detailing the CE format to be used was dated September 19, 1968. 26,000+ blocks replaced under warranty in a little over 2 months seems a lot, and doesn't include Tonawanda figures.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 08:10:18 AM by ZLP955 »
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 09:31:21 AM »
John's info that they were not held in inventory is a surprise to me.
Yes, that's what I had thought based on this reply:
"When the liability for replacement of 5/50 warranty engines expired in 1975, I'm sure there were a lot of "CE" short blocks in inventory, and those went into the parts system as out-of-warranty and over-the-counter short blocks."
From http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=1635.0;all
Maybe things had changed by 1975 and GM maintained a stock of them?
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

ZLP955

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1458
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 11:20:29 AM »
Such a confusing subject; I found THIS thread over at TC, in which a different John ('Vintage 68') stated that CE long blocks were available under Warranty:
Quote
CE units were supplied in three (3) levels;
1.) "Assembly" = what we would normally term a 'Long-Block'. (less; I & E manifolds, flywheels/flexplate, distributor, carb., oil filter assemblies, fuel pump, pulleys or fan, starter, bracket assemblies & etc...) - needed District approval to order. These 'assemblies' were normally available only for standard performance claim work - Special HP engines under warranty required Zone approval and were usually* serviced with only 'partial' and 'fitted' parts.
2.) "Partial" = what we would call a 'Short-Block'. (included; block, crank, rods, pistons, cam & timing assembly) - needed Zone approval.
3.) "Fitted" = a block casting with fitted pistons, rings and a matched bearing set. needed Zone approval.
He also wrote in the same reply that:
Quote
Warranty Service parts were ordered AFTER the need arrose - not 'Stocked' or Warehoused beforehand.
Dealers entered warranty service parts requests for CE or CT needs through the Zone Representative for their area and they were shipped direct from supply plant to the dealer.
Tim in Australia.
1969 04A Van Nuys Z/28. Cortez Silver, Dark Blue interior, VE3 bumper, Z21, Z23, D55/U17, D80, flat hood.
Sold at Clippinger Chevrolet in Covina, CA. Ex-E/MP at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.

hubleyman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 05:03:28 PM »
If you are gathering CE block data here's a couple for your list:

The block in my '67 Corvette (390hp) is 3999289, cast F 21 72, CE264155.  Based on the previous owner who purchased this car in '73, this was installed in the Corvette in '72 and has not been out of the car since.

The block in my '69 Camaro is 3932386, cast J 22 8 (might not be 22 - hard to see in the car), CE936524.

Charlie

bcmiller

  • CRG Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2304
    • View Profile
Re: Service Engines (CE coded)
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2014, 06:28:29 PM »
Thanks Charlie.  I do keep track of some of the CE blocks.  If you have time, send me some pics of your engine pads with the stamped numbers.

Bryon / 1968 Camaro SS 396 - now 468 ci, M21, 12 bolt
Looking for 68 Camaro with body number NOR 181016