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Author Topic: Warranty Engines  (Read 13535 times)
Z71
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« on: February 11, 2007, 07:50:17 AM »

I was talking with a guy I have known since the 1970's, he was just starting parts when I ordered my 1970 SS 454.  Today he is the dept mgr and part owner in the full line dealership.   We were discussing old parts and things and I asked him what he recalled about CE coded engines.  He seems to think they warranty engines and not really the same as what they would have sold over the counter.  He does not recall selling a lot of crate engines as most all engine problems could be solved with a short block, be it a local rebuild that was cheaper or thru GM parts.  He says he recalls junking a few old engines back in the 80's when the shop changed hands.  The parts that were too old to send back to GM for credit, were thrown out.  He recalls one of his guys looking for codes to id the engines but never found anything.  Since they had little time to clean shop, it went to the junk dealer as salvage.  I know, it was a shame but their jobs were more important that stealing old parts at the time.  If he had it to do over, he would have offered to buy the stuff but with the boss looking over thier shoulders, they had to toss it in the dumpster.

So, JohnZ or ?,  are CE code engines strictly warranty or not?  Or were they sold to anyone who came in and said, I want a complete 396 engine?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 07:54:31 AM by Z71 » Logged

Mike
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JohnZ
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2007, 02:37:18 PM »

The "CE" coding was invented in 1969 for short blocks that were replacements under the 5/50 Powertrain Warranty program that was in effect from 1967-1970, so the finance guys could segregate those replacements from the normal out-of-warranty and over-the-counter replacement engines, so they could determine the true cost of the 5/50 program. Generally speaking, out-of-warranty replacement and over-the-counter short blocks (called "partial engines" in those days) had blank pads, and only complete engines had stamped pads.

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. "CE" blocks were only available as short blocks (block, crank, rods, pistons) or as "fitted blocks" (block with ringed pistons fitted, no crank or rods).
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Z71
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2007, 03:34:31 PM »

Thank you JohnZ,  that clears it up for me. 
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Mike
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1970 Chevelle SS454
1972 El Camino SS350
1973 Chevelle SS350
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bigblknmbrs
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 03:35:36 PM »

The CE designation came into affect in 1968 because of a federal edict. They wanted a way to identify replacement engines. CE engines were "partial" engines not complete in most cases, they would replace the block and keep all the other parts from the same engines. In SOME cases if the engine was being replaced under warrentee they would put in an identical engine from the next model year, keep word here is IDENTICAL, I know I had a 1966 Corvette engine replaced in 1967 with a "complete". This is within 15 miles of the Tonawanda engine plant, took a month.

The CE stood for Chevrolet Engine, a Pontiac would be PE and so on. This pertained to service engines, partial engines, fitted engines and transmissions. The CE code was read:
C= Chevrolet
E= Engine
Next number= calender year
Numbers after that were a serial number assigned to each engine plant

This was done beginning with 1968 to fulfil "legal" requirements. I believe that was to satisfy governmental requires to identify parts found on cars that weren't original, in any event it was what it was.

This comes directly from Inter Office memo's sent to all plants involed, in this case Tonawanda.

PS: Don't ask, no records were kept as to what each serial number went to, I searched all over when I was doing historical work at the Tonawanda plant in the late 80's, nada.
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JohnZ
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 12:25:59 PM »

The CE designation came into affect in 1968 because of a federal edict.

There was no Federal edict that required creating the "CE" designation; the "CE" program was begun as I posted above, by the Corporate Finance people, to be able to segregate the true cost of the financially-disastrous 5/50 powertrain warranty program, which was generating costs FAR beyond the projections made when the program was approved.
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bigblknmbrs
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 01:15:39 AM »

Your wrong, it was put into place for "legal reasons". It wasn't just Chevrolet it was across the board, all GM brands. And it didn't just cover engines, it covered transmissions too. Exactly :

"The attached letter from F.J. Welsh outlines the basic requirements to be fullfilled by the source plants supplying engines or transmissions assemblies and/or components for serive which must be identified to comply with legal requirements". End quote.
From J. Semenik to various at engine plants dated August 3rd, 1967
Specifically :
" This has reference to placing identification numbers on passenger 1968 and later model replacement engines, partial engines, fitted cylinder cases, transmission assemblies and transmission cases to comply with State of Georgia law which becomes effective with the start of the 1968 model year'.
this was an inter office memo  from  F.J. Welsh, Central Office to Mr. J. Semenik, Engineering Center dated August 1st, 1968

I don't know where you got your information, mine comes from inter-office memo's between Chevrolet engineering and the Tonawanda engine plant. I don't think I'm right, I know I'm right according to the paperwork I have in my hands. And I only wrote a small portion of what these memo's say. I said it was federal, I rememered it was a law, forgot it was State of georgia. I believe this was required by other states if not the feds further down the road. 

Of course because they HAD to do it, and keep records those records could also have been used for other purposes. But the identifying code went on everything, not just warrentee parts.


[Underlining fixed by Kurt]
« Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 03:50:42 PM by KurtS » Logged
bigblknmbrs
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 01:20:22 AM »

I only meant to underline "passenger 1968 and later model" but screwed it up.
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ccargo
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 10:43:32 AM »

I'm a little lost, are you saying CE blocks started in August of 1968 which would have been the start of the 1969 production year or are you saying the CE was started in August of 1967 which would have been the start of the 1968 production year? I have been tracking Tonawanda CE's for awhile and have yet to find a CE sequence # on a block cast prior to August of 1968 with a year designation in the sequence prior to "9" for the 1969 production year. This is not to say that the model year of the vehicle the CE was ordered for could not have been a 67 or 68. This is the earlyist CE I've been able to document so far.

CE950332 on a 440 block dated G98 with the Tonawanda sequence starting at 50000 making this the 332nd CE block of the 69  production year. This block also carries the assembly code at the starter flange of T088 that I believe is month/year decoding as August 1968. Even though this block carries the "9" year digit I believe this designates the "production year" currently active not the "model year" of the vehicle receiving the CE warranty component.  In short this block was very likely for a 1967 or 1968 vehicle and not a very early 1969 vehicle that went sour.
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dab67
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 02:59:05 PM »

BIGBLK:

I think you need to post the whole memo so we can see exactly what it stated. Saying it was a Federal Law but opening sentences of  the memo referencesthe State of Georgia are two entirely different issues. There has to be some reason in the memo for why the state of Georgia was requesting this.

dab67

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KurtS
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 03:58:08 PM »

I remember this GA state law. It's shown up in some other docs, IIRC. Seems like there was some efforts to comply with it, but it didn't go far.

It's hard to draw conclusions without seeing the context of those quotes.

Unfortunately, I don't think Fran has the capabilities of scanning documents and I don't live near enough to help. Smiley
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Kurt S
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ccargo
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2007, 07:26:13 PM »

Could they be faxed to you Kurt?
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bigblknmbrs
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2007, 11:42:13 PM »

I said I was mistaken when I refered to it being a federal law, it was a Georgia law that GM said they had to comply with. I also may have said 68 as the date of the memo's but it was August of 1967 FOR the start of the 1968 MODEL year. Yes there were a sequence of numbers for after that year number like you say. In another post I gave how it would look, or was supposed to look according to their instructions:
CE850388. The first number after the "E" is always the date of the year.

I would guess GM put this system in place for Georgia figuring other states or the feds would require the same thing. satisfy Georgia and any others would be taken care of too (Use the same system).
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KurtS
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2007, 02:26:12 AM »

Fran was able to scan the docs to me (Yeah!) and here they are. I linked them since I left them a little large to be clearly legible.
http://www.camaros.org/kurt/68_letter_CE_engines.jpg
http://www.camaros.org/kurt/68_letter_CE_engines_ton.jpg

Thank you for sharing these docs with us Fran!

And I don't think any other government ever required this, hence why it faded away and the traceability between the CE engine and VIN was not maintained (or if it was, it wasn't a priority).
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Kurt S
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dab67
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2007, 06:34:26 AM »

Nice job Kurt!!!!!!!!

Great info Fran!!!!!!!

I agree, it does not appear this was a mandated law. Georgia law was simply stating ( my opinion) a automotive company and maybe other companies also, could not duplicate the original serial number assigned to engines, transmissions etc on replacement parts.
At first, I thought maybe this may have had something to do with the "Lemon Laws" states adapted in the early 60's. Was it GM's way of keeping track of costs for replacement parts? I would think it was part of the reason for doing this.

dab67

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JoeC
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2007, 08:12:35 AM »

thanks for posting the letters. I am one of the nuts who like reading this stuff.

It looks like the Georgia law was made to "prohibit duplicating serial numbers" 
 I could be wrong but this law could have been made to prevent the stamping of a blank pad of a replacement engine with engine codes and vin serial numbers.

I heard from some machanics who said they would at one time stamp replacement engines at the dealership.
 
The Georgia complaint may have led GM to use the CExxxx code stamped at the plant so this number can be used in the warentee info instead of having a blank pad where someone can stamp a duplicate number?

GM must have seen this as a problem that the other states would complain about in addition to Georgia law.
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