Q: Engine Code Confusion for 1969
I’m completely confused about the the engine serial # vs. the partial vin # on the engine….
A: In 1969, the partial VIN was stamped on the front, RH face of the Engine. It could also be found on Manual Transmissions in addition to the “hidden” partial VINs stamped onto the Body Shell. Besides the VIN plate attached to the upper RH Cowl (dash), there was also a Fisher Body Trim Tag attached to the RH Cowl (firewall).
Documentation for the 1969 Firebird (sequentially listed) consisted of:
1) Chassis Broadcast Copy (for engine/chassis Line Workers)
2) Body Broadcast Copy (for Trim & Final Line Workers)
3) Car Billing Invoice (for accounting)
4) Window Sticker (for dealer/customer)
5) Owner Protection Warranty Protecto-Plate
The VIN was used to identify the Vehicle Division, Assembly Plant, Body Style, Vehicle Series, Production Model Year, Engine Type (6cyl, V-8) and Sequential Unit Number. (NOTE: Vehicles were not always built completely sequentially per VIN) ((More on that later)). The VIN is found on all Documentation.
The Fisher Body Unit Number was used during the Scheduling Phase for both Fisher Body and the Final Assembly Plant. For 1969, this included Lordstown, Norwood and Van Nuys. Each plant used a different method for assigning this number. Despite what many people claim, this number was NOT entirely a Sequential Unit Number. Vehicles were built in batches; The VIN was assigned from a batch set of numbers. Build Scheduling was based on many factors and not simply on who ordered first. As with the VIN issue, the Body Unit Number requires a more in-depth explanation. ((coming soon to a web-site near you)). The Body Unit Number can be found on the Broadcast Copies, Protecto-Plate and the Window Sticker.
Starting in 1969, the Fisher Body Unit Number and Identification Number (as noted on the Broadcast Copy) were both the same numbers. On the Car Billing Invoice, there was another type of Identification Number used for accounting purposes only.
The Invoice also noted the “Dealer Order Number” (for accounting).
The Broadcast Copies also used a “Sequence Number” (3-digits). This was used for scheduling batch builds at Fisher Body. No sequential connection to any other numbers.
The Trim Tag Date Code refered to the Fisher Body Scheduled Build Date (week & month). This was for the “Body in White” (bare shell) and not the Final, fully assembled vehicle. The closest date for Final Assembly can be found on the Invoice. There were (3) different dates identified: – “Date Shipped”, “Date of Note”, “Date of Execution” The “Date Shipped” would usually be no later than a few days of when the vehicle actually left the Final Line Certification Buy-Off.
The Engine Unit Number for the 1969 Firebird (stamped on the RH front face of the Block) was used during Engine Assembly (Sub & Final) and for the Engine Installation Sequence at the Final Assembly Plant. The Engine Unit Number can be found on the Protecto-Plate and the Chassis Broadcast Copy (not Body Broadcast). Starting in 1969, the Engine Unit Number was not used on the Car Invoice. Once the Vehicle left Final Assembly, the only purpose for the Engine Unit Number was for Warranty related work which is why it was stamped onto the Protecto-Plate. The Accounting Dept. used the VIN and their own “Identification Number” found only on the Car Billing Invoice (microfiche files from PMD). This Number was used for billing between the Assembly Plant, Accounting and the Destination Dealer.
In order to verify a correct numbers matching 1969 Firebird, the VIN on the Dash must match the VIN on the front of the Engine Block. Unless you have the original Protecto-Plate, the Engine Unit Number cannot be verified since it was not related to any other vehicle number.
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Content last modified: January 24, 2014 at 9:42 pm