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Old 03-13-2013, 07:55 PM   #11
Bob Lasko
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

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Originally Posted by randy wilson View Post
Yes, there are high nickel content factory produced blocks. I believe they say 10 stamped on them somewhere. They'll correct me if I'm wrong. And possibly the 509 block. Someone else help out here.,
The older block had a 010 stamping.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

The 010 blocks or the K-cap blocks have poor webbing design over the 010/020 blocks.

Most 010/020 block have the 1/8 inch pipe plug above the timing cover and some these blocks had the 2482 nodular iron 4 bolt center caps.

Like any GM block if its going to be used in a performance application it should be sonic tested before any work or cleaning is done.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

The 010 / 020 behind the timing cover blocks were the high nickel. Quite a few of them were in the 350 powered trucks - in Canada at least. The later versions had the oil galley tapped above the timing cover. Prior to these, the 509 blocks were the best and I believe from late 60's 327 and 350s. they were meater. kind of like the mid 60's 283 blocks with the deep oil filter pad. We used to have a wrecking yard and saw all versions of these over the years - but not as many as some would think. - or hope.

There are letters stamped on the oil pan rails by each cylinder that supposedly indicate how concentric the hole is. The 010/020 blocks had the least deviation of letters between the 8 cylinders - but then again, that may be an old wives tale.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:54 AM   #14
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Cool Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

While going through some notes, I came across the 512 327 block. That's a service replacement block, cast after 1967. It's distinctive in that it has a screw on oil filter, like a 68 or newer SBC, and it is usually small journal.Tony Janes has one, and right next to the front cam bearing boss, are the numbers 010 020. They are kind of rare, but enough of them are out there that you should find one someplace.I also found out that some of those were large journal, so there is a starting place for a 350. Seems to me the 512 was intended to be a replacement for trucks, Corvettes, and performance applications.I guess it's pretty thick, as well.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

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Originally Posted by Greg Reimer 7376 View Post
While going through some notes, I came across the 512 327 block. That's a service replacement block, cast after 1967. It's distinctive in that it has a screw on oil filter, like a 68 or newer SBC, and it is usually small journal.Tony Janes has one, and right next to the front cam bearing boss, are the numbers 010 020. They are kind of rare, but enough of them are out there that you should find one someplace.I also found out that some of those were large journal, so there is a starting place for a 350. Seems to me the 512 was intended to be a replacement for trucks, Corvettes, and performance applications.I guess it's pretty thick, as well.
I have seen the same thing on 2 blocks they look like the 010/020 casting but small journal, took the one quart spin on filter, The main caps and the block were double tanged and it could have been line bored out to 2.641 and used a large journal main carnk and bearings.

Only one of the 2 were a good block once they were sonic tested.
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

I looked around on the net and found some interesting comments about the 'high nickel' content of 010-020 sbc's.....found this at Nastryz28.com, written by a person who claims to work in a GM foundry making blocks, heads, and cranks-

http://www.nastyz28.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10896

Brian Berry wrote-

"I work at a GM foundry. We make engine blocks, heads & cranks.

The numbers you are talking about (010, 020) are only sand core identification numbers. The 010 is a side core for a small block chevy, and it does not guarantee that the block is a 4 bolt or not. Most were 4 bolt blocks, but some 2 bolts were built with 010 side cores, or whatever side core was available. The 010 designation has nothing to do with metallurgy (nickel content)".


Later in the thread he writes this'

"Each time we make a batch of iron, a 10 ton crane will move across the metal staging area and pick up certain metals and dump them into the cupola. Each batch is done this way, and the irom metalurgy between each batch can differ slightly. Certain iron batches are made for certain parts and heated to certain degrees. The only true way to tell the nickel content is by part number. But that alone is only a guideline, and cannot be relied on 100%. Most high nickel blocks will also have a brighter sheen after a chemical cleaning. It would be the same sheen if a standard block was shotblasted 2-3 times.

Iron properties will differ from each run. Some will be harder due to longer mold line time, and some are slightly harder due to a multi travel through the shot peening booth.

But don't be fooled that harder iron is better. GreyIron (blocks, heads) under a microscope look like a slivered chip, whereas nodular iron (cranks, carriers) look like perfectly round balls. Grey iron that is hard will easily crack. Grey iron that is soft will easily wear. Nickel blocks are nice to have, but they will also be subject to mold line time. In the end, it'just a brag to a select few if you have a nickel block."

Another member writes this-

"
"If 010 cast into the block has nothing to do with metalurgy then your post is worthy of being on Myth Busters . . .

It has been commonly accepted and published for a LONG time that 010 meant high nickel (1%) and 020 meant high tin (2%).

My 509 casting 400 has 010 cast under the timing chain cover -- are you saying this block was cast from the same mold as the 350 block I currently have in the car?"

To which Brian Berry responds-

"You need to understand how sand cores are created & assembled to have an idea of what I am talking about. The timing cover front slab core is a different sand core than the side slab cores or the rear slab core.

Each sand core has an identification number, so we can trace it back to the core number if there is a problem with the finished product. Because once the block has been poured, and mold line time has expired, the entire block mold goes through a shakeout process where the sand mold is destroyed and the iron block is extracted. Once this happens, all of the sand cores have been destroyed, and the numbers on each facet of the block is all we have left to trace identification.

Other identification areas are just inside the waterpump holes. You will see water jacket numbers there. You will also see numbers on the underside of the block, next to the first cam journal. This is the barrel core number. The large single digit number near the part number is the drag core pttern number. Alongside that, you might see CFD or GM-D, which means "central foundry Defiance, or GM-Defiance. SMCO means Saginaw metal casting operations.

Every facet of a block or head will have identification marks to tell me what particular core was used to create that particular part.

And as in your case, some cores are universal. Even all the big blocks & small blocks we make today use similar iron recipes. Some may have hotter iron batches such as the 3.8 cylinder head, but the ingredients are the same.... unless it's a bowtie run.

Hope this helps. "

Later in the thread Brian Berry writes this-

"When we pour iron, the only reference to what we are making is the last 3 digits of the part number. "We're making 781's today!" We never refer to any other identification such as core numbers. The iron blend is purely based on the casting part number.

Think about going out to buy a GM block. Try and ask the parts guy that you want a part number "xxx", BUT with a 010 side core or a 020 front core. He will look at you strangely, and then laugh at you, because the differences are indexed by part numbers only, not by core numbers. His parts book is indexed by part numbers only as well. GM indexes all the differences with their parts by different part numbers.

Once all the cores are screwed together to make a core package, the package assemblies can sit on shelves for days before they are placed in the mold for an iron pour. And... once all the core pieces are screwed together to make a core package, there is no possible way for us to see inside to verify what core numbers were used to make the core package.... Because of this, we cannot follow the myth that 010 ID's mean "high nickel", because it's impossible to view the 010 ID once the package is screwed together & shelved. The only ID we have is the part number."

Another member wrote-

"Brian, you are talking about the large "10" and 010 cast into the sides (and other areas)of the block.
The early (60's and 70's) had an identifier under the timing cover, roughly 1/2" tall, just left and below the cam bore "010" and or "020". THAT is the metalurgy identifiers of a percentage of added tin and nickle everyone here is talking about. I havent seen the small "010 / 020" under the timing cover of any block produced in the last 25+ years. Possibly this is a thing of decades gone by. But there are too many references from people directly involved with the development of the HP era motors for this to be a total fabrication.
Not saying I or anyone knows more than you, just that I wonder of were talking about the same small "010" and "010/020" that is only found under the timing cover, and usually a matching 010 or 010/020 is found on the back of the block (same 3/8' or 1/2" tall cast numbers) just above the starter mounting pad."

To which Brian Berry replied-

"What you wrote was how it was supposed to be. But once it was put through the system, engineering realized that their intent could not be efficiently tracked. So the plan was abandoned, but it would have been too costly to rework all the patterns in the core machines, so those were left alone.

When engineering originally developed the plan, they needed a way to identify the metallurgy after the block was poured, thus the fabled "stamp" But engineering soon realized that the same block part number could posess one of 3 different mettalurgical blends. Because of this, it was near impossible to trace or efficiently logistically locate castings from pourtime to end customer use, as well as service parts orders.

So it was abandoned, because with the original idea, you wouldn't be able to call any GM parts office & locate a "nickel 010 block", because there was not a specific part number associated with it. Parts are organized by part numbers, not core stamps.

Now, to straighten this out, they did change the casting part number to correspond with the metallurgical content. This is true for only older blocks (pre 71) Blocks after that just used the same sand cores as the older ones until pattern changes were made, which will give false hope to many.

Hinging on that, many cores were interchangeable. Today, error proofing measures have been installed, and it is impossible to assemble mismatched pieces without destroying a section of the core.

Processes were brutal years ago, and it was very common to grab the pallet of cores with the 010,020 stamps to keep the mold line running (even though the current run was not supposed to have the 010,020 stamps. The wost thing we could do, was to stop a mold line. If we did, the iron would cool, and we could freeze up the system with solidified iron. Always keep the mold line running! So, you cannot base your "nickel" block, solely on the 010 stamp on the timing face. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and cores have been switched in the past.

Today, most owners do not understand that the 010 on the side of the block has nothing to do what the metallurgical content is, or if it's a 4 bolt main.

Like I mentioned before, we have poured iron to what the part number is, not what the core stamps say. If I had 2 assembled core packages next to each other, you would not be able to tell if one had 010 on it, unless you destroyed & dissected it or poured iron into it & removed the iron to see. The one thing that is consistently 100% validated is the part number, which is part of the drag mold and is the seat for the upside down core package to rest in, before the cope is placed on the mold package, sealing it off.

In the end, if you have a 60's block with these stamps, there is a 95% chance that it is what you think it is. But it can be your luck that the 5% of mismatched core packages could be one of yours. If you have a 70's & up block, don't count on it, unless it's a bowtie (but only some bowties had different metallurgical qualities)

Hope that helps explain it."
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

I also found some interesting comments of a scientific nature about the 'high nickel' 010-020 claims on speedtalk. Here, a member actually tested a sample of metal from a 509 010-020 block and found no such 'high nickel' content-

Here is the thread -

http://www.speedtalk.com/forum/viewt...hp?f=1&t=20092

Interesting for sure.
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #18
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Cool Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

Like I said, the Dart legal replacement block starts looking better all the time. Hope to put mine back together this year.Best wishes, all.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:39 AM   #19
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

That SHP block is the way to go!!!
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: High-Nickel SBC Chevy blocks?

If anyone is interested I have a std bore 512 casting block dated jun 6 1962 for sale. This is a rare find anymore. $500 maybe able to deliver at the track.
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