LT1 identity check

A few months ago the engine of my 1996 Roadmaster croaked. It had the tow pack with engine fan etc.

I found an online seller company who said they had an exact match 1996 engine with 68,000 miles and they showed me photos.

What has just arrived is not the engine I was ‘shown’. It is labelled Chevy Caprice, which I have no special problem with as it seems the same cast iron motor but it looks older/dirtier than the one shown and has no engine fan and subtly different ancillaries.

  1. where do I look for the engine number?
  2. can you tell the approx age of the engine?


You may try this forum. They would probably be more knowledgeable on the LT1 SB.

Thanks. Figured lumpers might know.
I’m on a Roadmaster forum too. The motor is so filthy I want to clean the right spot!

My memory i really being taxed here

I thought the LT1s had engine numbers in the same place as all SBCs-- on a pad at the front of the block just below the right cylinder head. I could be wrong.

Also I think all LT1s had “327” cast in the side of the bock


Thanks Doug. It’ll be buried under a load of plumbing and ancillaries then. I’ll see if I can get by without.

Got it!!!

If it is a Caprice, it is the same engine. Possibly small variation in cam timing or such. As to age, about the same as Brontosaurus. 94-96 or so. The RM platform and the Caprice platform are shared. My Lt1 came from a 94 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Same shared platform. Back in the day cops used a lot of Caprices. Retired usually at about 100k, many went on to serve some more. Taxi or sources for lumps.

Installed in any platform the ancillary stuff covers any id’s…

If the Caprice engine is indeed that, it will be just fine. If the engine is healthy. All your “stuff” should bolt on.

The Camaro’s and Corvettes, had a somewhat related engine. Hotter cams, alloy heads, etc. If it is one of those, it will bolt in as well, using your “stuff”.

How serious is the croak??? Fixable in terms of practical and $'s…

The recycle yard that provided my engine delivered it clean, pressure washed. Much easier to work on…


Came up with a quick ID method.

If it has the following, it is an LT1 and will fit right in:

  1. Optilite “distributor” off the nose of the cam. Think replacing either. A real pain in situ.

  2. The water pump is driven of a gear in the valve valley. The shaft is fragile. don’t ask…

  3. A visual comparison of the Brontosaurus intake with
    the “Caprice” unit. Alike or very similar…

I make these comments thinking of the roughly similar predecessor engines. The L98. And possibly the less able unit that was in Brontosaurus I.

Is the donor car available? or at last most of it???

An “on the ground” compression test might be a good thing to verify a degree of engine health…

Removed from a wreck. Good!! It ran!!!

Removed from a . “plumb wore out car”. Not so good…

Oh, what fun awaits you!!