FAQ



This page contains Frequently Asked Questions about this Website, 348 and 409 engines and Chevrolet cars.

Just click on a question or scroll down...


This Website

What's the best way to view this website?
Is this a pay website?
So what are a few of the best features on this site?
What about security?
How can I be notified of new changes as they occur?
Can I borrow a few things from your site?
What about exchanging links?
Do you offer any 348-409.com merchandise for sale?
Does any of your websites content come from visitors?
In what ways can a visitor help this site?

348 and 409 engines

Why are the 348 and 409 engines called "W" motors?
What's the difference between the truck and marine engines compared to the passenger car engines?
What kind of crankshafts do the 348 and 409's have?
Where can I buy parts for my 348/409 engine?
What is the difference between the hi-po #690 and #583 head castings?
Are w-motor heads interchangeable from side to side?
How can I tell intake push rods from exhaust push rods on the 348/409?
What size flywheel or flexplate did 348 and 409's use?
Were the 348 and 409 truck blocks a tall deck version?
What's the easiest way to tell the difference between a 348 and a 409?
Are they any easily visable ways to tell a truck 348 or 409 engine from a passenger car engine without removing the heads?
Was there really such a thing as a 409 wheel?
How much is my 1958-1965 Chevy worth?

Chevrolet Car questions

How much is my 1958-1965 Chevy worth?
How can I tell if my 1961-1965 full size Chevy is a true SS?
How can I tell if my 1958-1965 full size Chevy is an original 348 or 409 car?
How can I get a restoration package for my car?





Q: What's the best way to view this website?

A: This website was built and tested on Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6+ with a screen resolution of 1024 X 769 pixels. Lower settings may cause the pages to appear incorrectly. The navigation bars at the top of the pages may also be cutoff making them partially unusable.

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Q: Is this a pay site?

A: No, I don't consider this a pay site as no one is obligated to pay and all visitors are free to use everything this site has to offer. We do however rely on voluntary donations as this site costs money to operate so lets just call it a donation site. If you feel this site has helped you and you would like to give something back, a small donation to keep it going is a great way to help. Learn more about this on the Donation Page.

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Q: So what are a few of the best features on this site?

A: Im glad you asked. :) In addition to the vast amount of informative pages you have right now at your fingertips, we have a message board called the 348/409 Info Exchange which is the hub of activity on this site. Our message board has all the best features including the capability for visitors to upload pics to his/her message right from their hard drive! Be sure to stop in and give it a try. Registration if free and your sure to make a few new friends! If you need help with your project, there is always someone willing to help out a fellow w-motor owner in distress. Or just stop in and start a friendly conversation.

Another nice feature of the 348-409.com website is the free Member Photo albums which I like to think of as an "online car show!" This is something else you won't find on too many other sites but our people have some great cars and need a place to show them off. Each visitor that registers on our message board is automatically registered for the photo albums. Learn all about how to use it in the new Photo FAQ.

A few other items of interest would the Product reviews where you can offer your rating and opinion on many car related products listed there (or submit your own) as well as our Automotive Events forum for a listing of current upcoming car related events. Feel free to add any you know of. There are so many things to see on this site worth mentioning but too numerous to list. To see all this site has to offer all on one page, take a look at our Site Map page that lists all pages with a description of each.

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Q: What about security?

A: The internet is always changing and spammers are getting really tricky. Adware and spyware* are getting out of control on the net but you won't find any of that non sense here at 348-409.com! No files will ever be placed on your computer from this site that you don't personally download.

Some features on this site do use cookies but they are not harmful in any way. Our message board, "The 348-409.com Info Exchange" uses cookies to keep you logged in when you return so you don't have to keep inserting your username and password everytime which can be frustrating. Pages such as our Planner uses cookies to keep your entries listed.

Also, e-mail addresses from visitors or members will never be sold or given away. All information submitted to myself or this site is completely confidential.


* Spyware & Adware is software made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, invade your privacy, and flood you with those horrible popups, search tools and toolbars.

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Q: How can I be notified of new changes as they occur?

A: Sign up for our mailing list and you will be kept up to date of all additions and changes. Generally, one e-mail is sent per month and as always, your e-mail address is kept confidential.

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Q: Can I "borrow" a few things from your site?

A: Well...maybe. If it's for your own personal use, pictures or information may be copied but please do not use anything from 348-409.com on another website.

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Q: What about exchanging links?

A: I am always willing to trade links with other car related sites. Just go to the links page for more information.

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Q: Do you offer any 348-409.com merchandise for sale?

A: Yes. Currently we have some great 348-409.com items for sale. We have a 6 X 4 inch vinyl oval decal, an 11 oz coffee mug and a white vinyl dealer type decal available. Click here to learn more about these great items!

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Q: Does any of your website content come from visitors?

A: Yes, there are many things that were sent to me from visitors over the years that are on this site. If you have any information or pictures that you feel would be useful to this site, I would love to add it. Also, while every attempt is made to only provide accurate information, mistakes can occur. If you notice something on this website that is in error, I would appreciate it if you would let me know. It helps all of us.

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Q: In what ways can a visitor help this site?

A: We can always use more information and pictures for various pages of this website. We are lacking in 348/409 truck information such as codes, numbers and tune up specs and can always use any new numbers or codes for all the 348/409 line that we may not have. If you have anything that you feel would be useful to our visitors and would like to share it, please contact me. (link on main page) I'll be sure to give you credit with your photo or info donation by placing your name/nickname with it. Some pages that could use pictures include; 348/409 reference pic page, misc photo page, 348/409 casting number page, 348/409 part number page, 1958-1965 Chevrolet parts reference page and our latest project, the new Junkyard picture page. In addition, we are always looking for various literature such as; window stickers, sales sheets, build sheets, brochures, sales booklets, magazine articles, etc. If it deals with the 1958-1965 full size Chevrolet, a 348 or 409, and is not currently on this site, we need it!

Q: Why are the 348 and 409's called "W" motors?

A: When the 265 came out in 1955, it's larger size was greatly accepted by the public and Chevrolet realized that this trend would continue far into the future with bigger and bigger engines. The problem is the 265 could only grow so big (to 327 cu. inches).

Another problem was the small block had torque limitations in a low rpm range that made it less than desirable for heavier models w/automatic transmissions and unsuitable as a truck engine.

Chevrolet came out with 3 test engines to meet this problem labeled, "W", "X", and "Y".

The "X" and "Y" were bored out versions of the 265 displacing 300 cubes. The "X" model kept the 3" stroke while increasing the bore to 4 inches. The "Y" engine had an increased stroke (3.3 inches) and a bore of 3 13/16 inches.

Neither were what they were looking for but these engines did lead up to the 283.

Last was the "W" engine. What was needed was an engine with not only another 50 cubes but one that had room to expand 60 inches beyond that. It also had to be small enough to fit into a passenger car. It had to bolt into car as well as trucks.

The "W" engine met all these requirements. The final product was only 1 1/2 inches longer, 2 1/2 inches wider, and 7/8 inch shorter than the 265.


Q: What's the difference between the truck and marine engines compared to the passenger car engines?

A: They share alot of the same parts like crank and rods but the heads and block are different between them. The truck and marine blocks have a cut out area in each cylinder that helps lowers the compression to 7.75:1 The notch in the block is not responsible for all the compression loss however. The truck and marine heads (333) have a combustion chamber and shorter pistons which are responsible for the largest amount of the compression loss. On a positive note, the notch in the block also allows more room around the exhaust valve thereby enhancing the air flow.

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Q: Are they any easily visable ways to tell a truck 348 or 409 engine from a passenger car engine without removing the heads?

A: For the 1965 #3857656 block, look on the lower front of block on each side of the timing cover. On the left side (right side when standing in front of engine) there are two 7/16" coarse thread bolt holes which the power steering pump bolts to. These are drilled on all blocks both car and trucks however, truck blocks will also have these drilled and tapped on the right side of the block (left side when standing in front of engine) where passenger car blocks won't. No bolt holes on that side indicates a car block, with bolt holes indicates a truck block. No car blocks ever came from the factory with these drilled. Note however, someone other than the factory could drill and tap these so it's not proof positive.

***This has to be checked on other truck blocks so it may or may not apply to those.

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Q: What kind of Crankshafts do the 348 and 409's have?

A: All of the 348 and 409's have a forged crankshaft. Visually, you can tell them apart by looking at the rear bolt flange. If it's round, it's a 348 crankshaft. If it's "D" or bell shaped, it's a 409 crankshaft.

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Q: Where can I buy parts for my 348/409 engine?

A: Here are a few places that sell new, reproduction, used, NOS, and custom parts for the W-motor:

  • Show Cars Automotive, Inc.
    R.R. #3 Box 09
    New Ulm, MN. 56073
    (507)354-1958

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  • Lamar Walden Automotive Inc.
    6 - B Steve Dr.
    Doraville, Georgia 30340

    Tel. (770) 449-0315
    Fax (770) 409-1962
    E-mail

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  • A. Bruneau Performance Ent.
    Box 2229 Hanna
    Alberta Canada T0J 1P0

    Tel. 403 854-4097
    E-mail

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  • Classic Motor Co. (Phil Reed)
    PO Box 14398 10520 River Road
    Kansas City, MO 64152
    Phone: 816-587-1109   Fax: 816-587-6809
    E-mail

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  • The El Camino Store
    57 B Depot Rd.
    Goleta, CA. 93117
    ORDERS:
    888-685-5987 INQUIRES:
    805-681-8164 FAX:
    805-681-8166



    The internet is a powerful tool for finding good used or new parts. Try the major search engines for new parts and suppliers and be sure to check the classified ads at all automotive related sites you find starting with ours located on our message board. Ebay auctions as it's another great source for finding parts or just to get an idea on what things are selling for these days.

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    Q: What is the difference between the hi-po #690 and #583 head castings?

    A: The 583 head is thicker under the spring pocket. It's setup for higher spring height and pressure. The Z-11 cam had more lift and stronger springs. According to the Service Bulletins, the 583 heads entered production on Nov 18th, 1963 (into '64 production). They have nothing to do with the Z-11, but were needed because of the new 7735 cam (also known as the Z-11 cam, but this cam was in all 400hp and 425hp engines after 11/18/63). The cam had higher lift, requiring a taller installed valve spring height to avoid coil bind. In order to do this, the spring seats in the heads had to be machined into the casting. The 583 heads were cast with more iron in that area to allow for the machining. The valve head shrouding and valve diameters are the same and the heads are interchangable on any hi-perf engine (except the Z-11) as long as the '63 cam is used.

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    Q: Are w-motor heads interchangable from side to side?

    A: Yes, they are the same and can be used on either side.

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    Q: How can I tell intake push rods from exhaust push rods on the 348/409?

    A: The exhaust valve push rods are longer than the intake rods on both the 348 and 409 engines.

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    Q: What size flywheel or flexplate did 348 and 409's use?

    A: All w-motors used a 14 inch 168 tooth flywheel or flexplate.

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    Q: Were the 348 and 409 truck blocks a tall deck version?

    A: No, there was no tall deck block W-motor.

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    Q: What's the easiest way to tell the difference between a 348 and a 409?

    A: The first thing that comes to mind and the most obvious is the dipstick location. 409 engines had the dipstick on the passenger side and 348's had it on the driver side. This isn't a fool proof method however as the oil pans are interchangable.

    The best way is by checking numbers. There is a block casting number on the back of the block. Use the casting number page to decode these. A more accurate way is by decoding the suffix code from the front of the block. These can be decoded by using the list on the suffix codes page.

    If the engine is out and you can see the rear crank bolt flange, this can be a good way to tell the difference. If it is round, it is a 348 and if it is "D" or bell shaped, it is a 409.

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    Q: Was there really such a thing as a 409 wheel?

    A: No, there is no such thing as a "409" wheel. The standard wheel was a 14X5 for cars and the standard for wagons was the 14X6JK wheel. The 14X6 JK wheel was optional on any model. 409 cars did require the 800X14 inch tire and was mounted on either wheel depending on what body style or wheel was ordered.

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    Q: How much is my 1958-1965 Chevy worth?

    A: Value depends on the condition as well as many other things like the model, powertrain, special equipment or options. The area you live in can also affect price. Below are 2 websites that offer old car prices and although no price is etched in stone, they can be used as a guide.

  • VMR International

  • NADA

    Watching what similar cars are selling for on the internet will also help you figure out value.


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    Q: How can I tell if my 1961-1965 full size Chevy is a true SS?

    A: You would need the original build sheet or window sticker to absolutely confirm an SS for 1961. It is one of the hardest years to confirm and the most popular to be "cloned." Use caution if purchasing a 1961 Impala SS. Remember, there were only 453 Supersports made and "real ones" are rare and highly valuable today.

    For 1962-1964 cars, the trim codes can distinguish an Impala from an Impala SS. The Supersports came with bucket seats and all vinyl interiors which had their own unique trim codes. (see the interior trim code charts on this site) The same applies for 1965 cars however cloth/vinyl buckets were available in the regular Impala so check the codes but don't assume just because it has buckets, that it is an SS. Supersports for '65 had all vinyl buckets.

  • 1961-This was first year for the Supersport option RPO 240 introduced mid year of '61. Available on the 1800 series Impala (exc. Nomad wagon) There were only 453 Supersports made in this first year but in order to be a true SS, the car would have to have a 348 or 409 engine as there were no small block or 6 cylinder SS cars in this year. It was available with 5 choices of powerplants including; 305hp 348 w/4 speed, 305hp w/powerglide, 340hp w/4 speed, 350hp w/4 speed, and the 360hp 409 w/4 speed.

    To order a Supersport, the following items were mandatory; higher rate springs, heavy duty shocks as well as power steering and power brakes with sintered metallic brake linings and 8.00 X 14 1 inch whitewalls. All had a steering column mounted Sun tachometer and the special sender unit to operate it would be bolted to the inner fender in the engine compartment.

    The Supersports all had the SS emblems on the trunk and quarters, 3 bar spinner wheel covers, black painted 14 X 5 inch rims, padded dash and simulated knock off wheel covers as well as a passenger side grab bar. 4 speed cars had a special trim plate/console. Another way to help determine a Supersport for this year is by checking the mounting holes for the grab bar. If installed at the factory, it will have an oval mounting hole. Forgers often just drilled round holes not knowing this. Dealers would often add the over the counter grab bar, wheel covers and emblems to regular Impala's to dress them up and help move cars off the lot. These cars are not real Supersports.

    Also note that 1961 SS wheelcovers were unique in that they did not have a hole in the center for a plastic emblem. (on wheelcover, under spinner) This can be checked from the back side. If hole is present, that would indicate these as being regular wheel covers with spinners added. (the same is true for 1962)

  • 1962-Supersport option RPO 240 cost $156.05 and included; bucket seats, front seat console with flip top lid with drink holders for the rear passengers, front passenger assist bar, special wheel covers, side molding inserts, Supersport emblems and a special plate on the console when 4 speed was ordered.

    Unlike 1961, any engine could be had in the Supersports of '62, The base engine was either the 170hp 283 or the 135hp Hi thrift six cylinder. From there you could move up to optional engine RPO 300 which was the 250hp 327 for $137.75 (used a WCFB), RPO 397 300hp 327 (used a carter 4bbl), the RPO 580 380hp 409 for $320.65 or RPO 587 409hp 409 for $321.21 (2.20 inch intake valves and larger ports)

    All 4 speed 327's and both 409's came with a tachometer mandatory. You could however order the tach seperately for any car for $48.45 (RPO 331)

    Check the interior trim codes to help confirm an SS car as the Supersports had their own unique codes due to the buckets and all vinyl interior. (see the interior trim code charts on this site)

    Also note that 1962 SS wheelcovers were unique in that they did not have a hole in the center for a plastic emblem. (on wheelcover, under spinner) This can be checked from the back side. If hole is present, that would indicate these as being regular wheel covers with spinners added. (the same is true for 1961)

  • 1963-RPO Z03 was the supersport option for '63. All supersports in this year had heavy duty springs. Standard engines for 63 were: A new 230cu in 6 cylinder rated at 140 hp or a 195hp 283. Optional engines included; 250hp 327 (L-30), 300hp 327 (L-74), 340hp 409 (L-33), 400hp 409 (L-31) and topping out with the 425hp 409 (L-80).

    Supersports of '63 had many cosmetic touches including; SS wheel covers, engine turned swirl pattern exterior trim, and SS badging. On the inside, the same swirl pattern was used around the dash controls and at each side of the speedometer. Supersport interiors consisted of front vinyl covered bucket seats accented with bright moldings, center divider console/floor shifter, and an all vinyl interior. Because of this, interior trim codes can help confirm an SS car as the Supersports had their own unique codes. (see the interior trim code charts on this site)

    SS convertibles came with standard 7.50x14 tires while sport coupes came with 7.00x14 tires. Station wagon and 409 cars had 8.00x14 Highway Rayon tires. SS cars came with a 14X5 inch wheel but optional heavy duty wheels 14x6JK rims were available.

  • 1964-The VIN will detemine an SS car starting in this year. If the second and third digit of your VIN is 14, it's an SS. That's proof positive but you can also check the trim codes as well as the SS codes were unique due to the buckets and all vinyl interior. A few of the Supersport touches includes: Vinyl covered bucket seats with bright metal moldings carried around the backrests, center console with rear light for back passengers, and floor mounted shifter. Door panels are tri-sected horizontally, trimmed from top to bottom with pleated vinyl, smooth vinyl and carpeting, and decorated with the SS medalion and new red safety reflectors.

    On the outside, Supersports have special single trim strip at body side peak. This trim and the trim around the rear cove area have an engine turned swirl design and special SS badging. Special SS wheel covers are also included. Powerplants remain unchanged from 1963 cars.

    See the interior trim code charts on this site to help confirm an SS car as the Supersports had their own unique codes due to the buckets and all vinyl interior.


  • 1965-The VIN will detemine an SS car in this year too. If the 3rd and 4th numbers in the VIN are 65 or 66, it's an SS. 65 is for a 6 cylinder SS and 66 indicates an 8 cylinder SS. As if that wasn't enough proof, the trim codes can also prove an SS as the Supersports only came with vinyl buckets/vinyl interior so these codes were unique to the Supersport. (see the interior trim code charts on this site) Note however that cloth/vinyl buckets were available for regular Impala's for this year.

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    Q: How can I tell if my 1958-1965 full size Chevy is an original 348 or 409 car?

    A: Most high performance 409's would have the cars VIN stamped on it so I'd start by looking there. Those are the easy ones! For all other engines, it's basically comparing date codes of the engine and parts to the cars build date to help determine as they did not come with a VIN stamp. Naturally, the engine and it's parts would have to predate the cars build date. The dates should be somewhat close, say within 2 weeks of each other. Our date codes page will help further: Date codes

    348 and 409 equipped cars did have certain items that 6 cylinder and small V8's would not have. See our How to Identify a W car chart for things to look for. Understand though, forgers can alter just about any/all parts of these cars and have had 40+ years to do it in. Use caution if purchasing a high dollar car.


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    Q: How can I get a "restoration package" for my car?

    A: For U.S. built cars, you can get one free by calling 1-800-222-1020 or write to:

    Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center
    Hobby and Sales Group
    P.O. Box 7047
    Troy, MI 48007

    You must provide your car's VIN number, year and model so have that information ready before calling. Note that the U.S. restoration packet will not give specific information about your particular car but will give you generic information covering your model/year.

    If your car is Canadian built, contact GM Canada Vintage Vehicle services. In Canada, 1-888-467-6853 (8:00 AM-5:00 PM Eastern time) Outside Canada, 1-905-644-3387 or 1-905-644-4060. Unlike U.S. restoration packs, GM of Canada charges a fee for theirs however, Canadian restoration packs come with specific information for each particular vehicle. Vehicles 1963 and older are $25.00. 1964 to current are $45.00. (Canadian dollars)


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