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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #1
Im possibly going to look at a 1970 SS LS5 454 this weekend. 3rd gens aren't my area of expertise, but I just want to confirm with the 3rd gen guys what ive researched before I go look at it:

1) 68-72 SS's can be difficult to auththenticate, but the only 100% way to know is to compare the VIN with the engine # (seller is claiming it's #'s matching), or find the build sheet

2) If assembled in Canada, an SS would have Z15 or Z25 on the cowl tag

3) 12 bolt rear end (although supposedley a 12 bolt could be ordered on a small block car with the towing package)

4) SS's had round gauges vs rectangular

It has the cowl hood with pins, as well as all of the proper SS badging (I know that means nothing, but if it's a clone they did a good job). If there's anything else please let me know. Thanks.
 

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Nothing on the car can tell you, although I have not heard of the "Canada cowl tag RPO code", so I can't say about that. Typically you need either a build sheet or possibly some sort of original dealer paperwork, to document a 70'. The 454 was an option as well as the 12 bolt, that could be ordered without the SS package. That being said, if the 454 is a number match, all it means is that the engine block is original. All the parts of the SS package are bolt on and a lot can happen in forty years. SS package parts that are missing sometimes are a red flag. Like say it had the sweep style dash, why would someone change that if it came with the SS dash. Bottom line, if it is being advertised as a super sport you can bet they have priced it higher because of that. If they cannot prove it with paperwork, I say make your offer as a clone. You will be in the same boat should you ever decide to sell. Good luck.
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Nothing on the car can tell you, although I have not heard of the "Canada cowl tag RPO code", so I can't say about that. Typically you need either a build sheet or possibly some sort of original dealer paperwork, to document a 70'. The 454 was an option as well as the 12 bolt, that could be ordered without the SS package. That being said, if the 454 is a number match, all it means is that the engine block is original. All the parts of the SS package are bolt on and a lot can happen in forty years. SS package parts that are missing sometimes are a red flag. Like say it had the sweep style dash, why would someone change that if it came with the SS dash. Bottom line, if it is being advertised as a super sport you can bet they have priced it higher because of that. If they cannot prove it with paperwork, I say make your offer as a clone. You will be in the same boat should you ever decide to sell. Good luck.
Was not the 454 only offered with the SS package? It would seem kind of silly that you could order an SS 396 and a non-SS 454. It's actually being offered at a very reasonable price due to a family incident, which is the only reason Im considering it. Is the top of the gas tank accessible without dropping it to find the build sheet?
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I just read on chevelles.com that from 70-72 the 454 was only offered as part of the SS package of the El Camino, or the equivalent SP package on the GMC Sprint. I just compared the photos I have of it to another 1970 LS5 454 Elky on Ebay; if it's a clone they did an excellent job. It has the correct dash (round gauges), cowl hood with pins, all of the correct badging, SS wheels, etc.

It seems to be a pretty highly optioned car too with bucket seats and a 4 speed console shifter (I believe it has the tachometer package too). Ill definetely try to find the build sheet to have solid confirmation, but from what I've read if the last 6 numbers of the VIN are on the 454 block thats seems pretty solid too. I can't go look at it till Sunday, and someone else is going to look at it tomorrow...so hopefully it will still be there. It needs some work, which is why the price is reasonable.
 

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The real Key is the build sheet to know for sure,
You can look at the Steering Shaft too, the big block had a bolt on end at the steering box small block did not...
Also the Radiator Support for the ls6 and some ls5's if ordered with heavy duty coolant will have a tab spot welded on the left corner of the support & the top plate that holds the radiator...
Plus only the right upper rear control arm at the rear will also have a square looking washer spot welded to it if it has never been changed...
And the build sheet on a Elcamino may also be behind the left door panel or under the seat in the springs or may be rolled up sitting on top of the glove box under the dash pad...
With the round dash you could get them with gauges or lights and with or without a Clock plus look at the tack red line if the dash has the gauges...
 

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I have not found my build sheet yet, I also would like to know if mine is a SS or not.

I have the SS dash, bucket seats & console, correct steering column for a floor shift.

SS hood (not a cowl hood)

it has sway bars fron & rear and also a 12 bolt, but its open end *&^%$#@ ?????

its a J code so it was not a big block from the factory, it came with a 350
 

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Was talking rpo's and vin's with a gm mechanic I gave a lift home to last weekend, and he said often he needed to pull a build sheet when servicing some vehicles. Maybe you can sweet talk a service manager at a gm dealer to do this for you. Might at least be worth a try! :dontknow:
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The guy that came to look at it today didn't take it. Im next on deck. Is the block serial number going to be in the same place as a small block (on the passenger side in front of the head behind the alternator)? Where will the trans numbers be?

I've read on two different sources online that the 454 was an SS only option...can someone confirm or deny this? If so...build sheet or not, if those numbers match it's gotta be a real LS5 SS.
 

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I have read (454, SS only) about the 72' but not about 70',71'. I have some literature so I got to looking. I have a showroom brochure and have the restoration packet you could get from GM a few years back. There were three big blocks for the 70' El Camino: 330hp 402, 350hp 402 and 360hp 454. The brochure lists them as: 400 V8, SS396 V8 and 454 V8. It mentions the SS 396 but makes no mention of a SS454, interesting. This looks like if you wanted the 350hp 402 you could only get it with the SS396 package. What about the 454??? They don't make that clear. On to the resto packet. The only thing I found concerning this was on a page in "vehicle weights". There is a table showing "optional equipment" and lists how much the option adds to the weight. The 350hp 402 and the 454 have a (a) next to the weight. The 330hp 402 does not. Below a note shows (a) Available as 'SS' equipment only-includes additional body and chassis equipment. This sure looks like the 454 is SS only. Strange about the brochure though. You are correct about the engine stamping pad location. The section of vin that is stamped there is small and sometimes difficult to make out, or may not be present. Good luck! The first part of the vin needs to be 13680 which is custom V8. When looking at the stamped pad the larger stamping should end with the suffix CRN according to the packet but it lists this as a 3 speed manual not a 4 speed, not so sure about that one. I would assume it is a Muncie 4 speed, I have seen the numbers on mine but can't remember exactly where to look. Do a web search for Muncie ID, Lots of pages about that. As far as checking the top of the tank, it really needs to come down some. Soak the bolts with penetrating oil a day before you plan to check. Best of luck, E.
 

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454?

Hi Everyone.
The vin number will not tell you if it is a 396 (402) or a 454. It will only designate that it is a V8. I have seen the dash in the SS trucks come both ways, Round and rectangle so that won't help you either. The only way you can be sure is to look at the build sheet. If you can get the casting number of the the block, That will tell you if it is the correct engine for that year. If they dont have the build sheet its a little bit of a crap shoot. I have herd, I dont know if its true, Someone told me that sometimes GM put a second build sheet on top of the gas tank.
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The first part of the vin needs to be 13680 which is custom V8.
I just got the VIN from the seller...it does start with 13680. It's not concrete proof yet, but everything is adding up so far and looking to be correct. Can't wait to check those block numbers. I appreciate all of the help.

CANTED, I looked online and according to a source it sounds like the serial number on a Muncie is only able to identify info on the trans itself. Would Chevy have put their own SN somewhere on it to identify it to a specific car like a block SN would, or is there no real way to tell if it's the original trans?

I found a very informative site called chevellestuff.com. The site states that with the RPO U14 (optional round gauge/dash package) the 307 and 350 tachometer redline marks were set at 5000. The base 396 and LS5 454 redline was set at 5500, and the hipo L78 396 and LS6 454 redline was set at 6500. I can see from the interior pic the seller sent me that the tach redline is 5500 (which is consistent with the site)...another convincing sign.
 

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muncie #

This is on the right side of the trans. The stamped # P stands for muncie plant, then a date code. Later models had a (A,B,or C) at the end that was a ratio designation. The smaller stamping is the VIN match. Mine looks like P0P04A. which would read Muncie, 1970, Sept. 04, M20. The other side of the trans has the cast # near the shift linkage. Another thing about the block stamping. The pad is at the same level as the block deck. If the block has ever been decked, as mine has, the stamping will most likely be gone.


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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #15
What a dissapointment. The alledged "numbers matching" engine did not match. And the seller did not have a build sheet, leaving there no way to prove it was a true SS 454. I do think it may have been a genuine SS based on all of the SS indicators, but there's no way Im going to put out good money without concrete proof. I will say it was a very highly optioned car as it had the extra gauge/dash package, bucket seats, 4 speed console shifter, cowl hood with stripes and pins....it even had AC, which I read was only available on the LS5 SS, but not the 396 or LS6 cars. Oh well...
 

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I can only gather that you are after only an "authenic" Elky. I don't know what the price was/is on this one, but if it's one you want, get it. The engine MIGHT have been changed, so the numbers would be different. Now, what if the original owner blew a rod and tore up the cylinder wall/walls?? Cheaper to just replace with another engine than mess with the original. Would you be happier if this were the case, the numbers removed, and the block renumbered illegally?? If I wanted a '70 with a 454, and the rest was in good/great condition, I'd jump all over it. Numbers matching is fine-----IF you plan on reselling after some cosmetic things to jack the price from what you paid. NOW, that's just MY opinion, and it's only worthwhile to me.:poke:
 

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IROC-S Pace Car #001
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I can only gather that you are after only an "authenic" Elky. I don't know what the price was/is on this one, but if it's one you want, get it. The engine MIGHT have been changed, so the numbers would be different. Now, what if the original owner blew a rod and tore up the cylinder wall/walls?? Cheaper to just replace with another engine than mess with the original. Would you be happier if this were the case, the numbers removed, and the block renumbered illegally?? If I wanted a '70 with a 454, and the rest was in good/great condition, I'd jump all over it. Numbers matching is fine-----IF you plan on reselling after some cosmetic things to jack the price from what you paid. NOW, that's just MY opinion, and it's only worthwhile to me.:poke:
The engine was definetely changed...the numbers were completely different, not just a character or two. The rest of the car was not in good/great condition...the only reason I was looking at it is because I was told it was a numbers matching SS 454. Im not looking to buy another Elky right now, but if the oppurtunity came around for a true 3rd gen SS (either 396 or 454) at a good price I would be interested. But i'm not interested in a car that cannot be documented as what it claims to be. Regardless of the engine swap, the seller also had no build sheet. It was impossible to identify it as a real SS. My eyes are always open for good deals, but Im not seriously on the hunt.
 

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@ Canted...

I'm a little late to this conversation, but I wanted to chime in. I have a Canadian built 1970 Chevelle SS396 and the RPO for SS package (Z25 if memory serves) IS stated on my cowl tag. My cowl tag is AWESOME as it states L34 (402/350hp), M20 (Muncie 4speed) and F41 (performance suspension.) There may be other goodies on there, but I've not looked at it for YEARS now.

A Canadian built Chevelle is a goldmine of research info. You can write away to GM Canada and order a packet that documents everything the car was supposed to have.

One word of note about the 70 SS. Though the dash will be the round pod style, that doesn't mean you get the gauge package. You can have a round pod style dash with idiot lights in the small circles and a large round fuel gauge left, large round speedo center, and clock on the right.

$.02
 

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I wonder why they did not do that with the US built cowl tag's. Would have made things better for us. I have also read that the warranty "Protect-O-Plate" (like a metal credit card) that was with the owners manual had RPO codes on it. The chances that it did not get thrown away after the warranty period and is still with the car are slim to none.
 
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