Engine Numbers and How to Read Them
|The grey motor ran from 1948 through until 1963 and in that time it powered the much loved FE and FC Holdens. Over the years a number of changes occurred, the most significant being the upgrade from 133 cubic inches to 138 cubic inches with the FB. However, a number of changes took place during the FE/FC model run including:- new oil drain holes in the front main bearing support to try and stop oil leaking past the timing gear seal, new stronger design valve rocker shaft supports, timing gear oil slinger introduced (because oil was still leaking from the timing gear seal), and a solid disc type timing gear introduced after many spoke type timing gears were broken. The fibre timing gear continues to be a liability to the grey motor right up to the present day.
A GUIDE TO CHECKING YOUR CAR'S ORIGINAL ENGINE NUMBER
|Firstly the engine prefix should be an "L". Up to the introduction of the FE, GMH did not put a letter before the engine number so all 48s and FJs have 6 digit engine numbers only, with no letter before the numbers. FJ utes and vans made after the FE sedans were introduced have a "U" prefix, and then when the FE vans and utes were introduced, they took on the "L" prefix in line with the sedans. FBs and EKs have a "B" prefix, while EJs have a "J" prefix. The table below shows the approximate engine number against registration date which, providing you have the original number plates or know the original registration date, will allow you to check the engine as original or not. Please note that due to some cars sitting in dealers' showrooms longer than others (e.g. cars sent to country dealerships), your engine number may be a month either side of that shown below. Further analysis of your car's body and chassis numbers will enable a more accurate date to be established.
|1st FE Engine
|1st FC Engine
This article was written and researched by Ken McLean of the FE-FC Holden Car Club of Victoria, and has been published in their newsletter, as well as the NSW Club's magazine Sideplate.
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