HOW TO DOCUMENT A SUPER DUTY


TAKING HOME A CORRECT SUPER DUTY IS THE THRILL OF A LIFETIME

Through the years I have responded to many SD for sale ads and have found few that were genuine or complete.
If you are in the market for one, here are some things you should look for to make sure it is truly a Super Duty.
Before leaving home, make sure you are dressed to work since you may be crawling all over looking for numbers.
It is also a good idea to bring gloves, a bright flashlight, a mechanics mirror & a small wire brush.

The first place to check is the VIN located on top of the left side of the dash. The first 6 digits should read as follows:
2V87X3 (73 Trans Am), 2U87X3 (73 Formula), 2V87X4 (74 Trans Am) and 2U87X4 (74 Formula).

The breakdown of those digits is as follows:
2=Pontiac - V=Trans Am or U=Formula - 87=Hardtop Coupe - X=Super Duty 455 - 3=Model Year 1973 or 4=Model Year 1974
I always glance at the fifth digit first, which should be an "X", then I go from there.

Next, look on the front right of the block just below the head. Here you will find a 2 digit code.
On the 73's it will have the digits ZJ to designate a 4 speed car and the digits XD for an automatic.


WIRE BRUSHING OFF PAINT MAY BE NEEDED TO READ THE CODE

If it is a 74 you are looking at, you will find the digits W8 for a 4 speed and Y8 for automatic.
Down lower close to the timing chain cover are stamped the last 8 digits of the VIN, preceded by the number 2.

REMEMBER THIS

I have seen some Firebirds for sale in which the seller claims the block has been build to Super Duty specs.
The SD engine block is unique and you cannot build a standard or HO block to "Super Duty Specs" unless you are able to recast it.
If the car is lacking the block, it is not a complete Super Duty Trans-Am.


THIS IS ONE OF SEVERAL DIFFERENCES THAT MAKE THE SD BLOCK UNIQUE

You will now need to get out your flashlight and mirror to verify the block.
At the back of the engine next to the distributor hole is the date code.

Usually the 73 cars will have codes beginning in December of 72 while the 74s will start a year after that.
The first letter is the month (A=Jan etc) the second digits are the day with the last number representing the last digit of the year.
In this case the block was cast on December 11, 1972.

Now with your flashlight and mirror look behind the right head.
On a small ledge right where the block and head meet is the block casting number 490(132)
This will be VERY difficult to see.

A bit easier to find is the number 132 cast on the right side of the block just past the last freeze plug.

As I said, these numbers are not easy to see so be prepared to spend some time documenting the block.

From there we look at the heads.
First you will find a small machined pad between the exhaust ports and valve cover.
This should have the digits 6H stamped there although sometimes it will be so faint that it cannot be read.
Glance over to the center runner on the heads and you will find the cast code number 16.
Also notice that the runners do NOT form a V but rather they come straight out from the head.

Be advised that Pontiac also used the 16 on an earlier head however,
that one had the V shaped "D" port exhaust runner.

The next direction to go is toward the intake manifold.

Here you will find an LS2 (73) or an LS2X (74) cast on it.

You should also notice the PCV valve comes out of the left hand
valve cover filler cap instead of the usual valley pan location.

Also on the left cover, behind the PCV valve, is a red and silver with oil usage & connecting rod tightening info.
There are reproductions available with the most common one having the word depressions misspelled (despressions) although that has been recently corrected.
Keep in mind it is entirely possible for a real SD to have a reproduced decal on it, or no decal at all for that matter.
Never buy or walk away from one based only on the decal.

The Super Duty Carb is an 850CFM Rochester Quadrajet and has numbers of it's own.

When documenting the carb, the easiest thing to look at first is the vent tube at the front.
It should be cut at a 45 degree angle (as the picture on the left shows) rather than the standard straight across cut.
Once that is verified, you can then get into more detail by checking out the number stamped on the back left corner of the airhorn.
The 1973 stick cars are numbered 7043273 while the automatics have 7043270 stamped on it.
For 1974, they are 7044273 for the manual cars and 7044270 on the automatic tranny version.

This covers the basic things to look for and should help you avoid being ripped off. Plus, when attending the next
Pontiac show, you will be able to tell the real ones from the fakes to the amazement of your friends.
They will think you are pure genius!


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