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kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech
Category: Chevy
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1992 chevrolet: with a 350 with a vin engine code shaft..trucks

Customer Question

I have a 1992 chevrolet 2500 with a 350 with a vin engine code K . Now appearantly after 1987 GM machined all the gen I 350 blocks with a retainer plate for hydraulic roller cams to secure the cam shaft BUT as far as I can find out they continued to install hydraulic flat tappet cams in only the trucks BUT with the retainer plate. I cannot seem to find anybody that makes a replacement cam for this thing. I think it may in part be that they don't understand what I am getting at but I don't understand why they wouldn't, GM would have made millions of these truck engines in an 8 year period. So what the hell is going on ?? Why can't I get a replacement hydraulic flat tappet camshaft for a 1988-1995 chevy 350 truck engine that fits with the retainer plate as it was made from the factory???
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.


FIrst off, If you have a hold down plate then you have to have roller rockers. If you where to use the retaning plate with the lifter holder, the flat tapet lifters could not spin, and this would wear a cam out very fast. the only perpus for the plate is to keep the lifters straight so the roller would not twist and get off couse with the cam lobe.


NOw if the engine had the plate, but not the lifter holders, then some one has replaced the cam already and just put an older model cam in.


They do not make a flat tapet lifter with the narrowed sides for the lifter holders the plate holds down on the lifter.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.



What are you talking about ??? I am not concerned with the lifters or the flat vertical lifter guides that were used on hydraulic roller cam lifters in engines the were produced with a factory roller cam . And GM did not make a production truck engine that used "roller rockers" back then. I am concerned with the FACT that GM machined these engines ALL for retainer plates at the front of the block to "retain" the camshaft behind the cam gear of the timing chain gears.

This engine appears to have ( according to the vin engine code "K" ) a flat tappet cam installed BUT it also has the camshaft retainer plate on the front of the block as I have changed the timing chain and gears in it before.


SOoooo it either has a factory roller cam ,for which they were machined with the retainer plate for the camshaft and the vin engine code "K" is wrong OR it has benn machined to accept a factory roller cam with the retainer plate BUT had a flat tappet cam designed to fit in place of the factory roller cam ........which is it???

Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
I do apologize I misunderstood the question. Let me do some research on this and see what is going on. Can you see the drivers side back of the block well enough to get the block number? It will be on the back of the engine just before the trans.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.

Here is a diagram of its location.


I need the casting number if you can get it for me. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The block casting number is XXXXX which fits because this is a 350 number "from 1986 and up, 1 piece rear seal, some made in canada". Since I live in canada that makes sense. I need to know exactly what kind of camshaft is in this thing -the kind of timing chain and gears (for verification of the application ) .

I am not sure this is correct but the GM dealership says the factory cam PN# XXXXX But they couldn't tell me what kind of cam it was (flat tappet or roller) or any of the grind specs , all they said the listing in the computer said was "camshaft" and that was it. So that wasn't much help.

Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
Let me look up this block number and see what I can do for you. Would you be willing to save a tine of money and not go to the dealer for parts?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

whats a tine?

Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
Sorry that should be ton
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I wasn't going to get the parts from the dealer anyway. what did you have in mind.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
the 86 is a stand alone engine block. It had the flat tappet cam with the retainer for the cam to keep it from moving forward. In 87 they went to a roller cam engine. You can get a complete engine kit, rings, rod bearings, main bearings cam bearings, cam, lifters, pistons, oil pump, timing chain and gears, and a full set of gaskets or $250.00 plus shipping at northern auto parts. They have a web site, . Know the big question is why do you have an 86 block in a 92 truck?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

well thanks for the tip . BUT I think the bigger question is why do you keep misreading my replies, go back and reread what I said . IT is NOT an 86 block The list "SAYS" that casting number is XXXXX blocks cast fro 1986 AND "UP" ( so 86-87-88-89-90-91-92-etc,etc) My block is a 1992 block and this casting number series covers my year.

Are you sure You have been a tech for 20+ years and own your own shop ? Or are you some punk teenager just f**king around with me.

Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
If this block has a flat tappet cam in it, then it has to be an 86 block. In 87 they went to a roller cam and the lifters where held into place by a spring plat that held the lifters in place so they would not twist. Then in 89 they went to a fuel injection engine and did away with the carb, but keep the roller set up. so this block can not be anything but an 86 block, with 92 heads and intake on it. I am 42 years old and the pic on my profile is of my 13 year old daughter Kala. I would not try to pull your leg or even tr to miss lead you in any way. the last yea for the flat tappet was in 86. A roller cam will not fit in this block, so it can not be a 87-90 what ever.
Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
Second of all the 92 intake will not bolt to the 86 heads, but the 92 heads will bolt right onto the 86 block.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I know you aren't here THAT IS WHY I HAVE GIVEN YOU THE CORRECT INFORMATION, YOU JUST SEEM TO MISS IT. Go back a couple of replies and you will see I was very specific and DID include the necessary information.


Look I DID NOT SAY IT WAS A FLAT TAPPET CAMMED ENGINE. Also I have stated this is a TRUCK and GM "DID" continue to use flat tappet cams in these engines up until 1995 that is what the VIN code "K" indicates -look it up.




What I am trying to find out is WHICH IS IT.

Expert:  kalamykid replied 6 years ago.
You are correct the k engines through 95 had flat tappet lifters. but they started this block in 87 and they had the rod for the fuel pump running off of the front cam lobe. then in 89 they blocked off the passage to the cam and removed the pump rod as they went to a fuel injection system with an electric fuel pump. this block did not have a roller cam in it, EVER. The roller cam blocks are machined differently and the two can not be swapped out. You can get a roller cam but it would have to be an after market cam. If this does not answer your question please let me know. I am not sure what exactly you want to know. But this block IS a flat tappet cam engine and was never used for a roller cam.