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Technical Spotting a 348 or 409 truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lewk, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. lewk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 812

    from Mt

    348s and 409s went in a bunch of trucks 58-65. I know they went in the larger trucks like C-60 etc, but I have no idea what badging etc to look for. There is so much more info about the car motors and badging. These trucks are still around farms and construction yards. Is there a way to spot them without jumping fences, popping hoods and getting shot at?
    Deuces likes this.
  2. lcfman
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 276

    from tn

    Got to pop the hood generally but look for truck with big axles and wheels. The smaller 6 lug trucks axle trucks are less likely to have w block motor. Trucks with Dayton or Budd wheels are more likely to have 348/409 s.
  3. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,065


    I'm not sure that there was badging on the trucks to indicate a 348 or 409.
    A little bit here on Stovebolt from sixteen years ago on the subject of what trucks they came in.
    I'd say one of those with a 409 is going to be about as rare as rocking horse poop now though. If they wore them out or blew them up after 1970 or so they most likely swapped a small block or big block into the truck.

    According to GM heritage archives the only one the 409 came in as an option was the M80 series trucks pages ( M being tandom axle 2-1/2 ton trucks. 348 came in several bigger trucks.
    Year wise it looks like the same years that they were available in cars. 66 went the 366 and 396.

    Open the GM heritage center page, GM Heritage Center - Home click on archive in the gray bar, click on vehicle info kits, then click on trucks and then pick the year you want to look at the pfd for and scroll down the page to find the info you want.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  4. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,027


    They were also used in Chris Craft speed boats.


  5. xlr8
    Joined: Jun 26, 2006
    Posts: 689

    from Idaho

    I live in a farming area where every farmer owned a truck and I've looked under the hood of dozens of these trucks and I've never even seen a W block let alone a 409 in person. By far the majority, I'd say 95%, will have a straight six.
    Chucky, Deuces, Tman and 6 others like this.
  6. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,153


    One time I saw a road grader with 2 W motors in a row. That was when they were considered boat anchors. About 1975 when gas went over a dollar a gallon.
    loudbang, Deuces and lewk like this.
  7. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,495


    There is a 1 ton tow truck sitting behind a a body shop here in Red Hook that has a W motor in it stock.

    loudbang, Deuces, lewk and 1 other person like this.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,065


    That's usually the same here for trucks that were used primarily for harvest. as long as they got a load of what ever was being harvested out of the field and to where it had to go to be unloaded which usually wasn't very far the six or base engine worked fine. In the 60's in this area the GMC dealer in town was still going strong and sold a lot of 1-1/2 and 2 tons with the V6 in them. Gas hogs and slow but they could crawl out of a field in granny gear with a hell of a load on them.
    Now almost all of what gets put in trucks goes in 40 foot trailers or double axle day cab diesel trucks with the box on the back designed for what ever they are harvesting.
    Truckdoctor Andy and lewk like this.
  9. Yep...what xlr8 said - lots and lots of dump and farm trucks around here just had the old straight six - believe me I've looked. It's funny as I have an old 409 build buddy and back in the day they shunned the truck blocks BUT now they are okay. Last 409 motor I bought at auction was a 1963 and had a ton of cracks - like in the valley - that were what looked like some great fixit welds. Look for the big X below the left or drivers side head after 1962 and it should be an 09' motor.
    loudbang and lewk like this.
  10. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,400


    Are you sure it wasn't the GMC 702 cubic inch "Twin Six?"
  11. moparboy440
    Joined: Sep 30, 2011
    Posts: 624

    from Finland

    The W-motors only went in the really BIG trucks, C70 and up.
    mgtstumpy, loudbang, Deuces and 7 others like this.
  12. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,072


    I live in a farming area and there's still some older trucks in service for orchard work. Most are the smallest engine available..The large three axle grain trucks would have bigger engines..I lease land to a local farmer, and like most of them today, the trucks are powerful Diesel engines
  13. While 409s are rare to find in trucks, I have seen some 348s in old school buses. A friend just pulled one out of a bus.
  14. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,327


    I used to drive a 1964 / 65 Tilt cab T80 farm truck in the late 60's that was a 409 5-speed.
    Elcohaulic likes this.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,676


    Not likely that it's stock. But it could have been installed a long long time ago....engine swapping is not a new thing.
    Deuces and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  16. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,327


  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,846


    A dozen years ago my brother and I went to an auction in northern Iowa, called by that Vanderbrink outfit. A bunch of old cars and trucks, as well as a bunch of scrap cars. They were not getting good bids for many of them, and what's-her-name was favoring the crusher dude. She must have just wanted to get out of there.

    The crusher won a nice looking, but HUGE Chevy truck with a 348 or 409 in it that day. Probably for around $200. I still remember the sandy gold paint on that thing. I wonder what kind of washing machine that 409 is turned into now?
    Tman likes this.
  18. Guess I lucked out because we have 2 of them on our farm. Dip stick on the passenger side I was told means 409 (or pan swap). I remember riding in and driving the dump truck. It was bloody loud with only 2' of exhaust pipe off each manifold. Dump truck was driven to its resting spot, turned off and battery taken out. It was retired because it was rusty and had no brakes and stopping it with a full load on the farm with only the cable emergency brake wasn't fun.
    I don't remember the cab and chassis ever being driven, most likely bought for parts. I had dreams of putting one in my 50' Chevy truck but at the time was told truck blocks weren't anything special, probably won't ever do it now.
    Funny story is when I was in my early teens and hell with a BB gun I decided to shoot at the radiator of the dump truck. I was a good enough shot to be able to hit a radiator from 10' and the thought that this was a bad idea only occurred to my developing adolescent mind after green antifreeze started to run out. My solution was to pack the hole with mud and clay and leave it for dad to discover when he was driving somewhere on the farm (makes sense right?) Hoping he would think that a stick made the hole. I was dumb enough to think this plan would work but also smart enough to know that a 409 was special and dad might not notice until the motor was cooked so I fessed up.
    So about the crappy pics but I do believe in "pictures or it didn't happen" IMG_20210612_072321783.jpg IMG_20210612_072504164.jpg IMG_20210612_072534229.jpg IMG_20210612_072614032.jpg
  19. The only 409 I’ve seen in a heavy duty Chevrolet truck was a fire truck. It still runs and belongs to the local antique tractor club who use it on their show grounds. I doubt any of them realize how special it really is.
    Deuces and VANDENPLAS like this.
  20. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 417


    Every time someone has told me about the 409 they found in a truck I open the hood to find a 305 v6 jimmy...............
  21. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,220


    I never saw a 4 speed W motor truck.
  22. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 417


    C50 & up were 5 speed or 5+2 trucks.
    The 348 was found in the smaller trucks with the 4 speed option.
  23. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,629

    anthony myrick


    gotta raise the hood
    This one is in a fire truck.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
  24. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,513


    348's and 409's were used in some combines, too. A friend of mine got a 409 out of one. It was a Massy Ferguson, I think.

    My older brother has a 1960 Chevy 80 series firetruck, with a 348. It also has independent front suspension, with torsion bars. Very surprising for a big truck.
    loudbang, Truckdoctor Andy and Deuces like this.
  25. Now that you say that, the truck I was referring to could have been a 348 too. It was a C-80 with a W engine. I don’t recall any identification on the engine itself.
  26. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 7,629

    anthony myrick

    Not to hijack but is the “X” cast into the block of some indicate 409?
    I’ve heard that a bunch but I don’t think that’s correct.
  27. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,731

    from Missouri

    No, 348 got the X also after a certain year.
    56don and anthony myrick like this.
  28. Sometimes you find them outside their comfort zone....[​IMG]
  29. Yeah pretty much anything post 1962. The passenger cars dropped the 348 after 61, but the trucks continued it through 1965. You would need to check the front pad on the block and hope it has not been decked off yet. The truck motors are oddballs and really only good for what they were designed for, the blocks are unique and not able to be built with much compression due to a large relieve in each cylinder.

    Also a tell of a truck engine is on some of the larger cab overs, they used a unique shaped water pump that put the shaft up higher to center it better in the radiator over the typical pump that was shared with the passenger cars.
  30. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,731

    from Missouri

    409 truck blocks make a nice race and street engines. The compression relief in the block helps un-shroud the larger exhaust valve with a high lift cam. Passenger blocks will need work in that aria when valves and cam change from stock.
    The 348 came with one relief or two so you need to run the casting numbers to know for sure.
    Good friend of mine is building a 348 single relief block to 409 inches with a reworked 427 crank.
    Torkwrench and loudbang like this.

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