Author Topic: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?  (Read 5125 times)

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Offline tonysstudio

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My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« on: April 12, 2007, 04:08:44 PM »
OK so i purchased an 81 trasn am. I have the vin on the dash and figured that all out using this web site. Since it is an 81 the cowl tag is what im having issues with understanding. Here is a ling to it i just scanned it.

http://www.tonysauto.org/transam/transampics/Cowl%20plate.jpg

Now, i did get a build sheet when i bought the car. BUT the build sheet does not match the vin on my dash . Here is the link to the build sheet i got with the car.

http://www.tonysauto.org/transam/transampics/Build%20sheet.gif

This makes no sence to me. It is hard to read but the vin on the build sheet is 1G2AX87L1EL212365. i CANT FIGURE IT OUT.
from what i read, this is a USA built, GM, Pontiac, manual seat belts, special edition / Turbo indy trans am pace car, sport coupe.......from there im lost on reading the numbers? This cannot be my build sheet right? My vin on my dash reads 1G2AW87T9BL******

Do i have a build sheet for a different car? Anyone know what the cowl tag means? Any help would be great from anyone. Thanks!

Offline ta78w72

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 05:00:18 PM »
The cowl tag gives certain information like the color of the car, kind of seats and misc other things.  The VIN gives you the model type, assembly plant, engine and sequence among other things.  The build sheet you have does appear to be for a different car.  I assume the sequence is different at the end of the VIN's from the build sheet and your car.  The build sheet appears to be for a special edition. 

From the VIN on the build sheet....it looks to me to be from an 84.  There's a couple of things that don't make sense.  The eighth digit is the engine code and the build sheet has an "L".  I think that's a 350, but that wasn't offered in 1981.  Also, the date code is "E", while a 1981 should have "B".

Do any of the options match your car?

The cowl tag indicates that your car is a 1981 "B" and it was produced in June "06" the first week "A".
Made in Van Nuys
Bucket seats
The color of the exterior is brown
That's about all I can figure out.


Offline skibrow

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 05:02:22 PM »
I may be wrong but the way I read your cowel tag is that your car should be barclay brown with a buckskin interior. Going by the pictures you have posted, the color of the inside of your doors and your steering column I would assume this to be correct.

Offline tonysstudio

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 05:12:47 PM »
Some of the options i do have
Split rear seat
Bucket seats
Power locks
power windows
electric rear defrost

but it says that it has aluminum drums

I have 4 wheel disk. The guy i got the car from must have tried to pass it off. I may just run the vin on the build sheet and see if the car is still around an shoot them a letter. See if they want this page.

As for the color. It looks like the origional color (and will be back soon) was barclay brown. The tilt steering column area is brown, the area where the vin is brown, but some clown painted all the panels black.

Thanks for the insite guys skibrow your the man. The cowl tag was really frustrating me. Im new, what can i say........

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 08:25:54 PM »
I've been trying to figure out the VIN number on that build sheet. It's definitely indicating an '84 Pontiac sport coupe of some kind. But after that it gets weird. The 8th digit (engine code) of L would be a 350 4bbl. But there was no 350 offered in a Trans Am (or any other Pontiac that I can think of) in '84. The T/As didn't get a 350 again until mod '86. :o




Edited by me when I realized I goofed. :-[
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 08:41:40 PM by SirLDragon »
Larry


Offline tonysstudio

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 09:21:49 PM »
84? huh, i am so confused as to why its there in my car then. The previous owner (just emailed him( stated he pulled it from under the drivers seat. The seats are the prigionals, as far as i can tell.

Glad i could stump you, i have been lookin on line for information for a few weeks and this is as far as i have gotten.

Offline Hitman

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2007, 10:20:09 AM »
Yes, the VIN number on the build sheet breaks down like this:
1 = US
G = General Motors
2 = Pontiac
A = Seat Belt system
X = Firebird S/E
87 = 2 Door Coupe
L = 2.8 Liter HO Engine
1 = Check Digit
E = 1984
L = Built in Vany Nuys CA
212x85 = Production number

If you also look at some of the other codes on the build sheet, it backs that up as well.  For example, the engine code is a LL1 which didn't start until 1983 and in 1984 it signified the 2.8 liter engine.  Same thing with the transmission code of MD8 and the turbine wheel code of N24, the W69 code for a S/E,and so on, and so on.  So yes, the build sheet came out of a 1984 S/E Trans Am.  It is wierd because the color of the car was a Light Briar Brown Metallic car with a dark Briar Brown interior.  Of course the two most important parts of the build sheet (the upper left and upper right hand corners) are missing which has the VIN and cowl numbers and also the date produced, but as you can see from the rest of the build sheet, it is for a 1984 Firebird and not a 1981.
Brett Campbell
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www.ohiofirebirds.com
1978 Trans Am

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 06:52:21 PM »
Brett, where did you find that L = 2.8 engine? I looked everywhere I could think of and the only L engine I found in '84 was the 350 4bbl used in GM trucks. For the 2.8 all I could find was a VIN code 1.
Larry


Offline Hitman

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2007, 09:11:59 PM »
I found it in two places.  First, the Firebird ID Numbers 1967 to 1993.


And also in the 1982 to 1992 Parts and Illustration Catalog.


There were 2 different 2.8 liter engines, the first one was a code of 1 which was the 2.8 liter engine, then there was the 2.8 liter High Output engine which had a code of L.  I can print off the pages if you need me to.
Brett Campbell
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www.ohiofirebirds.com
1978 Trans Am

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2007, 09:22:58 PM »
No no! I believe you. I was just wondering where you found that info. I wasn't even aware of any different 2.8s until they introduced the MPI like my '86 had. I also thought it was strange that they used the L VIN code for two different engines. Albeit they were for two different vehicle lines that at the time weren't sharing any engines. (and who can ever really know why manufacturers do what they do anyway. lmao)

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 09:24:55 PM by SirLDragon »
Larry


Offline tonysstudio

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2007, 04:28:55 PM »
The previous owner swears on a stack of bibles he pulled the build sheet out from uner the seats. I believe him because when i got out and uncovered the seats, there not for my car. Here is a picture i just took. That has to be an 84 firebird / camaro seat. Looks like i need to craigs listthem and start searching for th the front seats. At least my rear seats look right!

http://www.tonysauto.org/transam/transampics/Trans%20Am%20RUNNING%20011.jpg

Any input?

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2007, 04:33:50 PM »
That would explain it.

Out of curiosity, what would you ask for them. And what area are you located in? Maybe someone here or over at TAC needs a set of seats for a non-original car.
Larry


Offline tonysstudio

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2007, 04:51:05 PM »
Dunno, probably like 50 bucks The pass is in great shape. The driver has the typical wear. Will be willing to sell after i get new ones for my car, this way i can set these in and move the car without hitting something. Im in marysville WA. about 30 minutes north of Seattle.

Offline ta78w72

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2007, 07:54:21 PM »
Speaking of two engines having the same code, my wife had a 1994 Astro Van with a "Z" engine...no not a 400....but it was the high performance six cyclinder engine.

But I've always associated the "L" code with a 350 chevy engine.  Suprising that they would use it on another engine.  I bet the 350 was the highest manufactured engine ever.

Offline Joker (告r茺agon)

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Re: My vin, cowl tag and build sheet Whats this mean?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2007, 08:49:10 PM »
Yeah, the Z code v6 is the TBI 4.3. Same as in my '93 S-10. The Vortec is code W. But by the time they were using code Z for the 4.3, the 400 was out of production. The L code was apparently being used for two different engine in the same year.
Larry