Decoding vin number on 1977 pontiac can am lemans

The first character indicates the country where the vehicle was manufactured. The digit 1 is for USA. Interpret the fourth and fifth characters. These indicate platform and series. Interpret the sixth character. This indicates the body style. Interpret the seventh character. This indicates the safety restraint system. Interpret the eighth character. This indicates the engine used.

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There are many different types of engine combinations for each model and year. Some used are 1 for a 3. Decode the 10th character. In fact, purchasing a C4 is a fun-and-affordable way to indoctrinate yourself into the Corvette lifestyle — even on a budget. The fourth-generation Corvette often gets overlooked by many Corvette enthusiasts simply because it arrived during a time when government-mandated safety and emission regulations as well a need for increased fuel economies forced Chevrolet to develop a version of their beloved sports car that was less about engine output and raw-power and more about handling and drivability.

When it was first introduced in , it was celebrated by enthusiasts for its futuristic design and its use of then cutting-edge technology. Some of what makes the C4 less attractive to enthusiasts can be tied to the models that followed the fourth generation Corvette just as much as any shortcomings of the C4 itself. The arrival of the C5 Corvette brought significant advances in performance, ergonomics and build quality.

These refinements helped catapult the fifth-generation Corvette onto the global stage both on-and-off the racetrack. As such, the C4 was quickly overshadowed by the improvements made to the C5 between and The C6 Corvette further advanced all the best elements of the C5 , catapulting the Corvette forward as a genuine contender in European racing circuits, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

While the advances made by each successive-generations of the Corvette pulled attention away from the C4, it is a highly capable vehicle both on-and-off the track. The fourth-generation Corvette more than holds its own — as proven by the countless road racers across the country and around the world who continue to regularly drive them in competition. To compensate for this, Chevrolet developed an all-aluminum suspension for the fourth-generation Corvette that was dialed in with surprisingly stiff shocks and very high spring rates. This setup gave the C4 incredible cornering capabilities, but it could also make the car extremely uncomfortable when driving it for any length of time.


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This rigid suspension setup was especially true of the early fourth-generation Corvettes along with those that came equipped with the optional Z51 suspension package. That said, all iterations of the 5. When the C4 was introduced in , it produced a very modest horsepower. By however, Corvette was utilizing the LT1 engine and pushing north of horsepower out of their cars. While all variants of the powerplants used are timid compared to the Corvette engines being built today , the setup on these cars still gave their drivers a thrilling driving experience.

Even the L98, which was used from to , was surprisingly powerful despite how it might be perceived when looking at its performance specs on paper.

GM A platform (1936)

The L83 engine was introduced in for the final year of the C3 Corvette. The engine was a cubic inch V8 that was rated at a modest horsepower and lb. This engine carried over to the Corvette there was no production Corvette built in and received a marginal increase in power. Now rated at horsepower and lb. For anyone considering an inexpensive first or next Corvette, the Cross Fire Injection Corvettes are the most affordable on average of any used Corvette currently on the market.

And while it is true that the Cross Fire Fuel Injection system has its problems — such as leaky intake manifolds, sticky IAC motors and temperamental air-injection pumps — there is also a large subset of consumers who have purchased these cars for their affordability, made some modifications to the fuel injection system, and have enjoyed driving these cars both on the open road and on the racetrack.

The L98 engines featured computer-controlled ignition and fuel injection which delivered more precise control of both fuel and spark, which resulted in both better fuel mileage and a far more responsive throttle control. The L98 enabled Chevrolet to offer higher level of powers and performance while also navigating government sanctioned fuel economy regulations. Yes, its true that the L98 was certainly not the most powerful V8 of its generation, or even the most powerful V8 offered by General Motors during that time, but it still represented a huge leap forward in performance and output over the engines that had immediately preceded it.

Moreover, it paved the way for even more powerful engines — such as the LT1. The LT1 engine replaced the L98 in Rated at horsepower and lb. The new engine featured Multi-Port Fuel Injection and a reverse-flow cooling system which cooled the cylinder heads first, helping the engine to maintain lower combustion chamber temperatures which allowed the engine to run at a higher compression than its predecessor.

Like the L98, the LT1 was considered a fairly reliable engine , save for one fairly common — and significant — issue that has plagued the LT1 almost since its inception in — the Optispark Ignition System. While a traditional fuel-injected small-block Chevy V8 had the distributor mounted near the rear of the engine block, the LT1 featured anew type of optical sensor that was placed in the front of the engine. In turn, this allowed the ECM to make minor adjustments to ignition timing during engine operation.

While this technology was advanced for its time, its placement in the front of the engine caused the Optispark system to suffer from exposure to road water, grit and salt far more than a typical distributor. To that end, even a split radiator hose could cost C4 owners hundreds of dollars if the leaking coolant came into contact with the distributor. Adding to this issue, the factory ventilation holes on the distributor were too small, which would result in ozone buildup and corrosion within the distributor, which could lead to engine misfires. These holes were also too small to allow water to escape, so if the Corvette sat for a few weeks, the condensation in the distributor would result in water getting trapped within the distributor cap.

Despite this one issue, the LT1 was a solid engine, with horsepower and torque to spare. While it should be noted that the Optispark ignition can cause issues with the later-model C4 Corvettes, there were many aftermarket distributors manufactured that resolved the aforementioned issues. We make mention of it here only because this issue plagued so many Corvette owners back when the C4 was new. The LT5 engine featured a Lotus Engineering -designed double overhead cam, cubic-inch engine rated at horsepower and lb.

The jump in power rating on the later engines was due to cam-timing changes and improvements to engine porting. The engine also added 4-bolt main bearing caps and an exhaust gas re-circulation system. For example, the C4 has some of the largest and widest door sills of all eight-generations of Corvette. The entire design of the C4 was far more understated than its predecessor. Where the C3 Corvette drew heavy design influence from the Mako Shark II concept car, with its swooping front fenders and its countered cockpit, the C4 was more subdued by comparison with an emphasis on deliberate bodylines that were functional as well as fashionable.

Unlike the body-on-frame construction practices used on earlier Corvettes up to and including the C3 , the C4 Corvette utilized a uniframe sub-assembly design.


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  7. Lastly, instead of utilizing a two-piece T-top construction for its removable roof panels on coupe models, the C4 Corvette featured a single-piece removable targa top. The larger, single piece assembly enabled drivers a more open, less restrictive view while driving with the top off.

    Thanks to advances made in the rigidity of the unibody frame, the removable targa top became the standard on all-generations of Corvette coupes from onward. While Chevrolet had originally intended the C4 as a model year vehicle, changing emissions standards and a desire not to rush into production caused a year-gap between the outgoing C3 and the arrival of the fourth-generation C4 Corvette. Designated L83, the cubic-inch engine was rated at just horsepower. As a result, just 6, Corvettes were equipped with this gearbox in , making the pairing a fairly rare combination today.

    More than half of the Corvettes built that year came equipped with the Z51 option 25, units total. While a popular option for performance driving, this setup made for a very unforgiving ride on any surface that had even minor imperfections to it. Despite its limited horsepower and unrefined handling, the Corvette proved to be a huge sales success when new. Because Chevrolet did not present a Corvette to the buying public, the Corvette was introduced in March, , resulting in the longest single-year production run of any model Corvette built before or since.

    The outcome of this long run was that the Corvettes became the second-highest produced Corvette of all time, with 51, units sold that year. While the overall aesthetic of the car remained largely the same from to , the sophomore model of the C4 Corvette saw a significant refinement — the replacement of the L83 Cross-Fire Injected Engine with the horsepower L98 engine with Bosch Tuned-Port Fuel Injection. As the unforgiving ride of the aforementioned Z51 suspension was definitely a concern for many consumers, Chevrolet addressed the issue with a 25 percent reduction in spring rates and the inclusion of 9.

    The Corvette also received Delco-Bilstein gas-charged shock absorbers and thicker stabilizer bars. Corvettes equipped with a manual transmission that year received a new, heavy-duty 8. Rear axle gearing ratio for manual transmission models was 3. Standard gearing ratio for automatic transmissions was 2. In , Chevrolet sold 39, Corvettes.

    In commemoration of the return of the convertible, the Corvette was selected to serve as the official pace car for the 70th running of the Indianapolis Cars now required a special VATS key that featured a unique unique ignition key with a black, embedded pellet. The ignition lock cylinders could measure the electrical resistance of the pellet there were 15 different pellets in all and served as a secondary means of verifying that the ignition key was the correct one for the car.

    All fifty of the cars were coupes and all featured a special, two-tone paint scheme, silver-beige over black and all of them had graphite leather interiors. Horsepower on the Corvette was increased to HP. The L98 featured new, aluminum cylinder heads. The car also included anti-lock brakes ABS and a center-mounted brake light as standard features.

    Despite the return of the convertible model, total sales of the Corvette dropped by roughly 11, units to just 27, cars sold that year. Fully assembled Corvettes were shipped from the manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky to Callaway Engineering in Old Lyme, Connecticut for modifications to the engine which included the installation of a twin-turbo system to the factory engine.

    All Callaway Corvettes were equipped with manual transmission and none were certified for sale in California. A total of just twin-turbo Corvettes were built in Of these, were coupes and 65 were convertibles.

    How to Decode the VIN Number on a Pontiac

    The other big news for was the introduction of a new Z52 sport-handling package. Of these, 10, were convertible models. The model year marked the 35th anniversary of the Corvette. Chevrolet celebrated the anniversary by creating a special-edition trim package which was limited to just 2, examples. The option RPO Zo1 was only available on coupe models of the car. In addition, improvements to the braking system now included new dual-piston front brakes and parking brakes which activated the rear disc brake pads instead of activating small, separate parking drum brakes as had been standard on all earlier models.

    All Corvettes also received improved hood support rods and a more efficient air conditioning compressor. The Z51 had higher spring rates and a finned power steering cooler as before but it also received larger front brake rotors and calipers. RPO Z51 was limited to manual transmission coupes.

    RPO Z52 was not restricted. The most significant change to the Corvette was the introduction of the ZF Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen sourced six-speed manual transmission. It featured a computer-aided gear selection CAGS which bypassed second and third gears and locked out fifth and sixth for improved fuel economy when a series of low-performance criteria were met. The Z52 option was discontinued in as well. The Selective Ride Control system offered consumers three different driving modes: tour, sport and performance.

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    Another significant Corvette milestone that actually began in was the introduction of the Corvette ZR Despite the significantly improved manual transmission and the number of other minor, though important, refinements made to the Corvette, only 26, units were sold that year. This number is disappointing when you consider this is just over half of the total number of C4 Corvettes sold five years earlier when the model was introduced in The car featured a GM spec, Lotus -designed valve, dual-overhead-cam, cubic inch V8 engine.

    Designated the LT5, it was rated at horsepower. While fairly modest compared to modern Corvettes, the LT5 was a powerhouse in its day. The fascia also included new body-styling, featuring a convex rear as compared to the concave rear fascia on all C4 Corvettes to that point. While the ZR-1 dominated most conversation in the Corvette community, the engineers and designers at Corvette remodeled the interior of all Corvettes for the model year. The car now featured a new, hybrid instrument cluster which featured a digital speedometer and analog instrument gauges. Also gone was the flat dashboard in favor of a more contoured one that now also housed a passenger front airbag.

    While these sales numbers were still south of earlier model years, it proved that the arrival of the ZR-1, despite its hefty pricetag, had bolstered interest in the Corvette once more. Additionally, the 9. RPO Z07 was introduced and included the Z51 suspension components that had been previously introduced in earlier model years and the FX3 adjustable ride option. While not a feature of the car exactly, marked the last year for the L98 V8 engine. Sales numbers of the Corvette struggled, despite the return of the ZR-1 for its sophomore year of production.

    In total, Chevrolet sold just 20, Corvettes in Of these, just 2, were sold with the ZR-1 upgrade. The Corvette ushered in the era of the LT1 small-block V8 engine. This 5. A new traction control system was introduced in as well. It was designed to improve directional control with better traction during high-speed cornering. An important milestone was achieved during the model year — the one-millionth Corvette rolled off the assembly line on July 2, The car would go on to be displayed at the National Corvette Museum.

    Total production of the Corvette was just about the same as the previous model year with just 20, units produced. Of these, were ZR-1 Corvettes. The Corvette marked another significant milestone for the Corvette- its 40th Anniversary! As with other milestone years, Chevrolet developed a special edition 40th Anniversary Package which was available on all variants of the car including the ZR Working by proximity, a battery-operated key-fob transmitter sent a code picked up by a receiver in the Corvette through one of two antennas in the coupes, the antenna was in the driver door and rear decklid, in convertibles, the antennas were in both doors.

    The transmitter required no specific action by the owner. Similarly, when leaving the car with the fob, the transmitter would lock the doors and arm the theft-deterrent system. Additionally, Corvette coupes had an extra button to release the rear decklid. The front wheels on the base coupe and convertible were decreased in size from 9. For cars equipped with PRO Z07, 9.

    The Corvette ZR-1 received a respectable boost in power from horsepower to horsepower. Total production of the Corvette was better than the previous years, though still lackluster compared to the early years of the C4 Corvette. In total, 22, Corvettes were produced. Of these, just were built as ZR-1 Corvettes. There were few changes made to the Corvette for the model year.