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Old Nov 19th, 11, 08:49 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is online now
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Default Build Sheets

Only way you would "know" what came in your car is to find the car's build sheet; if there ever was one in the car. Not all cars had a build sheet in them when they left the assembly plant, as they are not documentation put in every car by a caring GM; but are in fact trash, that was not thrown away according to GM/AFL-CIO work rules by an uncaring assembly line employee.

Every car that had an optional piece of equipment installed in it, over and above the base or standard equipment options that where included, at no charge by the factory; generated a separate build sheet for every piece of optional equipment. Every work station on the assembly line had a computer print out attached to the part (one of the first uses for a computer was inventory control to reduce costs to the company that leased the equipment from IBM) that listed the optional piece of equipment that was to be installed in every car sorted according to the VIN that was assigned to the car when it went on the line.


The trim tag was attached to the body by Fisher Body which was a separate company from Chevrolet who bought the bodies in "white" from Fisher. This is why trim tags could be in conflict with a VIN tag; and it is why the VIN tag always wins the dispute over engine type. The body in white was built out side of the assembly plant (it may have been built across the street, or across the state line, but even if it shared a common door to the assembly line it was out side of Chevrolet's control. The car body arrived along with all of the other parts: just like the engine, which was also built off site in either the Flint foundry in MI, or in Tonawanda, NY back in the good old days. The parts all arrived at the back door and where put on the line and built in accordance to the instructions on the build sheet indexed by the build number. These records were kept for only seven years (in accordance with IRS rules and federal regulations), and then they where burnt.

As the car progressed down the line each station employee looked at the VIN on a big card on the car and matched that build with the parts he had at his bench. He went over to the car and installed the part. At that point he was supposed to throw away the now useless instruction sheet. This meant he had to take an extra step or two to walk over to the trash can, and toss it. Not every one followed the rules so they would stuff the trash in the car where a QC tech (there were about twenty of them at different points on the line) couldn't see it, rather than throw it away so that second of company time required to throw it away could be spent in gossiping with the next man or woman on the line or talking about sports or whatever. Because of this a more heavily optioned car might stand a better chance of you finding a surviving build sheet in it. Though some out side of the car have probably been weathered away to nothing (such as on top of the gas tank if you got an optional bigger tank with a big block).

The time of the year not only affected the car's build quality (cars built during the holidays where better made than those that followed a holiday because the worker was happier), but your chances of finding trash in the car. Similarly labor relations with GM affect both the build quality but in a clean car as things got left off, installed upside down, or backwards if they could; during times of labor strife (hence the notorious finding of an empty Coke bottle inside the car door with notes stating "noisy bast.. wasn't it" or similar greetings; were often installed during pre strike build dates).


A stone stock base model econo build stands little chance of finding a build sheet, because despite the motivation of the worker there were fewer of them to be left behind. I think the record is around seven build sheets found in one car. Though most cars that have bucket seats, have at least one build sheet in the springs of the seats: as the assembly line worker grabbed the seat with the same hand he had the build sheet in (it became stuffed into the seat springs, whether intentionally or not, and is frequently found there).

The seats are the most common places to look for a build sheet. If you got a deluxe interior then there is a chance you could find one stuffed inside the door (next to the empty soda can). If you had a deluxe carpet installed over the rubber mat then under the rug under the front seat was a common hiding place. A deluxe stereo AM-FM tape player could have a build sheet stuffed up into the car wiring or above the glove box if you got A/C installed as the ducts would hold trash back from falling out. I once found a Fisher Body build sheet held inside the outer fender by a PAL nut holding on a SS trim piece that was hidden partially by the inner fender, but only half of the sheet; as it was torn off by whom ever installed the dog house to the car body I assume. If the person ordered five Rally wheels on a non-SS car look under the spare tire as the Rally wheel replaced the stock steel wheel.

I am sure the list of places to look is as varied as the number of parts it took to build the car. Feel free to respond with where you found yours.

Big Dave

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  #2  
Old Dec 15th, 11, 01:58 PM
Hilblee Hilblee is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

I found an 4 x 8 computer printed sheet in the drivers bucket seat. Its thin paper and kinda hard to read. Is this a build sheet and what info can I get from it? Thanks Dave
  #3  
Old Dec 15th, 11, 07:10 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is online now
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Default Re: Build Sheets

That is the build sheet and it lists every option on your car provided the VIN on the car matches the VIN on the sheet. If your car was an SS it will document that feature.

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Old Dec 18th, 11, 10:25 PM
Hilblee Hilblee is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Thanks Dave--Here is what the numbers are

Sequence--404
Mo--03
Day--25
Style--11837 (Chevy II Nova SS, V8, 2 dr coupe)
Body #--005708
Trim--765 (Black)
Paint Lwr--A (Tuxedo Black)

None of the group boxes have anything in them but at the bottom of the sheet, the following numbers are printed

11837 005708
11837 003017 765

Can you explain the 003017 to me?

Since my vin and cowl tag were stolen, I think it would look something like this

03D E
66 11837 WRN 100404
765 A
W2L3C5L (just guessing on this line)

Last edited by Hilblee; Dec 18th, 11 at 10:45 PM. Reason: add
  #5  
Old Dec 18th, 11, 10:48 PM
Hilblee Hilblee is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Also, I have spoke to the original owner of the car and he states that it was a true L79 car but what can I use to positively know that this car came equipped with an L79? also, do you think there is anyway to someday find the original motor from this car? It currently has a nice 70 LT1 motor in it and I have purchased a 66 327 block with 202 heads hoping to one day build a copy of the L79.
  #6  
Old Dec 19th, 11, 03:04 AM
JeffersonC JeffersonC is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Heres both mine for the 72 Rally. Rear seat & under gas tank

  #7  
Old Dec 19th, 11, 01:46 PM
Hilblee Hilblee is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

They both have a lot more info than the small sheet I found in my drivers seat springs.
  #8  
Old Dec 22nd, 11, 10:35 AM
WILMASBOYL78 WILMASBOYL78 is offline
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Post Re: Build Sheets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilblee View Post
They both have a lot more info than the small sheet I found in my drivers seat springs.
The term "build sheet" is often used to describe the small (approx. 4 x 8) computer sheet that is often found in the pre-1972 Nova. This document is really not the vehicle's "build sheet", but rather the Fisher Body production line sheet which denotes what items need to be installed on the car that require work or modifications to the body itself....example: SS trim, b/s moldings, type of seats/trim level, window trim, vinyl roof trim, floor shifter, dual exhaust, a/c, console, etc....there were often times other items listed like tinted glass, and deluxe interior, deluxe exterior...many of these trim options came as packages...if you look at the Nova Resource site...there are lots of details and descriptions. In certain years (68/69) the engine was listed..though this was not true for 1970. One of the common Fisher options was listed as "M20"...many think this denotes that specific transmission, it doesn't...the M20 simply told the line worker to cut a hole in the floor for the floor shifter...it could have been a 3spd, or any of the other models of transmissions available. The true build sheets for pre-1972 Novas are large format (8 x 11) Chassis and Body Broadcast Sheets....these are multi-colored and list everything for the vehicle...they are rarely found...we have these for our 1970 L78 4 speed car...the detail is incredible...it lists hoses, belts, choke, air cleaner, tires, engine, trans, and more....this large build sheet was sometimes stuffed under the dash...so, always check around by the headlite switch and radio...you may get a surprise!

**it is very common to find more than one Fisher Body line sheet in a Nova...sometimes for the wrong vehicle...Fisher produced one of these sheets for every body mod/option....there was even one taped to the firewall (survivor Novas often have this small piece of tape intact)...we have found them in back seats and front seats.

happy Holidays..wilma
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  #9  
Old Dec 22nd, 11, 11:17 AM
Hilblee Hilblee is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Quote:
Originally Posted by WILMASBOYL78 View Post
The term "build sheet" is often used to describe the small (approx. 4 x 8) computer sheet that is often found in the pre-1972 Nova. This document is really not the vehicle's "build sheet", but rather the Fisher Body production line sheet which denotes what items need to be installed on the car that require work or modifications to the body itself....example: SS trim, b/s moldings, type of seats/trim level, window trim, vinyl roof trim, floor shifter, dual exhaust, a/c, console, etc....there were often times other items listed like tinted glass, and deluxe interior, deluxe exterior...many of these trim options came as packages...if you look at the Nova Resource site...there are lots of details and descriptions. In certain years (68/69) the engine was listed..though this was not true for 1970. One of the common Fisher options was listed as "M20"...many think this denotes that specific transmission, it doesn't...the M20 simply told the line worker to cut a hole in the floor for the floor shifter...it could have been a 3spd, or any of the other models of transmissions available. The true build sheets for pre-1972 Novas are large format (8 x 11) Chassis and Body Broadcast Sheets....these are multi-colored and list everything for the vehicle...they are rarely found...we have these for our 1970 L78 4 speed car...the detail is incredible...it lists hoses, belts, choke, air cleaner, tires, engine, trans, and more....this large build sheet was sometimes stuffed under the dash...so, always check around by the headlite switch and radio...you may get a surprise!

**it is very common to find more than one Fisher Body line sheet in a Nova...sometimes for the wrong vehicle...Fisher produced one of these sheets for every body mod/option....there was even one taped to the firewall (survivor Novas often have this small piece of tape intact)...we have found them in back seats and front seats.

happy Holidays..wilma

Thank you very much!
  #10  
Old Dec 15th, 12, 04:06 PM
supernova7272 supernova7272 is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Hi, When I bought my Nova the back seat was not in the car. The seller was using the Nova as a "gig rig" and took the back seat out to haul her band equipment in it (solo artist). I asked about the rear seat and it was at the sellers ex-BF's house in a shed. I went to get it and found the build sheet in the springs. That was 1989 and didn't think much of it but filed it away. Even tho mine is not an SS I've tried to keep the documentation where I have it. It came with the owners manual and protect plate as well.

I also posted in this forum for help on decoding. Cheers.
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  #11  
Old Jan 19th, 13, 07:54 PM
Jim ss 427 Jim ss 427 is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

I found a broadcast sheet in mine so far.It's about 4x8. Built 03/28/69, style - 11427, plant - wrn, trim - 732, paint - 61 burnished brown, installed options I think are whats next. #1 - B55, #2 - B90, #3 CRD( the only one I can't find a description for) #4 - D34, #5 - L48, #6 - M20, #7 - N10, # 8 - ZJ1, #9 - ZJ2. On #3, could crd mean cancel radio?

Last edited by Jim ss 427; Jan 19th, 13 at 07:58 PM. Reason: wrong option code
  #12  
Old Mar 2nd, 14, 02:27 PM
MichaelAngelo MichaelAngelo is offline
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Big Dave,
I have a 68 Chevy II Nova that i seem to be having conflicts between the Vin Tag and Cowl tag that are telling two differnt stories in regards to motor size. Vin calls out 11327 which i believe is an L6 and the cowl tag calls out 11427 which is for a 350. Is this comman or do you think one or the other was replaced at one time. Let me know what you think.

Thank You
Michael Angelo
  #13  
Old Mar 2nd, 14, 05:41 PM
Big Dave Big Dave is online now
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Default Re: Build Sheets

Welcome to the Team Mike!

VIN wins! It is that simple. The VIN is the last piece put on the car as it passed Quality Control, otherwise it went into the rework lot which depending upon how busy the line was might have never made it out of that lot alive. The Trim Tag was attached at the Fisher Body Plant which was usually across the street from the assembly plant; but not always. No mater where the body was built, it was put on the beginning of the line to have items added to it. In this case they installed a six cylinder.

Big Dave
  #14  
Old Mar 4th, 14, 08:56 AM
WILMASBOYL78 WILMASBOYL78 is offline
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Post Re: Build Sheets

Most 3rd gen Nova cowl tags have the 11427...very common point of confusion when comparing it to the VIN. There have been discussions about this anomaly on the car sites before...bottom line...the VIN always tells the story.

wilma
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