There are several important numbers to identify a 356 engine. The first, and most obvious one, is the serial number, which uniquely identifies each engine. It is on the "third piece" of the case, or timing cover, below the generator stand (or on the generator stand if you have an early 2-piece engine case), You will also find an engine type identifier, which was Porsche's internal code to designate the different specification engines. The type number can be found on the right side of the case, near the center, on the perimeter bolt boss. It is just behind (relative to the car, not you) the fan shroud. So, look at an installed engine, looking beyond the generator stand, at the "bump" in the case casting where the two case halves join. You may have to clear off a layer of oil and dirt to see it, but you will find a number such as "1600" or 616/1. Click here for a picture (the area to look is circled in blue). There is another number to the left, which is the case casting number. It has significance where there may be question over the authenticity of the serial number on the case, but is generally ignored. Serial numbers on four cam engines are on the left case half, above and to the left of the fan pulley (click here for picture). The engine types are as follow:

Type Engine Years
356 Pushrod:
369 1100 Normal 1950-54
506 1300 1950-54
506/1 1300 A 1954
506/2 1300 Super 1954-57
527 1500 Normal 1951-52
546 1500 Normal 1952-54
546/2 1500 Normal 1954-55
589/2 1300 Super 1955-57
528 1500 Super 1952-54
528/2 1500 Super 1954-55
589 1300 Super 1953-54
1600 1600 Normal 1957-60
1600S 1600 Super 1957-60
616/1 1600 Normal 1960-63
616/2 1600 Super 1960-62
616/7 1600 Super 90 1960-63
616/12 1600 Super 1962-63
616/15 1600 C 1964-65
616/16 1600 SC 1964-65
616/26 1600 SC (used in 356 Police cars) 1966
912 Pushrod:
616/36 1965-67
616/39 1968
616/40 1969
Four cam (Carrera):
547 Carrera 1500 1955
547/1 Carrera 1500 GS 1955-57
547/1 Carrera 1500 GT 1955-57
692/0 Carrera 1500 GT 1958
692/1 Carrera 1500 GT 1958
692/2 Carrera 1600 GS 1958-59
692/3 Carrera 1600 GT 1960
692/3A Carrera 1600 GT 1960-61
587/1 Carrera 2 (2000 GS) 1962-64
587/2 Carrera 2 (2000 GT) 1963
Other:
616/3 Industrial engines
616/6 Industrial engines
616/8 Industrial engines
616/13 Industrial engines
616/18 Industrial engines, Jagdwagen
616/20 Industrial engines
616/33-1 Industrial engines
678/4 Airplane engine
YO-95-6 Helicopter engine
729/1 Marine engine


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