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Ford Casting Numbers Explained

Casting numbers tell when a part was ORIGINALLY designed and what car it was ORIGINALLY designed for. This does not mean that the part was not used on other cars. For example, casting number C8OE-9430-D is an exhaust manifold for a 428 CJ Fairlane; however, it was also used on 428 CJ Mustangs.


The breakdown of casting number C8OE-9430-D is easy using the charts below:

C = Decade of 1960
8 = Year of the decade (8th year of 1960), 1968
O = Fairlane Car line / Manufacture code
E = Engine engineering department
9430 = Basic number for an exhaust manifold
N = Design change

Casting Number Breakdown Charts

Decade of Manufacture:
A = 1940
B = 1950
C = 1960
D = 1970
E = 1980

Year of Decade
The year of the decade is determined by adding a number (0-9) to the letter of the decade. Example: C6 would be 1966, D0 would be 1970, D1 would be 1971.

Car Line/ Manufacture Codes
A = Galaxie
D = Falcon (60-69)
F = Outside USA, Trans Am racing
G = Comet / Montego
J = Industrial
M = Mercury
O = Fairlane / Torino
P = Autolite / Motorcraft
R = Rotunda
S = Thunderbird
T = Truck
V = Lincoln (61 - current)
Z = Mustang

Engineering Departments
A = Chassis
B = Body
E = Engine
F = Engine accessories
J = Autolite (67-72)
P = Automatic transmission
R = Manual transmission
W = Axle
X = Muscle parts program
Y = Lincoln / Mercury service parts
Z = Ford service parts

Basic Number
These identify the part, such as 6090 being a cylinder head or 9430 being an exhaust manifold.

Design Change
A Basic part is made to fit many applications. Example:
DOZZ-7528-C is a clutch bar for a 390/428
DOZZ-7528-D is a clutch bar for a 351 W
DOZZ-7529-E is a clutch bar for a 302 Boss

Reading Casting Dates

Casting dates:
Casting dates show the exact day, month and year a certain part was made or cast. The typical casting date looks like "6M08".

Breaking down a casting date:
6 = The year of the decade. "6" for 1976.
M = The letter of the month. (December)
08 = The day of the month. (8th)

First year month codes:



























Second year month codes:



























How do casting numbers appear?
Most casting numbers are stamped into the part itself, other have the number molded on the part. Some casting numbers can be ink stamped while others are printed on paper, which is then wrapped around the part.

Casting and Part Numbers

Part numbers and casting numbers are pretty much the same when it comes to "hard parts".  Those are those big long codes (C7ZZ-6540544-DR, etc) that you find that identify every Ford part made. Many parts are too small to have the number cast or printed on it,  but it still has a casting number.  These numbers tell you what that part was originally designed for, what department designed it, and when it was designed.  People are often confused by looking at a part or casting number.  Just because a part was originally made for a Falcon doesn't mean the part came off of a Falcon.  Many Mustang parts were originally designed for the Falcon and carry a Falcon casting number.  Ford is famous for using parts designed for one car on a variety of models.

A basic part number is included within the casting number and indicates what the part is, not what it was made for, or when it was made. An example could be a master cylinder - most master cylinders have a basic part number of 2140, but there a number of different master cylinders for different Ford vehicles. They all are master cylinders however, and share a basic part number.


Example for illustrative purposes:


C - Decade of Manufacture - 1960's in this case
5 - Decade Year - This is a '65
Z - Car line - Mustang
Z - Ford Service Part - This came from the Engineering Department
2140 - Basic part number - 2140 is a master cylinder
CR - Design Change - indicates manual disc brakes

Casting Code Definitions

Decade of Manufacture:

Decade Year:
The digit of the year. A C8 would be 1968, a D1 would be 1971, C3 is a 1963.

Car Line:

Code Car Line   Code Car Line
A Galaxie   D Falcon (60-69)
F Outside US, T/A Racing   G Comet/Montego
J Industrial   M Mercury
O Fairlane/Torino   P Autolite/Motorcraft
R Rotunda   S Thunderbird
T Truck   V Lincoln (61+)
Z Mustang      

Engineering Department:

A Chassis   B Body
E Engine   F Engine Accessories
J Autolite (67-72)   P Auto Transmission
R Manual Transmission   W Axle
X Muscle Parts Program   Y Lincoln/Mercury Service Parts
Z Ford Service Parts      

Basic Part Number:
This is the number that identifies what the part actually is - 2062 is a front slave cylinder, or 6268 is a timing chain set.

Design Change:
This indicates what application the basic part is used for. For example - "A" is for a 289/302 motor, whereas a "C" is for a 351C, 4v motor.


II.  Detailed Explanation

Often friends will call me trying to determine Ford parts they can use or substitute. In SCCA Solo and Club Racing the rules often allow updating/backdating parts. In other words use a older or newer part from that product line of car. An example is my 1985 Mustang in American Sedan, generally I can use any bolt on component from 1979 through 1993 Capri or Mustang. The front brake system currently on the car is from a 1987 Mustang. The original 1985 brake system utilized an 10" front rotor while the 1987 system is 11" increasing the swept surface area of the brakes. The entire front suspension had to be replaced, lower front control arms, spindles, rotor, strut, calipers, brake hoses. Knowing how the part number system works helped considerably.

Ford part numbers are divided into two main categories Engineering and Service.

The engineers will design a part and assign it an Engineering part number, which is an alphanumeric reference code. When the part is redesigned the change needs to be noted so the Engineering part number is changed. When the part is released for Service it is assigned a Service part number. This allows Ford Parts and Service to track changes affecting interchangeability by modifying the Ford Service part number. The Service part number will not change with the Engineering part number unless the change affects interchangeability. Due to this the part numbers on the part are generally Engineering numbers while the Service part number will be on the box. There are some exceptions, such as a whole grouping of parts or a kit. Engineering and Service numbers decode the same way. The difference being the fourth character of the prefix. Part numbers consist of a prefix, a basic part number, and a suffix. An example would be F4ZZ (prefix), 6E086 (basic part number), -A (suffix). The first character of the prefix indicates the decade of design, starting with "A" for the 1940's, B for the 1950's, C for the 1960's. The second character of the indicates the year within the decade, "C5" would be 1965, "F4" would be 1994. The third character of the prefix indicates the product part the part was originally designed for, with few exceptions. Note that "outside sales (code F), "Motorcraft Brand" (code P), or imported parts from Ford of Europe (code R) are identified with their product line code in the third position. The fourth character indicates the part source, whether it is product engineering office or service part. The part number F4ZZ-6E086-A would equate to F4 = 1994, the third character Z = Mustang, the fourth character Z = Ford Parts and Services. The next group of numbers describe the part. I use these numbers at swap meets or salvage yard to match to existing numbers I have. I know if the basic number is the same it should be compatible if the suffix number on the part you are comparing is a later alpha character than the existing one. Early suffix designations generally begin with "A" and increment through the alphabet as design changes are made that affect interchangeability. If the suffix on the part I was looking to replace (my existing part) was an "A" I could use parts with have a "B" suffix. If the part I was looking to replace (my existing part) had a "B" suffix, a part with the "A" suffix would probably have a compatibility issue. Parts that have later suffix codes are the ones to get.



Prefix Decoding



Product line codes.

Third Digit Product Line

Use the third character of the part number with this chart.

A Ford, 1958-later
B Bronco, 1970-73; Maverick 1975-77; Fairmont 1978-83
C Remanufactured parts 1966-75
D Falcon 1960-69; Maverick 1970-74; Granada 1975-82; LTD 1983-later
E Truck (cab over engine) 1970-73; Pinto1976-80; Escort 1981-later
F Outside sales1962-later
G Comet 1961-67; Montego1968-76; EXP 1982-later
H Heavy truck 1966-82; Medium and heavy truck 1983-later
I Not Used
J Industrial Engines
K Edsel 1958-60; Cab trucks 1970-73; Comet 1975-77; Zephyr 1978-83; Marquis 1983-later
L Lincoln 1958-60; Mark 1961-later
M Mercury 1958-later
N Tractor 1958-later
O Fairlane 1962-68; Torino 1969-76; LTD II 1977-79; LN7 1982-83
P Motorcraft (or Autolite) 1962-later
Q Not Used
R Rotunda Brand1962-69; vehicles imported from Ford of Europe1970-later
S Thunderbird 1958-later
T All truck 1958-65; light and medium truck including Bronco 1974-82; light truck and Bronco I 1983-later
U Econoline 1961-later
V Lincoln Continental 1961-81;
W Cougar 1966-72; Bobcat 1975-80; Lynx 1981-later
X Trucks (short highway) 1970-73
Y Meteor (Canadian) 1962-73; Bobcat 1975-80; Lynx 1981-later
Z Mustang 1964-73; Mustang II 1974-78; Mustang 1979-later
1 Not Used
2 Pinto 1971-75
3 Tempo 1984-later
4 Comet 1971-74; Monarch 1975-80; Cougar 1981-82; Marquis 1983-later
5 Recreational vehicles 1974-75; Continental 1982-later
6 Pantera 1971-75; Ranger and Bronco II 1983-later
7 Courier truck 1971-75; Ranger and Bronco II 1983-later
8 Capri (US designed parts) 1972-75
9 Turbine engine parts 1970-75



Source codes

Fourth digit Source codes

Use the fourth character of the part number with this chart.

A Light truck Engineering
B Body and electrical product Engineering
C Chassis Engineering ; Powertrain and Chassis product Engineering
D Overseas product Engineering
E Engine Engineering; Powertrain and Chassis product Engineering
F Electrical and Electronics Division; Product Engineering office
G Not Used
H Climate Control Division; Product Engineering office
I Not Used
J Ford Parts and Service Division; Parts and Service Engineering office
K Not Used
L Ford Parts and Service Division; Industrial Engine Operations
M Performance Operations; SVO Service Parts
N Ford Tractor Operations; Product Engineering Office; Diversified Products Operations
O Not Used
P Transmission and Axle Engineering; Powertrain and Chassis Product Engineering (Automatic Transmissions)
Q Not Used
R Transmission and Axle Engineering; Powertrain and Chassis Product Engineering (Manual Transmissions)
S Light and Heavy Truck Engineering; Truck Special Ordering Department
T Heavy Truck Engineering
U Special Vehicles Operations
V Vehicle Special Ordering and Engineering Section
W Transmission and Axle Engineering; Powertrain and Chassis Product Engineering (axle)
X Emissions, Economy and Special Vehicle Engineering
Y Ford Parts and Service Division; Parts Engineering Office (Lincoln Mercury Division Service Parts)
Z Ford Parts and Service Division; Parts Engineering Office (Ford Division Service Parts)


Decoding Dates

Date codes are sometimes included on parts. The first digit is the year. To determine the decade, refer to the part number's prefix. The second digit is the month. Note that the character "I" is not used. Refer to the chart below. The third digit is the day of the month.


Second Digit Month
A January
B February
C March
D April
E May
F June
G July
H August
I Not Used
J September
K October
L November
M December


429/460 Cylinder head casting #'s and application information / brief descriptions

C8VE-A. First year of 385 series engine.  429 introduced in '68 Thunderbird as the "Thunderjet"
460 introduced into the '68 Lincoln line up
These heads have  75 to 77cc combustion chambers. They will give about 10.5 to 1 on pre '72 blocks. This assuming factory type pistons
9.5 to 1 to 10 to 1  on later blocks with increased deck height.
Thermact-air boss and passages not drilled for 49 states emmissions.
Thermact-air boss is slightly smaller than on newer castings.
Like all of the BBF castings the exhaust port needs alot of help.
Used positive stop shouldered rocker studs and cast iron rail self aligning rocker arms 1.73 to 1 ratio
Valve sizes are 2.09" intake and 1 65" exhaust.

C9VE-A Basically the same as the '68 unit. Used beginning with the '69 model year vehicles
includes engineering revisions to the '68 casting.

D0VE-C Again a revision of the original casting. Used beginning with the '70 model year through the end of the '71. model year run. Similar to the proceeding listings.
Slightly larger thermact-air boss  All 3 being used for passenger cars D0VE-A is a less revised version and very similer to the D0VE-C's

D00E-R The fabled Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet castings.
Combustion chamber volume comes in slightly smaller at 71 to 75 cc's  11 to 1+ compression ratio with 429 flat tops, or with the dished 460 pistons.
About 1/2 point lower on '72 and up blocks.
Cobra Jet engines built before 11-'69  had adjustable valve train. They were  non adjustable after that date.
All castings came with pushrod guide plates,sled fulcrums and stamped steel 1.73 to 1 rocker arms
Adjustable valvetrain used non shouldered rocker studs. Non adjustable valvetrain used positive stop shouldered stud with 3/8" fine pitch threads on top..
All Super Cobre-Jet engines used a solid lifter camshaft.and adjustable valve train.
Valve sizes are 2.24" intake and 1.72" exhaust.
Intake ports are larger at 2.51" x 2.11" ovals
Exhaust ports are also larger at2.25" x 1.30" rectangular oval port shape
Although the exhaust ports are larger they share similar architecture with the passenger car castings. Removal of the thermact-air boss along with blending of some of the weird casting bumps will help flow measureably.
All of the 385 series castings suffer from a very poor intake/exhaust flow ratio.
This due to the fact that shock towers in the intermediate line up neccesitated tucking the exhaust manifolds as close as possible to the engine for clearances' sake

D2OE-AA,D2OE-AB and D3AE-FA '72 to '74 Police interceptor cylinder head.
These heads are very similar to the Cobra Jet castings with non adjustable valvetrain.
The port sizes are middle of the road between pass car and Cabra Jet. 2.20" x 1.93" intake and  2.06" x 1.31" on the exhaust.
Valves are 2.19" intake and 1.72" exhaust. and the combustion chambers come in at 87 to 90 cc's
These castings are an excellent alternative to the CJ castings and are more plentiful.
In addition the reduced cross section of the intake port offers excellent low end torque and response.

D2VE-A2A This casting shares the same port sizes and shape with the other passenger car castings. It is basically a revised D0VE-C casting with pedestal rocker arm bosses. Beware as this is the only year of the large round OPEN combustion chamber design. Chamber size is 87 to 90 cc's.They are prone to detonation due to the lack of a quench pad.and are unsuitable for high performance use!
Valve sizes are 2.09" intake and 1.65" exhaust.

D3VE-AA,A2A etc. For '73 the casting was completely reengineered. The bath tub chamber shape was back but at 90+ cc's. The chamber is slightly larger but the main difference is valve seat depth. The seats are .100" deeper compared to the '72 and older castings. The valves are consequently .100" shorter. They have pedestal rocker arm bosses and use stamped steel 1.73 to 1 ratio rocker arms. The short turn radius in the exhaust port is said to be improved however the cross sectional area between the crest of the short turn and the port roof is reduced. This in my opinion hurts flow as compared to the older castings, which were dismal to begin with. Porting will help the exhaust immensly. I have seen this casting number on vehicles until the late '79 models, both car and truck.
I have also heard tell of a
D4VE casting #  I believe the major revision is a slightly larger chamber near 97


Engine Block & Cylinder Head Casting Numbers
221, 260, 289, 302

The 221, 260, 289 were originally designed for the Fairlane and produced only in the Cleveland engine plant from 1962-1965. The 1964 289 casting number for all 289s was C4OE-6015-C (later an F suffix). In 1965, this number was changed to C5AE-6015-E for the 289 2V, 4V and Hi-Po (note the change to full size Ford designation and 6 bolt bell housings). In mid-year 1966 the Windsor plant also began producing 289s.  The casting numbers for these were (C6AE-6015-C with a "289" and "WF" in the lifter valley. In 1967 both Cleveland and Windsor produced 289s using earlier year casting numbers but with updated date codes.  These two blocks were interchangeable, but there were probably some minor differences.  Near the end of the 1967 production run, Cleveland ran out of 289 blocks and substituted their new 302 block, C8-OE-6015-A and marked with 302 in the lifter valleys. This block wasn't intended to see action until 1968. Note these 302 casting numbers returned to the intermediate size Ford or Fairlane lineage. Hence, a late model 289 coming from the Cleveland plant might have a 302 block with 289 innards. The Windsor plant had an abundance of 289 blocks for 1967.  In 1968 Cleveland only made 302s, while Windsor continued with the 289s. It appears Windsor also tooled up for 302s but the plug was pulled before they got to make any. They did however, design and produce a 302 block that was used on 289s after the stock of 289 blocks was depleted. The number was C8AE-6015-B with 302 marking in the lifter valley. At the very end of the model year some additional 289 blocks must have been discovered as the older C6AE-6015-C blocks appeared again. In 1969 Cleveland continued with 302 production.  Windsor dropped 289 production and took up the 351. In 1970 Cleveland came out with its newly designed 351.  

In short:
C8AE-6015-B is a 302 block from the Windsor plant that was used in 1968 on a 289.

C8OE-6015-A is a 302 block from Cleveland from a 1967 289 or a 1968 or later 302 (check date code).

There is no code stamped n the block itself that can be used to identify the cubic inch displacement of the block.  Casting numbers can be helpful, but some blocks used several different casting numbers, and in some cases, one casting is not interchangeable with the other.  Engines are identified by a tag attached to the engine.  This tag is used on all late 1964-1970 models and located under the coil attaching bolt.  On the tag is the displacement, assembly plant, model year, change level, engine code (useful in identifying high performance engines) and date of production.  This tag is easily lost or replaced with a fake tag, so don't rely solely on the tag for identification.


Pictures courtesy of Cruce Motor Rebuilding

302 V-8 Block - The casting number is located where the starter bolts up to the bell housing.  Removal of the starter is necessary to see the number




390FE V-8 Big Block - The casting number is located where the starter bolts up to the bell housing.  Numbers can be horizontal or vertical.  In some cases, they are not there at all!


Cylinder Heads

Casting numbers for cylinder heads may change from year to year.  For example, the code may be cast as C6ZZ-A in 1966 and C8ZZ-A in 1968 even though they are the same cylinder head.  Special heads are required with emission controls from 1965-1966 for the emission system to operate properly.  Beginning in 1967, all heads have provisions for emission control systems.  Casting numbers are usually the same or nearly the same as the part number.  Cylinder heads cast with a "5" as the second digit were most likely installed in a 1966 model.


1965 model 289 Head - Head casting number is under the cylinder head. 
It must be removed to see it.


1965 model 289 Head - Date code location is under the valve cover.

Ford Heads Cast #

C1AE-A            144/104cc ports
C4AE                 140/100cc ports
C5AE                 128/44cc ports
C5AE-F            150/115cc ports
C6AE                 138/100cc ports
C8AE-N            155/123cc ports
C8AE-N            170/123cc ports     canadian
D1AE-GA          244/137cc ports
D1ZE-DA          248/137cc ports
D3ZE-AA          244/134cc ports
D6EE-AA          83/62cc ports
6090B                 83/62cc ports
6090F                 160/124cc ports
6090F                 184/125cc ports    425 HP            


Small Block Head Flow Comparison

Big Block Ford Heads