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You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials General Deciphering Ford Parts Date Codes
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Deciphering Ford Parts Date Codes

     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
A B C D E F G H J K L M
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Second year month codes
N P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


     The date code on the FE block pictured at right reads '5A13' (Click to enlarge). Following the guidelines above, this would decode as follows:

5 = 1975
A = January
13 = 13th day

...or simply, January 13, 1975.

     So how do you tell what decade the part was manufactured? You'd get that from the part casting number, usually cast or stamped into the part.

Note: Part (or service) numbers (used for ordering and inventory purposes, and marked on parts boxes, tags and labels) should not be confused with engineering or casting numbers (normally stamped on or cast in the part for identification during the manufacturing process). They are not interchangeable -- however all follow the same general rules, so these charts may be used to provide approximate interpretations of all types of these markings.

     Ford casting or part numbers follow a basic format and can easily be deciphered. The casting number will designate the year a part was originally designed and the vehicle it was originally designed for. This does not mean that the part was not used on other vehicles or subsequent years. Most casting numbers are stamped into the part itself, others have the number cast (molded) onto the part. Some casting numbers can be ink stamped while others are printed on paper, which is then wrapped around the part.

     The first letter of the standard 4-digit prefix gives the decade, the following number gives the year of the decade, the next letter gives the vehicle line and the last letter is the engineering department number. The prefix is followed by the base number...that is, a number assigned to identify the part itself. The base number is the same for all vehicle lines and may or may not be followed by a revision number. Any changes to the original design would be noted here.

     So this is the breakdown of a typical casting (engineering) number prefix:

NOTE: The following info doesn't apply to hardware or tools:

First Digit: Decade      (EXAMPLE: C5ZZ)

A = 1940's (often omitted)
B = 1950's
C = 1960's
D = 1970's
E = 1980's
F = 1990's
Second Digit: Year Number      (EXAMPLE: C5ZZ)
Last digit of year of introduction or revision. This number corresponds to the decade shown in the first digit. Thus C5 = 1965.
Third Digit: Model      (EXAMPLE: C5ZZ)
A = Ford (Generic) / Galaxie (1958-later)
B = Bronco (1970-73), Maverick (1975-77), Fairmont (1978-83)
C = Remanufactured Parts (1966-75), Elite (1975), Capri (1979-later)
D = Falcon (1960-69), Maverick (1970-74), Granada (1975-82), LTD (1983-later)
E = Truck (Cab over Engine) (1970-73), Pinto (1976-80), Escort (1981-later)
F = Foreign sales / Trans Am Racing
G = Comet (1961-67), Montego (1968-76), EXP (1982-later)
H = Holman/Moody HiPo Part, Heavy Truck (1966-82), Medium Heavy Truck (1983-later)
I = NOT USED
J = Industrial / Marine engines
K = Edsel (1958-60), Tilt Cab (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 = Autolite (Later Motorcraft) (1962-later)
Q =- NOT USED
R = Rotunda (Generic)(1962-69), Ford of Europe (1970-later), Remanufactured Parts (1976?-later)
S = Thunderbird (1958-later)
T = Truck (1958-65), Light/Medium Truck (1966-82), Bronco (1966-82, Except 1970-73), Light Truck & Bronco I (1983-later)
U = Econoline/Club Wagon Van (1961-later)
V = Lincoln Continental (1961-81)
W = Cougar (1967-80), XR7 (1981-82), Cougar (1983-later)
X = Truck (Short Highway) (1970-73)
Y = Meteor (Canada) (1962-72), Bobcat (1975-80), Lynx (1981-later)
Z = Mustang 1964-73; Mustang II 1974-78; Mustang 1979-later
1 = NOT USED
2 = Pinto (1972-75)
3 = Tempo (1984-later)
4 = Comet (1971-74), Monarch (1975-80), Cougar (1981-82), Marquis (1983-later)
5 = Recreation Vehicles (1974-75), Continental (1982-later)
6 = Pantera (1971-75), Topaz (1984-later)
7 = Courier (1971-82); Ranger/Bronco II (1983-up); Explorer (1991-later)
8 = Capri (U.S. Parts) (1972-75)
9 = Turbine Engine Parts (1970-75)
Fourth Digit:  Design Engineering Office       (EXAMPLE: C5ZZ)

A = Light Truck Engineering Division
B = Body and Electrical Product Division
C = Chassis
D = Overseas Product Engineering
E = Engine
F = General Parts/Electrical and Electronics Division
G = NOT USED
H = Climate Control (1972-up)
I = NOT USED
J = Autolite/Ford Parts & Service Division
K = NOT USED
L = Industrial Engine Parts & Service
M = Performance/Special Vehicle Operations (Incl. Holman Moody)
N = Tractor Parts
O = NOT USED
P = Auto Transmission
Q = NOT USED
R = Manual Transmission
S = Light & Heavy Truck Special Order Parts
T = Heavy Truck Engineering
U = Special Vehicle Operations
W = Axle and Driveshaft
X = Emissions, Economy and Special Vehicle Engineering (Muscle Car Parts)
Y = Lincoln/Mercury Service Parts
Z = Ford Service Parts

So for example, an engineering number such as C8AE-6881-A in the example pictured here would be broken down like this:

C = Decade of 1960
8 = year of decade (i.e.1968)
A = Galaxie car line
E = Engine engineering
6881 = base number for an engine oil filter adaptor
A = further information about part revisions, design changes or application.

Now wasn't that easy? Just keep in mind that just because this engineering number shows it was originally engineered for a Galaxie, that doesn't mean it wasn't consequently used on a variety of other applications.

This was just a VERY basic primer on casting numbers. For more detailed information on casting numbers and Ford part numbers, visit the pages below:
 

 

 
You are here: Home Tech Articles & Tutorials General Deciphering Ford Parts Date Codes


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