How can you tell what year a motor is? - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-10-2007 Thread Starter
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How can you tell what year a motor is?

Can you tell what year mustang a 2.3 came out of by looking at a number anywhere on the block? If so, where is the number located and which part of the number gives the year?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-16-2007
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Take a look at the VIN. The engine code is the 8th digit from the left.

For a more detailed explanation, have a boo at this URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ford_VIN_codes


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2007 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsintzel View Post
Take a look at the VIN. The engine code is the 8th digit from the left.
Well, the problem is that the VIN doesn't help since the motor is not the same year as the car. I know that the car/chassis is an 89 but I think the motor is out of a 90-91 but I'm not positive and the guy that built the car is no longer with us. Can you tell by a number on the motor itself what year it was made?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2007
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Two things:

What exactly is the number you found and where did you find it on the engine?

Have a look at this and see if it helps.

http://www.ukmot.com/appendixF.asp


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2007
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Originally Posted by drumvudu View Post
Well, the problem is that the VIN doesn't help since the motor is not the same year as the car. I know that the car/chassis is an 89 but I think the motor is out of a 90-91 but I'm not positive and the guy that built the car is no longer with us. Can you tell by a number on the motor itself what year it was made?
There should be a casting number on the block somewhere, but I'm not sure where on 2.3s or how to decode it for a 2.3, if you look on the cylinder head (probably under the valve cover) you might find a part number, it'll start with a letter followed by a number. That'll tell you what year the part in question (in this case, the cylinder head) first came into use by Ford.

The first letter defines decade: C=60's, D=70's, E=80's, F=90's
The number that follows tells you what year in that decade.

So if, for example, you found a part number on you cylinder head that started out with "E7" as it's first four digits, that would be a part that started production in 1987.

I know that's not an exact answer for "which year" but it should get you in the ballpark, as the cylinder head is where many of the significant changes happened in these engines from 1988 to 1997.
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007
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i think the number is by the starter but dont quote me
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-23-2007
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The casting number may not help you. The only time those numbers are updated is when there's been a change in the design. My '91 has the original motor with a casting number dated 1988. This was around the time they changed to a smaller main bearing journal size as well as added a couple of holes and a dowel to the front of the block for the crank position sensor. There's another 80's vintage casting number that reflects the change from a 2 piece rear main seal to the 1 piece seal. I believe there's some production stamping info on the block, but I can't remember wher, nor do I know how to decipher it.

I've talked to a couple of guys who were unfamiliar with 2.3s that freaked out when they disassembled the motor and found the D4 casting number on the rods. They thought they'd received a motor that had been rebuilt or repaired. Nope, they just hadn't changed the rod casting since 1974.
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