How to Decode a Ford 302 Casting Number

by Joanne Cichetti
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Casting numbers are basically part numbers or characters that provide information about parts of a Ford 302 engine block. These numbers tell you when the part was designed, which department designed it and what it was originally designed for. Understanding Ford’s casting numbers is simple, once you gain a basic understanding of numbering structure. Majority of casting numbers consist of nine digits which are broken into three groups.

Step 1

Decode the first character letter. Ford casting numbers always start with a letter for “Decade,” according to A Ford 302 engine can trace its roots to 1962 when it was first introduced in a Ford Fairlane. It remained in production till the mid 1990s. In the 1960s, Ford started using the numbering structure with the first letter being “C.” In 1970s, it changed to “D” and so on. For instance, if the casting number is C5ZZ-2140-CR, the decade number is “C” or 1960s.

Step 2

Decode the second number. The second number in the code is always the manufacturing “Year.” For the example above; C5ZZ-2140-CR, the manufacturing year would be 1965.

Step 3

Decode the third character. This represents the vehicle line. Letters A, F, J, O, R, T, Z, D, G, M, P, S and V represent car lines Galaxie, Outside U.S., T/A Racing, Industrial, Fairlane/Torino, Rotunda, Truck, Mustang, Falcon (60-69), Comet/Montego, Mercury, Autolite/Motorcraft, Thunderbird and Lincoln (61+), respectively.

Step 4

Decode the 4th digit. This digit identifies the engineering group of Ford that designed the part and the component group it belongs to. For instance, A, C, E, F, H, J, M, P, R, U, X, Y and Z represent Truck division, Body and electrical, Engine group, General parts/Electrical and Electronic, Climate Control, Autolite/Ford parts and Service division, Performance vehicle and Holman Moody, Automatic Transmission, Manual Transmission, Axle and Driveshaft, Special vehicle parts (muscle parts) or Emissions or Economy, Lincoln and Mercury service parts and Ford service parts/Aftermarket parts, respectively.

Step 5

Decode the next four characters. These characters identify what the part actually is. For instance, 2140 represents master cylinder, 6268 represents a timing chain set, 2062 represents a front slave cylinder and so on.

Step 6

Decode the last character. This character represents the primary application of the part. For instance, “C” stands for 351C 4v motor.

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