How to Find a Ford 302 Serial Number on the Motor

by John Stevens J.D.

Ford’s 302 cubic inch small-block engine replaced the smaller displacement 289 in mid-1968. Although the 302 is most commonly associated with the Mustang, the 302 was widely used throughout Ford’s line of vehicles until the early 1990s. Because so many 302s were produced for so long, identifying the 302 and its year of production can be important, particularly to collectors. To find such information, every 302 has a serial number stamped into the passenger’s side of the engine.

Step 1

Raise the hood of the vehicle and remove the negative battery cable from the battery with a wrench. Disconnecting the battery is important because the electrical cable which leads to the starter motor will have to be disconnected; otherwise, a shock could result.

Step 2

Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack and support the vehicle’s weight with two safety stands to gain access to both the starter motor and the engine’s serial number.

Step 3

Disconnect the battery cable from the side of the starter motor with a wrench. The tip of the cable features a circular metal fitting which slides over a threaded rod and is held in place with a single nut. Remove the nut with a wrench then pull the cable off of the starter.

Step 4

Remove the starter motor. The starter motor is held in place with two bolts. One bolt is located at the top of the starter and the other at the bottom. Remove both bolts with a wrench then pull the starter out from underneath the vehicle.

Step 5

Clean the passenger’s side of the engine with engine degreaser. Chances are good that the serial number is hidden behind layers of dirt and grime. Engine degreasers are available in an aerosol can. Spray the degreaser liberally against the side of the engine and allow a minute or two to pass. Use a garden hose to spray the grime off of the engine. The serial number is located just above where the starter motor was located.

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