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How to Identify a Ford Industrial Engine

by Floyd Drake III

Ford manufactures engines for nearly every use. Ford industrial engines are in tractors, heavy equipment and numerous machinery applications; the variety manufactured by Ford throughout its history is extensive. How you identify Ford industrial engines depends on the engine in question, and finding the casting number is your primary challenge. The casting number may be in several locations. Ford marks its industrial engines according to the same general system as it does those for automobile and truck engines.

Step 1

Find the engine, casting, or part number. Ford places the part number in various locations, depending on the engine. Common locations include the rear of the engine, near the starter mount and bellhousing, on the front of the block's right side (when looking at it from the front), on the left side of in-line-cylinder engines, or by the oil filter mount. "C8NN-6015-J" is an example of a Ford part/casting number.

Step 2

Decode the Prefix portion of the Ford part number. The prefix in the example, "C8NN," decodes as follows: the first position "C" indicates the decade, the 1960s. Ford uses the code with "A" designating the 1940s, "B," the 1950s, up to "G" for 2000 to 2010. The second position, "8," identifies the decade year, 1958. The third position, "N," identifies the block as manufactured for use on a tractor. The final position, "N," is also a tractor designation.

Identify the basic part number and suffix portions of the Ford part number. The part number casting you will find on the engine block is the part number of the block itself, with the basic part number, "6015," designating an engine block. The suffix portion, "J," is a part change indicator, with "J' identifying the tenth modification of this particular part. "A" identifies the first modification.


  • On some blocks, the middle section basic part number may be omitted, making the number similar to this instead: "C8NN-J."
  • The third and fourth position of the casting number prefix are the most important when identifying Ford industrial engines. Third position letters include "J" and "N," which identify industrial and tractor engines respectively, and "L" and "N" identifying Industrial and tractor engines in the fourth position.

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