How Do You Identify a Ford Engine?

To identify a Ford engine, decode the engine identification tag of the engine, which is displayed in various locations depending on the engine. As of 2015, this method works for all Ford engines built after January 1964.

The engine identification tag describes the cubic inch displacement, model year, month and year of production, and the change level number. All six-cylinder engines and most standard eight-cylinder engines display the tag under the coil attaching bolts. In eight-cylinder 352 engines, the tag is under the dipstick tube attaching bolt. In eight-cylinder 330, 361 and 391 engines, the tag is under the heat indicator bulb. In eight-cylinder 401, 477 and 534 engines, the tag is under the carburetor attaching stud.

To make sure the tag represents a Ford engine, decode the number on the tag into its respective descriptions. The first character is a letter that represents the engine's decade of production. For example, a B means that the engine was produced in the 1950s, while a C means that it was produced in the 1960s. The second character is a digit that represents the year of the decade that the engine was produced. The third character is alphanumeric and represents the type of Ford that the engine is for. If decoding the tag works, then the engine is a Ford engine.