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Go Back   ClassicBroncos.com Forums > 66-77 Ford Bronco > Bronco FAQ > VIN Decoding & Bronco ID FAQ

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How to Decode Ford part Numbers How to Decode Ford part Numbers
Using part numbers to determine what year and vehicle it came from
How to decode Ford part numbers

Decoding the Ford part numbers is simple or complex depending on the level of detail that you want to pursue. Since my knowledge of the number codes is at the simple level, I will leave this discussion at the starting point. More information about all sorts of variations can be found in several sources, but for those who want to get into the details one that is easy to find and that many people have on their shelves is Tom Monroes old How to Rebuild Your Small-Block Ford.

Original manufacturer Ford parts have alpha-numeric designations such as


Heres what the letters and numbers mean

First letter: the decade, c= 60s, D=70s, E=80s and so on
Second number: the year of the decade, 1 =71 or 81, or 91 and so on
Third letter: A= Full size Ford, T=truck, B= Bronco, S= Thunderbird, and many more for each model
Fourth series of numbers: The basic part number.
Fifth letter: The change level of the particular part.

The above number is the part number for a bell housing. So it is a 1971, Ford truck part number 6392 with a change level of D, presumably meaning the fourth change on this particular part.

Anyone who wants to expand on this, especially an old parts counter person, please feel free to do so.  

Last edited by admin; 07/30/06 at 12:39 AM..
ccimage7 on 07/22/21, 11:49 PM
Very helpful thank you
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ared77 on 07/25/21, 07:32 PM
I'll add that what is on a part is actually a "casting number" which is what you're describing above. And really the casting info is what most often you need. For example I'd see a pair of heads, know by the shape they were for a Ford FE engine, but 352, 390, 427, 428, or 428CJ? All are FE series and knowing the info above is how I could know if they were desirable 428 Cobra Jet or just 352's for example. I'd look between the two center spark plug holes for a casting number of C8OE-6010-N, the "N" was the key...CJ heads!
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