The Ford Motor Company has been making V-8 engines to power its vehicles since the 1930s. The Ford V-8 went through many transformations, but the 302 cubic inch V-8 can trace its roots to the 90-degree 221 cubic inch V-8 introduced in the midsized Ford Fairlane in 1962.
The 221 V-8 grew to 260, 289, and finally to 302 cubic inches in 1968. The 302 powered everything from Mustangs to pickup trucks and remained in production until the mid-1990s.
Landan from Late Model Restoration goes over everything you need to know about the small block Ford 302 engine found in 1979-95 Mustangs…
How To Identify Ford 302 Production Year
The 302 went through many changes over its lifespan, so when you search for a replacement engine block or components, knowing its production date is helpful.
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Here’s how to identify Ford 302 engine block production year.
- Locate the casting numbers on your engine block.
Look above the starter on the right-hand side of the block. Use a spray degreaser and a rag to clean the area if needed. The casting number is a four-digit alphanumeric code, followed by a dash and another four-digit number. When determining the year of your 302 cubic inch engine, only the first two characters of the first four-digit alphanumeric code are needed.
- Determine the year of production.
Look at the first letter in the alphanumeric code, which indicates the decade of manufacture. A “C” indicates the 1960s, “D” the 1970s, “E” the 1980s, and “F” the 1990s. Observe the second number in the four-digit alphanumeric code. This number indicates the year of the designated decade of manufacture. For example: if your code starts with D4, your 302 engine was manufactured in 1974.