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302 Engine ~ Everything You Need To Know

1979-95 Ford 302 Everything You Need To Know

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.