How do you decode Ford engine numbers?

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1950's Ford engine plant, assembly date and inspection codes are generally stamped on a machined surface at the front end of the engine block.

Example: 4-78NC from an MEL block 410cid (Edsel E475)

4= Lima engine plant
7= 1957
8= August, while O=October, A=November and B=December
N= 13th day of month (I's are skipped, 26th-31st are inverted A thru F)
C= inspector i.d.

Other engine plant codes:

1=Cleveland engine plant #1
2=Cleveland engine plant #2
3=Dearborn engine plant

On FE blocks, look for the codes on the vertical machined block face just outboard and slightly above the right-side water pump/engine block interface.

On early MEL blocks, the numbers can be found on an upward-facing machined surface just above the left water pump/engine block interface.

Some later MEL blocks, including all service replacements assembled after February 7, 1958, have the code stamped on the right rear portion of the oil pan rail.

On Y-block engines, look for the code in the upward-facing surface at the center of the cylinder block at the push-rod cover to cylinder block mounting surface.

223cid six cylinders have the codes stamped into the front left corner of the engine block, facing outboard, directly below the cylinder head surface.

Later 1958 MEL blocks have their numbers stamped into the aft vertical machined surface of the engine block, instead of the front.

1959 and later FE block engine codes are stamped on a vertical surface just forward of the dipstick on the driver's side. Look for a jutting surface on the block just below and forward of the lower forward corner of the left exhaust manifold.

Starting in 1960 the code took the following form:

Example: 4-1G20J from a 6-cylinder 170cid Comet (which originally was intended to be an Edsel model)

4= Lima engine plant
1= 1961
G= July (I's are skipped)
20= 20th day of month (this could be a single digit for days 1 through 9)
J= inspector i.d.

Now, just *which* engine codes are we looking for?
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