Is there a reference book to identify the engine I have based on the number on the ID tag?
How can I tell, without pulling the pan off, if I have a 4 bolt main or 2 bolt main engine? It's a '72 L, built in October of 1972.
Original Post
What's the chassis number?

A car built in October 1972 is actually a 1973 model. Model years started approximately 6 months early, so the new models would hit US showrooms in September, just like US cars. I would expect your car to have a chassis number in the 4300 to 4500 range. The first 1973 model had a chassis number in the 3800 range, and the first "L" was chassis 4269.

Recognizing there's always the exception to the rule, the "L"s were equipped with 1973 Q code motors, identical to the motors in the 1973 Mustangs, Cougars, Torinos, Montegos. Yes, if its the original motor it should have 4 bolt mains, dished cast pistons, an oil pan with a built-in windage tray, exhaust gas recirculation, a 750 cfm Motorcraft spread bore carburetor (4300D), a Cobra Jet camshaft indexed 4 degrees retarded from 1970-1971 specs, and the worst version of the 351C-4V head having large 2V sized combustion chambers (78.4cc) and 2V sized valves. The casting number of the head is D3ZE.

Unfortunately beginning about May 1971 all Cleveland blocks had a casting number of D2AE-CA; both the Q Code/Cobra Jet (4V) motors with 4 bolt mains and the H Code/2 Barrel (2V) motors with 2 bolt mains, so the casting number doesn't help. Even the blocks cast in Australia through 1982 used that same D2AE-CA casting number.
quote:
Originally posted by doubleG:
How can I tell, without pulling the pan off, if I have a 4 bolt main or 2 bolt main engine?


Playing Devil's Advocate, I would ask why is it important to know?

IMO if its a street motor it really isn't going to make any difference. How many 2 bolt block engine failures can people recount that are due to the mains caps walking?

Julian
My thoughts were ...from my experience with 2 examples sitting in my garage is ... my 73 with a 72 date code D2AE-CA; Q Code (4 bolt main) and my 79 with a 74 date code H Code (2 bolt main) the cut of of 4 bolt main blocks was somewhere in 1973.

Ron
...My opinion on 4 Bolt Versus 2 Bolt Main Caps, Is: Do You really believe Ford would spend Millions of Extra Dollars to drill and Tap 10 Mores holes in the Block, if 'IT' made NO difference?? Yes! The 4 Bolts ARE Stronger, More Rigid, Period! I put in My Machinist Reputation to Back that Up! If You are like some of those so-called 'engine builders', who will put thousands of Dollars into a 2 Bolt Block; then 'Have at It!'. My Opinion is You will finish with a 'Second Level' Engine. By the way My '74L #5723 came, Originally, with a 4 Bolt Main, Engine. And I recommend using ARP Main Cap Studs...
If you absolutely must know whether an installed block has 2 or 4-bolt main caps AND you don't want to or can't for some reason drop the pan, the simplest way (outside of renting a fiber-optic borescope) is to remove the harmonic balancer, waterpump and front cover. Ford blocks were about the only ones that included a 4-bolt FRONT main, and with the front cover off, it's right there in front of you. Note that with the pan option, it need not come completely off; even if you have the OEM welded crossmember, the pan will drop down far enough to see if there are 4 bolts per main.
FWIW, Jack Roush- who has built a few Ford engines, once said that 4-bolt Cleveland main caps reduce 'cap-walk' which is a slight side-movement that can fret the main bearings on that cap. This will only happen at very high rpms in very high horsepower engines, so for all practical purposes on street engines operated sanely, the extra bolts are not necessary. But they DO strengthen things a bit.
If you don't have 4 bolt caps and really think you need them but can't find any, having a good machinest add 3/8" DOWELS to the outboard sides of 2-bolt main caps will gain every bit of the extra strength of the unavailable 4-bolt caps. Pontiac did this to all their performace engines- they didn't use 4 bolts per cap. It will work on Ford Windsors too although there are aftermarket splayed 4-bolt caps for this engine. Note that with all cap changes, line-honing the block afterwards is a really good idea.
Thanks for all the great feedback. The chassis number on my car is 4429, and the engine number on the riveted tag in the front/rear trunk areas is 03390. The same engine number is stamped on the block. The car was represented to me as a 1972 L, (as noted on the title I got from the previous owner, etc.) but, I now understand it's really a 1973 from some of the info you guys have replied with. I wanted to know which version of the engine it was supposed to be, before I started digging into it and doing things. It's a 29,000 mile car that's been taken care of well, never had an engine rebuild, but maintained well. I want to add horsepower, clean up the engine bay, but, do not want to modify the look of the engine and the engine bay beyond the original. It's my first Pantera.
Thanks again.
double G,

I have a late 72 built, (December 72) #4382, engine block shows D2AE-CA #2829. Mine is a matching numbers car. George my car shows as a 72 model on the pink and the registration first being sold in 73.

doubleG, it is odd that yours is a higher serial number but an earlier build date (oct 72), but I have seen this before on a number of cars. I had the same questions on the block.

Mine is a 4 bolt main and had the built in windage tray in the pan as mentioned. According to Jack DeRyke it has Boss 351 rod bolts (small football head 180,000 psi strength) which some of the CJ motors came with. I looked at all the particulars of blocks, rods, rod bolts, main caps, etc. As most have said you should be fine with either a 2 or 4 bolt main.


Tom
"Playing Devil's Advocate, I would ask why is it important to know?"

Julian[/QUOTE]

I agree. We are not talking about a Chevy here where a 4 bolt is mandatory. I've heard several stories of 2 bolt 351C's that Kaboomed and made pretzels out of pushrods and the mains were completely preserved. IMOHO----Non-issue
Not to beat a dead horse, but the Ford Performance book quotes Roush as saying "virtually any 351-C block can be used, since there are no differences in materials or strength. In fact, the two-bolt main cap block is just as good as the four-bolt block. Even the caps seem to be equivalent in strength. So, unless you already have a four-bolt block, don't spend the extra bucks for this feature" (Ford Performance, quoted from Car Craft, Aug. 1976). Doug Cook also said that he feels it does help to control walking... though it's not necessary. Ford Performance warns against drilling the 2-bolt caps as it might weaken them.

I think that there is a logical reason why the blocks are the same for 4-bolt and 2-bolt mains after a while. I understand that both use the same block casting with provisions for 4-bolt mains (probably used the same casting for economy); and I would bet that the holes for the mains were drilled after.
doubleG,

To answer your original question about the info on the engine tag, YES, there is a book to decipher what it is. It is called the Ford Master Parts Catalog, or MPC. Same book that your parts counter dude had....

I have a copy, so if you would like to shoot me an email with all the tag info on it, I'll see what it will tell us!

My guess is that it will say "M" or "Q" code Mustang/Cougar with manual transmission. It also has the date on it, size, and something else that I forget at the moment......

Steve
Steve:
The numbers on my engine bay tag are 03390. thanks for looking this up.
Double G
quote:
Originally posted by Mangusta:
doubleG,

To answer your original question about the info on the engine tag, YES, there is a book to decipher what it is. It is called the Ford Master Parts Catalog, or MPC. Same book that your parts counter dude had....

I have a copy, so if you would like to shoot me an email with all the tag info on it, I'll see what it will tell us!

My guess is that it will say "M" or "Q" code Mustang/Cougar with manual transmission. It also has the date on it, size, and something else that I forget at the moment......

Steve
quote:
I want to add horsepower, clean up the engine bay, but, do not want to modify the look of the engine and the engine bay beyond the original


Mangusta Steve's book will not work for that 03390 number.

The 03390 tag is just the engine BLOCK number as assigned by Ford/De Tomaso, NOT a Ford engine ID tag. It will tell you nothing about the engine internals. You most likely have open-chamber heads on a two-bolt or four-bolt main block. As noted above, the 2 versus 4 issue is not really important, and it is TOTALLY not important if you really do not intend to change the look of the engine.

With your limitations, there is not much you can do to add horsepower other than change a cam and maybe upgrade to a stroker engine.

That is, do you REALLY mean NO modifications to the look of the stock Ford engine - assuming that is in fact what you have now - which is doubtful.

How about a photo of your engine?

Most HP improvements will require you to change the air filter housing, change the intake manifold, change the carb, change the headers -- all of which changes the LOOK of the engine.

You seem to be at the very beginning of your learning curve of Panteras and Clevelands. We are here to help, but you should probably do a bunch of web surfing and do some archive searching here at this forum to get some ideas of what it is you really want to do.

Larry
I think there's potentially quite a bit of HP to be gained (especially if its a smog motor) and would suggest the following upgrades to improve HP without changing appearance.

Assuming it's a low compression smog motor with cast dished pistons and open chamber heads, swap to closed chamber 4V heads to get the compression up a bit. Better yet, have the CC heads milled for adjustable valve train so you can use whatever cam you desire and add studs guide plate and roller rockers. Milling the pedestals is optional if you'll use a hydraulic stick but would still rcommend retrofit roller rocker kit. Install one-piece single groove valves while you're at it.

Cam change. Many of the smog motors had the cam events retarded 4 degrees. Replacing the timing chain and sprockets with adjustable advance back to neutral position will help. However, a new cam to take advantage of upped compression is highly recommended.

Ditch the points in the distributor, add an electronic module, have the shaft rebushed if needed (most do), and have the advance re-curved by a good performance shop.

This is a slight stretch for stock appearance but by all means toss the stock headers if it still has them and put some GTS style headers on there. At least these were stock for GTS cars. Stock headers are totally worthless power killers.

I'd leave the stock iron dual plane intake on there. They are actually quite good but are heavy. If you could find and aluminum ford verison, you could paint it and save some weight.

I'm not a fan of the 4300 Autolite carb (sorry George, I realize these are fighting words) but you're stuck with it if you want stock appearance.

I think the stock motors were advertised in the 275ish HP range. IMO, this was quite optimistic and these motors were emasculated slugs and more like 250HP. The mods above will easily get you North of 400 HP with a modest cam on premium pump fuel.

Best,
Kelly
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