I'm posting from Japan

I and my friend are working for the restoration of mangusta owned by my friend. We are wondering what the original engine for his mangusta is. It has the following casted number.

VIN is 8MA1088

engine block casted C5AE-6015E

cylinder head casted C8OE/302/68 with kidney shaped chamber

water pump casted C8OE/D

piston rod casted C8OE-A

We have little information about mangusta. Other friend said the cylinder head is for the 302 engine different from current installed engine block. The cylinder head must be replaced by some reason. My opinion is that this is the original Hi-Po engine that has been installed initially. I read almost past posts in this forum and other website for the small block engine. I know the probability that the hi-po engine is installed is relatively low. 

Could you give me any advices about the engine block, cylinder head or other parts shoule be installed originally? In addition We must replace the cylinder head that doesn't works well, so which parts should we choose?       

mangusta in JAPAN   


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Last edited by George P
Original Post

The Mangusta uses the same engine as the 68 Mustang 302 4v, J code engine.

Look here, mustangtek.com, for information on the casting identification numbers.

The number you gave on the heads is only part of the identification number for them. On the top of the head you should also see 4v and the casting date code.

The block could be original but I would expect it to be a C80E casting number for a J code. I would think the C5 is a 289 block and was a replacement. You need to look at the date code for the block also.

The date should be close to the build date of the car. In a Mustang it would be about two weeks earlier. I don't know with a Mangusta but I would think only a couple of months earlier.

Certainly the casting date on the heads should be close to that of the block.

The dates are on the other components like the distributor too. Also the thermostat housing, the water pump, the timing chain cover.

Last edited by panteradoug

Thanks for the precious information!

You say there is a possibility for engine block to be replaced judging from the difference of casting number. I should check the date code to confirm if it is close to the build date of the car. I understand how to read the date code by the web you let me know. I will check it soon.  

"Which heads should we choose?"

It depends on your intent. If you want to keep the car completely original then you need to find an original J head with an appropriate casting date. Those have become difficult to find and even if you did you will probably need to have it rebuilt.

In my case, I had one of the exhaust port rot through just enough to cause a coolant leak into the exhaust port. Cast iron can be difficult to weld on but it can be done with stainless 308 rods.

We couldn't get the weld area clean enough and the weld keep getting bigger and bigger. In addition, even if we were successful in finally getting the weld sturdy, I would always be weary of it failing in the future.

In my case, I had already gone to a 347 on the original block. I decided to go to AFR 1388 heads shaved down .024 to get 54cc combustion chambers and went to Cometec -027 head gasket.

You could mill off the AFR identification on the ends of the heads, or maybe even get AFR to do that for you, then just paint the heads Ford blue, then who would notice?


These heads will give you better flow numbers then the iron GT40 heads used in '66-67 by the Ford team. In fact they flow better then stock Boss 302 heads do so building a 500hp 347 on a 302 is VERY easy to do.

Of course in a Mangusta how much additional power the chassis will take is just an educated guess. Certainly what I have seen of the few Mangusta race cars still being run, mostly in Europe, they are over 400hp engines, no doubt.


So there are solutions but even just shipping an original set of iron J heads to Japan is a consideration.


I'm glad that the web page helps. It's still surprising to me how many "Ford enthusiasts" have never heard of it or doubt the authenticity of the information posted?



Koji, Welcome to the forum.  A few things to check as you go thru.

DeTomaso motors are basically Mustang motors as Doug mentioned, they were pulled from the line before getting serialized. 8MA1088 would have been built late 1968 to mid 69. I doubt it ever had a 289 only very first handful of cars may have had 289HiPo .( Check dates on glass -  that will give an estimation on build date. Motor casting dates should precede this date.

Your block should not have a short VIN stamped  on top rear flat area ( that was for FORD cars). The DeTomaso engine VIN is on the intake.

Castings on 302 heads are under the head when bolted down and dates are under then valve covers, so very hard for anyone to ID when all assembled. Water pump date impossible to see when on car. Block and intake casting and dates relatively easy to see. It is fantastic to have all original if not you can search for properly dated components.  Assuming you have the original intake look for engine block casting date very close to that date. PM me if you need more info.



engine VIN(1)


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Last edited by George P

Tachi-san, it seems that you have the 289 block and 302 connecting rods are installed. I will suppose then that you also have a 302 crankshaft installed, if possible please measure the stroke (at 3.0" for a 302). 

 Are the gauges in English or in Italian (and in MPH or KM/H)? Also, is the pulley on the jackshaft for 2 belts (alternator and A/C pump) or does it support a 3rd belt for the pollution smog pump ?  Almost certainly your car was not built for the US market (since it does not have pop-up headlights). So it may have been shipped with the 289. 

 The block you have was used in both hi-po and standard 289 engines, so even if your car was not the Hi-Po engine it very possibly was shipped with the 289 and then someone converted it to 302 displacement.

Very exciting, I think maybe there are only 2 or 3 Mangustas in Japan (including one with a 351 Windsor!)---Lee


Last edited by leea

As others have said, looks like you have a 1965 series 289 block.  Just above and slightly to the left off the C in C5AE you will find a number followed by a letter and 1 or 2 numbers.  This will give you the actual casting date (so 5A3 would be January 3rd 1965).  That would tell you the precise date.   "289" may also be cast into the valley between the lifters to confirm if it's a 289.  

As a tip, if you do want to buy parts from US look for (or ask seller) if they participate in Ebay's Global Shipping Programme or have an Ebay shop.  I shipped a pair of 65 (iron) heads from US to UK for my Mustang and although it takes a little longer was only $80 more than shipping to a friend in Miami as Ebay ship in bulk.  They may not ship something as heavy as a block but worth keeping in mind for other stuff.

Good luck with your restoration.

Denis, a couple questions; Were 289 intakes stamped with the Detomaso logo ? Also, any estimates when the last car was shipped with a 289 ? (I'm thinking a few cars are known as '1971' but still had a 289, ex. 8ma998...and your car?) Lee

I could not tell when the last 289 Mangusta was built. I have access to a very early car and will attempt a more in depth look on my next visit. You are one of the privileged who has seen the comparable engine VINs and the other option well, more expensive, would be to acquire the build sheets. We know officially that no 289s were produced by Ford after July 1968, motors may have been put in cars out of  sequence who knows at DeT. Some Mustang guys claim they have 289 blocks with 302 rotating assemblies but again who knows. The J-code motor is just as good. If you have a good engine builder he can pull a few simple tricks without going wild (8MA1266 & 8MA998).   In the case of the Mangusta (and Deauville & Longchamp) the intake is the trackable component , there are other indicators without opening the motor but the intake carries the VIN.


Thanks for helpful advices, Mr PANTERADOUG

 We would like to return the original parts to mangusta, but the primary our goal is to run the car in any time and at any place. I know your effort to run. You did weld and finally did change the engine to 347 with shaving the head to give the same size of chamber. How hard effort! Regrettably we don’t have such knowledge and experiences. We will choose the way to look for the head to work well.

Arigato for your info Mr. DENISC

 Our mangusta has 6853 prints on the glass. Does this mean it was made on or after 1968? Currently we don’t have mangusta by us. It is disassembled to parts. We can be able to read the casting number. I will report it after confirmation.



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Last edited by George P

Thank you for info gave me, Mr LEEA

 I will check the crankshaft stroke. It can be done, because engine is disassembled. This mangusta must be for European.  The reason why I guess this would have hi-po engine is the wiki for mangusta. It says the European model was fitted with the 306 hp Ford 289 engine. now I doubt the written in wiki. Somtimes wiki includes the unsure info. Anyway few mangusta remains in Japan. I don’t know others. But you say one of them has 351 engine. Is it true? I want to see it.



Good info about decoding. I cannot check it soon, but I will check them. It's fun to get new acknowledge. We must buy the parts from usa shop that can ship it to japan. I have contacted some shops selling the maybe appropriate cylinder head. I will check them carefully.

Koji, Good information. Car was finished slightly after  9 E (glass date- all should be about same) 9=1969 E=May

Engine stamp confirm motor is  302 / 026 and motor parts cast by Ford on 8G5 1968 July 5th.

Check the block casting again there should be a date under it close to 8G5. Your block may have been replaced sometime in the past. (all Ford engine parts will have similar date codes, again most cannot be seen except intake and block), no need to measure as 289 rods have different part numbers than the 302 (see mustangtek.com), Your intake says your car was born with a 302.

Euro cars have a few differences - Odometer in kilometers , taillights in 2 colors, no side markers in rear.

You may have your original heads, the cost of purchase and shipping may not be worth the time and money unless yours are in really bad shape. A little porting and a light cam would be a better investment, head dates and castings cannot be seen unless parts are removed.

 Other quick way to identify 289 vs 302.

If there is a number stamped on flat area on 302., that block was stamped for a Ford vehicle therefore not the original DeTomaso block.

289 block

302 block




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Last edited by George P

Denis, fyi, I have stamping on the front of my block, but I've interpreted this as meaning the date that machining was performed. My block casting is July 2, but machined on July 12 (so has the "8G12B" stamping there). But Kachi-san's information helps reinforcing an obsession I have, that many of the 302 engines used in Mangusta were made the first week of July, 1968. Btw, 8ma1046 had "September 1969" printed as the build date (on the bulkhead sticker...I've only seen this otherwise on 8ma936). This is why I guessed a ~November '69 manufacturing date. My heads and manifold are all the same week. My intake manifold is exactly as '1088 (cast 8G5), with stamped DeT engine number 302/209. You know, I have a distributor from a Mangusta in the mid-8ma600# that is also marked  8G2--Ford production seems to have been a lot tighter on inventory control in the 60's than I would have assumed ! 

Tachi-san, I think the only valuable part about the "hi po" heads were because of the installation of guide-plates and adjustable rockers necessary for the mechanical camshaft.  The standard 235hp engine (shipped with all the 302s) used a low performance hydraulic camshaft, so anyone wanting more performance would modify the heads so they could use a higher lift camshaft. This is easy for a machine shop to modify.


  If your car was built for the US market, it would have had the smog pump (and the bell housing will have a pedestal to mount it, that Euro cars did not have). The heads were the "smog" type and had ports for the air injection. But my guess is only about 5% or 10% of Mangustas still have these (!) I am curious is DeTomaso shipped any Euro cars with the smog pump, and I'd speculate that 289s were used for Europe so that DeT could avoid warehousing the non-smog variant 302....! 

  Tachi-san, I completely agree with Denis, you are very lucky to have your original intake manifold, most (or at least, many) Mangustas have lost theirs and this is the only really unique component to the engine. Everything else is easy to change or repair, and (unlike old Corvettes or Mustangs, where tens and hundreds of thousands of cars were made) this kind of detail is really not so important in the DeTomaso world. DSCN1265P1020582P1020583


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Last edited by George P

Lee, You are correct that stamped date on the front is the actual assembly date. Up until about 20 years ago there was no crate engine program. Engines were sold via the assembly plants. I am convinced that motors were ordered in batches and sent by sea to Modena.

Only item I am very intrigued about is the carburetor (mine is long gone, replaced by a holley) The build sheets I have seen list the carb as an Autolite 4100 series C6ZF-C again I doubt it to be accurate as C6's may not have been around still, but who knows, I guess we should contact Dave Catagallo maybe he would know if the archives still have copies. I know who would have the info but then it would cost a lot to find out

Sorry for not response in spite of helpful info. I need a time to understand these information and Mangusta is stored in other place far from here for 1 hrs. fortunately the engine is disassembled to parts, so I may be able to identify the cast date for all parts. I will report you on this week end.

koji tachi

koji tachi posted:

Thanks for helpful advices, Mr PANTERADOUG

 We would like to return the original parts to mangusta, but the primary our goal is to run the car in any time and at any place. I know your effort to run. You did weld and finally did change the engine to 347 with shaving the head to give the same size of chamber. How hard effort! Regrettably we don’t have such knowledge and experiences. We will choose the way to look for the head to work well.

Again, this all depends on what you want to do with the car. IF you want it to be just stock, and as close to as delivered new, then your path is clear.

If you have all of those parts, then it's simple to do. If you are missing parts, it gets more complicated. 4v J heads alone have become challenging to find with the casting dates that you want.

The 4v heads for the automatic transmission cars are more common. They differ in that they do not have the air injection ports drilled for the air injection. Only the manual transmission cars do. I'd take an educated guess and say that it is around 3 or 4 to 1. That narrows the search and makes it more difficult. Adding a specific casting date range makes the narrow search, narrower.

The Ford 302 is one of the easiest engines to put power into now without changing the outward appearance.

For instance, there are really lots of relatively inexpensive stroker kits available for it. It is as simple to build a 331, a 347 or a 355 as it is a 302. I did it because there was no logical reason not to.

A stock J code 302 was rated at 230hp. That's about right. By today's standards it is very anemic and done by a little over 5,000rpm. It's not a high performance engine and is a bit of a mis-match for a car like a Mangusta.

Everything in the original J package is limiting. If you are building just a museum piece to look at, that is no problem. For me that only lasts a little while. Everyone is different.

Last edited by panteradoug

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