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Old 06-28-2008, 17:56   #1 (permalink)
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eek Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Hi, I am new here. I am hoping someone can help me decipher the engine tag on my 1969 Torino Talladega. It is unfortunately, a replacement engine. The tag reads: (390 69 1) Second row:( 9 C K 383 S) My guess is 390 (engine displacement) 69 (engine year) 1 (change level) 9 (year identifier) C (month = March) K (?) 383 (engine specific # ?) S (Engine code?) I hope someone can correct me or fill in the blanks. I do know that my 390 has a GT390 intake and the heads have casting numbers that suggest they may be GT390 heads (need to confirm this). I hope to get block numbers when I change or have the starter changed. Can someone enlighten me? Thanks, Dave 1969 Talladega, 1979 Ranchero (Squire) street rod
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Old 06-28-2008, 19:51   #2 (permalink)
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mad Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

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Hi, I am new here. I am hoping someone can help me decipher the engine tag on my 1969 Torino Talladega. It is unfortunately, a replacement engine. The tag reads: (390 69 1) Second row:( 9 C K 383 S) My guess is 390 (engine displacement) 69 (engine year) 1 (change level) 9 (year identifier) C (month = March) K (?) 383 (engine specific # ?) S (Engine code?) I hope someone can correct me or fill in the blanks. I do know that my 390 has a GT390 intake and the heads have casting numbers that suggest they may be GT390 heads (need to confirm this). I hope to get block numbers when I change or have the starter changed. Can someone enlighten me? Thanks, Dave 1969 Talladega, 1979 Ranchero (Squire) street rod
Damnit!!! I had a book with partial decoding for this!!! Now I can't find it. Ugh!!!
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Old 06-28-2008, 20:26   #3 (permalink)
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cool Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

We both lucked out. I found a better one in the 64-73 Mustang Resto book.
390 69 1- you're missing a plant code in between 390 and 69. 390= CID 69= Model Year 1= Change Level. 9-C K 383 S is kind-of peculiar, seems to be a mix between the later version and the old version. 9=69 C=March K=Possibly Emissions Equipment 383=390 GT 4V V8 Ford 4V VIN code S S=Engine code??? Wish I had the other book... Post a picture on here and I can look it over...
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Old 06-28-2008, 20:55   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Here is an example of an engine tag. go to the link...hope it helps



I.D. Tag Information -- The Ford V-8 Engine Workshop
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Old 06-28-2008, 21:06   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Hi Tbird100636, Thank you very much for looking that up. It seems to be pretty tough to get this information so many years later. I will take another look at the tag and I might as well remove it temporarily and give it a light cleaning. My theory was that it was a service engine intended to replace a defective motor. Possibly a donor from a Mustang with a 4 speed as the carb has no provision for the passing gear rod. I can ask my cousin to take a digital photo of it and post it. To bad the 428CJ is long gone. It will take me a couple days to get the picture. I guess if your stuck with a 390 this is the best one. I am lucky that this one has virtually no miles on it. The Talladega has mostly been parked since 1980. I am waiting for a new radiator that just shipped. The motor has a light patina of rust that should clean up with some effort. Thanks again. Picture to follow. Dave
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Old 06-28-2008, 21:11   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Hi kdtrucker, Just noticed your reply. Thank you very much. I will give that a good study when I get the chance. Dave
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Old 06-28-2008, 21:28   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

No problem...there are a lot of websites with FE ID. You just have to know where to look.

Your tag is most likely: 390 ci 69 yr 1 change level
9=1969 C=Cleveland Plant K=October 383=engine ID S=5th digit vin code

There are better 390's out there but yours is probably just fine.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:10   #8 (permalink)
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Question Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

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Originally Posted by kdtrucker View Post
No problem...there are a lot of websites with FE ID. You just have to know where to look.

Your tag is most likely: 390 ci 69 yr 1 change level
9=1969 C=Cleveland Plant K=October 383=engine ID S=5th digit vin code

There are better 390's out there but yours is probably just fine.
Why would the plant code be on the second line??? Should be on the first lane in between displacement and year, unless 69torino-t mixed up the numbers... that's why I asked for a picture of the tag.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:59   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Hi tbird100636, No, I faithfully wrote down the numbers. I will remove the tag tonight and clean it up in case I missed something. It's a bit grimey around there. I will get the picture on Monday taken and try to upload it. Oh, incidentally, has anyone got a suggestion for a frozen distributor? I can't adjust the timing. I bet it's been sitting there for 30 years undisturbed. The distributor body won't move. Dave
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Old 06-29-2008, 14:39   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Engine tag deciphering... 390 "S" code

Does the engine turn over? Or have you not tried and the distributor is just stuck? Maybe some Kroil penetration spray and let it soak on the housing where it goes into the intake might help loosen things. Congrats on the Dega. Those are really nice cars and RARE. I hope you have the chance to piece together a 428CJ for it someday. It does sounds like the original CJ blew and was replaced with the 390. Once you get into the build dates of the car and engine you might be able to figure out the history. I would look at the block date code for starters.
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