The Ford 460 cubic inch big block, a member of Ford's 385 engine family, is best known as a police interceptor and Lincoln engine. The 460 cubic inch has a 29-year history, beginning in 1968 and lasting until 1997, when the last 460 rolled off the Lima, Ohio assembly plant. This association with Lima, Ohio also gives the 385 series its "Lima Engine" nickname. Casting codes used on 460 cylinder heads follow Ford's standard pattern used on all engines; however, Ford casting codes do not identify engine displacement.
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Open the bonnet and view the cylinder head from the passenger side of the vehicle. According to the American Automobile Casting Numbers Club, the casting code is centrally located on the outside of the head, on the ledge just below where the valve cover mounts to the head. The casting code consists of a four-position prefix, followed by an up to three position suffix, "D3VE-A2A," for example.
Decode the Ford casting code prefix. According to Mustang Tek, the prefix of the casting code, "D3VE-A2A," decodes as an engine component used on a 1973 Lincoln. The first position identifies the decade, "D" for the 1970s, "C" for the 1960s, "E" for the 1980s, etc. The following position designates the decade year. "V" is the Ford code for Lincoln and the "E" is the general code for an engine component.
Identify the casting code suffix. The suffix portion of the casting code is an engineering designation from one to three positions long, usually identifying an engineering modification or special feature. The example, "A" normally represents the first design change of the part, while "M" would be the thirteenth. Deciphering is not easily accomplished, as these codes are meant for engineering department use only.
Cross-reference the casting code to a listing of 460 codes. Kelly Hotrod's cylinder head casting data page offers a listing of common Ford 460 casting codes, which includes the following: C8VE-E, C9VE-A, D0VE-C, D2VE-AA, D3VE-A2A and AA, C8SZ-B, D4VE, D0OE-R, D20E-AB, D3VE and D4VE.
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