Posted on: November 21, 2015

by Tom Calvert in the May 1978 RootesReview

If the Tiger owner is lucky, he is looking at an unmodified car. If that is true, he can use the engine identification codes found on page 3 of the Ford Off Highway Only Parts Book and in various Chilton or Motor’s manuals. The engine code is the 5th character in the vehicle identification number (serial number). The model year is the last character. The engine code, displacement, and model year of the engine can also be found on a small aluminum tag attached to the intake manifold – if the tag has not been removed. For the lucky few, the engine codes are as follows:

CodeYearEngine
A65 - 67289-4V
C63 - 68289-2V
D64 - 65
69 - 72
289-4V
302-2V
K63 - 68289 H.P.
F62 - 65
68 - 72
260-2V
302-2V
L62 - 63221-2V

For the rest of us, the best way is to remove a head and measure the cylinder bore. The following chart tells the story:

C.I.D.BoreStroke
2213.502.87
2603.802.87
2894.002.87
3024.003.00

Here are a few points to check out before removing a head from a 5 bolt engine:

  • Count the number of freeze plugs in the side of the block. If there are two, the engine is either a 221 or 260.
  • To tell the difference, measure the center to center distance of the motor mount holes on the block. If they are 7″ apart, the engine is a 260. If they are only 6″ apart, then it is a 221.
  • A 5 bolt engine with three freeze plugs may be a 260 or 289. Measure the valve stem diameters. The 260 used 5/16″ valve stems and the 289 used 11/32″ valve stems.
  • Since the 260 and 289 heads are interchangeable, the valve stem diameter may not give a true indication. To be sure, pull a head and measure the cylinder bore.

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