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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OH NO!!!!! I just tore down my motor for a complete rebuild and have found the almost all of the serial number on the block was missing. It wasn't filed or ground off, just a few numbers of it were barely visable. The machine shop said this was common because the serial numbers were stamped on the block before any machining work is done. He also confirmed the motor was original and had never been rebuilt, but had high miles. One other thing he told me was the motor was not an '89 mustang, but rather an '88 thunderbird motor. He got this info from the block casting number. Has anyone had this problem with a missing serial number??? Please help me guys....
 

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FFCobra Master Craftsman
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I have had that problem two times. It is common to see this. I called and ask about it before I put it into the Cobra. I was told it is the officers discretion. I did it one time the next time I got a different block.
Jeff Hamilton
 

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I had the same thing exactly on my 88 Mustang GT motor! This is the first time I've ever heard of the same thing again. Mine had what looked exactly like you describe...some pretty faint, illegible numbers. I also had a very hard stamped JF JF that was obviously done later. I was paranoid enough to sell the engine and title the car with a non-HO engine from a title matching motor. Check with the authorities. Maybe take pictures of the engine number. Better to find out now rather than when the car's all done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess its back out to the junk yard to find another block...
 

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I dont get it! Who is checking these #s?? I have swapped different motors into plenty of cars and nobody ever cared or asked.
 

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The inspecting Officer at the Missori Highway Patrol wrote "Unreadable" in the engine serial number space on My form. For all other serial numbers He put "Not found". Almost could have done it by phone :D .

[ October 18, 2002, 09:08 AM: Message edited by: Tom Keiser ]
 

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Hmmm in MA i dont think we have an inspecting officer or a form with spaces for engine serial #s...At least ive never seen one
 

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the numbers on my 302 are exactly as you describe. i wonder if some of the law enforcement officers who read the forum could explain how numbers are raised off firearms. rather than buy a new block, i feel it would be worth the trouble to do this. my fear is that it falls into the "do not try this at home" category.
regards
 

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Appparently unreadable numbers are common on the blocks-I have heard that the percentage is 20%+. In MA it can be a problem unless you have the title for the donor-then they frequently don't even look (did not look at mine). I have been told that if they have to the State Police will use an acid wash to "raise" the numbers-they become visible since the acid reacts differently on the compressed metal areas around the perimeter of the numbers.

Dave :D
 

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I had read in the past that Ford does not serial number the engines. Numbers that are there are casting/plant code/production line id/etc.

Can anyone confirm this? How about comparing some existing numbers that people have to see if a lot are the same?
 

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Ford did stamp the 5.0 blocks with the VIN #. It is the last 8 digits of the VIN tag. Ohio checks these #'s during inspection unless it is a crate motor.
The problem John has is his motor is from a Thunderbird and his title is for a Mustang. I have been told this is only a problem IF the number comes up stolen. If you can't read the number how can you prove it to be stolen?
Jeff Hamilton
 

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My 89 block looked just like that. Real faint first numbers and hard stamped last 4 numbers to match the VIN. I have questioned it and it seems common. I had the stang on the road for 3 years and don't expect any problems. The Title is the key, I believe.
 
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