Ford part numbers are divided into two main categories: Engineering Numbers and Service Numbers.
The engineers will design a part and assign it an Engineering part number, which is an alphanumeric reference code used by the assembly plants. When the part is redesigned, the change needs to be noted so the Engineering part number is changed. When the part is released for service it is assigned a Service part number. It is a different number, because how a part is finished and packaged for service is different from its original production counterpart. (It’s the number used by your Ford parts man to look for your order. He doesn’t want to know about the engineering part number. However, you may need it because the engineering number is the one appearing on many parts.) This allows Ford Parts and Service to track changes affecting interchangeability by modifying the Ford Service part number. The Service part number will not change with the Engineering part number unless the change affects interchangeability. Therefore, the part numbers on the part are generally Engineering numbers while the Service part number will be on the box. There are some exceptions, such as a whole grouping of parts or a kit. Engineering and Service numbers decode the same way. The difference being the fourth character of the prefix.
Part numbers consist of a prefix, a basic part number, and a suffix. An example would be F4ZZ (prefix), 6E086 (basic part number), -A (suffix).
You can use these numbers at swap meets or salvage yards to match to existing numbers you might have. You know if the basic number is the same it should be compatible if the suffix number on the part you are comparing is a later alpha character than the existing one. Early suffix designations generally begin with “A” and increment through the alphabet as design changes are made that affect interchangeability. If the suffix on the part you were looking to replace (your existing part) was an “A” you could use parts with have a “B” suffix. If the part you were looking to replace (your existing part) had a “B” suffix, a part with the “A” suffix would probably have a compatibility issue. Parts that have later suffix codes are the ones to get.
Ford part numbers (other than hardware parts) are coded in two basic ways:
Regular parts have a four character prefix (LFLL), a four or five digit part number, and a one-letter suffix.
Example: C5ZZ-5255-F (Exhaust “turn-down” tailpipe on ’65-66 289 4V Non-GT Mustangs)
Many body-style specific sheet metal, body, interior and trim parts use seven digits in the part number, the first two of which identify the basic body type application, with the last five (“Body Group”) identifying the specific part within a general body area. A three-letter suffix may be used, usually to indicate color.
Example: C6ZZ-6504290-BAB (Instrument Panel, 1966 Mustang, Black)
The four-digit alphanumeric prefix tells the year the part was released for production, the vehicle line the part was originally released for and by what Ford engineering division (chassis, engine, body, etc.) or in the case of a service parts, the Ford car division the part is for – Ford or Lincoln-Mercury.
The 1st character of the prefix indicates the decade of design, starting with “A” for the 1940’s, B for the 1950’s, C for the 1960’s.
The 2nd character of the indicates the year within the decade, “C5” would be 1965, “F4” would be 1994.
The 3rd character of the prefix indicates the product part the part was originally designed for, with few exceptions. Note that “outside sales (code F), “Motorcraft Brand” (code P), or imported parts from Ford of Europe (code R) are identified with their product line code in the third position.
The 4th character indicates the part source, whether it is product engineering office or service part.
|1st – Decade Code:||2nd – Year Code:||3rd – Product Line Code:||4th – Design Responsibility Code:|
||19X0||9||Aerostar||A||Light Truck Engineering|
|E||1980||3||19X3||W||Cougar||D||Overseas Product Engineering|
|F||1990||4||19X4||U||Econoline||E||Engine Engineering, Engine Product and Manufacturing Engineering|
|5||19X5||C||Escort||F||Electronics Division, Product Engineering Offc.|
|6||19X6||B||Festiva||G||Electronics Division, Arbor Plant|
|7||19X7||A||Crown Victoria||H||Climate Control Division, Product Engineering Offc.|
|8||19X8||T||Lt. Truck/Bronco||J||Ford Customer Svc. Division Parts and Accessories Engineering Offc.|
|V||Lincoln||K||Import Component Engineering, Body Engineering|
|L||Mark VIII||L||Ford Customer Svc. Division Power Products/Ford Cust. Svc. Engineering|
|H||Medium Truck||M||Performance Operations, Special Vehicle Operations|
|J||Power Products||P||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Automatic Transmissions)|
|M||Grand Marquis||R||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Manual Transmissions)|
|P||Motorcraft Brand||S||Light/Heavy Truck Engineering, Truck Special Order Department|
|Z||Mustang||T||Heavy Truck Engineering|
|2||Probe||U||Electrical and Fuel Handling Division, Product Energy Office|
|4||Sable||V||Domestic Special Order Engineering Section, Car Special Order and Special Vehicle Engineering|
|D||Taurus||W||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Axle and Driveline)|
|F||Outside Sales||X||Plastic and Trim Products Division|
|3||Tempo/Contour/Mystique||Y||Ford Customer Service Division (Lincoln and Mercury), Product Analysis and Publications|
|R||#1||Z||Ford Customer Service Division (Ford), Product Analysis and Publications|
||Electric Vehicle Engineering|
|6||Topaz||5||Ford PN96/UN98 Platform Engineering|
|Year/Decade Codes:||Product Line Codes:||Design Responsibility Codes:|
|A||2010||S1||Aspire||A||Advanced Vehicle Technologies Core Operations|
|D||2013||S5||Ka||D||Overseas Product Engineering|
|E||2014||S6||Fiesta||E||Engine Engineering, Engine Product and Manufacturing Engineering|
|F||2015||S7||Mondeo||F||Electronics Engineering Operations|
|H||2017||S9||Mystique||H||Climate Control Operations|
|J||2018||M1||Tracer||J||Ford Customer Service Division Parts and Accessories Engineering|
|K||2019||F1||Taurus||K||Import Release Section|
|L||2020||F2||Windstar||L||Ford Customer Service Division Power Products Engineering|
|M||2021||F3||Continental||M||Special Vehicle Operations|
|P||2023||F5||Villager||P||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Automatic Transmission)|
|R||2024||F6||Thunderbird||R||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Manual Transmission)|
|S||1995||F7||EN158||S||Light and Heavy Truck Engineering/Truck Special Order Department|
|V||1997||L1||Bronco||U||Electrical and Fuel Handling Division|
|W||1998||L2||Explorer||V||Domestic Special Order Engineering Section|
|X||1999||L3||F150/F250||W||Transmission and Axle Product and Manufacturing Engineering (Axle and Driveline)|
|Y||2000||L4||Maverick 4X4||X||Plastic and Trim Products Operations|
|2||2002||L6||Aerostar||Z||Ford Customer Service Division Product Analysis / Ford Service Parts|
|3||2003||R1||Aston-Martin||1||Vehicle Center 1|
|4||2004||R2||Falcon||2||Vehicle Center 2|
|5||2005||R3||Mustang||3||Vehicle Center 3|
|6||2006||R4||Scorpio||4||Vehicle Center 4|
|7||2007||R5||Fairlane||5||Vehicle Center 5|
|8||2008||R6||LTD||6||Vehicle Center 6|
|9||2009||R8||Jaguar S-Type||7||Not Assigned|
|R9||Mark VIII||8||Electric Vehicle Engineering|
|W1||Town Car||9||Not Assigned|
|W7||EN114 Crown Vic|
|C4||L-Series/Cargo-CF Series Truck|
Suffix (Release / Revision):
A part-number suffix generally tells you the change level of a part, regardless of whether it is applied to the casting, the finished part or the service part. A suffix of A applies to a part produced as it was originally designed, B indicates it was changed once, C indicates it was changed twice and right through the alphabet in sequence, excluding the letter I. When the alphabet as been gone through once, the suffix grows to two letters and starts over as AA, AB, AC and so on.
How does a change affect the other two numbers? A service part and its number can change independently of the casting part and its number simply because it comes after these two in the scheme of things. Using the same reasoning, a finished, or engineering part can change independently of the casting, but not of the service part. A casting affects both the finished and the service parts. This is why the suffixes of all three numbers rarely match.
However, sometimes a single letter indicates specific application. For example: 9425-A is an intake manifold for a 289-2V engine, whereas a 9425-B is for a 289-4V engine, and a 9425-C is for a 351C-4V engine.
The suffix can also refer to the color or finish of the part, or the left- or right-hand use of a part. In most cases if the part is for left-hand use, the basic number ends in a odd number and the basic number for the right-hand part ends in a even number. For example, the 1969 Mustang front fender wheelhouse molding C9ZZ-16038-A is the right-hand molding and C9ZZ-16039-A is the left-hand molding. Notice there is no body code in front of the basic number 16038. The reason for this is that a change in body style did not effect the application of this part…that is, all ’69 Mustang body styles used the same wheelhouse molding.