1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

This area is for posting questions/information concerning 1955-57 year Thunderbirds NO FOR SALE POSTINGS

Moderator: Joe Johnston

Post Reply
User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 2874
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by Alan H. Tast » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:57 pm

Those of you who've been following a series of articles Scott Logan and I have been placing in the Club's magazine, Thunderbird Scoop, on engine bay decals and authenticity for '50s-'70s T-birds may be interested in knowing that we have a new article coming out in the May-June issue which will focus on the paper engine ID labels used on the fronts of surge tanks for '64-'66 and on valve covers for '67-'71s. In conjunction with this, we're putting out a call for good photos of the fiber/cardboard tags used from 1955 through the early '60s and aluminum engine ID tags that were bolted to the engine starting at the beginning of January 1964 (if not earlier), both on and off the car, in order to chronicle their development and codes found/used on them. We only have a couple of pics of '64 tags and no '65 or post-'66 ones, so if you can help out please PM me for my email address so that you can forward some. Thanks in advance.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

ICON 1961
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Mokena, Illinois
Contact:

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by ICON 1961 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:32 pm

I do have one on my 56 bird, weather is going to be warmer tomorrow. I'll uncover my baby to get a photo of the engine tag for you Alan....
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

tnswt12
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:31 am

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by tnswt12 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:41 pm

Icon~ Please post the picture of your engine tag here too. I'd like to see it, and where it is located on your engine since I don't have such a thing on my engine.

ICON 1961
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Mokena, Illinois
Contact:

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by ICON 1961 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:19 pm

Here's what I found on my car,.... on the front area near the intake water pump.
Image
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 2874
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by Alan H. Tast » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:35 pm

I suspect that tag was painted after the fact, i.e. 'spray-can overhaul'?' Fiber foundry/engine ID tags I've seen documented in CTCI's Restoration Manual and on a '55 Customline with a 6-cylinder that I documented in KCMO 15+ years ago were not painted - same with the '61 engine ID tag I found on the Auto Krafters 1860-mile car in 1994. They typically were a reddish-brown (kind of like the heavy cardstock pocket folders you can find in an office supply store) and I think it had a slight texture with a tiny squareish pattern. I really want to track down what the material is because the repops being sold by the classic T-bird parts houses look like they're cut from manila file folders - not the right color or texture. I suspect they were installed after the engine was painted and installed just before installation of front-end accessories (generator, power steering pump, pulleys, fan belts, etc.) was finished.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

tnswt12
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:31 am

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by tnswt12 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:33 pm

So in Icon's case, what does the 265 number represent?

ICON 1961
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Mokena, Illinois
Contact:

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by ICON 1961 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:49 pm

I have read that the number 265 on the engine tag needs more research is required on the tag numbers to develop consistency in a numbering system. CTCI Restoration Manual. This was on my engine when I bought the car last year. :shock:
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

User avatar
Alan H. Tast
Posts: 2874
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:52 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by Alan H. Tast » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:04 pm

ICON 1961 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:49 pm
I have read that the number 265 on the engine tag needs more research is required on the tag numbers to develop consistency in a numbering system. CTCI Restoration Manual. This was on my engine when I bought the car last year. :shock:
Hard for me to tell - is the tag bolted to the top of the intake manifold on the left/driver's side toward the front?

If it follows engine ID protocol, '265' should be an indication for the combination of engine size, carburetion, horsepower, compression rating, and possibly if outfitted for automatic or manual transmission and exhaust type. I don't remember what you have other than it's a '56, which I assume is a P-code 312-4v/automatic, 225 hp/9.0:1 compression. I haven't had a chance to check parts and pricing catalogs from the period to see if this number appears with the part number for the engine assembly. Knowing the engine's assembly date would also be helpful to track where it fell in production and if there were different numbers for similar engine before or after it to indicate changes in the assembly.

I have a picture of the tag I mentioned from the '55 Customline 223-1v I-6 on page F3-16 of VTCI's 1955-1957 Original Factory Specifications (OFS) manual. Although poor quality (early digital camera/low resolution), it appears to have a code number of '159'.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster

Oldmics
Posts: 273
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:56 am
Location: Balto.Md.

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by Oldmics » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:12 pm

Speaking strictly about the 56 and 57 model years , the engine build up tags decreeded various combinations of engine (cubic inch displacement) , carburator (Holley or Carter) , transmission (auto or stick) , and tachometer.

Unfortunatly as of now there has been no information discovered to decode the Ford tags. I had discovered the code for the 57 Mercurys buried in an old Mercury Service Bulletin #65.

Oldmics

ICON 1961
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:11 am
Location: Mokena, Illinois
Contact:

Re: 1963-earlier engine ID tags - Pictures Needed

Post by ICON 1961 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:02 pm

To answer Alan's question the tag is bolted on the drivers side on top of the manifold......
1956 Thunderbird Sage Green
1997 Heritage Springer with Motorvation matching side Car Red/Birch White
VTCI Member # 12309

Post Reply