Mud in my Veins
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Memphis, TN
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Re: Mission: What Year Is It?
Every engine block has a serial number. And there's a casting number on it somewhere that has a date code. Go to some junkyards or machine shops and look at some that are out and apart.
Also, there should be a tag on the carb, and other part numbers molded, cast, stamped, inked, or labelled on everything. A decent Ford parts guy should be able to decipher them and come up with a year for the engine.
The external VR doesn't mean much, since the accessories (like the alt) don't necessarily match the engine. And you can't be sure about the engine wiring and vacuum harnesses, either. Even from one 84 Bronco 300 to the next on the assembly line, the harnesses can differ widely.
It sounds like this engine has been assembled from MANY years' parts. I'd suggest that, at this point, it really doesn't matter - if you're gonna make everything work, you'll have to dig in and go for it - read all of each chapter on fuel, exhaust, ignition, emission control, and engine electrical systems in the trusty Haynes. If you're gonna toss the whole mess and do it right yourself, read the whole manual.
83 Custom w/95 4.9L EFI, 78 NP435, 83 NP208, 83 D44IFS 3.07, 87 Ford 8.8ABS 3.08, Michelin LTX AT 31x10.50R15