Mach 1 Club

Full Version: Identify a 351-C Donor Car
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So you're in the junk yard and you're looking at an ocean of trashed Lincolns, Fords and Mercurys. Where do you begin? First, don't bother with the Lincolns at all, of any year. The Ford Elite, LTD-II, Fairmont, Granada, Versailles and Zepher are all too new (production started after 1974) so don't bother with them either. The 1974 Mustang II didn't come with any V-8 as an option, not even a 302, so ignore them.

Look only at the 1970-1974 cars. The full sized Ford, Mercury and Thunderbirds could have a 351-C in 1972-1974, but my books don't show them as being used in these models in 1970-1971. The lighter cars, Mustang, Falcon, Comet and Maverick, could have a 351-C, but the Mustangs will be snatched up and picked over quickly, and it just wasn't popular to put powerhouse engines in "economy" class cars such as the Falcon, Maverick or Comet. They usually had a 6 cylinder, 289 or 302. Look at the mid-sized cars: Fairlane, Torino, Cougar and Montego in all years, 1970-1974.

Be careful, however. If you look at a 1975, you may accidentally find a 351/400M. The 400-C, found as early as 1972, looks a lot like a 351-C. Start with the vehicle certification tag placed in the driver's door jam to find the year and engine type. They won't tell you if you have found a Windsor or Cleveland, but at least you'll have the correct year and displacement. Learn to distinguish between Windsors and Clevelands here.

The vehicle certification label will identify which engine is in the car. Use the engine identification tag attached to the coil mount to confirm the engine. Be careful, however, sometimes these get changed to try to deceive people. The picture below shows the tag's position.

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1 Windsor and Cleveland versions of the 2V were used interchangeably from 1970 through 1974. In 1975, the 400C and 351M were merged so only the 351M/400 was used.
2 Note that there was only one year in which a 351-W came with a 4V setup. Starting in 1970, all 4V's were Cleveland based.