All automatic C3, C4, C6 FMX as well as Ford Top loader 3 speed, 4 speed and peanut 3 speed manual transmission bellhousings are casted with a Ford factory casting number, followed by a date code.
To find the date code, you need to remove the bellhousing from the transmission. The date code is located on the back side of the bellhousing. Look for a small circle with a number in it. For example 64, 65, 66 and so on. A series of very small bumps appears around the number in a circle. Each bump numerically represents one month of the year. A 68 with 4 bumps is decoded April 1968. 11 bumps would be November 1968.
Decoding Tip: Most cast aluminum engine and transmission parts, as well as brackets, are decoded in this same manner.
1965 Timing Chain Cover
If you want a numbers matching vehicle, how do you decode a timing chain cover to determine if it’s the best match for your vehicle? Most timing chain covers have a casting number. Look on the front of the timing cover to find this number. In this example, we are using a casting number of C4AE 6059.
“C” – 1960’s; “4” – 1964; “AE” – the engineering number used to denote Galaxie (but was also used on many other Fords).
The engineering number code which designates “timing cover”
In addition to the casting number, there will be a small circle with a number in it. This example has a “65”, which means it was made in 1965. As you can see, the casting number does not always match the year the part was made. Within this small circle, there is a series of small dots surrounding the number. Each dot indicates one month. In this example, there are 7 dots, which would indicate the 7th month. The 7th month of a calendar year is July. Thus, the circle area indicates that this timing cover was made in July, 1965.
Some timing chain covers were service replacements made several years after the casting number. An example of this would be a C4AE 6059 with a circle containing a “72”. This would mean that Ford issued a replacement timing chain cover for a vehicle in 1972 (7 years after the vehicle’s production date).