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Discussion Starter #1
Back in 98, before I knew much about engines, roller stuff and date codes, I bought an 85 roller engine from a Mustang shop and they rebuilt it and installed it into my 68 coupe. By my records, in 98, I paid $2250 for the engine and work.

Over the years of reading VMF and learning things like roller rockers need taller valve covers (like I do not have) and the 28 oz vs 50 oz balancer (I have a 28 oz), I have wondered what I really have under the hood. At least the head say they are 302 heads.

I pull the engine last weekend, so I decided to check things out. I pulled one of the valve covers and I did not have roller rockers. I pulled the starter and the cast date is “E0”.

Now the shop that did the work is no longer around so all this is just water under the bridge but it still ticks me off.

How good/bad is an 80 block/heads?

BTW: This engine has performed well for me so at least I got a good rebuilt engine, just not what I had paid for.
 

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Well, I'm not totally sure, but the starter doesn't have to have the same date code as the rest of the engine. I'd assume if the engine's (1980 vs. 1985) used the same flexplate/flywheel, you'd be able to use either an 1980 or 1985 starter.

Better place to check dates would actually be the heads and the block.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Let me clear this up, the block has a E0 cast date behind where the stater is. FWIW, the starter has a D2 date.
 

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The "EO" is a casting number. Look on a small ledge at the front driver side of the block just under where the block and head meet. Should be a number that looks something like 5H15. That will be a year/month/day code of when the engine was assembled.
 

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I know there is a way, by a castig # by the starter to tell if it's a roller block. But I have forgotten what it is. The best way is to pull the intake manifold off to see if you have a roller block. Roller block motors didn't use roller rockers, so you'll have regular rockers and regular valve covers, not tall ones.

Off hand, for the price of the motor, labor to build and installed, I don't think you did too badly. All roller motors from 85 to 91 had fordge pistons from the factory. But during a rebuild, it'd be hard to say what's in there know.
 

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The roller blocks used a different casting IIRC. Since rollers didn't come out until 1985, I would expect a casting number beginning with "E5". I would doubt that an "E0" casting would be a roller block....Is yours a roller???

Unsure? Pull out a pushrod & measure. 6.25" = roller lifter, 6.8" = regular lifter.
 

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There is a difference between a "roller engine" and "roller rocker arms". Factory roller engines had roller camshafts and lifters only, thus tall valve covers are not required. Thus you cannot tell a roller engine by the valve covers.

Roller rocker arms, either full or roller tipped, are after market items. Most full roller rockers required tall valve covers to clear the poly lock nuts that stick up. Roller tipped rockers typically do not need tall valve covers.

I would think you could tell if it was a roller engine by pulling a push rod out and measuring it. If I am not mistaken, a roller cam pushrod will be shorter. I am not sure on this, so some one else will have to confirm the typical pushrod lengths for flat tappet and roller applications.
 

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My 86 5.0 had factory roller cam and lifters, no roller rockers. As stated by a few others this is how they came. You'll need to pull your intake off and see if the lifters are held in place with a "spider" looking hold down.
 
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