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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
to be honest...I am not big on numbers matching cars. I can understand the value and desireability if we're talking about a shelby, boss, big block mach, rare Q-code convertible...you get the idea. If I were shelling out a boat load of cash for one of these cars it would be a different story and then I'd want to know.
With that said, I never really knew where to look or what the numbers should match.
Case in point, I am selling a 71 Mach 351C that people interested are asking for matching numbers. I know on a 351C the numbers are behind the starter, so I removed the starter and here is what I found: D0AE-L and directly above that: 0J24. Obviously these numbers would not match the vehicles VIN. So what am I looking at here. I know the D0AE-L follows decade of manufacture, vehicle line and so on. Also, how do I know if the trans is original to the car. Are all blocks stamped in the same location? thanks for the help.
 

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To my knowledge only the '68/later blocks got stamped with a partial VIN. Everything else (heads, transmission, intake manifolds, etc.) just got a casting date that should be just before the car's build date.

The location of the partial VIN on the block depends on the type of engine. All the Windsor engines (302 & 351w) got stamped on the pad, on the top of the block, just behind the intake manifold.
 

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IIRC, a partial VIN is stamped on the side of the trans, but I don't remember which side. On the engine the VIN is stamped on the back of the block below the drivers side head. I've read that on some blocks it's actually stamped below the trans bolt pattern, so the trans would have to be removed to see the stamping but I haven't seen one like that. The stamping will be a couple letters then 5 or 6 numbers that should match the unit build number from the VIN. Assuming the engine is clean and the area isn't covered in grime, the only way to see it with the engine in the car is with a mirror and a good flash light. Also, sometimes the stampings are pretty light, so if the engine has been repainted in the past it's possible the stamping was partially filled in by the paint making it nearly impossible to recognize. I have a clean, unpainted block on my engine stand and the stamping is very readable right now but definitely thin so I can see how a thick coat of paint would make it invisible.

BTW, this applies to the '71 you mentioned in your post, pre-'68 models didn't get any VIN codes stamped on the engines as Johnpro said.
 

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what few vin stampings i have seen have been driver's side, on the head, next to firewall, and at the top of the tranny, driver's side, next to bellhousing.
 
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