I'm pretty sure the L means Level. During the life span of a certain engine many changes are made. For example, the '65 and earlier 289 heads had slotted guides for the pushrods in the head. In '66 Ford changed from slotted holes to round holes and added the "rail" rocker arms to keep the rocker centered on the valve stem. That was a L change. If the engine you're working on still has the metal tag attached to the intake manifold it will tell you which L your engine was built under.