by Bob Chambers edited by Rick Kopec from The Marque, S.A.A.C. Publication Vol. J, No. 1, Dec.-Jan., 1978, published in the June 1978 RootesReview

The Ford numbering system does work. As a parts man, I know a lot of people acquire a sour look when I hand them the book with my Jimmy Carter smile, knowing that they will be up to their ears in C9ZZ’s and S7MS 8190’s. I really would like nothing better than to make it possible for each SAAC member to be able to go into any Ford dealership, grab the parts books and deal with the man behind the counter on an equal basis. That is, however, wishful thinking, as it would take more time and space than The Marque permits.

So, here’s the drill: I’ll give you a brief rundown on what makes a parts man come to life (besides the calendar with the acetate negligee). I’ve been looking through the books at work and I’ve got some good news for you 6570 Shelby owners.


Group 1Group 2Suffix

Group 1

The first four characters contain the information relating to the original release date of the part, which vehicle line it was intended for and where the part is warehoused. The last time that Ford reviewed their parts numbering system was back in the 1940’s. The first LETTER of every part number will indicate the decade in which the part was released.

A - 1940'sB - 1950'sC - 1960'sD - 1970's

The second character is the year within that decade that the part was released. For example, C6 would indicate 1966. The third character represents the car line for which the part was originally intended.

Afull size Galaxie
FPinto, Maverick, Falcon
LMark IV
ZMustang, Mustang II

The last character of this group is merely a code that the Ford dealers use to designate where the part is warehoused.

Group 2

This group normally consists of four numbers, but it can contain both numbers and letters and may be up to six characters in length. In any case, it indicates the general type or area of components, such as cylinder head, wheel, body panels, interior pieces, etc. On parts that have a left or right designation, the last digit of group 2 will be even if it is a right hand part and odd if it is a left hand part.

1000wheels, bearings, drums rotors
2000brakes, brake cables, boosters, handles, etc.
3000front end and steering parts; steering wheels, control arms, rubber bumpers, pitman arms
4000rear end parts; gears, axles, housings
5000front and rear springs; exhaust systems and related parts
6000engine parts
7000clutch, standard and automatic trans parts
8000grill and front end parts (excluding body pieces); radiators, supports, water pumps, hoses, mouldings
9000fuel system, gas tank, carburetors, manifolds (both), fuel pumps, gas gauge sending units, dash gauge
10000battery and electrical parts; voltage regulators, generators, alternators, wiring harnesses
11000starting systems (electrical); starter, headlight switch, ignition switch and related parts
12000electrical points, condenser, cap, rotor, wires, coil, distributor
13000electrical, relays, signal switches, flashers, tail light lenses
14000window relays, miscellaneous electrical
15000parking lights, side markers, running lights
16000fenders, fender emblems, fender braces, stripe kits, fender mouldings, front extensions, hoods, latches, click pins, etc.
17000body parts, bumpers
18000heaters, cores, motors, switches, cases, related parts
19000air conditioning parts

After this section, the beginner is left out in no man’s land. Body parts start, followed by trim parts and soft trim and the interior and exterior section. And, all too often, you’ll look in the exterior moulding section for a part only to find a “refer to group 16224 in the chassis section” notation and that’s enough to make even the most capable parts
man wince.


The singular character suffix at the end of a part number is an alphabetical code designating the blueprint revision of the original design. For example, the suffix “C” would indicate a third revision, an “E” the fifth revision, etc.

Armed with the preceding information, a cease fire can be called between you and your parts man. While not making you an actual parts man, it may help to strengthen your case if your parts guy is the “Oh #$%!@! here comes that @#$% Shelby nut -type of individual.


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