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Found on SHOtimes FAQ @ www.shotimes.com
Originally posted Joshua Teixeira, cleaned up by John Witherspoon :

For Example: F4DZ-2B120A -- a RH brake caliper

Numbering changed somewhat after 2000.

F means 90 (E is 80's, D is 70's, C 60's, B is 50's, A is 40's)

4 is the year within the decade that the part first was installed by Ford, so an F4 part was first used on 1994 model year cars

D is the line of car :

A is full size Ford
B is Fairlane/Torino to 76, then 77-79 LTD II, then Festiva, then Aspire
C is Mercury Capri (60's - 70's), Escort
D is Maverick, Granada, Taurus, 96 and later Taurus/Sable common parts
E is Escort
F is common Tempo/Escort parts (same parts, different body panels)
G is Mercury Montego, Monarch
H is Ford heavy truck
J is marine (boat engines, stationary power plants)
K is Tracer
L is Lincoln Mark series and regular 4-door Lincoln
M is full size Mercury for unique parts (otherwise, use A)
N is Ford tractor
O is Mercury Montego, Sable, and Lincoln Continental
P is Bobcat and Pinto
R is Merkur, then Contour/Mystyque
S is T-bird
T is light truck, Bronco, Explorer
U is Econoline can
V is Lincoln Town car
W is Cougar
X is Villager
Y is Lincoln or Mercury/Lincoln non-vehicle-specific part
Z is Mustang or Ford non-vehicle-specific part
2 is Probe
3 is Tempo
4 is 96+ Sable body parts
6 is Topaz
7 is Ranger
8 is Windstar
9 is Aerostar

-2B120 is the basic part # and is the number for the caliper. If part of a pair, then the lower number is the right hand side (i.e. 120 is right, and 121 is left). The only exception is power window motors for only one car. Series means the 1000, 1001, .... 1999, 1A001, to 1Z999 where every basic part number is a unique part on a car, and the same part 'name' for a
different car is differentiated by the prefix.

1000-2000 series are wheels and brakes
3000 series are front suspension and steering
4000 series are rear axle and drive axle
5000 series are frames front stabilizer and rear suspension
6000 series are engine parts
7000 series are MTX transmission and clutch, A7000 series are ATX transmission
8000 series are cooling and grille
9000 series are fuel
9500 series are carburator
10300 series and up are generator, alternator, starter, distributor
13000 series and up are lamps, wiring, and electrical except for 10300 series
16000 series and up are fenders and hood
17000 series and up are speedometer and associated parts
17500 series and up are bumpers, jack, mirrors, washer/wipers, speedo cables
18000 series and up are air conditioning, heaters and radios
20000 series are body front (door posts and ahead and floor pans) including
instrument panel and dash, but not gauges
23000 series and up are body sheet metal and exterior rubber bits
40000 series and up are back half of the car (trunk, roof racks, T-roof etc)
50000 series and up are exterior mouldings, emblems, and nameplates
60000 series and up are seats
70000 series and up are doors, windows, (not windshield), seat trim/covers
Japanese weird parts use 2-piece Mazda part numbers

Note that if your '96 car has a part number such as F4DZ-2B120A, then you know the part was first used on '94 cars, was installed on '95s and is still being used unchanged on '96s.

Part #'s are not necessarily the same as casting #'s or the numbers on the part. Line numbers are different still.
 

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I've been searching for a way to decode those numbers. :thumb: Thanks for posting it!
 

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Yes an E is correct for Escort, and F for Mustang when used in regaurds to body line.....not typically so though on service parts. As typical Escort service parts are a C, as in F4CZ....and for a Mustang C5ZZ for 1965 Mustang. But during the 90's the numbers started to change in the first four digits as Ford ran out of identifiers as they tried to incorporate the part # system into their puchased brands of Volvo and Jaguar etc. Also numbers cast into a part, are known as casting or enginering numbers. Having gotten to play the parts shelves for awhile I can truely say it was a good time.
 

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Ford updated their part numbering scheme in the late 90's. The Prefix changed the most. Base Part remained, possibly adding more base parts. The suffix has added more production variances.

Prefix Breakdown

YF12-18K001-CA Left Front, Factory installed Motorcraft Strut from a 2002 Taurus

Y = 2000 - Year bit was consolidated to the first bit.
  • S - Y: 1995 - 2000.
  • 1 - 9: 2001 - 2009 - Number 0 (Zero) exempt.
  • A - R: 2010 -2024 - letters: I,P,Q exempt.
F1 = Product Line Bits. Expanded to the 2nd and third (Only D186, D3 Platform models listed here)
  • F1 = Taurus Gen 3/4
  • F4 = Sable Gen 3/4
  • G1 = Five Hundred Taurus Gen 5 + (D3)
  • F2 - Windstar
  • F3 - Continental
  • F9 - Freestyle / Taurus X
  • T5 - Montego / Sable Gen 5
2 = Design Code Bit. remained the same.
2 -
Z is usually service or replacement parts. All others factory parts with an engineering division letter or number.

18K001 - Base Part number. Indicates that this is a strut.
  • A-Z: - letters: I,P,Q exempt.
  • 0-9: - Numbers: 0,7,9 exempt.

CA - Revision or application
Strut CA Left Front
Strut CB Right Front.



Common Taurus Part Number Prefixes - How you can tell this part was designed for a D186 (Taurus sable platform)
Old - F6DZ-99A999-AA
  • F6 = 1996 (many parts were designed for the 1996 Model year, remained unchanged)
  • D - Taurus/Sable platform parts
  • Z - Service
New - YF1Z-99A999-AA
  • Y 2000
  • F1 Taurus
  • Z Service

New - 3F1F-99A999-AA
  • Y 2003
  • F1 Taurus
  • F Electrical


How to tell the difference between number conventions: the first two characters.
  • Old convention was always letter then number. 2nd bit = Number.
  • New convention is letter or number, then a letter. 2nd bit = Letter.


Links for further reading:

Old Convention:
Ford Part Numbers, Casting Numbers, and Date Codes
Decoding Ford casting part numbers
Decoding Ford Part Numbers

New Convention:
Decoding newer Ford part numbers - Bob Is The Oil Guy
Reading Ford Motor Company Part Numbers
Ford Part Numbering Chart

Additional models
How to interpret modern Ford part numbers???
http://www.nospartsltd.com/Articles.asp?ID=250 skip to "1998 to Present"
 

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All Models codes from using new convention. Sorted alphabetically by Code
  • missing A3,A4,A7,A9 | B1-4,6+ | C8+ | E1-4, E8 | G2-6,8+ | H1-5,7+ | J1-4,6+ |M2-4,7+ | N1-6,8+| P1-8 |R7 | S3 | T3,6+ | U4,6+
  • A1 - MKX / Town Car
  • A2 - Explorer / Explorer Sport Trac
  • A5 - MKS
  • A6 – FIESTA
  • A8 – Flex
  • B5 – EXPLORER(2011)
  • C1 - Transit
  • C2 - Econoline
  • C3 - Medium Truck (F250 +)
  • C4 - Heavy Truck (F650/ F750 / L-Series / Cargo-CF Series Truck)
  • C5 - Aviator
  • C6 - Blackwood
  • C7 - Excursion
  • E5 – Fusion
  • E6 - Mariner ?
  • E7 – C550
  • E9 – MKT
  • F1 - Taurus
  • F2 - Windstar / Monterey / Freestar
  • F3 - Continental
  • F4 - Sable
  • F5 - Villager
  • F6 - Thunderbird
  • F7 - EN158
  • F8 - FW178
  • F9 - Freestyle / Taurus X
  • G1 – Five Hundred / Taurus (2008+)
  • G7 - GT
  • H6 – MKZ / ZEPHYR
  • J5 – ESCAPE (2013)
  • L1 - Bronco
  • L2 - Explorer (UP TO 2010)
  • L3 - F150/F250/MARK LT / RAPTOR
  • L4 - Maverick 4X4
  • L5 - Ranger
  • L6 - Aerostar
  • L7 - Navigator
  • L8 – Escape
  • L9 - Mountaineer
  • M1 - Tracer
  • M5 - Focus
  • M6 – Escape / Mariner (HYBRID MODELS)
  • N7 – MILAN
  • P9 - FOCUS (2012)
  • R1 - Aston-Martin
  • R2 - Falcon
  • R3 - Mustang
  • R4 - Scorpio
  • R5 - Fairlane
  • R6 - LTD
  • R8 - Jaguar S-Type
  • R9 - Mark VIII
  • S1 - Aspire
  • S2 - Contour
  • S4 - Escort / Focus
  • S5 - Ka
  • S6 - Fiesta
  • S7 - Mondeo
  • S8 - Probe
  • S9 - Mystique
  • T1 – Transit Connect
  • T2 – Escape / Mariner (Gas)
  • T4 – Edge
  • T5 - Montego / Sable Gen 5
  • U1 - Power Products
  • U2 - Motorcraft Brand
  • U2 - Focus
  • U3 - Outside Sales
  • U4 - #3?
  • U5 - Escape
  • W1 - Town Car
  • W2 - Cougar
  • W3 - Grand Marquis
  • W4 - DEW98 LS
  • W5 - EW171
  • W6 - Thunderbird RWD
  • W7 - EN114 Crown Vic
  • W8 - Jaguar XK8/XKR
  • W9 - Jaguar XJ-Series
 
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