In Reply to: Golden Jubilee posted by Jay Henderson on March 17, 2018 at 08:50:48:
You are a brave, trustworthy soul -making a deal by pictures alone! Someone you know? Anyway, FORD marked their engine blocks on ALL vehicles, beginning with the Model A, maybe sooner, and not just tractors as some assume, with a hand-stamped serial number after the engine passed a break-in/test procedure at QC Inspection. On the 9N, 2N, and early 8N models, a STAR (*) symbol was used before and after the serial number to designate steel cylinder liners (sleeves) were used. In mid-1951 (during the 8N production run) FORD then introduced cast iron cylinder liners on all vehicles, obsoleting the steel liners, and thus the new designation was the Diamond (<>) symbol. This practice has made me always wonder why they had to mark engine blocks like that. They must have had some inkling that they would be changing from steel to cast iron at some point. It is also a good idea to never buy engine kits/parts prior to tearing down your engine to see exactly what is in there. Since steel cylinder liners are no longer made, all that is available are the cast iron sleeves today. All blocks marked with the star symbols really is a moot point. Chances are good the engine has been serviced at least once in its lifetime and anything could be in there. that includes no sleeves at all. Some opted to bore out their cylinders for the larger Mercury pistons. Plus, some liners have a .040 wall thickness, and some have a .090 wall thickness. As stated already, there will be a diamond symbol before and after the serial number so look again closer and you should see the one before the number. Imagine you were the guy who had to stamp serial numbers. Each letter, each number, each character, all day, 8-9 hour days, six days a week. By the end of your shift, possibly sooner, your arms and hands are probably fatigued enough that holding each stamp in place was not easy and thus could explain why so many serial numbers are weak and hard to read. Here's a LINK to the archived John Smith site so scroll down to read about the NAA model.
FORD ENGINE BLOCK SERIAL NUMBER HAND STAMPS: