PERA Core Corner: The Latest Update On The Great Ford 4.6L Cover Up - Engine Builder Magazine

PERA Core Corner: The Latest Update On The Great Ford 4.6L Cover Up

Back in August of 2004 I provided you with information on the front covers on the 4.6L Ford SOHC V8 engines. The data here is an update to that information with an updated chart to rapidly identify the covers. If you are using the older chart it is time to discard it and use the one on the next page.

Passenger Car

1991-1992 Romeo engine applications use front covers c/n F1AE or F2AE. These are the “plain Jane” covers that have no cast-in tensioner mount bosses. They have fifteen 8.0 mm mounting bolt holes around the perimeter of the cover.

1992-1995 passenger Romeo engine applications use front covers c/n F3AE or F5AE. These are the first covers that have six cast bosses that are drilled and tapped for the tensioner mount and all of the fifteen perimeter bolt bosses are 8.0 mm as well. Notice that 1992 is a split year, so know which front cover you need prior to building.

1996-2000 passenger Romeo engine applications use front covers c/n F6AE, F7AE, F7ZE and F8ZE which are very similar in appearance to the ’92-’95 cover with a couple of subtle differences. First, there are now ten 10.0 mm bolt bosses and five 8.0 mm bolt bosses (see the small red and one blue circles on the chart). The second difference is that one of the five 8.0 mm bolt bosses just under the water pump area has moved upward about 1/2 (see blue circle on chart).


1996″-2000 Windsor engines, when used in passenger applications, are using the same front cover as the Romeo, the reason for the one mounting bolt move.

1999-2000 Windsor Mustangs use front cover c/n XR3E with a new design four-bolt boss tensioner mount. It is the same configuration as the 2001-2003 Romeo engine applications.

Truck & SUV

1997-2001 Romeo F-Series and Expeditions use cover c/n F65E which has six bolts bosses in a revised pattern for the belt tensioner and continues to use the ten 10.0 mm and five 8.0mm mounting bolt bosses around the perimeter. This cover was used with the 8 groove serpentine belt and therefore has one bolt boss (indicated by the green circle) in the tensioner area that is 2.565″ tall or approximately 2-5/8″.

1999-2003 Van and 2002-2004 F Series Truck use c/n 2L3E, which is identical to the F65E except that it now uses a 6 groove serpentine belt and therefore the single bolt boss (indicated by the green circle) is now only 2.340″ tall or approximately 2 3/8″. In the previous article we discussed a 30 degree and 10 degree advance pointer on the cover, which may or may not have had something to do with assembly at the plant but has no bearing on remanufacturing so don’t bother paying any attention to it.

2002 Ford information is that the Explorer got cover c/n 2L1E used through 2005 and uses the high mount power steering pump. 2003 is when it happened in the Expedition using c/n’s 1L2E and 2L2E yet information in the field seems to blur the years so you may want to ask prior to shipping a 2002 or ’03 engine.

In 2004 through 2005 the new F Series body all had the high mount power steering cover c/n 3L3E. The heritage body style still used the c/n 2L3E low mount power steering cover in 2004.

I know it all sounds a bit confusing so use the chart and pictures and there should never be reason for you to make a mistake.

If anyone would like an electronic version of this chart in an Excel file feel free to request one from me at: [email protected].

One last reminder: if you have not already registered for the PERA annual convention in Alexandria, VA, September 22-24 where everyone is welcome, you will be missing of the most powerful programs PERA has put together. Information is available at

For technical questions, contact the Production Engine Remanufacturers Association (PERA) at: [email protected]

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