PERA's Core Corner: Getting A Leg Up On The Ford Duratec Cover-Up - Engine Builder Magazine

PERA’s Core Corner: Getting A Leg Up On The Ford Duratec Cover-Up

No matter how much the engine remanufacturing and building industry changes, one thing will always remain the same. Identifying what type of engine on which you’re working will be an important – and challenging – part of the process.

Today the front cover has become such an integral part of application identification that it has become as important as any of the major component castings. I truly believe that a person can now make a living doing nothing more than identifying front covers on today’s SOHC and DOHC engines.

Hopefully, we are going to give you an edge with the 3.0L Duratec engine (see the complete feature article on page 46 of this issue). The first thing that you will want to know is that there are two cylinder head types for this engine and two distinctly different front covers. Just knowing that you can sort out about 30 percent of the engines that are DAMB (direct acting mechanical bucket) cylinder heads. The rest are RFF (roller finger follower) heads that are hydraulic vs. mechanical, as the name indicates.

The front covers will also tell you if you have a Taurus/Sable or Escape/Tribute: same base engine, different front covers. The Lincoln LS and Jaguar are pretty much the same way, and the Mazda MPV and (later) the Mazda 6 are in there as well.

In 2006, the whole process will start all over again because the 3.0L is going into a number of different platform families and, of course, the Taurus/Sable will be gone. In addition, the 3.5L will give us an entirely new story to start telling soon.

I am going to give you some brief descriptions of the covers but will provide you with the single most requested item: “the chart!” Oh, by the way: the casting numbers provided are not going to be helpful when the cover is on the engine – they are all found inside the front cover.

  • 1996-2000 Taurus/Sable: There are two casting numbers (c/n F5DE-BJ and F8DE-AB) used for the first run 3.0L Duratec engines. These covers have a cam position sensor mount on the upper right side of the cover (left side of engine) and a crank position sensor mount on the lower left of the cover (right side of engine).

  • 2000-2005 Taurus/Sable: This cover (c/n 1F1E) is a mid-year introduction. There is nothing that says the 42-tooth timing components and this cover happened at the same time but it seems to make sense. The tensioner mount moved from the left side of the cover (right side of engine) to the right side of the cover (left side of engine). The cam and crank position sensors are in the same location as the first timing cover but this is now a rear water pump engine.

  • 2001-2005 Escape/Tribute: The cover (c/n 1S7E) is unique to this application. It uses a rear water pump driven off the intake camshaft. It has the crank position sensor on the opposite side than that of the Taurus/Sable cover.

  • 2000-2003 Lincoln LS, Jaguar: The first cover (c/n XW4E) used with the DAMB cylinder head, it has a completely different look and has one cam position sensor as well as one crank position sensor that comes in at a slight angle.

  • 2003-2004 Lincoln LS: The second cover used (c/n 3W4E – unverified), it now has two cam position sensors with the use of variable valve timing (VVT) and one crank position sensor that comes in straight on.

  • 2003-2004 Jaguar: The Jaguar cover (c/n 1X4E) is similar to Lincoln LS cover, with dual cam sensors for VVT and a single crank position sensor that comes in straight on, with an additional mounting ear.


The chart gives you the visuals and descriptions for identifying the 3.0L Duratec covers. I suggest that you cut it out, laminate it and get ready for the update next year. If you’re interested in the chart in Excel format, e-mail me with your request ( and I will be happy to forward it to you.

By the way, there is another identification niche that can be sought after (not by me anytime soon, though) and that is oil pans. Take the same engine, put five different oil pans (possibly one with an axle going through it) and you have five different engines in the eyes of the OE.

Once again supporting the fact that nearly all engines are platform specific, both of these examples prove that you may have the same long block when you get down to it, but dress it out differently and it becomes a different part number.

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

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