200ci Ford Inline Six
Fred Glazier
September 10, 2014

Inline-Six Bearing Count

I have a 200ci Ford inline-six. The casting numbers I see are C4OE 4A23F 6015A. I know that in 1964 Ford changed from four main bearings to seven main bearings mid year. From what I can find, the “four main” engines have three core plugs and the “seven main” engines have five plugs. My engine appears to be a hybrid; it has five core plugs along with four main bearings. So, is it possible that when the casting mold was assembled, it was assembled incorrectly or am I looking at a common occurrence with four main bearings and five core plugs? It just seems like an oddity to me. The engine will be installed in a '65 Mustang hardtop. Thanks for any information you can provide.

James Anders
Ivanhoe, VA

As far as we are able to research, there were no 200ci six-cylinder engines with five core plugs and four main bearings. The casting number indicates that your engine is a '64 vintage and the 4A23F build date would be January 3, 1964. Ford Master Parts lists the following information: 170ci was four main bearings and three core plugs; early 200ci also had four mains and three core plugs; while the later 200ci had seven mains and five core plugs. So, I can find no valid explanation for your engine! Maybe one of our readers has some additional information.

Vintage Steering Issues

I have a '70 plain Jane Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland, two-barrel carb, and FMX automatic. It is all original. My question relates to poor steering control. First of all I know that original Mustangs of this era handle like lumber wagons. I don't know if what I am about to describe is just “normal” for this vintage of Mustang or not. When going around a corner, left or right, the car always wants to keep turning tighter into the corner. I have to cross steer to keep from going off the road. The higher the speed, the greater the problem becomes. In other words, when going into a right corner, once the turn is established, I have to turn the steering wheel a little to the left to keep the car on the road. The same is true for the left corner. Do I just need a modern suspension upgrade?

Doug Schiller
Via the Internet

The ability of the steering to return to Neutral or center position is controlled by the alignment of the front suspension. More specifically, the caster and camber with a little help from the idler arm. If the caster angle of the front wheels is incorrect it can cause an over-steer and tend to keep the wheels from returning to the straight forward position. I would suggest that you go to a good alignment shop that can perform a four-wheel computerized alignment.

Caster should be set to between 0 and 2 degrees positive. Caster is what makes the steering wheel want to return to center after a turn. The more caster you have, the more the wheel wants to return to center. Camber should be set to between ½ to 1 degree negative. This tilts the top of the tire inward and gives the car a more aggressive ability to corner. Basically this puts more of the tire on the road in a turn than the stock setting. Toe-in should be between 1⁄8 inch and 3⁄16 inch. With these settings and modifications you will have a safer and much better handling Mustang. I doubt that you would need to do any major suspension modifications.

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