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Missing date code on front fender
#1
Guys, I have something on my Mach 1 that has had me thinking ever since I bought my car in 08. This car, originally from California, was totally rust free, number correct, mostley original except for a quick paint job and replaced seat covers. There was some evidence of minor bumps and bruises, but nothing serious.
What I did notice was that the date code was missing on the front left fender, above the apron. Was this a repalcement fender at some time, or was it just missed at the factory?
I tend to lean to it just being missed when it was made because, when I stripped the car in 2012 (for the first engine rebuild), I took the entire front end down and refinished everything. Both fenders were almost identical as far as minor surface rust and finish on the underside. Both had the same paint runs, evidence of the painter just blowing paint wherever, with the exception that the right fender had runs vertical to the normal orientaion and the left had runs lengthways as if the fender was hung vertically to be painted. I'm told that fenders were painted off the car. There was no eveidence of black primer either, typical for replacement panels. There were date codes stamped into the inner supports, but were unreadable and no help.
Does anyone have information on this annomally? Date codes were changed every day / shift, (shift letter), so perhaps I just have a fender that got missed as the guy doing the stamping was behind on his job.
Strange to say the least, but not something I'm too worried about, just curious.
Geoff.
PS note, the spell checker isn't working on this today. Hope ther's not too mannnny typo's.
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#2
Sshhh!, we won't tell. Sorry can't help here but try not to lose any sleep over it. The experts should be along shortly to give some good feedback.

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#3
I have a date code on the passenger side fender but not on the driver side fender. I think my driver side fender has been replaced in the past because the inside of the fender has a yellow color. The other side is red like the rest of the car.
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#4
We ran parts for many of the Ford vehicles. The date codes were due to be changed every shift in case there was ever an issue with parts you could get you hands on suspect parts using the codes. Most vendors did a better job than Ford did on that. I see some of the Ford stampings with the dates smashed into the metal way too deep and that crushes the letters and then you cannot read them. There should be date, supplier and shift in the code. I forget the system you can google and find it. It is not unheard of for them to be missing. The operation that stamped the number might not have been on bottom and not hitting hard enough also.
Service parts were also date coded and many service parts during regular production were rejects coming off the stamping line that could not go to Ford but got sent to service and the body shops just fix the dents and dings, lol. After the parts went to just service Ford would place orders for a few hundred at a time. The dies actually sit outside in the rain with grease on them.
The fenders were painted off the car I do not know the position they were in. There is video on youtube showing the 65 mustang in the paint go search it. It is a music video done back then on the Ford assembly line.


When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??
Tongue
David
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#5
Mikes73;288112 Wrote:Sshhh!, we won't tell. Sorry can't help here but try not to lose any sleep over it. The experts should be along shortly to give some good feedback.

Too funny Mike, thanks.
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#6
Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs;288119 Wrote:We ran parts for many of the Ford vehicles. The date codes were due to be changed every shift in case there was ever an issue with parts you could get you hands on suspect parts using the codes. Most vendors did a better job than Ford did on that. I see some of the Ford stampings with the dates smashed into the metal way too deep and that crushes the letters and then you cannot read them. There should be date, supplier and shift in the code. I forget the system you can google and find it. It is not unheard of for them to be missing. The operation that stamped the number might not have been on bottom and not hitting hard enough also.
Service parts were also date coded and many service parts during regular production were rejects coming off the stamping line that could not go to Ford but got sent to service and the body shops just fix the dents and dings, lol. After the parts went to just service Ford would place orders for a few hundred at a time. The dies actually sit outside in the rain with grease on them.
The fenders were painted off the car I do not know the position they were in. There is video on youtube showing the 65 mustang in the paint go search it. It is a music video done back then on the Ford assembly line.

Thanks David. Interesting information. As I said, I tend to think it was just a missed date code, but yes, it could have been a service part that was put on the car in it's youth. When the car was stripped in 2013, there was evidence of minor damage to the hood on the left side, so possibly it had been in a fender bender. However, the paint on the underside of that left fender matched exactly the right fender, which I believed to be original.
I guess I'll never know for sure. Whatever it is, it is a Ford fender for sure and no, I'm NOT going to lose any sleep over it!
I did see that video some time ago. One of our car group guys emailed it to me. I'll look it up again.
Geoff.
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#7
I bought Ford service parts for my 65 back in 1983, they were not marked on the top edge like early models were on the original fenders. I did date stamp them to match production fenders. They did have stamped date codes on the fenders inner support near the door post. My 71 with original fenders and my 73 with original fenders both have the date stamp code on the top edge like every original Ford I've seen. They also have the inner support stamped. For about ten years 84-95 I was recording build dates, glass dates and metal part date codes on every Mustang that I could. The list included about a thousand or so cars. I stopped when the Internet could provide all the answers.
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#8
judge;288185 Wrote:I bought Ford service parts for my 65 back in 1983, they were not marked on the top edge like early models were on the original fenders. I did date stamp them to match production fenders. They did have stamped date codes on the fenders inner support near the door post. My 71 with original fenders and my 73 with original fenders both have the date stamp code on the top edge like every original Ford I've seen. They also have the inner support stamped. For about ten years 84-95 I was recording build dates, glass dates and metal part date codes on every Mustang that I could. The list included about a thousand or so cars. I stopped when the Internet could provide all the answers.

Thanks Judge for your insight. I think this will continue to be a mystery. It is unfortunate that the date codes on the inner front and rear supports are unreadable. That would at least tell me if the fender is in, or close to, the right month of manufacture. I doubt I'll ever be concerned enough to take that fender off again, but if I do have to, I'll take a closer look.
My thought was that perhaps others have seen this missing date code on original fenders and can substantiate this as fact.
Thanks again to all for your input.
Geoff.
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