August 2014. Written by George Welch

There were many differences between the 1967, 1968 and 1969 390 4V, “S” code Mustangs. This article will focus on the different S code air cleaners offered for those three years.

 

1967 Air Cleaner:

A 1967 Mustang ordered with an S Code, 390 4V engine received several different air cleaners. If the GT Equipment Group was ordered along with the 390 4V engine, it was referred to as a 390 4V GT. The air cleaner base (Ford part number C7ZZ-9600-C) contained two screened openings, had a flat bottom, no snorkel and a chrome lid with a ribbed pattern.

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Picture courtesy of Drake Automotive Group

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com

A 1967 S Code, 390 4V GT Mustang engine with a California DSO had an emissions control tube in the air cleaner base which can be seen on the image below to the left hand side.

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Picture courtesy of Drake Automotive Group


A 1967 Mustang ordered with an S Code, 390 4V engine but without the GT Equipment Group received a different air cleaner. The air cleaner base had a flat bottom but no screened openings, a snorkel and a chrome lid with a ribbed pattern. Some of the 1967 S code, 390 4V GT Mustang’s with a California DSO came with an emissions control tube and a snorkel.

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Picture courtesy of Jeff Speegle

1967 Valve Covers:

The engine valve covers on a 1967 Mustang ordered with an S code, 390 4V engine were chromed and had “Powered By Ford” stamped into them. These chrome valve covers would sometimes have a date code stamped into them.

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com


1968 Air Cleaner:

A 1968 Mustang ordered with an S Code, 390 4V engine received several different air cleaners. If the GT Equipment Group was ordered along with the 390 4V engine, it was referred to as a 390 4V GT engine. Early production 1968 Mustangs ordered with a 390 4V engine and the GT Equipment Group received the 1967 390 4V GT air cleaner.

As 1968 Mustang production progressed, the 390 4V GT air cleaner changed. The air cleaner base no longer had the two screened openings but instead had a snorkel, an emissions control tube, a rounded, doughnut shaped bottom base, a round, vacuum actuated port sticking out of the base and a chrome lid. The chrome lid no longer had the ribbed pattern on it.

The bottom of the snorkel attached to a heat shield via a "S" shaped metal heat riser tube. The heat shield is bolted to the exhaust manifold.

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Picture courtesy of Vintage Mustang Forum

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com

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Picture courtesy of MustangTek.com

Please note that 1968 Mustangs with a 390 4V engine and a Canadian DSO received the 1967 air cleaner assembly with the screened openings.

1968 Valve Covers:

In addition, the engine valve covers on a 1968 Mustang ordered with the S code, 390 4V GT engine were again chromed and had “Powered By Ford” stamped into them. These chrome valve covers would sometimes have a date code stamped into them.


 

1969 Air Cleaner:

A 1969 Mustang ordered with an S code, 390 4V engine received the 390 4V IP engine and a specific air cleaner. “IP” stands for Improved Performance which was in actuality a detuned version of the 390 4v in 1969. A 1969 Mustang could still be ordered with the GT package and a 390 4V engine but they no longer received the 390 4V GT engine. The reasoning for the change was because the 428 Cobra Jet was the high performance engine for 1969. The 390 4V IP engine needed to come in at a lower price point to help sales and bridge the gap between the 428 and the 351.

The air cleaner base (Ford part number C8OZ-9600-C) had a flat bottom, a round, vacuum actuated port sticking out of the base, a snorkel, an emissions control tube and either a chrome or Ford Blue painted lid with a ribbed pattern much like the lid used in 1967

The bottom of the snorkel has a reducer that attaches to a heat shield via a flexible, paper foil tube. The heat shield is bolted to the exhaust manifold.

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Picture courtesy of AllFordMustangs.com

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Here is an example of a 1969 Mustang ordered with a 390 4V IP engine but with a Ford Blue painted air cleaner lid and “Powered By Ford” valve covers. There was no type of engine dress up option offered in 1969 so it cannot be determined why some 1969 Mustang’s with the 390 4V IP engine received the chrome valve covers while some did not. It possibly may have been a cost cutting measure by Ford.

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Picture courtesy of MustangAttitude.com

1969 Shaker Air Cleaner:

A 1969 Mustang with an S code, 390 4V IP engine could also be ordered with a ram air cleaner which is known as the shaker assembly. This option would use an entirely different air cleaner that the one’s previously discussed.  The air cleaner would consist of a base, an intermediate plate, a flapper, a rubber seal and the metal shaker hood scoop that protruded through the hood.

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Picture courtesy of Drake Automotive Group

 

1969 Valve Covers:

In addition, the engine valve covers on a 1969 Mustang ordered with an S code, 390 4V IP engine had “Powered By Ford” stamped into them and could be either chrome or painted Ford Blue.

 

Sources:

  1. 332-428 Ford FE Engine Forum (http://www.network54.com/Forum/74182).
  2. Mansfield Mustang (http://www.mansfieldmustang.com).
  3. West Coast Classic Cougar (http://www2.cougarpartscatalog.com).
  4. Mustang 428 Cobra Jet Registry (http://www.428cobrajet.org).
  5. Drake Automotive Group (http://www.drakeautomotivegroup.com).
  6. Vintage Mustang Forum (http://vintage-mustang.com)
  7. Mustang Attitude (http://www.mustangattitude.com )
  8. All Ford Mustangs (http://www.allfordmustangs.com)

1969 Mustang GT registry http://gt69registry.home.comcast.net)