Best year for a 200 I6 block?


Well-known member
I'm looking into getting a replacement block for my '65 I6 Mustang (I understand the '65 200 I6 has a different bolt pattern than the later years) and wonder what year(s) would be the best?

I know about the "BB" 200 I6 so I'd like to avoid that since my D9 cable clutch bell housing won't fit that type.

I intend on buying an Austrailian head so stock US head won't matter, just interested in a block.

Any preference?

Thanks in advance,

Dean T

For a 200 I6 anything 1966 or later should be good. Early to mid 70's I think are best because the come with forged connecting rods.
Mid 70's saw a change to cast rods. The forged rod's came back in '82 I believe.
I have the opportunity to get a rebuilt '65 200 I6 with 3k miles for $400. I'm planning on mating up a later model tranny to it (probably an 80's Toyota Celica or maybe a 4-cyl T5), so is there any reason I should shy away from the engine because of the 4-bolt bellhousing? I realize that the 6-bolt pattern from the later engines is better, but is the 4-bolt really that bad? Thanks in advance...

You can't use the later bellhousings to bolt up the later trannies to a 200 block that has the 4-bolt pattern. You could use adapters, but then it starts getting expensive and limits your options. Use the later 6-bolt block, then you can bolt up a cable bell, or toploader bell and you have the options as the V8 guys because those bells have the same pattern. Then, you also have more clutch/pressure plate options.

I realize that adapters aren't cheap, but don't you think that a freshly rebuilt engine for $400 compensates for that? Or are 200 I6's just that cheap?? I thought that $400 was a great price, but it sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth... is that true?

I'd go with the later block. I just picked up two more rebuildable 200's ( one C6DE, one C8DE) for $100.

I'd like to know more about your Locost project. Mine's coming along pretty well!
Alright, that pretty much tells me what I need to know. I feel bad for jerking this guy around, but if the engine won't work (or if it's too expensive to make it work) then there's no sense in getting it.

As for my Locost project, it's still at the beginning stages. I was going to go with a V8 (I have a '67 289 from a Mustang that needs rebuilding), but I was having concerns with needing an expensive tranny, having to rebuild the engine, etc. Then, this 200 I6 came along. I knew that I could get a cheap tranny for it, there was no need to rebuild the engine, I was familiar with this site, etc. so I jumped on it. Unfortunately, it won't quite work as inexpensively as I thought. :unsure:

I'm not quite sure at this point how I will progress. I know of a running 1990 2.3 Mustang with an auto tranny for $500 that will give me most of my donor parts, so I may just go with that. I'll still need to source the manual tranny and associated parts, but they seem to be pretty plentiful in the boneyards from 2.3 'Stangs. The 2.3 engine will make for a more balanced car (lighter engine), and I can always go the turbo route for more power.

I just won't have the nice loping exhaust of a I6, or the throaty burble of a V8. Instead, there will be the whine of high RPMs and possibly a turbo. :unsure:

Decisions, decisions...

Thanks everyone! From your help, I've determined the best engines to look for in my case would be a '66-'73 200 I6 because of they had the forged rods. The '82 and '83s had forged rods but were the "big bell" variety. Since I already have a D9 cable clutch bell from an '80 Mustang or so, I'd rather stick with the earlier engines.

If my '65 was here instead of 250 miles away, I'd just get a bare block from the junk yard and be done with it but...

I'd like to build the engine and have it waiting for when I get the car home.

Sorry for the length

Dean T