How to tell what type of engine you have by the Ford VIN

Written by melissa kelly
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How to tell what type of engine you have by the Ford VIN
VIN and engine (Daniel Nikaiyn/iStock/Getty Images)

Every vehicle has a VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, which provides information about the car. Within the VIN code for Ford vehicles, eight characters of the 17-character sequence provide information about the engine. This information helps you determine the type of engine used for your vehicle and also helps you verify that the engine in the vehicle is equivalent to the original one.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Locate the VIN beneath the windshield of the car on the driver's side. If you cannot read the VIN from this location, you can refer to the Certificate of Title and Registration or the label on the door pillar of the driver's side, which also contains the VIN.

  2. 2

    Verify that the second character of the vehicle's VIN is "F," which is representative of a portion of the World Manufacturer Identification number assigned to Ford vehicles by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The third digit provides additional information on the type of vehicle. For example, a Ford truck will be "FT" and a multipurpose vehicle such as an Explorer will be "FM."

  3. 3

    Use the following list to determine the engine type based upon the eighth letter or number of the VIN sequence if the vehicle is a passenger car. A: V8 3.9L DOHC "AJ-V8" (Lincoln LS) G: V-6 DOHC SVT H: V-8 5.4L EFI 4V "Modular" (Mustang Cobra R) L: V-6 2.5L DOHC "Duratec 25" N: V-8 3.4L EFI DOHC "Yamaha" (Taurus SHO) P: I-4 2.0L SPIEFI "Zetec" R: V-8 DOHC Ram Air (Mustang Mach 1) S: V-6 3.0L DOHC "Duratec 30" or V-8 DOHC SC (Ford GT) U: V-6 3.0L EFI "Vulcan" V: V-8 DOHC (Marauder) W: V-8 4.6L SOHC "Modular" X: V-8 SOHC (Mustang GT) Y: V-8 DOHC SC (Mustang Cobra) Z: I-4 2.3L DOHC PZEV "Duratec 23" 2: V-6 4.2L EFI-FFV 3: I-4 DOHC 4: V-6 3.8L EFI "Essex" 5: I-4 2.0L DOHC HP "Duratec ST" (Focus ZX3 SVT) 6: V-6 3.9L EFI 9: V-8 SOHC (CNG)

  4. 4

    Use the following list to determine the engine type based upon the eighth character of the VIN sequence if the vehicle is a light truck. A: I-4 2.3L EFI or V-8 5.4L DOHC (Windsor plant) "Intech" B: I-4 2.0L "Zetech" or I-4 2.5L OHV-DI (diesel) C: I-4 2.5L EFI-SOHC D: I-4 2.3L EFI "Duratech 23" E: V-6 4.0L EFI-SOHC F: V-8 7.3L "Navistar" Turbo-Diesel H: V-8 DOHC K: V-6 4.0L SOHC L: V-8 5.4L EFI-SOHC "Triton" M: V-8 5.4L SOHC (CNG) N: V-8 5.0L P: V-8 5.0L EFI or V-8 6.0L EFI "Navistar Powerstroke" (diesel) R: V-8 DOHC S: V-10 6.8L EFI-SOHC T: V-6 3.3L EFI-SOHC "Nissan VG" (Mercury Villager) U: V-6 3.0L EFI "Vulcan" W: V-8 4.6L EFI-SOHC (Windsor plant) X: V-6 4.0L EFI-OHV Z: V-8 5.4L SOHC (gaseous fuel prep) 1: V-6 3.0L DOHC "Duratech 30" 2: V-6 4.2L EFI-OHV 3: V-8 SOHC 4: V-6 3.6L EFI "Essex" 5: V-8 SOHC(E) 6: V-6 3.9L EFI or V-8 4.6L EFI-SOHC (Windsor plant) "Triton"

  5. 5

    Use the following list to determine the engine type based upon the eighth character of the VIN sequence if the vehicle is a commercial truck. B: V-10 bi-fuel NGV/LPG F: V-8 turbo diesel L: V-8 5.4L gasoline S: V-10 6.8L gasoline Z: V-10 gasoline-GFP J: V-8 6.0L (INT) K: V-8 6.0L (INT) L: V-8 6.0L (INT) M: V-8 6.0L (INT) Y: V-8 6.0L (INT) Z: V-8 6.0L (INT) 0: V-8 6.0L (INT) 5: V-8 7.3L (NAV) 6: V-8 7.3L (NAV)

Tips and warnings

  • Ford commercial trucks have distinct characters for the eighth digit, which varies according to manufacturer. For example, Caterpillar diesel and Cummins diesel trucks have a different set of guidelines than a Ford manufactured truck. It is a good idea to verify that the commercial truck is not a Caterpillar or Cummins engine before identifying the engine based upon the commercial truck codes.

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