Evinrude identified the model year of their outboard motors within the model number, rather than by serial number. If you own a pre-1980 Evinrude outboard, you face a search through a mishmash of numbers and letters that changed from 1913 to 1979. Then you need to cross-reference those numbers and letters to find the year your Evinrude outboard was built. If you own an Evinrude built after 1979, or even some 1979 models, the year is a two-letter code, embedded in the model number.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Inspect the model number. The model numbers for Evinrude engines built after 1980 contain an eight- to 12-digit identification code, found on the label located on the engine's swivel mount. If the code begins with "A," "B," "C," "H," or "S," the engine was built for use in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong or South Africa, respectively. A "T" means the model was built for Tracker Boats, and a "V" represents Evinrude's "Quiet Rider" motor. Otherwise, the model number begins with either "E" for Evinrude, or "J" for Johnson, which was a company owned by Evinrude.
Identify the next one, two or three numbers, which represent the engine's horsepower. That's followed the type of modifications, such as "E" for an electric starter. Next comes a letter, "L," "Y," "X" or "Z," identifying the driveshaft as a 20-, 22.5-, 25- or 30-inch shaft. This is followed by the year code, which is two letters selected from the word "introduces."
Use the code word to find the year. Although the date coding was not fully implemented until 1980, the "introduces" code word did appear on some of the 1979 Evinrude models. For example, the two-letter code "UE" represents the last two digits of the year in which the engine was built. Each of the letters of the word "introduces," corresponds to a number from "1" to "9", followed by "0". "U" is the seventh letter of the word and "E" is the ninth letter of the word, hence "UE" designates the 1979 model. For 1980, the code would be "CS" since "C" is the eighth letter of the word, and "S," the last letter of the word, stands for zero.
Tips and warnings
- If the plaque or tag is missing from the swivel mount, or if it's been painted over, it's also stamped on a metal tag attached to the starboard side of the powerhead.
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