How to Identify How Old a Honda Outboard is With the Serial Number

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Honda outboard motors have been in production since the 1960s. While a variety of engine types have been produced in this period, the models all share a standard method of identification, in the form of their serial number code. This makes it possible to identify how old a Honda outboard is with the serial number.

Examine the mounting brackets of your engine. The serial number, also called the model number, is printed on the left bracket when viewing the motor from outside the boat. The serial number is made up of a string of between nine and 11 letters and numbers.

Ignore the first couple of letters, which will be "BF", as this is the code for "Honda" and therefore demonstrates that the engine is actually a Honda outboard. Ignore the next two digits, or three digits if the third digit in the series is a "P", as these represent the horsepower of the engine. The "P" indicates that the propeller is a "high thrust" model.

Note the next two digits, which will be either a letter followed by a number or two letters. This is the code for the year of manufacture. If the second digit is an X or a Y, the engine was produced in 1999 or 2000 respectively. If the second digit is a one, two or higher, this represents the year of production in this millennium. D1 indicates production in 2001 while A3 indicates 2003.

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