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888.687.0539 (U.S.)
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888.687.0539 (U.S.)
225.706.4858 (Int.)
Monday-Friday 7am-5pm CST

Finding your Detroit Diesel Engine Serial Number

Where do I Find my Serial Number?

Look for the stamp

Many of the newer engines that have this information on engine data plates, but older two stroke engine have this information stamped directly into the block. You will find 2 numbers, the model number and the serial number.

Find the serial number on Inline 53 Series engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes all 253, 353 and 453 models.
  • All 53 Series engine serial numbers start with the number of cylinders followed by the letter “D”. So for example, a 453 serial number will always begin with “4D” regardless of whether it is naturally aspirated, turbocharged, industrial or marine.
  • The serial number for all inline models can be found on any one of the flat surfaces found on the corners of the airbox, very close to the deck (see images below).
  • The serial number’s location will depend greatly on the configuration of the engine but the flat surfaces are very easy to find. One of them will have it stamped into it.

Detroit Diesel IL 53 Engine Detroit Diesel IL 53 Engine Serial Number

Find the serial number on V53 Series engines(How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes 6V53 and 8V53 models.
  • As stated above for Inline 53 Series engines, all 6V53 and 8V53 engine serial numbers will also start with the number of cylinders followed by the letter “D”. So all 6V53 engines will start with “6D” and 8V53 engines will start with “8D”.
  • Unlike the inline 53 models, both the V series models have the serial number on the front right bank deck of the engine.
  • As you can see in the images below, the information is not actually on the mounting deck but directly in front of the right bank cylinder head. This actually makes it easier to find as you just look at the very front edge of the valve cover and, barring all of the oil, dirt and paint layers that may be present, you should see the serial number. If it is not here, check the left deck but it will almost always be located where we have shown.

Detroit Diesel V53 Engine Serial Number Detroit Diesel V53 Engine Serial Number

Find the serial number on Inline 71 Series engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes all 271, 371, 471 and 671 models.
  • The serial numbers for all of these models will begin with the number of cylinders followed by the letter “A”. For example, a 271 will start with “2A” and a 671 will start with “6A”.
  • Most Inline 71 models have the serial number on a small flat section towards the front right of the cylinder block. You will see in the images below that it actually is behind the governor, but this can vary greatly depending on the configuration of the engine.

We found an old 271 in our yard that had the serial number on the left rear section of the engine so as we have stated before, you just really never know. This intention of this article is to simply provide you with the most likely areas to find your serial number information.

Detroit Diesel Il 71 Engine Detroit Diesel Il 71 Engine Serial Number

Find the serial number on V71 Series engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes all 6V71, 8V71, 12V71 and 16V71 models.
  • The serial number for all of these models will always begin with the number of cylinders followed by the letters “VA”. So for example, a 6V71 will start with “6VA” and a 16V71 will start with “16VA”.
  • These numbers are almost always on the right rear of the engine, close to or even underneath the air box drain tube.

Detroit Diesel V71 Engine Detroit Diesel V71 Engine Serial Number

Find the serial number on V92 Series engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes all 6V92, 8V92, 12V92 and 16V92 models.
  • The serial number for all of these models will always begin with the number of cylinders followed by the letters “VF”. So for example, a 6V92 will start with “6VF” and a 16V92 will start with “16VF”. Remember that it does not make a difference whether the engine is turbocharged or naturally aspirated; this numbering system applies to all 92 Series engines.
  • The 92 Series will actually have its serial numbers in two possible locations:
    • The older engines will have them on the right rear of the engine, directly on the side of the block.
    • The newer engines will have them on the front right of the engine, closer to the bank that the head mounts on, and will be on a flat section of the block.

We are not exactly sure what serial number or year this location changed so if it is not in one area, check the next.

Detroit Diesel V92 Engine Detroit Diesel V92 Engine Serial Number

Find the serial number on V149 Series engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

  • This includes all 8V149, 12V149 and 16V149 models.
  • The serial number for all of these models will always begin with the number of cylinders followed by the letters “E”. So for example, a 12V149 will start with “12E” and a 16V149 will start with “16E”.
  • This is the easiest of all DDC serial numbers to find as:
    • It is facing upwards and this therefore eliminates the need to bend down and get to the air box to find it
    • The letters are usually larger and very easy to read.
  • They are always located on the front right bank of the engine, almost at the very front lower corner of the front valve cover.

Detroit Diesel V149 Engine Serial Number Detroit Diesel V149 Engine

Series 50 and 60 Engines (How to Identify My Engine?)

Because of the relatively young age of these engines (when compared to DDC two stroke engines), the Series 50 and Series 60 are the easiest serial numbers to find of any of the Detroit Diesel engines. Almost all of these engines still have the engine data plate still on the valve covers. These are very easy to read and at the bottom of one of those data plates, you will see an Engine Number that starts with 05R (Series 50) or 06R (Series 60).

Model Number Breakdown

All Detroit Diesel engines have an 8 digit model broken into two equal segments of four numbers (1234-5678). Each number in the model number has a very specific purpose, providing valuable information including:

  • The engine series
  • The number of cylinders
  • The engine application
  • The engine arrangement
  • The engine configuration

Click on the image below to download our model number guide for all Detroit Diesel two stroke engines as well as the 8.2L, Series 50 and Series 60 four stroke engine models.

Detroit Diesel Serial Number Guide

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