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How to Identify a Ford Truck Model Year

by Dawn Marcotte

Identifying a Ford truck model year can be done using the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. The VIN is a series of 17 letters and numbers for vehicles manufactured after 1982. VIN numbers prior to 1982 can be decoded by a local Ford dealer. Each number has a meaning, and the VIN can be used like DNA to positively identify the individual vehicle, from manufacture to destruction.

Step 1

Locate the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the vehicle or from the title of the vehicle. VINs are commonly located on the driver's side door jamb sticker and on the dashboard. The dashboard VIN can be seen through the windshield on the driver's side. If the VIN is difficult to read on the vehicle, use a flashlight to help read the long string of numbers.

Step 2

Locate the tenth digit of the VIN. It may be a letter or a number.

Utilize the following key to determine the model year of the vehicle: 1982 – C, 1982 – D, 1983 – E, 1984 – F, 1985 – G, 1986 - H, 1987 - I, 1988 - J, 1989 – K, 1990 through 2000 – Y. From 2001 onward, the model year is determined by numbers, so model year 2001 has a number 1 in the tenth position, followed by 2002 – 2, 2003 – 3 etc. up until 2010, when it returns to letters. Model year 2010 has an A in position 10.

Tips

  • The other numbers and letters of the VIN also have specific meanings. The second character identifies the manufacturer. Ford is represented by F. Digits 4 through 8 identify vehicle features such as body style, engine type and model.
  • Trucks manufactured prior to 1980 have Vehicle Identification Codes, but they are specific to the manufacturer and will need to be decoded by a reputable dealer.

Items you will need

  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Flashlight

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