How to Read the VIN Numbers on Ford Trucks

by Meg Warren

The VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a set of 17 numbers that create a type of DNA for a specific vehicle. This set of numbers carries quite a bit of information about the Ford truck it is placed on. The VIN number can inform you where the truck was made, when it was made, and various other features. The VIN number is given to insurance companies, auto loan companies, and the state at the time the vehicle was purchased.

Locate the Vehicle Identification Number on the dash of the truck. The number is punched into a small metal plate and attached to the dash of the car on the driver's side, close to the windshield. Stand outside the vehicle and look down through the windshield at the dash. Ensure there is nothing blocking the view.

Write down all the numbers and letters of the VIN number on a piece of paper.

Examine the first digit in the VIN number, which represents where the truck was built. The number one indicates USA, number two is Canada and number three is Mexico.

Examine the second digit in the VIN number, this should be an "F" which means that Ford is the manufacturer of the truck.

Examine the third digit in the VIN number, which represents the type of vehicle. Yours should have a T in this spot. Other options are C, representing basic stripped chassis, D representing incomplete vehicle and m for multipurpose vehicle.

Examine the fourth digit in the VIN number, this represents the gross vehicle weight of the truck. A = Up to 3,000 lbs. B = 3,001 - 4,000 lbs C = 4,001 - 5,000 lbs D = 5,001 - 6,000 lbs E = 6,001 - 7,000 lbs F = 7,001 - 8,000 lbs G = 8,001 - 8,500 lbs H = 8,501 - 9,000 lbs J = 9,001 - 10,000 lbs K = 10,000 - 14,000 lbs L = 14,001 - 16,000 lbs M = 16,001 - 19,500 lbs

Examine the next three digits this represents the type of truck you own. The line is listed in the fifth digit location, the series is sixth, and the body type is seventh: E11 = Econoline - Club Wagon E31 = Econoline - Club Wagon - Heavy Duty S31 = Econoline - Club Wagon - Super Club Wagon E14 = Econoline - E-150 - Cargo Van E24 = Econoline - E-250 - Cargo Van E27 = Econoline - E-250 - Commercial Cutaway E29 = Econoline - E-250 - Commercial Basic E30 = Econoline - E-350 - RV Cutaway E34 = Econoline - E-350 - Cargo Van E37 = Econoline - E-350 - Commercial Cutaway E39 = Econoline, - E-350 - Commercial Basic S24 = Econoline, - E-250 - Super Van S34 = Econoline, - E-350 - Super Van E40 = E-Super Duty - RV Cutaway E47 = E-Super Duty - Commercial Cutaway F07 = F-150 - Flare side - 4x2 X07 = F-150 Super Cab - Flare side - 4x2 F08 = F-150 - Flare side - 4x4 X08 = F-150 Super Cab - Flare side - 4x4 F17 = F-150 - Style side - 4x2 X17 = F-150 Super Cab - Style side - 4x2 F18 = F-150 - Style side - 4x4 X18 = F-150 Super Cab - Style side - 4x4 F27 = F-250 - Style side - 4x2 X27 = F-250 Super Cab - Style side - 4x2 F28 = F-250 - Style side - 4x4 X28 = F-250 Super Cab - Style side - 4x4 U12 = Bronco II - 4x2 U14 = Bronco II - 4x4 U22 = Explorer - 2 door - 4x2 U32 = Explorer - 4 door - 4x2 U24 = Explorer - 2 door - 4x4 U34 = Explorer - 4 door - 4x4 U35 = Explorer - 4 door, - AWD U52 = Mountaineer - 4door - 4x2 U54 = Mountaineer - 4 door - 4x4 U55 = Mountaineer - 4 door - AWD R10 = Ranger - 4x2 R11 = Ranger - 4x4 R14 = Ranger - 4x2 - 2 door Super Cab R15 = Ranger - 4x4 - 2 door Super Cab R18 = Ranger - 4x2 - 4 door Super Cab R19 = Ranger - 4x4 - 4 door Super Cab

Examine the eighth digit in the VIN number this digit represents the type of engine originally installed in the truck: A = 2.3-Liter 4-Cylinder (Ranger 1997 and older) B = 2.5-Liter 4-Cylinder Diesel (Ranger) C = 2.5-Liter 4-Cylinder (Ranger)(2.0 on older Rangers) E = 2.3-Liter 4-Cylinder Diesel (Mitsubishi) E = 4.0-Liter 6-Cylinder - SOHC (Explorer, Mountaineer) F = 7.3-Liter 8-Cylinder Diesel (Econoline) L = 5.4-Liter 8-Cylinder (Econoline, F-150, F-250) M = 5.4-Liter 8-Cylinder Natural Gas (Econoline, F-150, F-250) P = 2.2-Liter 4-Cylinder Diesel (Ranger) P = 5.0-Liter 8-Cylinder (Explorer/Mountaineer) S = 2.8-Liter 6-Cylinder (Ranger) S = 6.8-Liter 10-Cylinder (Econoline) T = 2.9-Liter 6-Cylinder (Ranger) U = 3.0-Liter 6-Cylinder (Ranger) W = 4.6-Liter 8-Cylinder (F-150, F-250) X = 4.0-Liter 6-Cylinder (Explorer, Ranger) Z = 5.4-Liter 8-Cylinder (Econoline, F-150, F-250) 2 = 4.2-Liter 6-Cylinder (Econoline, F-150, F-250) 6 = 4.6-Liter 8-Cylinder (Econoline, F-150, F-250)

Examine the 10th digit in the VIN number, this represents the model year. The ninth digit is irrelevant to a Ford truck. Starting with 1980 the 10th digit is an "A" and moving on from there until ending with "Y" on a new century. From there the numbers one through nine are used. Then the digits change to letters again. This same pattern repeats in the same way over and over. The digits are coded as follows: A = 1980 B = 1981 C = 1982 D = 1983 E = 1984 F = 1985 G = 1986 H = 1987 J = 1988 K = 1989 L = 1990 M = 1991 N = 1992 P = 1993 R = 1994 S = 1995 T = 1996 V = 1997 W = 1998 X = 1999 Y = 2000 1 = 2001 2 = 2002 3 = 2003 4 = 2004 5 = 2005 6 = 2006 7 = 2007 8 = 2008 9 = 2009 A = 2010 B = 2011 C = 2012 and so on...

Examine the 12th digit in the VIN number. This number represents the division with in ford that manufactured the vehicle. For instance A or E = Ford Division, J or L = Lincoln/Mercury Division.

Examine the 13th digit through the 17th. These digits represent the number in which this vehicle was made. For example the number 1050 would mean that this vehicle was the 1,050th truck produced in the specific plant that year.

About the Author

Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera white wall image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com