Missing or missing engine serial numbers

Hello fellow parts, technicians, truck drivers, or anyone else experiencing the headache of a missing or missing engine serial number. If you are reading this, you have probably scoured the internet for such information. Believe me, I have done the same. Not much out there, is there? So, I decided to take it for myself and research and post something that I hope will be useful to someone.

First, a little background on what prompted this article. I am employed by possibly the best truck dealership in the country. In the service department we have many, many fleet accounts that we take care of. One of our accounts has an international glider. A glider is basically a cockpit and rack rails. The engine, transmission and rear axles come from another donor truck. Something similar to building a large model. This particular truck was married to an 8.3-liter Cummins mid-range engine and a 6-speed transmission. Whoever put together this truck forgot to record any information about the engine, the type of truck it came from, etc. Needless to say, the engine is a nightmare to find parts. I searched the internet to no avail, but couldn’t find anything solid to draw from. Hence this article. Let me review the different engines and share with you what I have found.

Caterpillar – The usual place to find the engine S / N is on the engine data label on the valve cover. If this is missing, Cat is very good at stamping the S / N on the right hand side near the rear of the engine. I don’t know if this applies to all engines, but I know it’s there for the big boys.

Cummins: The engine data label is nailed to the front cover of the accessory drivetrain on the driver’s side of the engine. This is also where the critical parts list or CPL number will be found. If this is missing, on large bore engines, Cummins stamps the engine S / N on the right side of the block near the oil cooler. Now for the bad news, small-bore engines – 3.9, 5.9, 8.3-liter engines, do not have this stamping. What I do in my situation is take all the visible part numbers on the engine and insert them into your cumpas web program. A little hint, Cummins wraps the injection lines on mechanical engines with metal tabs that have part numbers on them. I know this is silly, but it is a place to start. Good luck

Detroit – Like Caterpillar, the valve cover is the best place to find the engine S / N. I’ve been out of the Detroit scene for a while, but I think they dial number on the block as well. The motors of the series 50 and mainly of the series 60 are the main route of this type of power plant. Although there are still a lot of old 8V-72s on the buses. Also, the 8.2-liter fuel pincher is still available.

Navistar: The good 466 and 530 models. Again, the engine data label on the valve cover is the best place to start. On the driver’s side engine block, there is a cast number of the block that will also give you a good start. If the engine is the original engine in the truck, the line game tickets will tell the S / N. If you do overhaul on the frame, especially older truck, do yourself a favor and check the actual engine number with the set of lines.

This applies to all engines listed above. The truck’s VIN is possibly the best place to start to get the information you need to get the right parts the first time. Freightliner, Kenworth and Volvo use the last 6 digits of the International VIN, Sterling and Ford use the last 8 digits. Mack is a little different. They like the last 6 digits of the VIN and the model type of the truck.

Hope this helps someone along the way. Most people will know this information, but hopefully someone will benefit from it. Be precise in your search and let the wheels of America keep rolling!

Thank you for reading.

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