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Dodge Truck Vehicle Serial Numbers
Of all the things about Sweptline Era Dodge trucks that are unique, their VIN number system is probably the most confusing. Besides the fact that the year the truck was made is not specifically stated in the VSN (vehicle serial number) or on the VSN plate until 1970, there are also many quirks that can cause great confusion in trying to decode VSN numbers from these trucks. Another strange fact is that the VIN numbers do not match the production figures that are "known" from Don Bunn's section in The Standard Catalog of American Light Duty Pickups by Krause Publications.

Note: All VSN Information came from various Dodge Truck Parts Books and the author's own experience with these trucks.

VSN Locations and an Example
`61-`62 Trucks `63-`69 Trucks `70-`71 Trucks
Note: Your VSN plate may not be identical to any of these examples.
For D-series trucks, the VSN plate is located on the Driver's side door lock pillar. On A-series compacts, the plate is on the door ledge (horizontal surface) nearest the driver's seat. One interesting and little known fact is that the truck frame is also stamped with the VSN. This stamped-in-frame VSN is located on the passenger side near the front leaf spring mounting location on the outside of the frame. This is just behind the front bumper. You may have to do some scraping or cleaning to see the number. One benefit of having the number stamped here is to verify that your cab was never swapped with another during the course of your truck's life without the VSN plate also being swapped. When I swapped my cab, I also traded VSN plates so there would be no confusion. Other benefits to this feature include ease of DOT safety inspections and the ability to prove the originality of any Sweptline truck, even if the cab is gone.

Decoding the Vehicle Serial Number
This section is divided up into two subsections; a section for `61-`69 trucks and a section for `70-`71 trucks. The purpose of this is to simplify the change made for 1970 when Dodge went from 10 digit VSN's to 13 digit VSN's.

1961-1969 Vehicle Serial Numbers
`61-`69 Dodge Truck VSN Decoding Example - 1161872000
116 1872000
Model Code Number of Cylinders Assembly Plant Sequence Number

Model Code (First Two Digits)

Step 1: For the Model Code portion of the VSN, use the table below to determine the Series and Model of truck whose VSN you are attempting to decode.

Model Code Index
CodeModelCode ModelCodeModel
11D-10030 P-100 (Canada)57CT-700
12D-20031 P-20058CT-800
13D-30032 P-30059CT-900
14D-40033 P-40060PD-500
15D-50035 S-500 197" WB61PD-600
16D-60036 S-600 240" WB63M-300
17D-70037 S-500 240" WB64M-400 (375)
18A-100 Pickup38 S-600 258" WB65PC-500
19A-100 Van39 S-500 221"WB66PC-600
20A-100 Wagon40 S-55073LV-1000
21W-10045 C-50076L-600
22W-20046 C-60077L-700
23W-30047 C-70083LVT-1000
24WM-30048 C-85089CN-900
25W-50050 C-100091LN-1000
29P-37555 WT-50096LNT-1000
For the example above, "11" represents a D-100 truck.

Number of Cylinders (Third Digit)

Step 2: For the Number of Cylinders, there are two choices;

6 - denotes six-cylinder engine. This could be a 251 L-head six, or a 170, 198, or 225 Slant Six. Conventional pickups and A-series compacts came with slant sixes while WM-300's came with the L-head sixes.

8 - denotes a V8 engine. This could be the LA-273, A-318, LA-318 (`67-up), B-361 or the B-383.

The numbers "6" and "8" also apply to diesel engines, but do not necessarily imply inline or v-type engines. The number in this case only signifies the number of cylinders.

Assembly Plant (Forth Digit)

Step 3: Assembly plant codes follow this simple formula:

1 - Warren Truck Plant, Warren, Michigan

2 - Warren Truck Plant, Warren, Michigan (Heavy Duty)

6 - Windsor Truck Plant, Windsor, Canada

7 - Missouri Truck Plant, St. Louis, Missouri

Most light duty A-series Compacts or D-series pickups were built at the Warren Truck Plant (#1).

Sequence Number (Fifth thru Tenth Digits)

Step 4: Here's where the trouble begins with Dodge Truck VSN's. The sequence number denotes the sequence in which the truck was manufactured. This can be very confusing, even if one has the starting sequence numbers for each year of manufacture (see below). Although this can be a simple task once you know the starting sequence number, one can certainly be confused by the "known" production figures through comparison with these sequence numbers.

Use your sequence number to find the sequence in which your truck was built. This works by taking your six digit sequence number and finding which year starting sequence number it is greater than. Likewise, your sequence number should be less than a more recent year. The year which your truck was built is the earlier year, or the year which your sequence number is greater than that year's starting sequence number. See also the example.

For the example case, the sequence number shows that the truck is a `69 (the first one built). You might also want to check out another page on this site of Starting Serial Numbers which will give you an idea of what number the first truck off the production line was designated with.

Beginning Sequence Numbers and years...

Trucks Except A-Series Compacts
YearStarting Sequence Number
1961 100000
-or-000000 (Missouri. Built)*
1968780000 (Warren Built)
-or-000001 (Canada Built)
-or-020000 (Missouri Built)
1969872000 (Warren Built)
-or-005001 (Canada Built)
-or-086000 (Missouri Built)

A-Series Compacts
YearStarting Sequence Number
-or-000000 (Missouri Built)*
1968135000 (Warren Built)
-or-020000 (Missouri Built)
1969158000 (Warren Built)

* - denotes that, in the parts manual the starting sequence number started with a 7 for the factory, then 000000 as the first in the sequence for 1967. The parts manual states that this number corresponds to a truck which is (Warren & Mo. Built). It is believed by the author that this means either these trucks were built partially at both plants or they were really just built at the Missouri plant.

1970-1971 Vehicle Serial Numbers
There are seven elements within the thirteen character VSN for `70-`71 Dodge Trucks. What's nice about VSNs for `70-`71 Trucks is that the Model year is specifically stated as the sixth digit. No math or guesswork necessary. Follow the steps and use the example VSN to help you decode yours.

`70-`71 Dodge Truck VSN Decoding Example - A13AA0U100001
A13A A0U 100001
Model Code Body GVW EngineModel Year Assembly Plant Sequence Number

Model Code (First Two Characters)

Step 1: For the Model Code portion of the VSN, use the table below to determine the Series and Model of truck whose VSN you are attempting to decode.

Model Code Index
CodeModelCode ModelCodeModel
A1A-100E3W-300 T9LN-1000
B1B-100E5W-500 V9LV-1000
B2 B-200X3WM-300U9 LNT-1000
B3B-300 M5C-500W9LVT-1000
D1D-100M6C-600F1P-100 (Canada)
D2 D-200M7C-700F2 P-200
D3D-300M8 C-800F3P-300
D4 D-400M9C-1000F4 P-400
D5D-500 N7CT-700J5 S-500
D6D-600 N8CT-800J6S-600
D7D-700N9 CT-900H3M-300
D8D-800Q9CN-900H4 M-400 (375)
E1W-100 L6CNT-900Y3 MDAP
E2W-200 L6L-600G1 Post Office
  L7 L-700  

Body (Third Character)

Step 2: To define the body from the VSN, match the number to one of the following descriptions for each code:

Gross Vehicle Weight (Fourth Character)

Step 3: To match the VSN designation for GVW of the truck you're decoding, use the chart below to determine the GVW rating:
GVW Index
A 6,000 lbs or less
B6,001 lbs to 10,000 lbs
C10,001 lbs to 14,000 lbs
D 14,001 lbs to 16,000 lbs
E 16,001 lbs to 19,000 lbs
F 19,001 lbs to 26,000 lbs
G 26,001 lbs to 33,000 lbs
H 33,001 lbs and up

Engine (Fifth Character)

Step 4: The "Gasoline & Diesel Engines Index" table (shown below) relates the various codes to the engine originally installed in `70-`71 Dodge Trucks.

Gasoline & Diesel Engines Index
A198N413-14Cummins NTC335
B225-1P413-25Cummins V8-185
C225-2R413-36Detroit 8V-71N
D251-3S478 (Intl.)7Detroit 8V-71NE
ELA 318-1T549 (Intl.)8Cummins NH230
FLA 360W2309Perkins 6.354
GLA 318-3XSpecial 6 Cyl. GasHDetroit 6-71NE
J383YSpecial 8 Cyl. GasQ Detroit 6-71N
K361-21Perkins 4.236UCummins V8-210
L361-32Cummins NHC250VCummins V903
M361-43Cummins NTC280ZSpecial Diesel

Model Year

Step 5: This is the Model Year Character of the VSN. "0" denotes a model year 1970 truck, while a "1" denotes a model year 1971 truck.

Assembly Plant (Sixth Character)

Step 6: For the Assembly Plant character of the VSN, use the table below to match the plant of manufacture to the VSN of your truck:

Assembly Plant Index
J Canadian Built
NBurt Road (KDX)
SWarren Truck #1 (Incl. Compacts - `70)
TWarren Truck #2 (Heavy Duty)
UMissouri Truck
V Warren Truck Compact - `71

Sequence Number

Step 7: Finally, the sequence number tells you "in what order" your truck was made relative to the other trucks made in a particular year.

For 1970 Model Year trucks, the sequence numbers began with 100001 and ended with 300000. Thus, subtract 100,001 from your sequence number and the result will tell you in what order the truck was built (Ex: the 31,754th truck in 1970).

For 1971 Model Year trucks, the sequence numbers began with 300001 and ended with 500000. Thus, subtract 300,001 from your sequence number and the result will tell you in what order the truck was built in 1971 production terms.

Note: 1970 Production began Aug. `69, ended July `70.
1971 Production began Aug `70 and ended July `71.

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