Engine Identification Methods
Model Information & System Of Names
- Every Briggs & Stratton engine has a basic model letter or number
such as A, WM, ZZ, 5, 23, etc. This will be found on the metal nameplate
if it is present on the engine. The early F Series has the Model & Serial
number stamped into the crankcase.
- Early engines (up to somewhere in the 1940's) have a brass plate on
the shroud and later engines have a zinc or aluminum plate on the cylinder
- Engines having special features are identified by additional letters
or numerals assigned to the basic Model Letter or Number such as AL, 8R6, NS,
etc. For Example the 8R6 is a model 8 engine with a 6:1 reduction gear and
the NS is a model N with a suction carburetor. An explanation of these suffix
letters is given below.
Letters Following Basic Model Letters
||Direct Crankcase Mounting
Letters Following Basic Model Numbers
||Power Takeoff Revolves CW
Briggs & Stratton engines can be dated by several methods.
These are listed below in order of their accuracy.
- If the model and serial no. are known, the manufacturing date listings
presented elsewhere on this web site will give the month of manufacture.
- A date code was used on most die cast flywheels and magneto plates. The
last two digits of the year are shown in one cast in depression and a letter
representing the month is shown in another. The months are lettered in order,
i.e. A = January, B = February, etc. Based on comparison with serial numbered
engines, these dates are accurate to within several months,
assuming that the parts are original to the engine. I have also found that the
same type of date code is stamped into the laminations of some earlier magneto
- A rough estimate can sometimes be made by certain engine features such
as external vs. internal breathers and oil systems. A solid knowledge of Briggs
engines is required to use this technique.
Back to Briggs Index Page.
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Last modified: 01 / 21 / 2014