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Vin Number Decoding


The VIN is an acronym for Vehicle Identification Number. Many people have asked, "What does the VIN number on my Mark VIII mean?" Here is some information:

The first 3 digits are the world manufacturer code. All Lincolns that are sold as complete vehicles start with "1LN."

The fourth VIN digit is the vehicle restraint system. The shop manual says cars with active safety belts, air bags in both positions are "L." Most VIN numbers submitted to the club so far have L in this position. My 1998 has VIN has F in this position. No definition for this letter is given.

Digit 5 to 7 indicate the vehicle line series and body type. M91 is the Mark VIII, while M92 is the Mark VIII LSC. All 1995 LSC's and early 1996 LSC's are designated M91. The only way to tell if you have an LSC is to see if it has the Euro-perforated seats, true dual exhausts, chrome directional wheels and says LSC on back. The 1996 LSC's also have HID headlamps standard, as may have a few 1995's.

Digit 8 is the engine code. It is V for the 4.6 liter EFI 4 valve per cylinder eight cylinder engine that is found only in the Mark VIII.

Digit 9 is the check digit code, whatever that is. This is some sort of verification code for Ford. There is probably some formula to generate this digit from the rest of the numbers.

Digit 10 is the model year code.

  • P =1993

  • R= 1994

  • S=1995

  • T= 1996 ( one Diamond Anniversary edition has been recorded with an L )

  • V=1997

  • W =1998

Digit 11 is the assembly plant. It is always Y for the Mark VIII's, which were all made in the Wixom, Michigan assembly plant.

The last 6 digits are the production sequence number. The first Lincoln/Mercury of the year gets the number 600001. The first Ford of the year gets the number 100001. The VIN number does not give your the date of manufacture or what accessories the vehicle has.

The date of manufacture, color, trim, brake type, transmission type, radio and spring type can be gleaned from the Vehicle Certificate on the left hand front door jamb. If you want to find out the accessories originally on your vehicle, you need to find the build (ROT) sheet. I found mine behind the driver's seat underneath the carpet, when I replaced my carpet. The location of these sheets is variable, and sometimes they are missing. Then again sometimes there are ROT sheets from multiple vehicles in one car. It would be an interesting project, if we could collect from website visitors the information on the ROT sheets. Then we will be able to figure out what the letters on the sheets mean.

If you have any additional information on VIN numbers or ROT sheets, please contact the webmaster.

Article written by Alexander Sosiak with information from the 1998 Helms Mark VIII shop manual and from VIN numbers submitted by members of the Lincolns of Distinction.




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