THE GARAGE GUIDES

240SX VIN / Model ID Decoding
(S13/S14)

"Do I have LSD?"

"How can you tell if it's CA model?"

"Is my car a base/ SE/ LE model?"

If you browse the forums a lot, you'll see these questions regularly. some people say you can identify a 240SX model by parts combinations. Some say "look at the emblem" which isn't entirely true anymore since anyone and their mom can just buy emblems and fake the funk.

So What 240SX Do You Have?

 


There's a more accurate way of telling what model 240SX
you have other than just by looking at the wheels and the
emblem on the back. (BTW, my car was always a real SE)

The only accurate way to identify your 240SX is by reading and decoding a shiny metal "vehicle identification plate" attached to your car from the factory.

This plate is stamped with various identification numbers depending on make and model car. On Nissan 240sx cars, this plate is stamped with things such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), model ID number, engine code, factory paint color code, transmission and axle type, chassis code, etc.

For our purposes we'll focus on the first two (and the two longest) numbers on the plate.


 


Here's a close up of the vehicle identification plate (S14).
The two sets of digits we're concerned with is the two longest
ones - the 17-digit VIN number (above, starts with JN1) and
the 18-digit Model ID number right below it (there's 18
digits, including the 3 dashes at the end). NOTE: S13
model ID numbers are shorter, around 11 digits.

A majority of what you'll read is based on California, Canadian, and Federal (non-Californian, North-American) models.

However, some of it may also work for off-continent models - during 'decode checking" I had some people out of the country (Canada, Mexico, and even Peru) test out the "decoding" before I published this article, and surprisingly they got accurate results. It's possible that these countries are supplied with Federal models, but that's not the point of this article. Anyhow, let's get started.

Don't strain your brain - get out a pencil or pen, go to your car, pop the hood, and write down the VIN and the Model ID numbers on a piece of paper. See the photos to the right to find your vehicle identification plate.

For both S13 and S14, the location of the plate is pretty much in the same place - right side of the car, behind the right shock tower, on the firewall against the back of the engine bay.

 



The VIN should be 17 digits, with the most variation occurring in the last 6 digits. These last 6 digits are the actual sequence number of the car you own. Think of it as like a serial number identifying when your car came out of the factory fresh and new.

The "MID" (Model ID number) should have 18 'slots' for S14 models and about 11 'slots' for S13 models. I say "slots" because some of the digits might be in the form of a dash (-) which just means the same thing as n/a (not applicable).

While you're at your car, open the driver's side door. There should be a label in the doorjamb. This is the F.M.V.S.S. label (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards).

Look for the part that says "date" and that will tell you the month and year your car was actually manufactured.

Get the numbers down, and then let's continue.

 



1. Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN

Let's start with the Vehicle Identification number (top row, 17 digits). I'll use a fake S14 VIN number as an example: JN1AS44D3SW012345. Let's break this down in significant parts:

JN1 - AS44 - D3S - W - 123456

And to the right, we see what each digit (or group of digits) mean.

 

 

So "JN1" means that I have a Nissan car manufactured in Japan. It's common knowledge that all 240SX's brought to U.S. dealers were all made in the homeland."AS44" means that I have a KA24DE, S14 coupe. I wish mine said "P" but oh well.

 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Country of Origin

J = Japan

1 = USA

3 = Mexico

2nd
Manufacturer Brand
N = Nissan
3rd
Vehicle Type
1 or 4 = car

3 = convertible car
4th
Engine Code
A = KA24DE

H or S= KA24E

M = KA24DE

P = SR20DET (not legally in the U.S.)
5th-6th
Vehicle Line / Model Change
S3 = S13,

S4 = S14
7th
Body Type

4 = 2-door coupe

6 = 2-door fastback

7 = convertible

So "D3S" means that my car has driver/passenger airbags + manual seatbelts, and it is a model year 1995. Everything seems correct so far. Let's get to the last 7 digits of the VIN. Finally, W" means that my car was built in the Nissan factory located in Kyushyu, Japan. The last 6 digits are my serial number for my particular vehicle.

 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
8th
Safety Restraint Type
D = driver/passenger airbags + manual belts

P = motorized seatbelts,

S = manual seatbelts
9th
Check Digit
Determined by mathematical computation; I don't know the formula and it seems no one can confirm what it's for.
10th
Model Year

Each letter (A-Y) represents a year between 1980 and the year 2000. "I", "O", "Q", "U", and "Z" aren't used due to stamping similarities ("I" looks like "1", "O" and "Q" and zero, "U" looks like "V")

K
=
1989
S
=
1995
L
=
1990
T
=
1996
M
=
1991
V
=
1997
N
=
1992
W
=
1998
P
=
1993
R
=
1994

Interesting, isn't it? Like stated earlier, the main variance in the VIN numbers for S13 and S14 occur in the last 6 digits, since these are all individually numbered by the order the cars came out of the specified assembly plant (digit #11). So that's it for the VIN number; now let's go to where the real details of your car are specified: the Model ID number.

 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
11th
Vehicle serial number form specified assembly plant
C = Smyrna, Tennessee

L = Aguascaliente, Mexico

M = Tochigi, Japan

T = Oppama, Japan

U = Zama, Japan,

W = Kyushyu, Japan

X = Nissa-Hiratsuka, Japan
12th-17th
Sequence Number
This is your vehicles unique serial number.

 

 

Remember those first 3 questions at the beginning of this article? With the Model ID number, all of those questions can be answered.

The model ID number specifies which features were installed into the car as standard equipment when the vehicle left the factory, wherever that may be. Please note - this does not specify or identify "dealer-installed" items.

Dealer-installed items were added or installed in the car AFTER the car was delivered to the dealership. Common "dealer-installed" items include mudguards, pin striping, rear spoilers on base model vehicles, etc.

Just in case you got all confused after all of the above, the 18-digit Model ID number is the second row of digits. There's 18 digits total, depending on factory installed equipment. Some cars might have blanks.

 


My particular MID happens to have 3 dashes at the end.
(NOTE: S13's have about 11 digits)

Chances are high that most of the people reading this article bought their 240SX used. If you are one of the few who have had your 240SX since it came off the dealer lot (meaning you're still the original first owner) I do envy you.

Also, if you had trouble locating the F.M.V.S.S. label, I decided to add some pics of mine for reference. The label is located on the driver's side doorjamb right below the door latch thingy (see the two pics to the right). The part we're concerned about is the part labeled"date". As you can see here, my car actually rolled off the assembly line in April of 1994.

Other interesting info on this label is the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of the car - note my S14 is pushing 2 tons. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing (probably bad LOL)

 



 

2. Model Identification Number, or 'MIN'

No more VIN stuff, now we'll be dealing with the Model Identification number (second row, up to 18 digits). Let's also break this down in significant parts. The easiest way for me to do this is to separate this article by chassis type, so scroll down to the section that matches your vehicle manufacture date.

 

 

S14 (1994-1995)
For S14 COUPE manufactured between
APRIL 1994 and JULY 1995.
   

With the exception of the engine type, all S14 chassis MIN numbers start with G_ _A.

Note that the 6th digit is THE REFERENCE for what model vehicle you have. This one should help many owners and also people looking into buying an S14 but want to make sure what they're getting.

The "S14" part is self-explanitory. Same with the 11th-13th digits. From here, the 14th-and-on digits mean different things. They basically specify which optional features were installed at the time of manufacture. For example, with these numbers you can tell if the VLSD in your car was original equipment, or if the previous owner added it on after, or if your car even has one (or is supposed to have one).

To find out the actual month and year, refer to the F.M.V.S.S. label.

 

digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Body Type

G = 2-door Coupe

2nd-3rd
Engine Type
BG = KA24DE
BY = SR20DET
4th
Drive Axle Type
A = Two-wheel drive (all S14's were 2WD)
digit #
meaning
NOTES
5th
Steering Position
L = Left-hand drive
R = Right hand drive
6th
Grade / Model
R = Base Model
T = SE
7th
Transmission Type
F = five-speed manual transmission,
A = four-speed automatic transmission
digit #
meaning
NOTES
8th-10th
Chassis
S14 = 1995-1998 S14 chassis
11th
Engine Intake Type

E = Normally Aspirated EFI,
U = Turbo charged

12th
Sales Destination
E = RHD European Market
G = Non-specific LHD market
H = RHD except Europe and Australia
M = Australia
N = Canada
U = Federal (U.S.)
V = California Only
13th
Seating Capacity
4 = 4 passengers
 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
14th Optional Packages The letter determines which option packages were installed at the factory (not at the dealer), listed below:
--->
A
Fog lamps / 205/55VR-16 tires on 16" alloy wheels (Stripped SE model)
--->
B
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / Auto door locks / AM/FM CD Receiver (single DIN)
--->
C
Spotlight map lamps / Fog lamps / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel and shift knob / 205/55VR-16 tires on 16" alloy wheels
--->
D
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / Auto door locks
--->
F
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / Auto door locks / AM/FM CD Receiver (single DIN) / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel and shift knob
--->
G
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / Auto door locks / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel and shift knob
     
15th
Exterior Add-Ons The letter determines which additional exterior options were installed at time of manufacture, listed below:
--->
A
Power glass moon roof
--->
B
15x6" Alloy wheel upgrade (for base model 240SX only)
--->
C
Power glass moon roof / 15x6" Alloy wheel upgrade (for base model 240SX only)
     
16th
N/A
N/A
17th
Touch-Up Paint
Specifies if a bottle of Touch-up paint matched to the body color was included with the car; A = yes, otherwise no
     
18th
Drive System Options
Specifies if drive system upgrades were installed at the time of manufacture, listed below:
--->
A
Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)
--->
C
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) / Manual Air Conditioning / Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)
--->
E
Manual Air Conditioning / Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)
--->
F
Manual Air Conditioning

S14 (1995-1996)
For S14 COUPE manufactured between
AUGUST 1995 and JULY 1996.

   

With the exception of the engine type, all S14 chassis MIN numbers start with G_ _A.

Note that the 6th digit is THE REFERENCE for what model vehicle you have. This one should help many owners and also people looking into buying an S14 but want to make sure what they're getting.

The "S14" part is self-explanitory. Same with the 11th-13th digits. From here, the 14th-and-on digits mean different things. They basically specify which optional features were installed at the time of manufacture. For example, with these numbers you can tell if the VLSD in your car was original equipment, or if the previous owner added it on after, or if your car even has one (or is supposed to have one).

To find out the actual month and year, refer to the F.M.V.S.S. label.

 

digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Body Type

G = 2-door Coupe (all S14's were coupes)

2nd-3rd
Engine Type
BG = KA24DE
BY = SR20DET
4th
Drive Axle Type
A = Two-wheel drive (all S14's were 2WD)
digit #
meaning
NOTES
5th
Steering Position
L = Left-hand drive
R = Right hand drive
6th
Grade / Model
R = Base Model
T = SE
7th
Transmission Type
F = five-speed manual transmission,
A = four-speed automatic transmission
digit #
meaning
NOTES
8th-10th
Chassis
S14 = 1995-1998 S14 chassis
11th
Engine Intake Type

E = Normally Aspirated EFI,
U = Turbo charged

12th
Sales Destination
E = RHD European Market
G = Non-specific LHD market
H = RHD except Europe and Australia
M = Australia
N = Canada
U = Federal (U.S.)
V = California Only
13th
Seating Capacity
4 = 4 passengers
 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
14th
Optional packages
The letter determines which option packages were installed at the factory (not at the dealer), listed below:
--->
C
Spotlight map lamps / Fog lamps / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel and shift knob / 205/55VR-16 tires on 16" alloy wheels
--->
H
No Radio (Dealer-decided)
--->
J
None.
--->
K
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / Auto door locks
--->
L
Fog lamps / 205/55VR-16 tires on 16" alloy wheels
     
15th
Exterior Add-Ons The letter determines which additional exterior options were installed at time of manufacture, listed below:
--->
A
Power glass moon roof
--->
B
15x6" Alloy wheel upgrade (for base model 240SX only)
--->
C
Power glass moon roof / 15x6" Alloy wheel upgrade (for base model 240SX only)
     
16th
N/A
N/A
17th
Touch-Up Paint
Specifies if a bottle of Touch-up paint matched to the body color was included with the car; A = yes, otherwise no
     
18th
Drive System Options
Specifies if drive system upgrades were installed at the time of manufacture, listed below:
--->
A
Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)
--->
B
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) / Manual Air Conditioning
--->
C
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) / Manual Air Conditioning / Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)

 

S14 (1996-1998)
For S14 COUPE manufactured in
AUGUST 1996 and beyond.
   

With the exception of the engine type, all S14 chassis MIN numbers start with G_ _A.

Note that the 6th digit is THE REFERENCE for what model vehicle you have. This one should help many owners and also people looking into buying an S14 but want to make sure what they're getting.

The "S14" part is self-explanitory. Same with the 11th-13th digits. From here, the 14th-and-on digits mean different things. They basically specify which optional features were installed at the time of manufacture. For example, with these numbers you can tell if the VLSD in your car was original equipment, or if the previous owner added it on after, or if your car even has one (or is supposed to have one).

To find out the actual month and year, refer to the F.M.V.S.S. label.

 

digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Body Type

G = 2-door Coupe (all S14's were coupes)

2nd-3rd
Engine Type
BG = KA24DE
BY = SR20DET
4th
Drive Axle Type
A = Two-wheel drive (all S14's were 2WD)
digit #
meaning
NOTES
5th
Steering Position
L = Left-hand drive
R = Right hand drive
6th
Grade / Model
R = Base Model
T = SE
(NOTE: LE was only available after 07/96; specified in digit 14)
7th
Transmission Type
F = five-speed manual transmission,
A = four-speed automatic transmission
digit #
meaning
NOTES
8th-10th
Chassis
S14 = 1995-1998 S14 chassis
11th
Engine Intake Type

E = Normally Aspirated EFI,
U = Turbo charged

12th
Sales Destination
E = RHD European Market
G = Non-specific LHD market
H = RHD except Europe and Australia
M = Australia
N = Canada
U = Federal (U.S.)
V = California Only
13th
Seating Capacity
4 = 4 passengers
 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
14th
Optional packages
The letter determines which option packages were installed at the factory (not at the dealer), listed below. Note that there were also an "A" and "H" designation, which were basic stripped versions of the 240SX:
--->
B
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / 15x6" alloy wheel upgrade (for base models only) / Auto door locks / AM/FM Cassette radio (single DIN) / Sun Visors
--->
C
Automatic Speed Control Device (ASCD; a.k.a. Cruise control) / 15x6" alloy wheel upgrade (for base models only) / Auto door locks / AM/FM Cassette radio (single DIN) / Power moon roof / Sun Visors
--->
D
Fog lamps
--->
E
Fog lamps / Power moon roof
--->
F
"LE" Model / Keyless entry system / Spotlight map lamps / Fog lamps / AM/FM Cassette radio (double DIN) / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel
--->
G
"LE" Model / Keyless entry system / Spotlight map lamps / Fog lamps / Power moon roof / AM/FM Cassette radio (double DIN) / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel
--->
J
15x6" alloy wheel upgrade (for base models only) / Auto door locks / AM/FM Cassette radio (single DIN) / Sun Visors
--->
K
Fog lamps / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel
--->
L
Fog lamps / Power moon roof / Leather seats / Leather steering wheel
15th
N/A
N/A
     
16th
Exterior Aero Add-Ons
Specifies if vehicle was equipped with OEM front lip and OEM rear wing; A = rear wing only, B = both
17th
N/A
N/A
     
18th
Drive System Options
Specifies if drive system upgrades were installed at the time of manufacture, listed below:
--->
C
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) / Manual Air Conditioning / Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD)
--->
D
Specified as model year 1996.5
--->
F
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) / Manual Air Conditioning / Viscous Limited-Slip Differential (VLSD) / Specified as model year 1996.5
     
S13 (1988-1994)
For S13 SOHC coupe and fastback manufactured in 1988-1990.
  S13 (1988-1994)
For S13 DOHC coupe and fastback manufactured in 1991-1994.
digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Body Type

R = Fastback;
blank (no digit) = Coupe

2nd
Engine Type
[UPDATED]
H = KA24E
[blank] = CA18DET
3rd
Steering Position
L = Left-hand drive
R = Right hand drive
4th
Rear Suspension Type
blank (no digit) = Standard rear suspension
5th-7th
Chassis type
S13 = S13 Chassis, of course
8th
Transmission Type
F = five-speed manual transmission
A = four-speed automatic transmission
9th
Sales Destination
N = Canada
U = Federal (U.S.)
V = California Only
10th
Option Features
C= Air Conditioning
R= Anti lock Brake System + Air Conditioning
W= Glass Sunroof (Coupe requires Factory Option Package 11, Fastback requires Factory Option Package 12; Coupe is power sliding, Fastback is manual flip-up)
11th-12th
Factory Option Packages

Coupe:
   11 = XE Power Convenience Group (HUD display, Cruise control, Power side mirrors, Power windows, Power locks, Upgraded stereo, Footwell and Map lights)
   27 = Cruise control, Sport-tuned suspension
   28 = Fully loaded version (combine packages 11 and 27)
   99 = Stripped version (no options)

Fastback:
   12 = SE Sport Package (Cruise control, Alloy wheels, 205/60-15 radials, Sport-tuned suspension, Front airdam, Rear spoiler, Leather steering wheel, Leather shift knob, 'seamless' cloth trim)
   15 = SE Power Convenience Group (Cruise control, Power side mirrors, Power windows, Power locks, Upgraded stereo, Rear window wiper/washer)
   16 = Fully loaded version (combine packages 12 and 15)
   99 = Stripped version (no options)

 
digit #
meaning
NOTES
1st
Body Type

R = Fastback;
blank (no digit) = Coupe

2nd
Engine Type
[UPDATED]
M = KA24DE
P = SR20DET
[blank] = CA18DET
3rd
Steering Position
L = Left-hand drive
R = Right hand drive
4th
Rear Suspension Type
K = HICAS-equipped
blank (no digit) = Standard rear suspension
5th-7th
Chassis type
S13 = S13 Chassis, of course
8th
Transmission Type
F = five-speed manual transmission
A = four-speed automatic transmission
9th
Sales Destination
N = Canada
U = Federal (U.S.)
V = California Only
10th
Option Features
C= Air Conditioning
R= Anti lock Brake System + Air Conditioning
W= Sunroof
11th-12th
Factory Option Packages

Coupe:
   P2 = Power Convenience Group (Power side mirrors, Power windows, Power locks)
   P3 = Radio only
   S2 = Fully loaded version
   L2 = S2 plus Leather interior
   99 = Stripped version (no options)

Fastback:
   P1 = Power Convenience Group (Power side mirrors, Power windows, Power locks) and Rear window wiper
   P3 = Radio only
   S1 = Fully loaded version plus rear window wiper
   L1 = S1 plus Leather interior
   H1 = S1 plus HICAS
   99 = Stripped version (no options)

Convertible:
   99 = Power Locks, Power Windows, Alloy wheels, 205/60-15 radials

So there you have it. By decoding your VIN and MIN numbers, you have a sure-fire way of identifying any model S13 or S14 - what it has, what it was built with, and what it should have came with. For potential new S13 or S14 owners, this information can help them determine "steals" from "deals". For current S13 and S14 owners, hey - it's always good to learn something new about your car =)

* The charts shown in this article all apply to Nissan 240SX VIN and MIN numbers. Nissan uses several different combinations of numbers and letters for the first 3 digits depending on destination and vehicle type. Some other numbers might mean different things depending on vehicle type. The charts focus mainly on North American market S13 S14 chassis cars for simplicity. If there are any errors or you can add more information, please email me so I can update this article =)

 

I'd like to thank the resources I used as a reference to write this article:

- 240-sx.com faq
- Club240.com forum members
- Zilvia.net forum members
- NICO forum members
- Chart from Courtesy Nissan of Texas
- Rich Bjornson's S14 Model ID document
- Downtown Nissan, Toronto, Ontario Canada
- Nissan 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 Factory Service Manuals
- Nissan 1991, 1993 Factory Service Manuals

Also to the people who went out of their way (some of them in the middle of the night) to relay their VIN and MIN numbers for reference: Vince, John, Kevin, Alan, Edgar, John, Oliver, Darren, Kristelle, Chris, Mike, Paolo, and Jason; and extra thanks to John H. for letting me use a picture of his S13 engine bay for the article.

And finally, a big thanks to Nicholas L. who gave me a lot of great info that helped me finally complete the S13 MIN section!

Guide written by Raine (www.projectraine.com)
Original date: December 27, 2004
Last edit: September 4, 2006