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Old 10-21-2004, 06:34 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Eric von Kleist's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
Posts: 632
Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Need Help Decoding VINs

I can't find enough information on VINs to help me decode the VIN for some busses listed on the NC Surplus System website. The website lists the year and make of the bus and its VIN, but no engine and tranny information.

Does anyone know how to decode International VINs? I have found one website http://www.carfax.com/ that will give some basic information, such as the year and model number

Year/Make/Model: 1985 INTERNATIONAL S SERIES 1853
Body Style: Bus
Manufactured In: UNITED STATES
Search Results: 0 records found in our database

but it does not go into enough detail to explain anything else.

I found this info at


1st character- Identifies the country in which the vehicle was manufactured.
For example: U.S.A.(1or 4), Canada(2), Mexico(3), Japan(J), Korea(K), England(S), Germany(W), Italy(Z)

2nd character- Identifies the manufacturer. For example; Audi(A),
BMW(B), Buick(4), Cadillac(6), Chevrolet(1), Chrysler(C), Dodge(B),
Ford(F), GM Canada(7), General Motors(G), Honda(H), Jaquar(A), Lincoln(L), Mercedes Benz(D), Mercury(M), Nissan(N), Oldsmobile(3), Pontiac(2or5), Plymouth(P), Saturn(, Toyota(T), VW(V), Volvo(V).

3rd character- Identifies vehicle type or manufacturing division.

4th to 8th characters- VDS - Vehicle Descriptor Section. These 5 characters occupy positions 4 through 8 of the VIN and may be used by the manufacturer to identify attributes of the vehicle. Identifies vehicle features such as body style, engine type, model, series, etc.

9th Character - The check digit "character or digit 9" in the sequence of a vehicle identification number (VIN) built beginning with model year 1981 (when the 17 character digit format was established) can best be described as identifying the VIN accuracy.

A check digit shall be part of each vin (since 1981) and shall appear in position
nine (9) of the VIN on the vehicle and on any transfer documents containing
the vin prepared by the manufacturer to be given to the first owner for purposes
other than resale. Thus, the vins of any two vehicles manufactured within a 30
year period shall not be identical. The check digit means a single number or letter
"x" used to verify the accuracy of the transcription of the vehicle identification

After all other characters in the VIN have been determined by the manufacturer
the check digit is calculated by carrying out a mathematical computation
specified. This is based on vin position, sample vin, assigned value code,
weight factor and multiply assigned value times weight factors. The values are added and the total is divided by 11. The remainder is the check digit number.
The correct numeric remainder - zero through nine (0-9) will appear.
However, if the remainder is 10 the letter "X" is used to designate the check
digit value/number.

10th character- Identifies the model year. For example: 1988(J), 1989(K), 1990(L), 1991(M), 1992(N), 1993(P), 1994(R), 1995(S), 1996(T),
1997(V), 1998(W), 1999(X), 2000(Y)------2001(1), 2002(2), 2003(3)

11th character- Identifies the assembly plant for the vehicle.

12th to 17th characters- VIS - Vehicle Identifier Section. The last 8 characters of the VIN are used for the identification a of specific vehicle. The last four characters shall always be numeric. Identifies the sequence of the vehicle for production as it rolled off the manufacturers assembly line.
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Old 10-21-2004, 08:49 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 21

Doesn't really help much since it cannot determine vehicle specific model info.

Region: 1 1 North America
Country: 1-2 1H U.S.A.
Manufacturer: 2-3 HV International Harvester (Navistar)
Model Specific: 4-8 LPHXL Unknown
Check Digit: 9 9 Valid
Year: 10 F 1985
Assembly Plant: 11 H H
Serial Number: 12-17 A34579 A34579
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Old 10-22-2004, 12:19 PM   #3
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Starting with 1966 production, the 13-digit number identifies the model, type of engine, and type of cab as well as the serial number of the chassis.... The first four digits identify the model, the fith digit the type of engine, and the sixth digit the the type of cab or body... The last seven digits with an alphabetical letter is the chassis serial number.
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Old 10-27-2004, 12:47 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Minnesota
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It took several days to remember to look in my manuals but this might help answer some of your question.

International Harvester Truck Service Manual
CTS 4216, volume 1, page 2
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Structure - 1985

Character Position 1, 2, 3 - World Maker Identifier
1HT - U.S. Produced Truck
1HV - U. S. Produced Bus
1HS - U. S. Produced Tractor
2HT - Canada Produced Truck
2HV - Canada Produced Bus
2HS - Canada Produced Tractor

Character Position 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - Vehicle Attributes
Positions 4 - 7 Attributes - See Your Dealer for These Identification Attributes if Required

Position 8 Attributes - Vehicles Built Before Aug. 22, 1983
0 - Gas Engine and Air Brakes in Attribute Codes AG190 & DG210
0 - Heavy Duty Diesel and Air Brakes in Attribute Codes CG250 & 260
2 - Gas Engine and Air Brakes
3 - Small Diesel and Air Brakes
5 - Mid-Range Diesel and Air Brakes
7 - Heavy Duty Diesel and Air Brakes
B - Gas Engine and Hydraulic Brakes
C - Small Diesel and Hydraulic Brakes
E - Mid-Range Diesel and Hydraulic Brakes
G - Heavy Duty Diesel and Hydraulic Brakes

Position 8 Attributes - Vehiciles Built Aug. 22, 1983 and Later
Brake System
GVW Range Air / Hydraulic
0 - 6000 A B
6001 - 10000 C D
10001 - 14000 E F
14001 - 16000 G H
16001 - 19500 J K
19501 - 26000 L M
26001 - 33000 N P
33001 - 55000 R S
55001 - 110000 T U

Character Position 9 - Check Digit
Calculated from Other 16 Positions (per FMVSS115)

Character Position 10 - Model Year
E - 1984
F - 1985

Character Position 11 - Production Plant
C - Chatham, Ontario
H - Springfield, Ohio
Y - Florence, Kentucky

Character Position 12 - Production Line
A or B (This Plant)

Character Position 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 - Chassis Serial Sequence
(This Model Year, This Plant, This Line)

Thus for the VIN you posted it should translate as follows:

1HV - U. S. produced bus
LPHX - See dealer for these identification attributes if required
L - GVW Weight Range 19501 - 26000 with air brakes
9 - Check digit
F - Model year 1985
H - Springfield, Ohio plant
A - Production line A at Springfield, Ohio plant
34579 - Vehicle number 34579 for the 1985 model year built on production line A at the Springfield, Ohio plant

The manual does not seem to show a way to determine from the VIN what engine was factory installed after the 1983 model year.

Hope this helps...
1984 71pas Bluebird, on IHC Loadstar 1700, 6.9 diesel, Allison, air brakes
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Old 11-04-2004, 10:30 PM   #5
Bus Nut
Eric von Kleist's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
Posts: 632
Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Thanks a BUNCH!!!

Thanks a BUNCH for this information, Ron! I have been moving and hadn't caught this post until now. This is a VERY BIG HELP! Now I can tell what the NC surplus system is marketing.
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