Need to identify the engine in your VW? Below is a list of Volkswagen engine codes. All air-cooled VW engines had a designated number stamped into them. These help to identify what year your engine was manufactured and what size it was.

Bear in mind that a lot of engines have been rebuilt by now. Some are modified to accept larger barrels, pistons and cylinder heads. If you know this to be the situation then the original engine number will only tell you what year your case was made and what size it was originally. In most cases (pun intended) engines are rebuilt using direct replacement parts so the chances are your engine’s size will correspond to your engine number.

If you need to know if your engine has dual oil pressure relief valves, its fairly easy to do by looking at the side of the sump on your engine case. If it has AS41 embossed on the side, it is dual relief. If you’re still in doubt you can identify dual relief by locating the two releif valves. Get under the engine. You are looking for a large plug that has provision for a large flathead screwdriver. One will be at the front of the engine (gearbox end) behind the sump. The other will be at the rear of the engine to the right (that’s if you’re on your back looking up at the engine) of the oil pump.


Engine Code Engine Size Power Model Year
A 1200 sp 30hp Type 1 up to July 1965
B 1600 47hp Type 2 Aug 1967 – July 1970
1600
(USA)
47hp Type 1 Aug 1968 – July 1970
C 1600
(low compression)
44hp Type 2 Aug 1967 – July 1970
D 1200 sp 34hp Type 2 from May 1959
1200 sp 34hp Type 1 from August 1965
E 1300 37hp Type 1 Aug 1965 – July 1970
F 1300 sp 40hp Type 1 Aug 1965 – July 1970
G 1500 42hp Type 2 up to July 1965
H 1500 sp 47hp Type 2 Aug 1965 – July 1968
1500 sp 47hp Type 1 Aug 1965 – July 1970
1500 sp 47hp Type 181 Aug 1969 – Feb 1971
K 1500 45hp Type 3 Aug 1965 – Oct 1973
L 1500 40hp Type 2 from November 1965
1500
(low compression)
40hp Type 1 Aug 1966 – July 1970
M 1500
(low compression)
41hp Type 3 Aug 1965 – July 1973
N 1500
(low compression)
52hp Type 3 Aug 1965 – July 1973
O 1500
(no CAM bearing)
45hp Type 3 1963 – 1965
P 1600
(low compression)
50hp Type 3 Aug 1965 – July 1973
R 1500
(1500S)
52hp Type 3 Aug 1963 – July 1965
T 1600 54hp Type 3 Aug 1965 – July 1973
U 1600
(fuel injection)
54hp Type 3 from August 1965
UO 1600 Type 3 Aug 1967 – July 1973
AB 1300 tp 44hp Type 1 Aug 1970 – July 1973
AC 1300
(low compression)
40hp Type 1 Aug 1970 – July 1975
AD 1600 tp 50hp Type 1 Aug 1970 – July 1973
1600 tp 50hp Type 2 Aug 1970 – July 1973
AE 1600 tp
(USA)
47hp Type 1 Aug 1970 – July 1971
AF 1600 tp
(low compression)
 46hp Type 1 Aug 1970 – July 1980
1600 tp
(low compression)
46hp Type 2 Aug 1970 – July 1979
1600 tp
(low compression)
46hp Type 181 Jan 1974 – Jan 1982
AG 1600 tp 44hp Type 181 Aug 1970 – July 1976
AH 1600 tp
(USA)
47hp Type 1 Aug 1971 – Jan 1976
AJ 1600 tp
(USA and Japan fuel injection)
50hp Type 1 Aug 1974 – Dec 1980
AK 1600 tp
(USA)
47hp Type 1 Aug 1972 – July 1973
AL 1600 tp 48hp Type 181 March 1973 – July 1979
AR 1300 tp 44hp Type 1 Aug 1973 – July 1975
AS 1600 tp 50hp Type 1 Aug 1973 – July 1980
1600 tp 50hp Type 2 Aug 1973 – July 1979

Type 1 = Beetle
Type 2 = Transporter / Bus / Camper / Van / Pickup
Type 3 = Fastback / Squareback / Notchback / Type 34 Razoredge
Type 181 = Trekker / Thing

hp = horse power
sp = single port
tp = twin port

Don’t have a letter at the beginning of your engine number? You probably have an earlier engine. Visit thesamba.com for a more detailed break down of the engine numbers.