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Serial Numbers and Identification
Can you tell me the horsepower from the serial number?
  Generally, this is not possible for most older Mercury outboards. Starting at about the mid-eighties, most Mercs can be identified by serial number alone.
OK, I have the serial number. Where is the year?
  It really is not important to know the year of your motor if you have the serial number.  The serial number (combined with model or horsepower) should always be used to accurately order parts and manuals.  Check our model listing page for a hyperlink to your model, where you will find serial number-to-year information.  If your model is not yet listed or hyperlinked and you need to know the year, we can look it up for you when you call to place an order.
The serial plate is missing from my Mercury motor. How can I identify the year?
  This can be next to impossible. Often, raised casting numbers from the cylinder block, together with numbers stamped into the carburetor can help us to narrow in on the year.
From a restoration standpoint, engines without serial numbers have no basis to work from for correctness and might best serve as parts motors.
What's Kiekhaefer?
 
The name Kiekhaefer (pronounced KEY-kay-fur), appearing on Mercury outboards through about the mid 1960's,  refers to Carl Kiekhaefer, the founder of Mercury Marine. His story is recounted in Iron Fist: The Lives of Carl Kiekhaefer.  It is a fascinating, at times inspiring, and often alarming biography which details the early days of Kiekhaefer Mercury. This book and others are available in our online catalog.

Do you find the name of Mercury's founder a bit daunting to spell, or even pronounce for that matter?  You're not alone!  For fun, we began collecting the various renderings of Kiekhaefer which have been sent to us in customer email in the last few years.    Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Ciekhaefer
Kaufen
Keif
Keifhofher
Keikaefer
Keikaufer
Keikhaefer
Keikhafer
Keikhaffer
Keikhahfer
Keikhauefer
Keikhaufer
Keikhauffer
Keikhauser
Keikheifer
Keikheiver
Keikoffer
Keiphanek
Kekafer
Keykaiferr
Khikafer
Kickhaue
Kickoffer
Kiecoffe
Kiefafer
Kiefhaber
Kiefhaefer
Kiefhafer
Kiefhauser
Kiefhemmer
Kiefhiemer
Kiehaefer
Kiehaufer
Kiehofer
Kiekaefer
Kiekanhaufer
Kiekaerfer
Kiekafaer
Kiekaffer
Kiekafher
Kiekaufer
Kiekefer
Kiekenhaefer
Kiekenhafer
Kiekenhaufer
Kiekhaefeer
Kiekhaeffer
Kiekhaeifer
Kiekhaeken
Kiekhaepim
Kiekhaerer
Kiekhafer
Kiekhaffer
Kiekhaufer
Kiekhaver
Kiekheafer
Kiekheffer
Kiekhiefer
Kiekhoffer
Kiekoffer
Kienhaefer
Kierhaefer
Kierhaufer
Kierherfer
Kierraefer
Kifhauer
Kikenhofer
Kirkhaeffer
Kirkhafer
Kirkhofer
Lekhaefer

Where do I find model and serial numbers on my Merc?
  The rather rare 1940 models were marked on the top of the rope sheave where the rope was wrapped for starting. The ID plate on 1941 thru 1946 models was riveted to the starboard side of the leg just below the powerhead. 1947-55 models with gas tanks on the engine are identified on the instruction plate riveted across the front of the engine. 1949-53 Four Cyl. models: On instruction plate riveted to large cast cover over front of engine. Mark 6-6A Six H.P. models with neutral clutch and remote tank have their ID on the port side of the swivel bracket (suspension) just below the powerhead. 1956-58 Four Cylinder 30 H.P. Mark 30 models have the ID just below the front cowl cover. All other models have the serial numbers on the swivel bracket, either across the front just below the powerhead, or on a rearward face of this same suspension piece.