How To Tell Which OMC Outdrive You Have (Explained)

If you have an OMC boat and are looking to identify the outdrive on your vessel, you’ve come to the right place. The OMC outdrive is a necessary component to help run your vessel, and there might come a time when you will need to replace it. So, here’s how to tell what OMC outdrive you have on your boat. 

The model and serial number indicated on the outdrive plate helps in the identification process of an OMC outdrive. The engine size (liters) and its manufacture year are also attributed and used for identifying which OMC outdrive you have.

Like any other engine, machine, or computer, a model and serial number are your best bet to identify these products. Fortunately, even without the original documents from the manufacturer, you can find this information engraved on the outdrive. 

How To Tell Which OMC Outdrive You Have

How To Tell What OMC Outdrive You Have

Identifying your OMC outdrive ranks as easy on the difficulty scale. All you need to do is identify the plate. Once you have the plate in your sights, you can easily find the model and serial number. With that information, you can then find your OMC outdrive. 

OMC, formerly known as Outboard Marine Corporation (it went out of business in 2000), manufactured outdrives for 30 years. Between 1962 and 1992, they were at the top of the marine industry. With the sudden bankruptcy in 2000, OMC ceased manufacturing, and its products became relics of the past. (source)

If you have been in boat forums, you will notice that OMC is a hit or miss for some boat owners. They are a pretty old brand, but some boat owners swear by their OMC outdrives. Nonetheless, you can’t say the same for everybody. 

OMC outdrive information is ‘tricky’ to find because of how old the brand is. OMC hasn’t been functional for over 20 years, and boat owners who come across these outdrives don’t have the documentation to provide core information. 

Where To Find The OMC Outdrive Information

There are two ways to check for the outdrive information. 

  1. The engine model and the serial number plate
  2. A plate on the vertical drive

You can consider the first ‘checkpoint’ as a general area where you can find the model and serial number information. What you’re looking for is the engine model plate and the serial number plate. (source)

You can find the model identification plate on the engine valve cover. Furthermore, you can also find this information on the vertical drive. (source

On the other hand, you have the transom mount. So, where do you find the serial number and model on a transom mount? The transom mount model and the serial number plate are on the inner transom plate.

One thing you should be well aware of is that the position of the engine plate varies from engine to engine. A good rule of thumb is to begin looking for it on the left side of the outdrive and make your way through there. 

How Do You Read The OMC Outdrive Serial Number? 

According to Sterndrive, here’s how you can read the serial number of your OMC outdrive. 

For example, let’s say you have the following serial number: 502BPRAMH (Sterndrive provided this serial number for educational purposes.) How do you decipher it? (source)

(I) 5 – it refers to the engine motor size. Typically, the range is between 2.3 and 5.8.

(II) 0 – The Carburetor 2 or 4 barrel. 

(III) 2- It refers to the engine size in cubic inches.

(IV) B – The engine HP. A is the 1st model, while B is the second model that OMC released. 

(V) P – The steering mechanical ( M ) or power ( P ).

(VI) R – The rotation. It’s either right ( R ) or left ( L ).

(VII & VIII) A & M- They refer to the model year. Here’s the list of OMC model years:

  • The model year 1985 KWB.
  • The model year 1986 WXS.
  • The model year 1987 ARJ, ARY, FTC, SRC, SRY.
  • The model year 1988 GDE, GDP.
  • The model year 1989 MED, MEF.
  • The model year 1990 PWC, PWR, PWS.
  • The model year 1991 RGD, RGF.
  • The model year 1992 AMH, AMK.
  • The model year 1993 JVB.
  • The model year 1994 JVN.

(IX) H – It refers to the version.

There you have it; you can now clearly read the serial number and identify the model of your OMC outdrive with this information. With 20 models in 30 years, it’s an easy job trying to identify the outdrive. So don’t be overwhelmed by the mastery of it all. It’s all a matter of looking and putting the right pieces together. 

What Is The OMC Outdrive On A Boat?

As shared earlier, OMC or Outboard Marine Corporation was a company that manufactured boat engines and boat parts in the 60s and the late 90s. Eventually, the company declined in 2000. 

On the other hand, an outdrive is the bottom half of an outboard motor connected to an inboard engine. The purpose of an outdrive is to help steer the boat, thus negating the purpose of a rudder. 

So essentially, OMC outdrives are parts of an engine created by OMC to help navigate a boat. 

The OMC Sterndrive Serial Number Lookup

The best lookup for your OMC sterndrive would have to be through a professional. There aren’t many ways online to look up the serial number for your Sterndrive. Hopefully, retailers will create an online tool for boat owners to check their serial numbers in the future. 

The alternative would be to use the method above (Sterndrive-approved) and use that information to buy the necessary parts for your boat. 

The Power Of The OMC Outdrive

The OMC outdrive is a pretty old product, and many boat owners opt for newer outdrives like Volvo. Because of how old the OMC outdrive is, it’s pretty incredible if the serial number remains legible. Regardless, it is possible to identify your OMC outdrive. 

Interesting video explaining what happened to OMC.

Sources

  1. Crawley Marine, Locating OMC Model Numbers, Crawley Marine, May 9, 2019, Accessed March 25, 2022, https://www.crowleymarine.com/d/tech_article/locating-omc-model-numbers
  2. GLM Marine, 30 Years Of The OMC Sterndrive, GLM Marine, Accessed March 25, 2022, https://www.glmmarine.com/30yearsomc.html
  3. Greed Head, How Do I Read An OMC Number, Greed Head, July 31, 2019, Accessed March 25, 2022, https://greedhead.net/how-do-i-read-an-omc-model-number/
  4. Sterndrive, OMC Cobra Outdrive Serial Number *Year *Model, Sterndrive, January 20, 2022, Accessed March 25, 2022, http://www.sterndrive.info/model_numbers.html.

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