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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently I've gotten interested in trying to find out more about John Deere's production of the Model 14SB mower, and specifically about breaking down the production serial numbers by their year of manufacture. Below is the production information that I have been able to obtain so far from John Deere:



JOHN DEERE 14SB MOWERS
(SERIAL NUMBERS BY YEAR OF MANUFACTURE)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (410001 - 450000) BASE UNIT, North American, Kawasaki Engine, Blade Brake Clutch, 1987 (Green Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (450001 - 750000) BASE UNIT, North American, Kawasaki Engine, Blade Brake Clutch, 1988 (Green Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (4 CYCLE) (010001 - 175000) BASE UNIT, North American, Silver Jubilee, Kawasaki, 1989-1990, (Silver Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (4 CYCLE) (175001 - ) BASE UNIT, North American, Silver Jubilee, Kawasaki, 1991, (Silver Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (255001 - 400000) BASE UNIT, North American, Silver Jubilee, Kawasaki, 1993-1994, (Silver Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (400001 - 470000) BASE UNIT, North American, Silver Jubilee, Kawasaki Engine, Residential, 1996, (Silver Deck)

14SB WALK-BEHIND ROTARY MOWER (470001 - ) BASE UNIT, North American, Silver Jubilee, Kawasaki Engine, Residential, 1997, (Silver Deck)
 

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I'm also trying to figure out the meaning of the various alphabetic prefix letters that appear before the six digit mower serial number on the 14SBs. I think that the letter may be an indicator of the horsepower of the motor. Deere produced the 14SB with three different horsepower engines (all Kawasaki FC150Vs): 4.5, 5.0 and 5.5 HP.

Based on acutal mowers that I've seen as well as photographs of mower serial number tags, my speculation is that the "X" letter prefix indicates a 4.5 HP engine, the "C" prefix was for the 5.0 HP machines, and the "F" prefix was used for the 5.5 HP machines.

Below is the list of observed serial numbers so far as well as the horsepower rating of their engines. I've highlighted the prefix letters in red.

John Deere 14SB
Observed Serial Numbers

GX14SBX034687 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBX058749 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBA100809 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBA104681 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBC258926 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC284491 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC286135 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC318256 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBF436562 (5.5 HP)
GX14SBF439917 (5.5 HP)
GX14SBF445978 (5.5 HP)


I'd appreciate hearing from other 14SB owners here to see if the serial numbers of their machines fit this theory of the engine/prefix letter combination. Even better would be to have a pic posted of the serial number tag along with an indication of what horsepower the engine is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here's the response that I got back from John Deere Customer Service to my question about the prefix letter in the 14SB serial numbers:

"The letter in the middle of the PIN is arbitrary on the walk behind models and doesn't reflect any specific feature on the mower."

We will need to see many more serial numbers and HP information in order to verify if this is the case. So if you've got them, please post pics of your 14SB serial number tags and indicate what horsepower the engine is that goes with each tag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've added a couple of serial numbers to the list. It appears like I can't go back and edit my original post after a certain period of time so I'll have to repost the list in order to incorporate the updates. Two of the serial numbers added were 4.5 HP machines with an "A" letter prefix, so that pretty much debunks the theory of the prefix letter being tied to the HP of the machine. Now I just have to figure out when and why they changed the letters. There must have been some reason behind it since they didn't even come close to running out of numerical serial numbers.:dunno:

John Deere 14SB
Observed Serial Numbers

GX14SBX034687 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBX058749 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBA100809 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBA104681 (4.5 HP)
GX14SBC258926 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC284491 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC286135 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBC318256 (5.0 HP)
GX14SBF436562 (5.5 HP)
GX14SBF439917 (5.5 HP)
GX14SBF445978 (5.5 HP)

 

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We can edit your original post for you no problem. Just let us know what the new text is we need to insert. :ThumbUp:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
UPDATE: It's been awhile since I posted an update to my 14SB observed serial numbers list. Since the last update, I have managed to decipher John Deere's production codes on the serial number tags so I can tell exactly what month a given mower was produced. Here is an updated version of the list as it presently stands. The machines on the list are ones that I have seen (online or in person) or ones where the owner was willing to email me a close up image of the serial number tag. New additions to the list are always welcome. Please contact me to have yours added. Thanks!

1988
--- Deere is using Y/MM production date codes ---
December 1988
GX14SBX013185 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD812

1989
February 1989
GX14SBX033934 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD902
March 1989
GX14SBX034687 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD903
GX14SBX039917 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD903
June 1989
GX14SBX058749 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD906
GX14SBX061141 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD906
October 1989
GX14SBA100809 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD910
GX14SBA102037 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD910
November 1989
GX14SBA104681 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles)JD911
GX14SBA104737 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD911
GX14SBA110645 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD910
GX14SBA136139 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles)

1990
June 1990
GX14SBA149790 (4.5 HP) (chrome handles) JD006
September 1990
GX14SBC179159 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD009
GX14SBC181322 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD009
October 1990
GX14SBC186238 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD010

1991
September 1991
GX14SBC217802 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD109
November 1991
GX14SBC220937 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD111

1992
July 1992
GX14SBC255467 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD207
August 1992
GX14SBC258926 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD208
November 1992
GX14SBC268389 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD211

1993
March 1993
GX14SBC281154 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD303
April 1993
GX14SBC284491 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD304
GX14SBC286135 (5.0 HP)JD304
GX14SBC286407 (5.0 HP) (chrome handles) JD304
-- Changeover from chrome toblack handles happened sometime between April and June of 1993 --
June 1993
GX14SBC291280 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD306
August 1993
GX14SBC301396 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD308
GX14SBC304773 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD308
December 1993
GX14SBC316715 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD312

1994
January 1994
GX14SBC318256 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD401
GX14SBC318641 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD401
April 1994
GX14SBC327969 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD404
May 1994
GX14SBC329077 (5.0 HP) (black handles) JD405
GX14SBC333399 (5.0 HP) (black handles)
--- Deere starts using YY/MM production date codes ---
October 1994
GX14SBF405538 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD9410
December 1994
GX14SBF410123 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD9412

1995
GX14SBF415538 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD95
GX14SBF435326 (5.5 HP) (black handles)
August 1995
GX14SBF436562 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD9508
October 1995
GX14SBF439917 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD9510
November 1995
GX14SBF442989 (5.5 HP) (black handles) JD9511
--- Deere starts using four digit date codes ---
GX14SBF445978 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced "1995"

1996
--- Deere starts using MM/DD/YYYY production date codes ---
February 1996
GX14SBF452170 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 02/17/1996
March 1996
GX14SBF455373 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 03/11/1996
April 1996
GX14SBF460349 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 04/16/1996
October 1996
GX14SBF473503 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 10/22/1996
GX14SBF485449 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 03/20/1997
GX14SBF486456 (5.5 HP) (black handles)
GX14SBF490249 (5.5 HP) (black handles)

1997
March 1997
GX14SBF483481 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 03/07/1997
June 1997
GX14SBF493372 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 06/11/1997
GX14SBF493509 (5.5 HP) (black handles) Produced 06/12/1997
 
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