Belly Number

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
RUBONE
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Re: Belly Number

#61

Post by RUBONE »

hibuck1, I see 7s not Hs on the top rear of each case half. Was there a photo of the inside of the left case? Thanks.
Eric
My guess would be that the first of the FLHs may not have had an H stamp on the case. And the number on that one would tend to be towards early as it was a mid-season introduction.
Any thoughts on that Eric?



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Re: Belly Number

#62

Post by Speeding Big Twin »

Cheers, Rod. Having all straight-back 6s in a 62 Pan SN that high is consistent with what Bruce has found and also with my research so far.

Round-back 6/9s in Panhead BNs is what I’d expect in authentic examples for any model year 1948–65.
Eric

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Re: Belly Number

#63

Post by Speeding Big Twin »

Robbie, I agree that is a possibility. As you mentioned, that 55 SN would tend to be towards early so that may explain the 7s as opposed to Hs. Prior to that one the lowest authentic-looking 55FLH SN I had a photo of was 37++ but I don’t know if there were Hs or 7s on top of the cases. A while ago on eBay there was a bike said to be 55FLH12++ but the ad had no photo of the SN or of markings atop the cases. And it may have even been a typo by the seller, with the machine possibly being an FL and not an FLH.

Back to 3551, some may say another possibility is that persons unknown may have added the H because its right-hand side appears to have been applied more heavily than its left. However, I’ve seen that sort of thing many times before in authentic SNs. One argument against the possibility of the H being added later would be that if originally there was no third letter stamped at the factory then there would have been a large gap between the L and the 3. But such a gap wouldn’t concern me because that too is something I’ve seen in SNs that look to be authentic.

That brings us back to the possibility that Hs on top of the cases were introduced after the FLH model itself first appeared. Perhaps if anyone out there has an authentic, low-numbered 55FLH then they could tell us what is stamped on top of their crankcases.
Eric

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Re: Belly Number

#64

Post by Cotten »

Here a chin-scratcher, Eric!
55VIN.jpg
55BELLY.jpg
55MTRMNT.jpg
The Factory never got things out of order, huh.

....Cotten
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Re: Belly Number

#65

Post by 1951 adam »

THE WORST NUMBER JOB OF ALL TIME! Nice curvy Art Deco boss...
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Re: Belly Number

#66

Post by PanPal »

That's funny. I saw that on e bay today Adam. Sad but it will probably sell.

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Re: Belly Number

#67

Post by 1951 adam »

PanPal wrote:That's funny. I saw that on e bay today Adam. Sad but it will probably sell.
And for big money I'm sure! Out of control

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Re: Belly Number

#68

Post by Speeding Big Twin »

Cotten, thanks for posting those photos. Sure it's possible H-D got things out of order from time to time but when a while ago I saw the bike that was said to be 55FLH12++ then I had to wonder. I cannot say how educated the seller was regarding 1955 Panheads but if he knew about the mid-year intro of the FLH then he could have addressed his low SN in the ad, if of course the SN was authentic. And he also could have supplied a photo of the rear engine mount and if there were 7s present he could have addressed that situation as well.

Re the BN photos you posted, I’ve seen others similar to that where one character is stamped over another as an apparent correction possibly done at the factory. But if that is a factory correction then we still have to ask why that engine has 7s and not Hs, given the model is said to be FLH and the SN is so high.
Eric

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Re: Belly Number

#69

Post by Cotten »

Eric!

It would seem that the 7s were stamped at the time of the first belly production numbers, and the cases then held off the assembly line for some time. When the motor was assembled and assigned a VIN, the belly production number was "amended", but not the 7s.

It would imply that the FLH model had been intended to be released at the beginning of the "year", but held back because of some gliche.

....Cotten

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Re: Belly Number

#70

Post by john HD »

if i get time this weekend i'll photograph mine.

john

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Re: Belly Number

#71

Post by Cotten »

John!

Please check out the front reinforcing rib on the left case as well.

This looks like a Millers Falls font for an inspection stamp, on the previously photo'd '55.
55INSPF.jpg
....Cotten
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john HD
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Re: Belly Number

#72

Post by john HD »

cotton,

thanks for the tip where to photograph. i didn't even think to look at the front rib. mine has a H stamped there.

here are some shots of my vin and the rib stamp. sorry guys, i cannot get a shot of the top of the rear mount because i have a regulator bracket bolted in there. so until i remove that i cannot tell you what is stamped there.

john
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Re: Belly Number

#73

Post by Cotten »

More inspections stamps from the '55 FLH, on the one-year-only flywheels:
55WHLSTP.jpg
....Cotten
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Re: Belly Number

#74

Post by hibuck1 »

here r both halfs sorry it took so long
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Re: Belly Number

#75

Post by Cotten »

Speeding Big Twin wrote:Cotten, are you suggesting that in the photo you posted that you think the first character has a top serif? Thanks.
Eric
Eric!

Sorry I missed your question; The photo is all the info I have.

On now to Hibuck1's '55, I see a casting tag in the right case with "5-4".
The later VIN '55 in my photos has "12-4".

One might conclude that the over-stamped 1s in the later belly numbers were human error.

....Cotten

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