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Old 07-19-2016, 11:17 AM   #81
ElekVins
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Thanks Eric.
Only other pic I have at this point is this one, hope it helps.
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:19 AM   #82
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Thanks for the photo. I think those 5s are okay. The F, L and H are the certain sans serif types Iíd expect. Open-top 4 is the certain style Iíd be looking for. The 3 is also the certain type Iíd expect, having a flat top, a vertical serif at top left and a medium-length diagonal.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:23 PM   #83
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

...

Last edited by ElekVins; 12-04-2016 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:55 PM   #84
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElekVins View Post
Are these numbers legit? What do you think guys?
(there's a 5th digit on the right of the boss, not pictured)
I also have a very late '47. My number is a little lower than yours if you truly have one more digit on there.

The numbers look peachy to my eye. Admittedly, I am not an expert. I do know that your number is painfully high - some estimates of Knuck production are lower than that, and some are higher. (I believe they start at 1000 or 1001.)

Speeding Big Twin is the guy to see this post and comment... I'd see if you can PM him. (Post up whatever he says; that guy's knowledge is formidable, and he's an excellent researcher.)
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Old 12-03-2016, 04:00 AM   #85
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Thanks govmule.
Do you have "1" in your numbers?
Do they look like these ones or the upper small bar is more horizontal?
All others stamp looks legit to me, just curious about the 11

Edit:
Found other examples of 47's Vins with these "1" so it all seems legit, just looking for other thoughts.

Last edited by ElekVins; 12-03-2016 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 12-05-2016, 03:50 AM   #86
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

govmule84, thanks for the kind words. Iíve been in contact with ElekVins and I couldnít see anything wrong with the number boss of that 47FL. It looked consistent with the type used for later-41Ė47 Knuckles. BTW, it seems there were a couple of minor differences to the left and right edges of this style of number boss during that period.

I agree with you about the numbers and they looked good to me too. All the characters in the photo appeared the usual H-D styles for a 47 Knuckle VIN. The 4 looked okay and had an open top, curved left stroke and a horizontal serif across the base. (For Harley VINs the O-T 4 first appeared about mid-43.)
The 7 looked fine and had a vertical serif at top left. The type of back was normal for 1947.
F and L were capitals and sans serif as we would expect. The lower horizontal stroke of the F was a fair bit shorter than the upper horizontal stroke but that was normal for 1947.
The 1s had a horizontal serif across the base but their top serif was at about forty-five degrees and thatís what Iíd expect, given how high the VIN was. Early-47s and mid-47s had a 1 with a horizontal top serif but later-47s had the top serif at about forty-five degrees as per the photo. The change to the top serif seems to have occurred not long after VIN 10000 as far as Knuckles are concerned.
The other visible characters also looked okay for 1947.


If you have one or both of Palmerís 32Ė52 military books youíll see he said pre-1950 motor numbers had a 1 with 90 degree top serif and post-1950 motor numbers had a 1 with 45 degree top serif. Via email in 2012 I told Bruce I disagreed and I advised him the top serif changed in late 47. He replied and said he agreed with me. But when the 32Ė52 SE came out in 2015 the error about when the top serif changed had not been corrected.


Other things also happened during 47. Very late that model year the centre stroke of the E went from long to short(er). And the 2 appears different. For early-47 and mid-47 the top of the 2 looks flat or horizontal. I donít know if itís how the stamp was made or not and Iíve wondered if it had been damaged and they just kept using it anyway. Very late in 47 the top became fully curved and looks like a normal 2. I also have a photo of a very late 47 with a 0 that looks oblong in shape as opposed to the rounded style we see earlier that year.


Concerning production figures for 47 Knuckles, The Legend Begins provides them but it also says its own amounts are not to be regarded as totally accurate. I have one 47 example higher than Legend. Palmer provides a VIN range but then says his high number is an approximate with a +/- 100 accuracy. The example I have higher than Legend is outside Palmerís first range but inside his allowance of an extra 100.

VINs in the Knucklehead era began at 1000. Herb Wagner found this type of info on Harley Model Layout Sheets and in the handbook Q&A by Uncle Frank (Revised Army Edition 1945). VIN start numbers of 1000 for 1931, 33, 36, 37, 38 and 40 are also mentioned in a Harley publication I have: 1930Ė1949 Models (Operation, Maintenance, Specifications)
And there are at least two factory photos showing VINs of 1000 from that era: one is a 35VLD and the other is a 37EL.
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Old 12-05-2016, 04:14 AM   #87
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Thank you very much Eric Speeding Big Twin for your detailed comments on that Vin !
Your help and knowledge are greatly appreciated.

Vins
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Old 12-05-2016, 05:44 AM   #88
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Right on. I always learn stuff from Eric.

Yeah, I have a few ones in my number.
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Old 12-08-2016, 01:32 PM   #89
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

I'll put my little two cents in on this topic. Always remember that factory numbers were hand stamped. If the person stamping had a bad day the numbers might be a little wonky looking. Also the factory had at least two sets of stamps over the years, maybe more. I only have experience with two patterns, deemed early and late. However, a lot of old HD dealers also had these stamps and would use them to stamp numbers in blank and/or replacement cases.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:39 PM   #90
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

I see 1945 cases with a 1948 vin number!
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Old 12-27-2016, 03:42 AM   #91
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

probably army surplus cases stamped by a dealer as replacements. I still have a set of unstamped 42 series cases and a set of unstamped 44 cases. Used to get them from Dixie back in the day.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:07 AM   #92
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Dave, I have unedited versions of those pictures so Iíve seen the full numbers. Clearer photos of the BNs would be good but at this stage I canít find anything wrong with them and they appear consistent with factory stamping. The 4 in the BN is often called an open-back 4 and youíll notice it is sans serif. This open-back 4 is the normal style in the decade position of BNs 1941Ė46. (For 1944 BNs, the second 4 in the year portion had a closed and pointed top.)
The 1 has a short horizontal serif at top left and a horizontal serif across the base. Normal for 1945.
The round-back 6 is the type Iíd expect for 45-16+++ but it changed to a different round-back style before the end of 1945 BNs.
The other three characters in the BNs are types Iíd expect for 1945.


Hard to say who applied the VIN but it isnít consistent with factory stamping. Apart from the open-back 4, thereís the 5 to consider and the other sequence characters as well. Youíll also notice the third sequence character looks like it has been struck at least twice.


The left case has casting number 112-392 and the date code appears to consist of C and 5. Because the two characters are spaced (C 5) they indicate casting in March 1945 on this occasion. If the characters were unspaced (C5) then the code may have indicated casting in March 1950.


On the R-H case you may find casting number 112-39 but perhaps no date code because it often went missing when the hole for the generator was machined. Sometimes youíll just see an edge of the date code plate but the rest of the plate is gone.


Regarding the set of 49 cases you mentioned, it sounds like their VIN had an open-top 4. If itís authentic it is probably the open-top style H-D introduced for VINs about mid-43. But please be advised there are some AM open-top 4s in use.
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Old 12-29-2016, 01:33 AM   #93
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Default Re: Funny numbers ?

Youíre welcome Dave. The third and fourth sequence characters are not consistent with H-D factory stamping of VINs for general production W-series 1945Ė52. (Or for 1937Ė44.) Notice they are both sans serif whereas I would expect them to be seriffed.


Re the possibility of dealer stamping, itís hard to say. Some Harley dealers may have kept up with changes in factory stamps but I doubt that all of them did. Some may have liked to use factory stamps but didnít worry about the model and/or year of the case(s) involved and Iíve seen several VINs that appear to fall into this category. Others may not have been concerned about types of characters and may have just used AM stamps or a mixture of H-D and AM.
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