VIN decifering

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
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jmgflh
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VIN decifering

#1

Post by jmgflh » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:12 pm

Restoring a 1959 FLH. How do I decifer the remainder of the vin (numbers)?
Need to determine tank or foot shift and color.



panhead
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Re: VINs

#2

Post by panhead » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:32 pm

What is your VIN?

jmgflh
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Re: VINs

#3

Post by jmgflh » Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:12 am

59FLH3245

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Re: VINs

#4

Post by caschnd1 » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:45 am

59 - 1959
FLH - 74" High compression (and a different cam?)
3245 - the production number that were stamped in sequence as the bikes rolled down the assembly line. No other meaning that I know of.

-Craig

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Re: VINs

#5

Post by 64duo » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:06 am

The VIN has no direct code which would indicate the color. Post above is right on.
I've seen this VIN, are you buying or selling the project?

jmgflh
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Re: VINs

#6

Post by jmgflh » Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:57 pm

possibly buying, looking for a very specific bike:
1959FLH Super Sport Solo with Tank Shift
Not sure how to tell if it was originally a tank shift.

Thanks for the reply.

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Re: VINs

#7

Post by panhead » Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:20 pm

In 1959 there were 121 handshift FLH's and 3223 footshift.

jmgflh
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Re: VINs

#8

Post by jmgflh » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:03 am

how can I tell if this is one of the 121 handshifts made?

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Re: VINs

#9

Post by Pantony » Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:11 am

well you would have a 59 casting date on the shifter top of the gearbox, and it will NOT be a ratchet top

jmgflh
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Re: VINs

#10

Post by jmgflh » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:59 am

got that, been told that it was the norm to put ratchet tops on to make them more rideable, just trying to find out how she was originally and if the vin had this designation.

Thanks for all the replies, this is a very usefull forum!

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Re: VINs

#11

Post by Pantony » Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:10 am

No thats not why, the ratchet gear change is clicks up or down for foot shift, the hand shift is more like a car with throws forward or back in notches, also sort of a neutral in between gears, on mine its back all the way for first, then going forward neutral-then 2nd, then push to the left and up 3rd, then push to the left and up 4th. The rachet works like a ratchet wrench it has a rotating disc like mechanism that rotates the drum for you and then it reverses depending what gear you want. The hand shift top the shift lever is connected right to the drum, you can't use one for the other

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Re: VINs

#12

Post by VPH-D » Tue Nov 07, 2006 3:31 pm

I don't think there IS any way to tell if a machine was born as a handshift or footshift. I suppose bondo-ed over tank shift mounts might be one way to make you suspicious, though. As you can tell from production numbers, the vast majority of 59s were footshift.
VPH-D

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Re: VINs

#13

Post by Pantony » Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:47 am

Mousetrap brackets?

DuoDave
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Re: VINs

#14

Post by DuoDave » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:00 am

The mousetrap mounts on the down tube with a couple of U bolts, so there are no brackets welded on the frame. The factory used an "F" designation for footshift bikes, so a footshift Duo-Glide would be an FLHF, but the final F was never added to the VIN. With parts being changed over the years, there is no real way to determine how it came from the factory or the original colour. Maybe you can find traces of original paint on a hidden part of the gas tanks or fenders, but there is no guarantee that they are the original parts.
So, unless you know that your bike has sat in a barn and been unmolested for the last four decades, build it the way you want and paint it your favourite colour. :)

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Re: VINs

#15

Post by jellero » Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:38 am

check for the shifter mounts bondo job on tank with a magnet if there are no visible signs. my '61fl originally had a hand shift. j

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