NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
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bbhf
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NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#1

Post by bbhf »

Greetings to all: here we go again with that age old issue of harley motor cases: i will try to post a pic so it might be easier to ID them: i have what i thought was a 52 fl but upon closer exam it has outside oilier heads and is tapped off the case in the proper spot: what is strange to me is that there is no tappet screen hole: there is a boss for it but it looks like it was never finished: there are no #s on the belly and appears to never have had them: the case #S can be traced back at least 30 to 35 years with titles and registrations : the # side has never been messed with and i am sure that the #s where stamped there by?? i think that these were a clean set that was stamped: can anyone shed some light on this ? thanks: bbhf
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mbskeam
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#2

Post by mbskeam »

more pics of the oil feed area and the left side also

mbskeam

Cotten
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#3

Post by Cotten »

I would look closer for belly numbers.
The only way they would be missing is if they were welded over (a Dragonman trick.)

My guess is that the right case at least is late '65 because of the plugged oilscreen hole, but with an earlier cover slapped on.... after chrome abuse....

The auto advance circuitbreaker would seem to confirm '65.

....Cotten

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#4

Post by bbhf »

Thanks for the replies: i have looked very close at the belly and can find no trace of any tampering: the only other mark is a H on the rear motor mount top of the cases: i am a welder by trade and can spot a grind or uneven surface a mile away: i am leaning to after market cases: but whos? the motor was done a few years back and the receipts tell me that the gear cover was changed out: why? its tough to chase down history on old stuff due to fact that its changed hands and who knows what has befallen a part along the way: as a student of old Pennsylvania/Kentucky rifles i can say that history can change an item beyond the original as delivered piece: this motor is in a very nice untouched rigid frame: who is this dragon man? i vaguely remember that name from many years ago: keep the thoughts coming: bbhf

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#5

Post by bbhf »

To Cotten: you mention late 65: did the screen hole get plugged from the factory? if so why? could these be a set of those infamous cases harley sold with no numbers as replacements? hmmm bbhf

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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#6

Post by Cotten »

bbhf!

The Factory plugged the tappet screen for unknown reasons somewhere right before the serial reached five digits; I have only encountered one four-digit machine that was plugged.
The mistake was not corrected until well into the '66 production year.

The Dragonman is still hacking on Harleys, and probably takes great care to dress off his felonies after he was busted for boogering up a set of my legal 65's back in the late 80's. Colorado let him off, and my cases went with him. Yours may even be the same ones that I have been trying to replace for twenty years!

A couple of minutes in a steel shot blast cabinet can render a dressed weld virtually invisible. That's why State Authorities use an acid etch to reveal welds upon VINS.

NOS Factory replacement cases still had their production "line-bore" numbers stamped onto their bellies. The skidplate makes them hard to see on an installed motor.

....Cotten

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#7

Post by bbhf »

Cotten: thanks for reply: hard to say what is going on: i have had the plate off and can see no sign of welding or differance in height or contour: i am hoping that because its been registerd for many years that all is well: nothing has come up wrong on the #s: the screen issue does fill in the blank: thanks again: bbhf

VPH-D
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#8

Post by VPH-D »

The "H" means it is an FLH engine, rather than an FL.
DM relocated to CO maybe 20-25 years ago, and is involved with guns nowadays.
VPH-D

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#9

Post by bbhf »

VPH-D: thanks: this number thing for harleys can really drive you nuts, not to mention occupying a lot of time: i have read a wide range of replies on forums and have concluded that the amount of opinions on this subject are varied and leaves you scratching your head as to what have i gotten myself into: i remember a line in "The What Fits What" book: "Here we are making the wild assumption that the numbers on the cases are those actually put there by the harley people in Milwaukee: In {and on} many cases this is like betting that the earth is flat". what a great book: do they still print this book? bbhf

Ripley/Fla
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#10

Post by Ripley/Fla »

bbhf, Who is Dragon Man? Look up his sight on the internet. Whether he is a queer for guns or likes to blow things up like a little kid, I don't know! What ever floats his boat, I don't care. I had some heads and a case sent to him by the local 'speed shop.' He is a great welder and the spigots came out like a champ. The cases had a small broken boss by one of the pinion studs in the gear case. I'm sure he welded it up nice - but he didn't jig up the case and pick up the hole before he welded it over. Stud was loose in the case - looked like it was hand drilled by the chatter in the non-bored hole - stud had a small blob welded to it for fitment. In retrospect I should not have made this repair, the motor was worn out but this was not really an issue. Oh well, I did not want to ride this year anyway!!! My opinion, I'm sure he is fine for lawnmowers, stock Chevy heads, mufflers, etc. I wouldn't use him for any internal work on any motorcycle and wouldn't trust anything he tells you. Well, just figure the worst and you will be ok. I'd also listen to others on this site.

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#11

Post by bbhf »

Ripley/Fla: i did check out the site: thanks: i don't need any work done at this point: it is interesting though that his name keeps coming up when talking about cases: my wheel is complete and running and am always interested in finding out the history of things that i own: this extends right down to an old tool that someone made and/or used: kind of like the bikes on this site: keeping the past alive: bbhf

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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#12

Post by panz4ever »

bbhf wrote:VPH-D: thanks: this number thing for harleys can really drive you nuts, not to mention occupying a lot of time: i have read a wide range of replies on forums and have concluded that the amount of opinions on this subject are varied and leaves you scratching your head as to what have i gotten myself into: i remember a line in "The What Fits What" book: "Here we are making the wild assumption that the numbers on the cases are those actually put there by the harley people in Milwaukee: In {and on} many cases this is like betting that the earth is flat". what a great book: do they still print this book? bbhf
Don't think it is print anymore but you can still get it on ebay. And, the pic of your right side is the same as my 65 (w/ exception of the cam cover). I have a 5-digit vin w/ no hole for the tappet screen. Just means I change oil more often. Do you have a belly number on the vin side? Could be a set of mis-matched case that were put together at one time. if you take off the top end you can easily tell because 55 and later have no channel on the cylinder base flange. What are the date codes on the cylinder heads?

As far as repairs go, I used HeadHog for my head repair. He did a fantastic job but took a very long time. Just sent a right case and rear cylinder to Creekside. Calls and emails are promptly replied to. They have a good rep on other HD forums. Not sure if anyone has used them on this site tho...

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#13

Post by bbhf »

Panz4ever: there are no belly #s: the more i look at these, i am thinking that they were replacements a long time ago: as for blank cases i have read that they were available without any #s and the dealers could swap them out and i have read that they came with the belly #s: i guess this subject is going to be debatable forever: thanks for the tip on changing the oil: i really think that this site is a wealth of information: glad i found it: bbhf

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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#14

Post by Speeding Big Twin »

bbhf, if you post a shot of the left case we may be able to help you ID that side. Depending on year, there are different styles of left case regarding the inner primary area. If you're concerned about showing the serial number, you could cover up some/all of the sequential portion. The partial photo below shows the usual style of the first four characters used for a 1952 FL. The usual 5 has a horizontal top and is sans serif. The usual 2 has a horizontal bottom and a vertical serif at bottom right. The usual F and L are sans serif capitals. Also note that all characters are fairly evenly spaced. Eric

Image

bbhf
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Re: NEED HELP TO "ID" CASES

#15

Post by bbhf »

Eric: thanks for the reply: the more i look at these cases the more questions i have: i may just get a new set and swap out the parts: bbhf

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