matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

Identifaction of VIN, case numbers and cylinder heads
Cotten
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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#16

Post by Cotten »

biker_k wrote:If the VIN was removed, then you can find out what the VIN was by acid test. Conversely, if there was never a VIN stamped on the case, you can also find that out via an acid test.

If you find there is a number there, you can do 2 things. Get the VIN restamped, which is a very dicey operation because of the law....or have the left case inspected by the police department. If they do the acid test and find there was a VIN, they will run the number. If it shows up stolen, they have the option of taking the bike, or the case, or a combination thereof. If they find the number was not reported stolen, then they will put a state stamp all over the boss and force you to title the bike as a special construction.
The "acid test" only displays dissimilar metals: weld tampering.

It rarely recovers numbers.

....Cotten



biker_k
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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#17

Post by biker_k »

This might be the only time I've disagreed with you thus far Cotten. There is no dissimilar metal on the boss from stamping. I think what the acid will show is a color difference from the dissimilar density of the stamped aluminum. When you stamp a number on the boss, it creates a dense area where the molecules are work hardened together. Even if you grind the numbers down, the density of the metal doesn't change. When you apply acid to the boss, it will show where the denser metal is from the stamp.

I've actually saw the VIN on my set of 48 cases from the acid test where the acid affects the denser stamped area differently from the non-stamped area. Of course, then the damn police stamped over it with their stupid stamps instead of letting me recover the number. The number search come up clean. That's something that really pisses me off because it would be possible for me to get a lost title if VIN numbers could be recovered.
I'll try to attach a picture of the VIN boss here. You can clearly see the 8FL in the VIN after adjusting the contrast and brightness. Whether the numbers can be seen or not right now depends upon lighting conditions, but there is no discernable difference in the surface by feel or touch....or sight if the light is really bright.

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#18

Post by biker_k »

Well...I tried to add a picture according to the instructions. Let me try again.

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#19

Post by biker_k »

It's a no joy on the picture. One last try here.
Acid Test 1.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

51madpan
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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#20

Post by 51madpan »

Is there a test kit out there that I can get to test for numbers myself? Or does anyone know the technique and acid type required?

john HD
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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#21

Post by john HD »

51madpan,

i wonder if you tried cleaning what you have with a mild abrasive blast such as baking soda to see if there is anything legible. it looks like there is some crud in the pits.

it looks like the cases need a good cleaning anyway.

john

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#22

Post by FlatHeadSix »

madpan,
There are several methods but nothing will do you any good unless you mill the VIN pad flat before you run the test. The surface must be smooth and even because the numbers will "appear" as shadows or slight differences in the way the surface reflects light. If you apply acid or caustic to the VIN pad on your case the only thing that is likely to happen is that the craters will get deeper and make it harder or impossible to detect the original numbers on future attempts.

You can't ruin the case any worse than it is now, set it up on a horizontal mill and carefully remove the outer surface until you get it flat again. You would have to do it anyway if you want to restamp the case.

mike

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#23

Post by panpered »

I am going through a similar issue. Serveral years ago, I purchased a chopper titled as a 1961. Some time later, I started researching a full restoration of the 61 and obtained a correct frame and have been gathering and restoring all the parts for a complete and correct restoration. Recently, I realized that the belly numbers started with 158. Oh crap. Too far off to be good for 1961. Off to the Palmer book. The boss height is supposed to be 1/8". Mine is half that. Research the style of the numbers. The six is wrong in the VIN (mine has two and one is supposed to be round back and the other straight back but mine looks like neither). I have a doctored VIN with a clear title. Still worthless. I recently acquired another left case at considerable expense with good numbers and a title. I had to decide if I wanted a replica or a restoration. I wanted the restoration. I have to tear the motor down, replace the left case, and then turn in the bad left case with my title to the state police. It sucks because I also have matching belly numbers, but all the research I have done makes it very clear that law enforcement gives a crap about the rare odd story. They are much much more inclined to confiscate it and destroy it than they are to stamp some special construction number on it. The risk is that you lose the whole bike and not just a left case. All of this varies by state, by the experience of the law enforcement, and the alignment of the stars.

My two cents. Either pursue your options against the person that sold it to you, or turn in the left case yourself (make sure you have documentation on how you obtained it and paid for it) and be done with it. Don't build a bike and try to skirt this issue. When you least expect it, it will get taken from you.

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#24

Post by neilw »

Back in around 1975 my old friend Phill decided he was going to get himself a Harley .He had no trouble getting one with an out of province license on it ,it was good to get an out of province one he told me cause if he got caught with it the owner would have to appear in court evey time Phill went for trial ,and here in Canada you tell your lawyer your sick,go to the doctor, get a note ,and your trial day is postponed ..The witnesses have to come all the way back for each trial date ,and you can do this 5 or 10 times till the witness is sick of spending money .No witness no trial..Clever fellow that Phill..he even new all about the acid test and how to beat it .He informed me that when the cases are stamped the molecular structure is altered and the acid brings this out .For Phill to beat this he just took a stamp with an x on it and stamped all over the serial numbers altering the molecular structure much more ..next he ground the boss down and stamped his own numbers into it. Phill was quite busy building his chopper for the next month or so ,he had his old Lady spending more and more time working at the massage parlor as he was buying quite a few parts .Back then you couldn't give away stock parts ,everyone wanted choppers. Well the day to register it was comming up ,the bike was almost ready ,Phill was making plans on taking trips ,and showing off his project .Thats when the drug squad of the RCMP booted down his door . It turned out Phill had sold some kids something that was suposed to be dope but wasn't ..The cops looked at his bike and asked where he got it ,When he said he had pieced it together they consficated it and did the acid test ..Next thing clever Phill knew he was booked for possesion of stolen property from person or persons unknown. They proved no such serial number existed and it was up to him to prove his innocence ,cause they proved it was in his possesion and obviously stolen.Well Phill's Old Lady took to long bailing him out so he decided to give her a beating .She had enough of his Cleverness I guess cause next thing he was back in jail ,this time with the added charge of "living off the avails of prostitution" his Old Lady was the star witness..Phill got 5 years for all his shenanigans.
Oh yeah your bad cases .. You can think of many ways to get around your problem ,trouble is non of them are legal and for a lousy few hundred dollars your going to risk jail,and for sure your whole bike ,not just the one case ,being confiscated ,they take the whole bike ,and how much do US lawyers charge nowdays. What the hell are you even asking about this for ..go to the e,bay guy tell him whats going on ,but do it by e,mail so you get his response from him as proof .you probably have tons of documents allready .he probably violated some federal law you guys down there have ,so the fbi may want to know what he's doing .Take your cases to the police tell them what you told us and what happens happens.
Anyways start back to where you were before you bought those cases.. And your wiser now!

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#25

Post by mbskeam »

if ya want to give up a case only the left is needed.....
as I said, STD cases

if this is a hot bike, I dont think that there is any way to tell what vin # was on there, because of the corrosion,
who, what and where did it come from....who the hell knows.
My point is, if ya speak to the cops or what ever state bureaucrat, the bike goes bye bye, your out your doe and some asshole, under the authority of the state gets a bike, most likely do the end run around like with oh I dont know.......
maybe STD cases

mbskeam


If ya cant tell I not a fan of BIG BROTHER
these Aholes are bleeding us dry.....

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#26

Post by VPH-D »

I think your best bet is to get a refund from the seller. Was the number boss clearly shown in his ad? These cases were suspected of being stolen at one time, and perhaps were. It also would not be the first time the Law mutilated a set of legal cases thinking they were hot, then walked away.
The aftermarket case scenario is an option if you don't mind the legal crap, or the reduced value of motorcycle with 'special construction' title.
VPH-D

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#27

Post by LittleAl »

looks like 51madpan came up with a solution for his problem. I see he has the cases listed on eBay as of this morning.

I hope he recovers some or all of his money, but pity the poor guy that buys them from him as he's gonna be right back in the same boat madpan was.

I think i woulda tried to get my money back from the seller, possibly with a threat of Law Enforcement involvement if he didn't see the light, lol

speedking1949
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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#28

Post by speedking1949 »

Just a footnote... Online parts supplier AAOK cheerfully offers to stamp the number boss on reproduction cases with whatever VIN the customer likes - in Harley style font and no extra charge!

Check it out:

http://www.aaok.com/categories/12-motor-knucklehead

Richard M.

VT

Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#29

Post by VT »

Cool :!: Can't wait for the new 3.5 gallon tanks.

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Re: matching belly#s no vin# on 51?

#30

Post by Cotten »

First let me reaffirm my statement that the legendary 'acid test' rarely recovers numbers.
The chance occurrence of it revealing a complete VIN would require that not only the obliteration be fortuitously minimal, but that no other numbers were stamped over them.

Since a boss reduced in height is a giveaway anyway, the acid test earns its merit for discerning re-built bosses.

On to AAOK's offer to stamp numbers....
They must not only be an H-D Dealership, and still have the scrutiny of not only their home State's authorities, but the customer's is at his own risk in his own State as well.

Most States require that the original cases be surrendered before replacements can be stamped by the authorities.

Methinks AAOK has crossed the line.

....Cotten
PS: Getting all of the fonts right would be quite an achievement!

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