1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

Identification information of frames and transmissions
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Derek43WLC
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1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#1

Post by Derek43WLC » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:48 pm

I am looking at a '58 tranny and the seller has replied with the following numbers/casting on it. See Below.
Does this sound like a '58 tranny? I am assuming by the mention of the "2" then "58" it is...what about the other numbers???
Any thing else I should look for?

""on the botton there are raised up digits 2 and a space then 58 to the right of that and a little higher up are the digits 2E in larger letters and they are stamped into the case andnot a clear as the 2 58.farther down and barley visible and stamped or cast into the case it looks like 181 and a space the 35 I'd sat these are cast into the case not stamoped.That 181 looks more like 121 now that I shine a light on it from a different angle.""

Thanks in advance.
.
.



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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#2

Post by caschnd1 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:15 pm

The "121 35" the seller describes has been on every OEM Knuck/Pan era transmission case I've looked at. It's circled in RED in the photo below.

The "2E" described by the seller varies. I have a '46 Knuck 4-speed case that just has a "1" in this position. I've never heard what this stamp means. You can see the "1" circled in the photo below in YELLOW.

The date casting (NOT a stamp) is circled in GREEN in the photo below. In this photo it is "L 6" which I believe is November 1946. The seller mentions that the "2 58" are raised up. These sound like the cast-in date code. I would guess that "2 58" means February 1958, but I've not seen that date code myself so I could be wrong. Maybe someone else can confirm.

-Craig

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#3

Post by Robert Luland » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:53 am

Ya, it's a 58 if what the guy is stating is on the level. Bob L

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#4

Post by Derek43WLC » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:10 am


Thanks for the info on the tranny guys.

I am also looking at a Panhead case, the belly number is 154-4287 (first 4 is closed, second 4 is open) ...on the inside the date code (casting) is 3 3...I assume the is March 1953
Is that legit? 154 in the belly number and the date 3 3? Is this just an early 1954?

Thanks again

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#5

Post by Hog54 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:38 am

Yes its 54.

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#6

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:54 am

Dee, 2 58 indicates casting in February 1958. I think the last two characters in casting number 121 35 indicate 1935 was either the first year of that casting number or otherwise it was the first year that casting number appeared on a bike, meaning similar cases may have first been cast in 1934. Anyway, that casting number may have made its first appearance on the 1935 Knuckleheads that were prototypes for the 1936 Knuckles. The casting itself saw some changes over the years but the casting number remained the same for a long time and can be found on Panhead cases cast as late as early-1963. But it seems that at some stage around later-1963 the casting number changed to 34703 64 and the casting was slightly different, although the case was still used with a tin inner primary cover. Then not long after that the number changed again, becoming 34703 65, but that was partly due to the addition of the ears on the left side of the case which accommodated the aluminium inner primary cover for 1965 models.

As Craig mentioned, the marking in the 2E area varies. Sometimes you’ll find 1E and sometimes only a lone 2 or lone 1. In my photo collection the E only appears on cases cast in September 1949 or later and even then it does not appear on every case. Recently I mentioned the 1 and 2 to Bruce Palmer and here’s his reply: ‘I see this under the shift drum of lids, probably an inspector’s mark put into the die to show the piece’s die was approved.’ (I took that to mean an inspector at the foundry as opposed to an inspector at H-D.) And I also mentioned the E to Bruce and here’s his response: ‘Probably a different inspector. Similar inspector marks are found on other manufacturers’ pieces.’

I’ve seen the belly number you referred to and if it’s the same case then I can’t see anything wrong with the characters. You mentioned the first 4 is closed but notice the short horizontal stroke across the top. You said the second 4 is open but notice it is open back as opposed to open top. Also notice the 2 and 7 are both sans serif as I would expect for 1954. And it looks like there is a sans serif 7 on top of the case near the rear engine mounting bolt hole. A 1954 belly number is okay for a case with date code 3 3.
Eric

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#7

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:22 am

Craig, I think L 6 on your case indicates December 1946 casting.

In March 2008 on the old HTT a certain person told us that L 6 on a BT trans case indicated November 46 because the letter I was skipped. I asked that person about it because there was no mention of the letter I in Bruce Palmer’s book. Said person later posted what he called an update, saying that the I was used until the late-40s but that it disappeared in 48 or 49.

Later in 2008 that same person again stated that L 6 indicated November 46, which obviously meant he was contradicting his own apparent update that he posted earlier on. I asked him about the letter I for a second time but he did not reply. Anyway, by that stage I had already begun my own research into casting info because there were other problems with the alleged update and the whole situation was confusing.

For a while it seemed that the letter I was indeed omitted from all BT aluminium parts cast in 1948–49 because some pieces showed up with codes such as M8 and M9, including some BT trans lids with M8. However, later on some other BT trans lids that appeared to have been cast in 1948 showed up with code I8. I didn't know if they were exceptions or if there was something else going on.

Recently I’ve been in contact with Bruce regarding some casting info and other forms of ID and the letter I is something we’re trying to sort out. Last Saturday I emailed him photos of a BT trans case cast in 1949 and its code is I 9. (By the left side, we can tell it's a 49 casting and not 39.) Haven’t received a reply from Bruce yet but code I 9 may yet prove to be okay because so far I have not seen an M on a BT trans case cast in 49.

I still don’t know exactly what happened with the I and the M on certain BT aluminium parts cast in 48–49 but one possibility is that H-D may have used more than one foundry and maybe they didn’t all apply date codes in the same manner as each other.

Getting back to BT trans cases cast in 1946, the photos below show two such items with date code I 6 indicating casting in September 46.
Eric

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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#8

Post by 6 pack » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:21 pm

can some one id this tranny
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Re: 1958 Panhead Tranny Identification...

#9

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:20 pm

It looks like L 4. The 4 appears to have a closed top (not that I would expect it to be open; just trying to eliminate the possibility of it being another character). If the code is L 4 then it indicates the case was cast in December 1944.

Casting number 121-35 first appeared in the 1930s and remained in use through the 40s, 50s and into the 60s. It was last used as one of two casting numbers for trans cases of 1964 model Panheads (some 64s had 121-35 cases while others had trans cases with casting number 34703 64).

For various reasons I wouldn't expect L 4 to indicate December of 1934, 1954 or 1964. But if you want to be certain, you could post more photos of your case and I'd be happy to go into detail regarding what the extra pictures reveal.
Eric

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