Transmission Date Codes

Identification information of frames and transmissions
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hibuck1
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Transmission Date Codes

#1

Post by hibuck1 » Tue May 24, 2011 3:02 am

In Palmers it says all 1940 thru 1955 trans cases are the same case is drilled for vent, I have seen some date codes letters and the numbers * E 7 * May 1947 ?, then I have seen * 3 3 * March 1953 ?, how would I know a 1955 case ? would it be * 1 5 * or * A 5 * did they change to both numbers after knuckleheads ? or still use letters and numbers ?



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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#2

Post by katto » Tue May 24, 2011 6:08 am

My 2cents, After 1949 they went to numbers; 1-1, 3-7, 3-3 ect... Jan-1951,March-1957, March-1953 ect... Katto

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#3

Post by Robert Luland » Tue May 24, 2011 10:22 am

From late 52 up to the end of 57 all tranny cases were dated 33. Why remains a mystery. The date codes resumed with the 58 model year. Bob L

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#4

Post by UPSROD » Tue May 24, 2011 6:24 pm

Late in the 58 model year.

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#5

Post by steve_wood » Tue May 24, 2011 10:52 pm

Interesting.... My transmission is the third sub-type i.e. with the drilled and tapped vent boss on the top side of the case. Here's the marks I've found:

- on the boss at the lower back right side where the placement adjusting screw is: "DG"

- on the underside, right side towards the front, a casting "tag" with the figures "K8"

- on the underside, right side towards the front, stamped numbers: 1 2 1 3 5

So what is the date for this one?

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#6

Post by Robert Luland » Tue May 24, 2011 11:16 pm

December 1948

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#7

Post by steve_wood » Tue May 24, 2011 11:25 pm

Thanks Robert.

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#8

Post by steve_wood » Wed May 25, 2011 2:18 am

Robert:

how did you de-code that? Was it the K8? Wouldn't that make it November 1948?

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#9

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Wed May 25, 2011 6:48 am

hibuck1, E 7 indicates May 1947 casting. A case cast in 1955 would probably have 3 3.

It appears that letter-number date codes for BT trans cases began in 1938 and the earliest photo example I have is from April of that year and shows D 8. My latest example of the letter-number format suggests that type of code remained in use through at least November 1949 but that month is indicated by L 9, not K 9, because the letter I wasn't used for some BT parts cast in 1948-49 due to confusion with the number 1. And I have a photo of M 8 indicating December 1948 casting.

December 1949 would probably be indicated by M 9 but I won't be surprised if I find a trans case from that month with 12 9. Some BT engine parts show the letter-number format as well as the numbers-only format in use for Dec 49 so the same thing may apply to BT transmissions.

My earliest example of the numbers-only format on a BT trans case is 1 0 (January 1950) and other 1950 examples show 3 0, 6 0, 8 0, 9 0, 10 0 and 11 0. January 1951 has 1-1 but I have no early-50s examples after 3 3. And although that 3 3 code would seem to indicate March 1953 casting, it has been found on bikes as late as 1956 models that are unaltered from original.

The monthly code was re-introduced as early as February 1958 (2 58) but so far it seems that year was indicated by two numbers, not one. Two numbers also indicate the year for 1959 but sometimes only one number was used so you'll find examples such as 1 59 (January 1959) but also 11 9 (November 1959). For 1960-63 my examples so far show two numbers to indicate the year.

NB: Some people will tell you the 11 9 code wasn't used on BT trans cases for November 1959. Obviously I disagree with those people.

Lastly, I'll return to the letter-number codes because some of them can be misleading at times, for example, J 9 could indicate either October 39 or September 49 and both trans cases would have a tapped boss for the vent screw. However, there are ways to tell the difference between the cases although I found no mention of those differences in Palmer's book. If you need more info let me know anytime. Eric

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#10

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Wed May 25, 2011 7:48 am

Steve, on your type of case K 8 indicates October 1948 casting because the letter I wasn't used on some BT parts cast in 1948-49. And the omission of the letter I meant that M was used to indicate December as shown in the photo below:
1948DecemberXXX1.jpg
DG near the adjusting screw on your case MAY have been stamped by an inspector at the Harley factory and I have photo examples showing other letters and/or numbers stamped in that same area. Number 121-35 is one of at least three casting numbers found on Panhead trans cases, the other two being 34703 64 and 34703 65.

To the right of the date code in my photo you'll notice the number 2 is indented and you may find that same number on your case. Or you may find any of the following instead: 1; 1E; or 2E. But I don't yet know what they mean. Eric
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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#11

Post by George Greer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:31 am

Eric,

The transmission that I have has a "2 E", stamped on it.

Have you figured out what it means?

George

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Re: Transmission Date Codes

#12

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:36 am

No, George, I still haven't figured out what it means. And sometimes cases cast in the same month and year as each other have different markings, for example, I have photos of cases cast in September 49 and one has 2E but another case has 1E. Eric

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