Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

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guppymech
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Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#1

Post by guppymech » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:40 am

Hey Guys, I'm a new Shovelhead owner and was wondering if you guys know around what date the MoCo starts switching production to the next years models? I bought my '84 FXE this past spring and I just deciphered my engine's belly number according to what I read in Donny Petersen's Shovel book. What I get is that my engine was the 42nd made on July 12, 1984. It seems to me that's pretty late in the '84 model year. Any chance my engine was made in the last few weeks of Shovelhead production?



VPH-D
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#2

Post by VPH-D » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:31 pm

July production usually went to the next year's bikes, introduced in September. My wife has a low number 1969 XLH that was built in July 1968.
VPH-D

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#3

Post by guppymech » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:40 am

VPH-D wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:31 pm
July production usually went to the next year's bikes, introduced in September. My wife has a low number 1969 XLH that was built in July 1968.
VPH-D
Thanks for the info. I've read that the MoCo can provide some info on a bike if you send them the VIN. I'm going to send a letter to them and see if they have any information on the production of my bike.

VPH-D
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#4

Post by VPH-D » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:32 pm

You can call the factory customer service number, and give them your serial number. They'll respond via e mail inside a couple of weeks. On a bike that new they should be able to even provide original color, in addition to build date.
VPH-D

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#5

Post by guppymech » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:38 pm

VPH-D wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:32 pm
You can call the factory customer service number, and give them your serial number. They'll respond via e mail inside a couple of weeks. On a bike that new they should be able to even provide original color, in addition to build date.
VPH-D
I called H-D like you said and they gave me all the info over the phone. Funny thing is they said my bike was built on July 22,1983 and shipped on Sept 23rd but the number stamped on the bottom of my engine says it was built on July 12, 1984, if I'm reading it right. Engine number is 1484193042. The VIN on the frame and engine match in the correct fonts. I guess it could've gotten a factory replacement engine...do they come with the original VIN stamped on them?
A lot of questions, I'm going to email the original owner who I bought the bike from.

1947ohv
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#6

Post by 1947ohv » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:34 am

84 was a change over year from shovels to evos. Had a 84FLHT with a evo mtr. I think all the soft tails got evo mtrs also. The Motor company did alot of changes in 84I think 85 they started the rear belts. My guess is 84 and 85 they were using up all the shelf parts at the factory. -85. 84 was inclosed rear chain which mine had. What I am getting at is you do not have a special rare bike. Heck, you should see the service manual for 84-85. I still have my manual. Got rid of the bike in early 90s. Traded it for a 45 Indian Chief. The enclosed rear chain was a pain in the ass to change the tire. I still have on of those big seals that go on them. Be safe and happy motoring to you

Speeding Big Twin
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#7

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Tom, welcome to the forum. I just saw your Shovel in the other thread. Nice machine.

Leaving aside the belly number for the moment, doesn’t Petersen explain how to decipher the frame VIN? I assume the frame VIN has seventeen characters? Some of these indicate model, model year and introduction date. The ninth character is a check digit which helps authenticate the frame VIN. Does Petersen explain all this? If not, can you please post the first eleven characters of the frame VIN.

As for the engine VIN, looks like it is on the left case near the front cylinder? Hard to tell how many characters it contains though. Ten?
Eric

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#8

Post by guppymech » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:50 pm

Speeding Big Twin wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:57 pm
Tom, welcome to the forum. I just saw your Shovel in the other thread. Nice machine.

Leaving aside the belly number for the moment, doesn’t Petersen explain how to decipher the frame VIN? I assume the frame VIN has seventeen characters? Some of these indicate model, model year and introduction date. The ninth character is a check digit which helps authenticate the frame VIN. Does Petersen explain all this? If not, can you please post the first eleven characters of the frame VIN.

As for the engine VIN, looks like it is on the left case near the front cylinder? Hard to tell how many characters it contains though. Ten?
Eric
SBT Thanks for the welcome and compliment on the bike. I just bought Donny's Shovel books and am working my way through Vol. 1. I didn't feel the urge to check out what he says about the VIN as I had previously deciphered that it matched the bike with info from the web. One thing I do find surprising is the 8th digit is a 3 indicating 'California Special'. The original owner bought the bike when new from a local dealer here in Illinois. The frame VIN and abbreviated VIN on the engine match.
The VIN aligns with what the MoCo told me over the phone and the foil sticker on the right front downtube has a build date stamp of 7-83. Here's the first 11 characters:
1HD1BAK34EY

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#9

Post by guppymech » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:10 am

Here's the number stamped on the bottom of the left side of the crankcase. I had the nose cone off earlier in the summer but at that time I didn't know there were numbers stamped in there.

Image

And a pic of the bike

Image

Speeding Big Twin
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#10

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:35 am

Cheers Tom. The eleven characters from the frame VIN are consistent with info in my H-D FX-series parts catalog. BA indicates FXE-80, K means 80ci Shovel and E represents model year 1984.

Re the eighth character (3), it’s interesting you found it to indicate ‘California Special’. My H-D catalog says 3 means ‘Special Early 84 Models only’. If it was 1 it would indicate regular introduction date while 2 means mid-year intro.

Ninth character (4) is the check digit and is used to help authenticate the frame VIN. I can supply info about that if you need it.

I can’t see anything wrong with the belly number photo and the characters may indicate the engine was the 42nd made on the 193rd day of 1983. Then the bike reached final assembly not long after. This would be consistent with the bike being an 84 model as per the letter E in the frame VIN and also with it being an early-84 model as per my parts catalog.

As for numbers inside the gearcase compartment, apparently that began with 1975 models.

Also stamped on each crankcase you may find another set of characters. Look on the back of the R-H case, near the outer edge, just inboard of the bottom of the oil pump. For example, you may find characters in a format similar to A123 or maybe something like A12B. And there may be a matching set of characters in a corresponding position on the left case. I don’t know what they represent but I expect they are on record at the factory.

Other stamped-on ID may be found low on the rear of the trans case—for example, BN1234. And on the R-H side of the lower triple clamp, maybe on or near the fork stop. Format may be similar to the trans case ID but the first letter may be F.
Eric

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#11

Post by guppymech » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:47 pm

Eric, Thank You for explaining all that. I looked in my Part 2 of Donny's Shovel book and he says the same as you about the 8th character being a Special Early '84, I was at work when I answered your initial post and was going off what a internet search told me. I just looked in my factory Parts Catalog book and I'll be darned the if it's not listed there like you said, I've never looked at those pages. Live and learn! With the engine number being stamped 84 I was taking that literally not understanding that it meant 'model year'. When put in that context it all makes sense and all the info lines up correctly.
Once again, Thanks and Happy Springtime!
Ride Safe,
Tom

Bosheff
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#12

Post by Bosheff » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:06 am

Late 84's had the new style clutch, and didn't have the oil feed line running from the oil pump to the primary chain case. Late 83 and all 84 shovels had Evo connecting rods and a different camshaft with an "S" stamped on one of the lobes instead of the traditional "H" or nothing at all....bosheff

Doc37W
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#13

Post by Doc37W » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:41 pm

One thing to remember is the MoCo starts a year earlier on their production of bikes. So your ENGINE BN 1484193042 is deciphired as: 14 = 80 c.i.d.; 84 = built in 1983; 193 = built on the 193 day from Jan 1, 1983; 042 = built that day (hint- they were building around 340-50 a day at that time, So probably around 7:30ish in the morning). Engines & transmissions were built in the Milwalkee, WS factory. The ten day difference in build time was shipping the engine & transmission to the York, PA facility to be installed into the rest of the bike. Doc

guppymech
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Re: Model Year '84 to '85 Production Switch over

#14

Post by guppymech » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:48 pm

Thanks for the info guys, it's all quite interesting.

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