Identification

Information on the identification and numbering of frame, motor belly, transmission and other parts
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FL54
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Identification

#1

Post by FL54 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:48 pm

I wanted to throw this out to the experts. I met a guy with a Panhead that I think has a 62-65 motor.
The cases are 58 but we know that isn't the year of the motor. I looked for numbers on the heads but couldn't find any. It has an outside oiling system and a tin primary. It's a bits a bike so the rest of it isn't much help in identifying the motor year and the title is a special construction. Is there some way to nail down the model year of the motor? I wish I could post some photos but I don't have access to the bike. This is primarily for my own curiosity/education.
Thanks in advance.



FL54
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Re: Identification

#2

Post by FL54 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:56 pm

It also has a 6 v system and is Kickstart only so I think that eliminates '65 as I believe that is the first year 12v, electric start. Is that correct?

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Re: Identification

#3

Post by Casaba » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:37 pm

Cant really go by that if its a past bike because the tranny may not match the engine. Cases pretty much ARE the motor. the rest as far as heads and internals could be a lot of different things. Typically the cases dictate what the motor is from everything i've ever read. As example my motor is an original 53 cases that match belly numbers but my heads are a 49 and 55 (I think) casting

FL54
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Re: Identification

#4

Post by FL54 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:43 pm

Thanks Casaba. My guess is that although the motor has cases from a different year, that the motor is pretty much original. I was just curious as to whether there was some way to specifically identify the year other than the case number.

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Re: Identification

#5

Post by RUBONE » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:14 pm

What are the belly numbers on the cases? Does it have a top center Banjo bolt and external feed between the cases?

Little Stan
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Re: Identification

#6

Post by Little Stan » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:55 pm

If the motor is 1965, there should not be a relay/horn mount on the RH case (just above the generator area). 1964 and earlier motors had a "lip" on the left hand case for tin primaries. 1965 thru 1969 "generator motors" do not have the lip as they came with aluminum primaries (electric start). Late 1962 saw the introduction of the outside oiler fitting between the tappet blocks. A lot of shovelhead top end conversions usually entailed drilling the cam cover like an older knucklehead for oiling the top end.

Hope this helps,
-little stan

FL54
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Re: Identification

#7

Post by FL54 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:17 am

Thanks for replies. I don't know the history of this bike other than it was probably built from parts. As previously posted, the cases are earlier than the top end. There is an oil fitting between the tappet blocks with tubing that y's and goes up to both heads. The relay boss on the right case had been removed (probably for a magneto) at some point in the past. I'm guessing it is either a '62,'63 or '64. Is there anything that would be different between these years that would help identify the year?

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Re: Identification

#8

Post by RUBONE » Tue Dec 29, 2015 6:10 am

If the top end oiling is stock then '62 is eliminated. Only '63 to '65 had that feature.And since it isn't '65 that just leaves '63 or '64. Again, what are the belly numbers?

FL54
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Re: Identification

#9

Post by FL54 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:30 pm

Sorry Robbie I wasn't ignoring your question on the belly numbers, I'm waiting for the guy to get back to me on that. Meanwhile, I was looking in the K base under information for year and found that the '64 model had a breather hole in the primary housing and a hollow hex head timer adjusting unit. Could you shed a little light on those additions for '64?
Thanks.

FL54
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Re: Identification

#10

Post by FL54 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:24 pm

I'm afraid the belly numbers aren't going to be much help as the guy said he can only see three numbers on either case and they are 1 3 2 so it's incomplete. He said that on the bottom of the front cylinder is a large cast G with a small tag with the numbers 15-3 on it. Rear jug has H 20-3. Don't know if that is helpful or not. Thanks for the help.

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Re: Identification

#11

Post by RUBONE » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:09 am

Those cylinder casting numbers are in July and August of '63, (or possibly '53 without being able to see the oil passages), but if '63 point more towards a '64 model year engine. The breather should be the early type and not the rubber nipple type for '64. Not sure what you are talking about with the hollow hex head doohickey. Could you elaborate?

FL54
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Re: Identification

#12

Post by FL54 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:55 am

Thanks Robbie. Would the breather be a tube at the rear of the primary? I was hoping you could tell me about the hollow hex timer unit. I found it under internal links in the board index under information per year for 1964.

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Re: Identification

#13

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:58 am

FL54, if you couldn’t find numbers on the heads then the info may be hidden by the rocker covers, if they are H-D heads. Casting info for 48–54 was usually visible under the ledge on the R-H side, for 55–56 the info was sometimes underneath and sometimes on top, for 57–65 the info was normally on top.

H-D Pan cylinders for 63–65 models usually have an MCC logo cast-in on the left side. If the logos are present then the front cylinder may have been cast on July 15, 1963 while the rear cylinder may have been cast on August 20, 1963. If no MCC logos then the cylinders may have been cast in 1953.

Re the cases, H-D or AM? If H-D then does the owner think 1 3 2 are the remains of original belly numbers (BNs)? Have the cases been polished/chromed? Sometimes BNs are diminished from polishing/chroming/whatever but it’s unusual for both cases to have the same three characters remaining if they are from original BNs. Could they be numbers used as factory ID on a pair of replacement cases? If so then the characters are probably not spaced. Are they spaced? Can the owner send you photos to post?

In the meantime can we find out what those numbers look like?
If they are the remains of H-D belly numbers and the 1 has a serif at top left but no serif at the base then it may be the 74ci OHV code number, meaning it will be at the start of the belly number. And if there is only a small space between that 1 and the 3 then the belly number may originally have started with 163 which may give us a 1963 belly number.
Does the 3 have a round top or a flat top?
Is the 2 sans serif or seriffed?
Eric

FL54
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Re: Identification

#14

Post by FL54 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:24 pm

Thanks Eric and Robbie for your replies. The owner said there are MC logos cast in the cylinders so I'm going to pronounce that the motor was originally a '63.
The owner is an older guy ( I must be careful when I say that because I'm not too far behind), old school and practically computer illiterate. The idea of him taking pictures, uploading them and posting them here is way above his pay grade. I was doing this to fill in some of the gaps in this bike's history and educate myself more on identifying numbers.
I'm heading out of town today and I was going to try to get by his place on the way back to take some photos but we have snow and freezing fog so the idea of going an extra 20 miles on greasy roads is not that appealing.
I'm not sure about the value of the belly numbers anyway since he said that the cases had been replaced years ago by a previous owner so we know that they aren't original. I believe they are HD cases but not year correct for this bike.
When I get an opportunity I will post some photos.
Thanks all for the help.

FL54
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:00 pm
Bikes: 1948 FL
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Location: Central Oregon

Re: Identification

#15

Post by FL54 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:32 pm

I braved the icy roads to find that getting there wasn't as bad as trying to get to the bike in the guy's garage. It was 3 degrees this morning and all the bikes are tucked in for the winter. I've attached a photo of the incomplete belly number.
Since Robbie had previously posted that the cylinders were cast in July and August of '63, what is the probability of the bike being a '63 model year or a '64? Is there any way to distinguish between the two years by characteristics of the motor itself?
Thanks in advance for the information. This has been an educational exercise.
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