Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

Case and VIN large gap

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MyDads42WLA
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Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#1

Post by MyDads42WLA »

I've recently acquired my dads 1942 WLA from my brother it's been in the family since the 70's my question concerns the case belly number vs the VIN number. My case belly number is 41-8177 on both sides which would mean 1941 however the VIN is stamped 42WLA68XXX wouldn't that make it stamped in 1945? Why such a large gap?



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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#2

Post by Pascal »

It isn't that abnormal to find a motor mated much earlier then being built into a complete bike, but in your case I'd be surprised too.
Can you give is a picture of the VIN so we can see if it's a factorynumber or not?

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#3

Post by MyDads42WLA »

The Case is 42-8177 - 1941
The VIN is 42WLA68191 - 1945
The Frame is A13 - 1945

4 Year gap between the case being stamped and the VIN being stamped
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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#4

Post by RooDog »

Some army replacement cases were put in the Army's supply chain, as service parts, without a VIN stamped in the left case boss. Of course there would still be the matching belly numbers for obvious mating purposes. So that when a replacement case was needed the correct old numbers could be stamped by the guys at the field service depot.
Makes sense to me, another reason the years may differ between the VIN and the belly nos.....
....RooDog....

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#5

Post by Pascal »

That is not a factorynumber I'm afraid; the '6', '9' and '1' are not the correct fonts...

This could be a (dealer?) repair job on some blank cases, who can tell after all these years?
Both VIN and frame suggest it's a 1945 type VII; made to serve in russian hands, and probably had to haul an M72 rig..
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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#6

Post by Speeding Big Twin »

I agree the SN was not stamped at the factory. Apart from the wrong 6/9 and 1, the 2 appears to be missing a vertical serif from bottom right. And a closed 4 is inconsistent with a 42WLA in the 68000s. Instead I’d expect to see a certain open-top style.

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I can’t see anything wrong with the BN and its characters are consistent with factory stamping for 1941. But I’d like to see a photo of the other BN please. Thanks.

You could also check the date code on the left case. The case below has C 1 indicating casting in March 1941.
Eric

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#7

Post by MyDads42WLA »

I have to agree the numbers don’t look right if the 1’s were 2’s they wouldn’t even fit on the case also the “A” is very low to miss the rivet or whatever that is which appears to not be installed before they are usually stamped.

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#8

Post by RooDog »

Oh, you don't know what goes in the hole above the A 6 ?

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#9

Post by MyDads42WLA »

No I don’t by the way I’m missing the plug that goes in the timing hole too I ordered one from J&A Cycles and it’s to small. What size plug fits in there?

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#10

Post by RUBONE »

The hole above the numbers is for a case stud and is very specific to that location. The timing hole threads are 5/8-18. There are complete 45 parts lists in the Documentation section.
Dealing with J&P is a crapshoot at best, worse if you aren't familiar with factory parts.

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#11

Post by 1950Panhead »

No I don’t by the way I’m missing the plug that goes in the timing hole too I ordered one from J&A Cycles and it’s to small. What size plug fits in there?
Colony case studs and timer plug are good.

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#12

Post by RooDog »

Oh, now I see what happened here. Whoever did the number job didn't bother to remove the case stud/nut and therefore had to locate his letter "A" punch stamp out of line with the rest of the characters.
Lazyness will always show itself, so one should take the extra effort to do it right....
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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#13

Post by MyDads42WLA »

Here’s both belly numbers
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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#14

Post by Pascal »

Bellynumbers suggest these are proper 1941 cases.
Don't forget; in 1941 the US of A was not yet at war and H-D produced both civilian and military 45's.

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Re: Newby question about VIN and Case Numbers

#15

Post by RUBONE »

liberator wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:17 pm
Bellynumbers suggest these are proper 1941 cases.
Don't forget; in 1941 the US of A was not yet at war and H-D produced both civilian and military 45's.
And by August of '41 were well into the production of the '42 model year. Civilian production continued into January of '42 at which point Military and Vital industry was all that went forward.

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