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Thread: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

  1. The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    I have heard of the 1979 Harleys Having a Vin Exception and I was wondering if there was an exception to the exception lol

    My bike is titled as a 79' FXF, When I split the cases I found that they were cast in 12/78, but I am not sure if the bike was built at the same time. The engine has a 10 number vin on it, and the title does not match this. There are no letters on the engine, its starts off
    1479 *** ***, the title has a conventional Harley Style Vin, but my sequence number does not fall into place with the range of bikes that have the exception.
    The Exceptions says 43000H9 to 48199H9, my vin is 486**H9.

    The only possible thing I can think of is that the engine was swapped, but I highly doubt it judging from the lady I got the bike from, its 99.5% original...

    Any Ideas?

  2. #2

    Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    Do your engine numbers match the last numbers on the VIN minus the letters? 12/78 is a 1979 engine.
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  3. #3

    Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    Are you saying that there is no number that matches you papers on the frame? Beginning in 1970, that 's all that counts, legally. The motor number should have the numerical portion of the frame VIN in it, as was stated above. Can't tell a thing without photos of the numbers you do have.
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  4. Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    The numbers on the title don't correspond with the numbers on the case at all. Yes the numbers on the frame match the title, I'm just trying to figure out what the engine numbers mean...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Western Australia

    Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    Your bike is titled as a 79 FXF? Are you sure about that? Recently on eBay I saw an engine with a stamping beginning 1479 (other characters covered) and the title showed 79 FXF but my 71Ė84 H-D FX-series catalog doesnít record an FXF on the general information page inside the front cover. The only two it lists with an F at the end are FXEF-1200 and FXEF-80. What are the first two characters of your frame VIN? FXEF-1200 frame VIN should begin with 5E and FXEF-80 frame VIN should begin with 6E.

    You mentioned a certain VIN range covering the 79 exception and Iíve seen that same range on more than one VIN site but I donít know if said range is accurate. Recently on another forum someone asked about 79 and I said they could read about the exception via Google but I also told them I couldnít guarantee the accuracy of any VIN sites. For example, some VIN sites continue to state the 1960s even-odd code began in 1962 when in fact it started with 1960 models so we cannot just believe info on those VIN sites and we have to ask where they got that 1979 VIN range from.

    In the usual 1970Ė80 engine VIN format, Iíve got twenty 1979 examples from either Shovels or Sportsters and all are either below or above that exception range so they work okay but it doesnít necessarily mean that range is accurate.

    I donít know if any part of a 1979 exception engine stamping is supposed to match the sequence portion of its frame VIN. (And Iíd like to hear more about that if anyone has info.) But for now, Iím not surprised that the numbers on your title donít correspond with the numbers on your case although it remains to be seen whether your frame and cases are original to each other. (See below re Pete Simet.) Two examples I have of engines with the 79 exception are 1479 003 +++ and 1479 011 +++ and they are stamped on top of the right-hand case. Yours has 1479 +++ +++ and Iím assuming that it too is on top of the right case? If so, and even though all three sets of numbers are on top of their cases, they all sound like a variation of the nine-character belly number format introduced for 1975. But in these instances all three engines have an extra character. The first two characters (14) apparently indicate an 80ci Shovel and the next two (79) indicate year. The remaining six characters apparently relate to production: three indicate day produced; and the last three indicate number produced on said day.

    Are there any numbers inside your gear case near the cam bearing? Also, on the outside rear of the cases you may find two sets of matching characters consisting of a letter followed by some numbers but I donít yet know what they mean.

    If you post a photo showing part of your engine stamping you may get some opinions. Or you could contact Pete Simet at H-D Customer Service on 414-343-4056 and quote all your numbers and that means everything, frame VIN included. Contacting Pete may also provide a way of determining whether or not the frame is original to the engine. He may give you an email address so you could send him photos and he may be able to check Harley records for you. And if you do contact Pete, please let us know the outcome so this thread can be used for future reference.

  6. Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    Yes, infact they were my cases on eBay. The bike was purcahsed new in Kansas and when I purchased the bike last year the ladies husband had every single receipt for everything he ever did on the bike, right down to how much gas he was using every year. He didn't throw any old parts away even seals and old brake pads. Anything original he took from the bike he had, bagged,tagged and boxed. So There is no way that the cases would have been changed and not noted. They match the frame and it would make no sense. He had Kansas HD do the 3-5/8 bore. The title starts off with 6E. I am going to call Pete today and hopefully get an answer...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Western Australia

    Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    Cheers. As I mentioned above, 6E indicates an FXEF-80 and 14 at the start of the engine stamping indicates an 80ci Shovel so that makes sense. If the title has FXF instead of FXEF that may just be a typo.

  8. #8

    Re: The 1979 Exception. A few Questions...

    A small percentage of 1979 Big Twins had the confidential numbers stamped on the crankcases where the VIN usually was stamped.

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