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Thread: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

  1. #1

    Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    This topic came up in another thread and I started to look into in a little more because I was interested in knowing what years had which number on the front leg.

    The number that I am referring to is the last number cast into the front leg of the springer. They always say TC20TF[*]??. The ?? in the sequence is the number that changed each time the mold was changed, these numbers get higher as the as the years progress. For example, the lowest number that I have ever seen is a 2 which would be used on 1936EL models and some 1937 big twin models. By late 1941 the last number is a 7, by the late 40's that number is near 20.

    I will provide the info that I have gathered by looking at original bikes and continue to add to this as I find more original bikes to look at and compare with ones that I have already examined, I will break it down by year model and VIN to try to determine when the number changed during the year model.

    Note: The numbers do not always stay the same throughout a full year model. For example an early 1940 model has a 4, a later 1940 model has a 5, an early 1941 has a 6 and a later 1941 has a 7. That goes to show that there are atleast 4 different casting numbers used on springer front legs through the 1940-41 year models.


    You should be able to use these examples to narrow down which nuber is the correct number for your bike by coparing the your VIN with the examples know.

    Known examples:

    36EL165X has #2
    37EL294x has #2
    37UH72xx has #3
    38UL382x has #3
    39EL238x has #4
    39EL325x has #4
    40EL103x has #4
    40EL417x has #5
    41EL199x has #6
    41FL242x has #5
    41EL532x has #7
    45UL111x has #14
    46EL144x has #15
    46EL610x has #15
    47EL901x has #17
    48FL833x has #19

    Bruce Palmer III provided this chart on page 2 of this thread. So far the 10 examples that have been provided agree with his chart. I will continue to add to the list becasue it can still help determine what VIN range the numbers were changed during the year model.

    Please read Bruce's post page 2 of this thread it will help you understand the chart a little better. Thanks Bruce!

    year forging suffix width mark
    1936 2 wide GL
    1937 2, 3 wide GL
    1938 3 wide GL
    1939 3, 4 wide GL
    1940 4, 5 wide GL
    Early-1941 5 wide GL
    1941 6,7 notched GL
    1942 7,8 notched GL
    1942 9 notched A
    1943 10,11,12 wide A
    1944 12,13 wide A
    1945 13,14 wide A
    1946 in-line fork 14,15 wide A
    1946 offset fork 15 milled A
    1947 17 thin A
    1948 17,18 thin A
    1949 18,19 thin A
    1950-1952 19 thin A
    1953-1957 20 thin A
    Last edited by MATT MCMANUS; 09-19-2012 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    If anyone has a motorcycle that they are positive is an original motorcycle that has been together since it left the HD factory please let me know the VIN ( you dont have to provide all of it but most would be nice) and the last number on the front leg so that I can add it to the list above.

    Thanks, Matt

  3. #3

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    Bruce has been researching this information for his new book. He has made some great discoveries. There is an easy way to tell if a number 1 fork is original or counterfiet. Number 1 is a VL only fork. Number 2 is the earliest known OHV fork number. If you see a OHV spring fork with the number 1 on it and the hallmark has GL in it it is a number 10, 11, 12, ETC that has had the second number removed.
    Chris Haynes
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  4. #4

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    fl 242x #5 on fork. the front fork is original to the bike.

  5. #5

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    What year is the bike?

  6. #6

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    oops 41 fl.

  7. #7

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    Bruce has been researching this information for his new book. He has made some great discoveries. There is an easy way to tell if a number 1 fork is original or counterfiet. Number 1 is a VL only fork. Number 2 is the earliest known OHV fork number. If you see a OHV spring fork with the number 1 on it and the hallmark has GL in it it is a number 10, 11, 12, ETC that has had the second number removed.
    The GL halmark is on the early forks the A is on the later teen numbered forks. As you can see my GL5 fork leaves no room for an 1. That would mean a A1 would be the counterfeit.

    Last edited by erdos; 09-17-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    I thought that I would be good with a 5 for my '39 but it looks like I need a 4. Is there any possibility that 5's were used in '39?

  9. #9

    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    Quote Originally Posted by erdos View Post
    I thought that I would be good with a 5 for my '39 but it looks like I need a 4. Is there any possibility that 5's were used in '39?
    We dont know yet, T Bone provided an example of a 41FL with a 5 and my 41EL has a 6 although it is ~425 VIN's lower than T bone's. This could prove that early 41 could be the transition point from 5-6 but I would like to find a few more examples before saying anything definite. The only 4 and 5 I have seen are on 40's I called a friend today and he is looking to see what the number is on his original paint 39EL. Hopefully over time this will turn into a decent resource to determine what number you should have on your front leg.

  10. #10
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    Re: Springer front legs, what is the correct number??

    i hope these little #'s don't effect your ride time.

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