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Thread: Belly Numbers

  1. #1

    Belly Numbers

    Checked out a '55 motor yesterday. VIN pad doesn't look like it has been messed with or restamped. However, the belly numbers are a higher sequence than the VIN. VIN is 55FL46XX and the belly numbers are both 155-5061. Sounds a bit unusual, but can these numbers be correct? Haven't come across this issue personally.

    Paul

  2. #2
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    Re: Belly Numbers

    Cases are matched and machined as pairs, that is when the belly numbers are put on. The VIN is put on later when the engine was used to assemble a machine. The numbers are not unusual. '55 is a low production year, the engine might have been sitting around a short while before use.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Belly Numbers

    Also, According to Herb Wagner's book, the person putting the motors in the frames didn't always grab the next one in line on the pallet/shelf, sometimes it was the closest one. Hence, BNs would be higher (or lower) than the VIN.

  4. #4
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    Re: Belly Numbers

    My '58 FLH belly numbers are 314 higher then the vin. and my '65 FLH is 425 higher.
    UPSROD

  5. #5
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    Re: Belly Numbers

    The usual occurrence is that the BN is higher. Occasional lower ones usually mean the cases were held back for some minor correction and then put back in the line. If the cases were not usable as a set the odd side then often went into the replacement parts bin and the bad one was scrapped. Remember, the BN only went on after all machining processes were complete, no BNs on partially finished cases! One reason why many replacement cases only had a two digit code if pairs (factory matched and intended for replacement parts inventory) or no code at all (single side not matched).
    Friends help friends move,
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  6. #6

    Re: Belly Numbers

    Have you seen cases with XXXs in lieu ofBN?

  7. #7

    Re: Belly Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    The usual occurrence is that the BN is higher. Occasional lower ones usually mean the cases were held back for some minor correction and then put back in the line. If the cases were not usable as a set the odd side then often went into the replacement parts bin and the bad one was scrapped. Remember, the BN only went on after all machining processes were complete, no BNs on partially finished cases! One reason why many replacement cases only had a two digit code if pairs (factory matched and intended for replacement parts inventory) or no code at all (single side not matched).
    I have a set of NOS, '39U cases that are still blank on the VIN pad. Belly #s are 47-blank. Seadub

  8. #8
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    Re: Belly Numbers

    Paul, even with factory-stamped Panhead numbers the sequence portion of the BN can be higher or lower than the sequence portion of the VIN. And on very rare occasions the sequence portion of the BN can match the sequence portion of the VIN.
    Eric

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