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Thread: Tranny ID required

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Tranny ID required

    Ok folks here's one for you. I was at my buddy's looking at a pre 65 tranny and when I went to look for a casting date I was stumped. I'm used to seeing a letter followed by a number, but not on this one. It has a 3 then a space and another 3 cast into it. It also has a 2E stamped in it. Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Re: Tranny ID required

    I believe they started using two numbers on the casting data plate in 1950. My 54FLE has a tranny with 3-3 on it (see picture) and shows 1E stamped next to it. So 3-3 means March 1953. I've no clue what the 1E or 2E stands for, anyone who knows?
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  3. #3

    Re: Tranny ID required

    The 3 3 number was used for several years. Don't know why.
    Chris Haynes
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  4. #4
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    Re: Tranny ID required

    I agree casting date code 3 3 on a pre-1965 Big Twin trans case indicates March 1953.

    The earliest date code example I have on a BT trans case is F 8 and itís on a case with no vent screw boss so that helps indicate it was cast in June 1938. And the latest example I have of the letter-number format on a BT trans case is L 9 (November 1949). It appears the letter I was not used on some parts cast in 1948 and 1949 due to confusion with the number 1.

    My earliest example of the number-only format is 3 0 (March 1950) and that format appears to continue for most of the 1950s. But around 1958 it appears to change slightly and two numbers represent the yearófor example, 10 58 (October 1958); and 3 59 (March 1959). But one late-1959 example appears to be an exception and only has one number for the year: 11 9. (And that exception also appears to apply to some Panhead crankcases.)

    My examples for the early-1960s all use two numbers for the year: 1 60; 10 60; 11 61; 1 63; 10 63; and 12-63. And the last two of those do not have 121 35 as their casting number but instead have 34703 64.

    Apart from 2E or 1E, some cases just have 2 or 1. But I donít know what those extra numbers and/or letters represent. Eric

  5. #5

    Re: Tranny ID required

    The transmission on my '61 Pan has 12 58 cast into it, so it's safe to assume it was made in December of 1958 ? No neutral switch on this one either, so I figured it was '58 vintage.

  6. #6
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    Re: Tranny ID required

    Anything cast in late 1958 would have been for the 1959 year production models.
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  7. #7

    Re: Tranny ID required

    That makes sense to me Bigincher... 'zactly what I was thinking , too. But I don't know this stuff like you guys do.

    Palmers book says '59 was the first year for the neutral switch in the tranny cover ( BT footshift models) & my tranny cover doesn't have the switch.



    I'm still learning, so I don't know if an earlier style cover could have been mounted on this particular transmission at some point in time or not. I'm assuming the '59 covers ALL were set up for the neutral switch.

    Sounds like there were casting numbers on the case for each month & year...

    I guess what I'm asking... is it safe to say this is NOT the original transmission that came with my bike back in 1961 ? Wouldn't be a big surprise. Ol' Norma Jean's a '61 motor in the wrong frame with a '69-71 front end & a bunch of other parts, but I still love her anyways. Maybe one of these days I'll win the lottery & I'll put her back like she deserves, but for now I'm just gonna ride her & enjoy.

    BTW, I didn't mean to highjack this thread. Please move my comments if need be.
    Last edited by TimmyV; 02-01-2010 at 07:25 PM.

  8. #8

    Re: Tranny ID required

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyV View Post
    I'm still learning, so I don't know if an earlier style cover could have been mounted on this particular transmission at some point in time or not. I'm assuming the '59 covers ALL were set up for the neutral switch.
    Okay, so I did some digging in Palmer's book & found page 277." The footshift mechanism, although officially announced as new for 1952, was released on selected late 1951 Big Twins. There are only 2 different footshift cover assemblies used on 1952-1964 models. Type 1, used on 1952-1958 Big Twins, is not equipped with a neutral switch. Type 2, used on 1959-1964 Big Twins, is equipped with a neutral switch."

    You guys already knew this, I 'm sure. Me, I'm still tryin' to learn. I got me a copy of Palmer's book & am reading it when I can. Also try to learn from all you guys who know what yer talking about when it comes to these old machines. Sorry 'bout all the stupid questions.

  9. #9

    Re: Tranny ID required

    There are no stupid questions.
    As far as the pictured tranny with the mismatched lid I wouldn't worry about it. Obviously that transmission has gone through some changes in its lifetime. Just do some shopping and get the correct parts.
    Chris Haynes
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  10. #10
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    Re: Tranny ID required

    Tim, I'll agree there are no stupid questions. And yes, 12 58 indicates December 1958 casting. But I canít say exactly what year bike your trans would have been fitted to.

    My casting date code is 10 60 (October 1960) but it isnít a 1961 model transmission. Stamped on the outside there is additional ID consisting of a capital A followed by three numbers. Apparently the additional ID began with 1962 models and A indicates either a 1962 or 1963 model part but because mine only has three numbers, as opposed to four, I figure my trans case is more likely to be a 1962 model. Eric

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