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Old 02-11-2019, 03:52 PM   #1
Mulletwagon
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Default Got One - Now the VIN search

Followed the advise on the forum and located a nice 31 Tudor and brought it home. Since I bought it out of state the FL DMV wants to see the VIN. Research suggests the body must be lifted to see the VIN on the top left frame rail just aft of the first body mounting hole. The engine is not original and the number on it has been ground off. Is there a best way to lift the body ? Is it just a matter of removing the forward mounting bolts, loosening the aft bolts and lifting the front end a few inches after disconnecting fuel lines wires etc. ?
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:58 PM   #2
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

What number shows on the registration or bill of sale? Ask the DMV if someone can come to your house (maybe a police or highway patrol officer or maybe a private vehicle inspector) once you lift the body and verify the number and maybe install a tag on your door jam. By the way, your research is correct about the VIN location.

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Old 02-11-2019, 04:34 PM   #3
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Be warned that the number on the frame might not be readable. Rust never sleeps, it seems, and you may have trouble reading it........
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

There was no such thing as a VIN in 1930.

Every car maker did their own think. Frame number was the most common but it might also have been the engine number.

It was not until the mid 50’s that federal standards came into play.

What kind of paperwork do you have on the car? Was it registered when you purchased it?

Chances are very good your frame number might not be readable, or worse, not the number you are expecting to find.

If your engine had a number on it, would the DMV except that number?
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

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Originally Posted by WHN View Post
There was no such thing as a VIN in 1930.

Every car maker did their own think. Frame number was the most common but it might also have been the engine number.

It was not until the mid 50’s that federal standards came into play.

What kind of paperwork do you have on the car? Was it registered when you purchased it?

Chances are very good your frame number might not be readable, or worse, not the number you are expecting to find.

If your engine had a number on it, would the DMV except that number?
I am looking for a good acronym for the vehicle identification number for older vehicles. You know the Serial Number Assigned To The Vehicle When It Was Manufactured. Do you think SNATTVWIWM would be good? Are you able to pronounce it? Do you think it will become popular? Do you have a better suggestion? If not, I think I will still call it a VIN even though the acronym was used later with an expanded definition and standardization.

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Old 02-11-2019, 05:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

For most of us, VIN as a description works just fine.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Bought my Pickup in Florida, I live in Florida -- DMV accepted the VIN (Engine Numbers).
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Stephens View Post
I am looking for a good acronym for the vehicle identification number for older vehicles. You know the Serial Number Assigned To The Vehicle When It Was Manufactured. Do you think SNATTVWIWM would be good? Are you able to pronounce it? Do you think it will become popular? Do you have a better suggestion? If not, I think I will still call it a VIN even though the acronym was used later with an expanded definition and standardization.

Charlie Stephens
I still call the Model A’s frame or engine number the VIN. Everyone today understands what your taking about if you use that term.

It just concerns me that some states try to make antique car owners go to great lengths to register their cars.

If you have a trail of paperwork showing a continuation of ownership, that should be taken into consideration. The cars are 90 years old. Engines have been changed, frames have rusted, lifting a car can be a real problem. Many states do not issue titles for cars over 20 model years old. On and on.

I have never yet had a problem. Never had anyone ask to check the cars part number, VIN. I alway go in with a lot of confirming paperwork. On a Model A, my opinion is the engine number must match paperwork. That was the Ford way. Hard for DMV to disagree. No number on engine. You need paperwork, and a good conversation with DMV manager.

I am trying to be helpful, not sarcastic. To old for that.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

If you have a valid title, buy a stamping set from harbor freight or ebay and stamp that number onto the engine and suitable other locations as you see fit. Problem solved. And no matter what some say, no, its not illegal. Even on a modern car it is perfectly legal to get out your stamps and go to work, stamping the legal Vin anywhere you want. I would not resteamp the frame. There you may encounter some legalities.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

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If you have a valid title, buy a stamping set from harbor freight or ebay and stamp that number onto the engine and suitable other locations as you see fit. Problem solved. And no matter what some say, no, its not illegal. Even on a modern car it is perfectly legal to get out your stamps and go to work, stamping the legal Vin anywhere you want. I would not resteamp the frame. There you may encounter some legalities.
Yes. What you do in your garage is your business.

In my case the Texas buyer of my 1930 26K Model AA rolling frame w/engine required I have a title which shows the VIN.

I had to go through the process of applying for title (although in NH a title is not required for registration) and then a very nice local police woman came to the house to verify what the paperwork said.

I almost confused the issue. I pointed out the number on the engine block which agreed with the paperwork. Then (foolish me) I pointed out that the frame had the same number (on my frame it was) and if you hold the light just so you can read that too.

She got all "serious" when she heard this. Holding the light this way and that on BOTH numbers. I foolishly described the build sequence of the Model A which included transfer of the engine number to the frame by the manufacturer on the assembly line.

This opened a BUNCH of questions in her little official mind. Like why can't ANYONE transfer this number? And what if the numbers don't agree? And why can't the frame number be read when the body is in place? And what if someone changes or alters the engine?

She was at the house like 3/4 hour getting this all in mental alignment. And before she would sign off.

Better not to go there.

Simply stamp the motor when nobody is around and call it done.

I have a Sears Rebuild engine that was installed in my original 29 A CC truck. No number - never had one. I have jokingly said I plan to stamp this one A20000001 and install it in a huckster. Who in officialdom would ever dispute this?

Well other than this police woman who MAYBE knows a bit more now?

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Good Evening, what paperwork was used to register your A in the state that it was in prior to your ownership? Normally, If you can show that your A was legally registered in another state, your state will honor it. Also, in many states there are 3rd party companies that can register your A. They want to help you as they don't receive any money unless they can register your A. If the prior state paperwork has a number on it that was used there, then have it stamped on your engine and you should be good. The local chapter of MAFCA or MARC will most likely have a member with a set of stamps to match your replacement engine to the paperwork that came with your A. Ernie in Arizona
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:54 PM   #12
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Remember when taking advice from people on the internet that they are not the ones that might go to jail or have their car confiscated. I would suggest you research long and hard before you do any number stamping.

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Old 02-12-2019, 10:24 AM   #13
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

So why not register it in the State that you bought it from and then do the transfer ?
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Arizona would not accept the MN title as the DMV officer could not find the serial number on the frame and motor number matched the title. Said as far as he was concerned was a stolen vehicle as no frame number could be found. Had to purchase a bonded title. If I had it to do over, would have masked the frame where the serial number was stamped or re-stamped it as could see the number faintly before the frame was sand blasted, primed and painted. Paint covered it over.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chuck Dempsey View Post
Be warned that the number on the frame might not be readable. Rust never sleeps, it seems, and you may have trouble reading it........

My chassis was in pretty good shape, but even with the body completely off it was not possible to read the frame number without a lot of work. I had to use a piece of paper and rub a pencil back and forth over it to be able to read it at all. Turned out to match the engine number, amazingly. I was not forced to do this by officialdom. I was just curious. The local DMV (in Indiana) accepted the engine number as definitive enough. I wonder what police officer or other agent would have the patience to work at revealing the number, and it very possibly will not be immediately readable, or might not match the engine number. Then what? If there is a number on the title, I'd be tempted to buy one of those metal stamping kits and put it where the old one was ground off on the engine.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:44 PM   #16
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

I always thought the id # was the motor # . registered in ca. with motor # only .

as for the garage , ive had several motors with the same # . junked the old ones . the star will be the hardest one to find ……………… breath thru your nose & keep garage closed ….. I used a sanding disc on my Makita to clean the motor # pad
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Get a copy of the Model A Owners Manual and carry it with the car. Show the number-checking person this page where it says that the engine number is the serial number of the car. Don't agree to pull the body so the frame number can be observed without a fight.
And make sure the SN (Serial Number) that is on the title (if you have one) is the same SN that is on the engine. If the engine is blank then stamp the title number on the engine. Don't worry about the scare tactics in California. As soon as The Wall is built it will go around the eastern and northern borders of California and that state will then be part of Mexico anyway.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulletwagon View Post
Followed the advise on the forum and located a nice 31 Tudor and brought it home. Since I bought it out of state the FL DMV wants to see the VIN. Research suggests the body must be lifted to see the VIN on the top left frame rail just aft of the first body mounting hole. The engine is not original and the number on it has been ground off. Is there a best way to lift the body ? Is it just a matter of removing the forward mounting bolts, loosening the aft bolts and lifting the front end a few inches after disconnecting fuel lines wires etc. ?
Watch that you don't put stress on the steering column.

It is attached to the bottom of the fuel tank which will lift along with the body.

Those fuel tank column brackets can leak so be careful not to stress it, and that includes entering and exiting the car..try not to use the steering wheel for support.

Good luck.... I had to go through the same process and fortunately my number was readable..
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

Also, completely remove the throttle assembly above the flywheel.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:47 PM   #20
robert shreveport
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Default Re: Got One - Now the VIN search

We all know different engines have been exchanged in these cars over the yrs. Is there an “accepted avenue in selling” after engine exchange. No one including myself wants deception but when selling and title change, what is acceptable.

Last edited by robert shreveport; 02-12-2019 at 01:48 PM. Reason: Wrong area to post at
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