Topic: Engine Numbers

Brianne    -- 06-12-2010 @ 12:02 AM
  G/Day Folks
At our local Historical Village & Museum, we are restoring a 1934 V8 Tip Truck.
To register it as a historic vehicle, we have to supply an engine number. I believe that the number on the bell housing would be the original engine number. I am also led to belieive that it was placed here so that when re registering you could use same engine number if you had changed the engine. Correct or not?
The number I have appears to be 018BBSF<->2098
What do the letters denote please?

Brianne    -- 06-12-2010 @ 12:04 AM
  Picture of our progress so far with the 1934 Truck.

supereal    -- 06-12-2010 @ 11:49 AM
  The "18" says the truck is a 1932. The "BB" tells us it is a "big" (non-pickup) truck. Most old Ford vehicles, particularly trucks, had several engine and transmission "transplants" during their life, so those numbers are not reliable. Check the top rail of the chassis between then radiator and firewall for a stamped number. They are usually very had to see, and require some diligent cleaning to locate, particularly when mixed with grease and rust. Be careful not to scour the numbers away. There may be numbers under the cab on the frame rail, too, and also near the rear frame behind the cab near the rear axle. The numbers you quote seem to fit the pattern. They were stamped on the production line, and there should be a "star" at the beginning of the sequence instead of an "O" if you look carefully. Many jurisdictions accept any legible numbers for a historical registration, particularly for a group such as yours.

1932BB    -- 06-12-2010 @ 1:48 PM
  Based on your pictures it is indeed a 34 Model BB. Indicators are the V8 trim on the hood sides as well as the (rear) floating axel and larger wheel center hole that were necessary to clear the rear axel bearing housing (and large front wheel hub cap).

I posted a similar question regarding big truck transmission numbers some time ago on the 1932 forum that is still active. It has been viewed 118 times and no answers. Seems that big truck stats were not kept as well as the car records were kept. Super's right that the 18 usually signifies the "first eight" which would be a 32 but who knows with the truck numbering system. For instance a 34 commercial is a model 46. Does that mean that a 34 big truck number would be 046BBSF etc.? We will probably never know. However, as Supereal says, your best bet is to find the frame number. The first one (reading right to left) is on top of the frame between the fender end and firewall mounting hole. The second is under the cab and is usually more likely to be legible. Trucks were used hard and as SR says usually ended up bitsa this and bitsa that.

supereal    -- 06-13-2010 @ 9:40 AM
  I suspect that the transmission may have been swapped in from an earlier model if the "18" isn't keyed to '34. I'm certainly not an authority on early trucks, but as said, the data is often sketchy at best. The good info on the axle configuration is more reliable. I admire those who tackle these trucks, as they often start with not much more than a scr*p heap.

TomO    -- 06-16-2010 @ 7:56 AM
  The 18 prefix was used from 32-42 to indicate the 221 cu in motor. The BB was used to indicate that the evehicle was a truck (131.5"-157" wheelbase). To determine the year of your truck, use the serial number tables on the following site.


towjoe42    -- 06-20-2010 @ 6:50 PM
  I used the link to locate the serial number on my 1941 Ford Pick up. It was on the driver side frame rail on top in plain sight or almost. I used three coats of Paint remover and Stainless Scrub Buds from My Amway Distributor to lightly wipe the area after I wiped off the paint remover. After recording the numbers I painted it with primer and black paint to match the new paint on the firewall and frames in the engine compartment. I then put tape over it so I can pull it off when I go through the California DMV Vin Inspection line.
I have owned the vehicle since October 1969 and never verified the vin number until recently when I was installing another motor. See photo

flatheadman    -- 07-12-2010 @ 4:16 PM
  I have a 1939 truck with a 122 inch wheelbase (it is either 1 ton or 3/4 ton) and the serial number begins with BB. It has single rear wheels. fhm

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