Register now to get rid of these ads!

32 Ford truck reference material needed

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rainh8r, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. rainh8r
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 792

    rainh8r
    Member

    I have a (currently) stock 32 Model BB truck with a decent B engine, 4 speed, etc. The block is a replacement that was installed 50+ years ago and has never had a number stamped into the pad. The trans number and frame number match. The problem is that the letter prefix on the trans and frame are different-BB on the frame (which is correct), AAB on the trans. When this truck was brought into the state in the 60's the trans number (AAB 501xxx) was used as the VIN. The Dept of License sees the frame and trans numbers as different now VIN's and won't change the title to the frame number (BB 501xxx) without a State Patrol inspection and a new VIN assigned. They do acknowledge that there were less stringent rules in 32, so if I can document the reason the trans is stamped AAB instead of BB they would reconsider. I believe (my own thoughts) that the trans was stamped AA when it left the gear factory, destined for an AA truck, as all the 4 speeds were in AA's. When it got to the floor, the B models were in production and so the B was added to indicate it was installed in a 32 model truck. I have two trucks like this with the AAB on the trans, so it was a common occurance. Does anyone know where I can go to document the reason for the AAB stamp on the BB truck? I'd like to get the frame number on the title so I can change the running gear and have a matching VIN. I have an old 32 Ford book from the V8 club but it only cover cars, not the BB series trucks. Thanks, Rob
     
  2. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    B engines never had serials on engine itself...number on bellhousing was the serial for the vehicle. I think (need to research interchange and serial practices) that your bellhousing casting came from an early '32 truck. I think the AAB is correct for early production, like AB on cars/commercials.. Bell can't be A or AA...B flywheel won't fit. Do your numbers match aside from prefix??
    Parts in float through a model changeover...no way, especially in '32!
     
  3. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 7,569

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I have a 32 big truck chassis with the serial number beginning in AA. It was an early truck with no bead at the back of the sunvisor and the top welded to the a pillars. At the end they had a BB prefix and some had a bead at the back of the visor like the 33 and some tops were not welded to the pillar also like the 33. I've had 6 or seven cabs and they are all over the place. I also have another chassis which I assume is later as it has the BB prefix.
     
  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    If the NUMBERS are the same aside from the prefixes, you can tell the authorities for sure that there was only one engine/frame number 501xxxetc...the prefix just noted whether it was equipped as a truck engine unit (4 speed, etc.) or car/commercial with 3 speed. Engine/trans were made and tested as a unit, then shipped out to assembly plants where the engine bell number was then transferred by stamping onto the frame of the vehicle.
    An engine was in float for as long as it took to be removed from the warehouse and shipped off to an assembly plant, so that way it could have been made while AAB was the formula and perhaps assembled to a chassis right after the plant converted to the later BB designation.
    The bell number was the original master number, but if your digits are different, then there is no question that the bell casting has been transplanted from another truck and the frame number is the legit one.
    If the numbers are same and only prefixes differ...both then CLEARLY refer to the same B engine, but howinhell to convince the authorities of that I don't know.
    The actual 5 million number sequence is unique to a single power unit.
     

  5. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,207

    Shaggy
    Member
    from Sultan, WA

    Looks like you are just stuck running the banger!
     
  6. There was a change from AAB (or ABB depending upon whose book you are reading, both "The Early Ford V8 As Henry Built It" and "The 1932 Ford Book" by Dave Rehor reference ABB) to just BB for the trucks starting with serial number 5062387. It is possible that the engine/transmission was stamped AAB when it was built according to the practice at the time but by the time they were installed into the frame the practice had been changed to using BB as a prefix. I would try to sell the DMV that the serial number on the frame is the one that should be used and the other ignored. Try and sell them on the idea that the number on the flywheel housing was only there to establish what number should be stamped into the frame. If your old book from the V8 club is the 1981 (or thereabouts) 1932 Restoration Guidelines look in the section about 4 cylinder engines and how the serial numbers were assigned to find this information.

    Charlie Stephens
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  7. When I reread your post I notice that you assumed the block without a serial number was a replacement block. None of the Model B engines had a number stamped into the boss on the side of the engine at the factory (since it was stamped into the flywheel housing). This boss was used on the Model A for the serial number but unused on the Model B. I have seen a couple of Model B blocks with serial numbers on the boss but assume they were added to keep some DMV agent happy or perhaps to satisfy the requirements of a particular state.

    Charlie Stephens
     
  8. Hoop-in-JAX
    Joined: Nov 7, 2007
    Posts: 184

    Hoop-in-JAX
    Member

    If you haven't checked with the folks below, they might have some proof of the stampings. Sounds like a decision was made to conform to a BB designation AFTER the transmissions were stamped ... without regard to the DMV confusion it would cause years later. Proving it is the trick.

    http://www.aa-fords.com/

    Old-Ford-Trucks.com
    120 Allatoona Drive
    Woodstock, GA 30189
    Douglas Wilkinson, Publisher
    Email: Douglas@old-ford-trucks.com
     
  9. rainh8r
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 792

    rainh8r
    Member

    Thanks for the information. The numbers do match on the trans and the frame, with just the AAB/BB prefix difference. One of my trucks does have the BB number stamped into the engine, but it was not done at the factory-wrong stamp sizes, no star, etc. I'll check out the AA Fords site and see what they say. Trying to prove this stuff to someone that never sees anything but 13 digit VIN"s that are 'sacred" now isn't easy. The idea that a manufacturer didn't care about matching each and every item stamped on a unit doesn't compute with the DMV, but this should help. Rob
     
  10. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    To prove it...get hold of the resto book. There may also be some online info on Ford numbers. If the digits are the same, only one engine and car is involved, and yours was probably on a train headed for the assembly plant at the moment when AAB was switched to BB. A single # can refer only to one engine unit and the one vehicle that received it!
    Ford built, tested, and stamped the engine at the Rouge, then the number was transferred to the frame rail when it went into the truck. The assembly plant would have tossed the number stamp holding fixture that said "AAB" when they got the new directive from the factory and started sliding the serial number punches into a fixture that said "BB", hence the change.
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.