1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

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ronstotal
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:36 pm
Body Type: BB Flatbed
Model Year: 1932
Location: Warr Acres, Oklahoma

1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby ronstotal » Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:31 pm

I HAVE SEARCHED THE FORUMS!!!

I found many references to decoding engine and chassis numbers, one of the older Forums (2005) even had a link for an "A" engine decoder. I have read some posts that mention that the stamped number on the engine and the stamped number on the frame may have been done on the same time.

I have a BB truck and know that I don't have the origional motor, although I do have a flathead. I am trying to decode the frame number for my BB truck, get some history on it. My frame number is BB724365.

Can anyone help. Does anyone know how I can decode or get more information on this number?

Ron
Rons Total Service Center
ronstotal@coxinet.net

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Brady
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Body Type: None
Location: Norwich, NY 13815
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Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby Brady » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:09 am

Did you try the Fordbarn site? You might get information from Vince Falter. Has a great A & B website- "The Ford Garage". Best of luck- keep trying

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Chris Haynes
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Body Type: 82A
Location: North Hills, CA/ Pine Grove, CA

Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby Chris Haynes » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:58 am

There was no engine number in 1932. The number was on the transmission case.

steve s.
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Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby steve s. » Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:54 pm

Ron,

In the back of my June 1937 Chassis Parts List, which covers all models 1928-1937 both cars and trucks, there is a model identification list. For 1932-1934 trucks the only model listed is BB. For 1935 & 1936 trucks with V-8 engines the model number is 51. For 1936 V-8 trucks the model is 75. There is no model 72. A model 73 is a commercial with 60 HP engine (V-8 ) I have a 1932 BB , serial BB5177951 I really dont know why the 51 follows the BB , not only is my truck a 4 cylinder, but 51 wasn't really the model number until 1935 according to this book. I was told many years ago by a Ford 'expert' that my serial numbers' 51 was correct for a 1932.

It seems that I have one more digit in my serial number than you do . Is that the number on the top of the frame by the steering box, or the number from the clutch housing ?

At any rate I guess I can't answer your question, but I wish you luck in your search. There are plenty of Ford experts around to help, the trouble is finding the right one when you need one.

Steve

E.Moore
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Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby E.Moore » Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:54 pm

It is my understanding that as the 4 cylinder A engine continued to be produced, 1932 was a changeover year. Model A engines were used up during 1932 and with the truck came the 1932 designation model BB. Since there had been more than 5 million Model A engines produced, your BB truck has engine number BB 5,177,951. It would be interesting to know whether it is an A engine or a B engine with a fuel pump and no oil tube from the valve cover to the block.

The V8 engines were scarce in 1932 because Ford was having casting/foundry troubles with the 1932 V8. The V8 got new serial numbers. The 4 cylinder was the primary engine Ford sold in 1932. The 1932 4 cylinder was improved with a fuel pump, much larger diameter crankshaft, no valve cover oil tube back to the block, A larger bore intake, a larger bore Zenith carburetor, a distributor with spring loaded counterweights, a three bolt water pump with a larger diameter impeller, etc, but the block got thinner in the cast iron thickness around the valves. The 1932 - 1934 4 cylinder engines could not withstand overheating like the A engine, and often cracked around the valves when they were overheated.

BB truck parts in 1932 were often interchangeable with the AA 1930/1931 with some exceptions. As the trucks continued to be improved, new part numbers were added. In 1935 there were a lot of big changes and new parts that did not work on the 1930 to 1934 trucks got the new part prefix designation 51. The first digit signifies the year of the new version parts.

The digits 51 in your serial number have nothing to do with 1935. It is simply the serial number in the 5 million One hundred thousand series of engine/serial number that were assigned during the month or two that your engine/frame was made.

Parts with 51 prefix were used for a number of years until there was another big change.

Trucks from 1930 through 1934 have interchangeable AA/BB parts in many cases. There are always exceptions. There are BB parts which do not work on the AA. Many 32 through 35 and later trucks use BB parts. When the changeover occured in 1935, there were BB parts that were still being used.

Get a copy of the 1932 Ford illustrated parts book and it will identify BB parts that will work on the 30/31 AA.

BB prefix lug nuts are still available at Ford Dealer's part departments, but they don't look anything like the original lug nuts. The modern BB lug nuts have contours and markings and are plated much differently than the original AA/BB lug nuts.

Hope some of this helps.

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tiredtruckrestorer
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2003 7:09 pm
Model Year: 1931
Location: Orwigsburg, PA

Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby tiredtruckrestorer » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:14 am

Hello Ron,

According to your frame number, BB724365, I believe your truck may have originally had a V-8. It falls into the March 1934 serial number range (697,188 to 771780). Is it possible that the engine could have been changed back to a 4 cylinder A or B engine? As Mr. Moore pointed out, Model A engine serial numbers were in the 5,000,000's by 1932. In fact by November 1931 they hit that mark. According to The Early Ford V-8, As Henry Built It by Edward Francis & George DeAngelis, four cylinder engine numbers for Model B's and BB's before 5,062,386 carried a prefix of "AB" or "ABB". I have an early '32 truck with matching engine and frame numbers beginning with ?"AAB"?. From number 5,062,387 the four cylinder car carried a "B" or trucks a "BB" prefix. The four cylinder serial numbers continued to August 1934 with the last number being 5,292,536. Model B and BB four cylinders had their engine number stamped on the flywheel housing directly over the starter motor and not on the engine block like the Model A engines. Check there for your engine number. Hope this may help.

And for Steve S., your BB5177951 truck was built in December 1932.

Keith

steve s.
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Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby steve s. » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:22 pm

Thank you, Keith. It's interesting to know that my truck was built in Dec. 1932. That would mean that it originally had a counter balanced crankshaft ( after nov. 1932 ). When I got the truck in a bunch of boxes, it had an engine with an unbalanced crank that was wiped out. I replaced the crank with a counter balanced one. I unknowingly put the right parts back in. As they say, even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. Steve

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tiredtruckrestorer
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Model Year: 1931
Location: Orwigsburg, PA

Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby tiredtruckrestorer » Fri Apr 10, 2009 1:54 am

Steve,

Maybe I should have said, your engine was built in December 1932. There probably was some time until the engines were shipped to the various factories and installed in the chassis at which time the engine serial number was then stamped on the frame.

Keith

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Chris Haynes
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Body Type: 82A
Location: North Hills, CA/ Pine Grove, CA

Re: 1932 BB Chassis Number Decoder?

Postby Chris Haynes » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:48 am

Keith,
What engine number? The serial number on a Duece was on the transmission belhousing. This was Henry Ford's great idea so you could have an interchangable engine.


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