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1948 DeSoto S11 Engine/Serial Number question


Tahoe48
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New to the site.  Does anyone know if the original engine number is "on the left frame rail somewhere around the rear wheel kick up" (read this on another site)? VIN Verifier would not complete papers today, even though last title and all other documents show the engine number, which is original.  He states he must see the same number on the frame rail.  And, well, what's a rear wheel kick up?  

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If you happen to know where (in what state) the car was originally titled (when new) I'd be interested in that info.  (Sort of compiling a list of states that used the engine number instead of the actual Serial Number.)

 

Oh, and WELCOME to the group!

Edited by Eneto-55
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37 minutes ago, DonaldSmith said:

You'll have to take the left rear wheel off, to get a look at where the frame kicks up over the rear axle. 

Maybe one of the guys will post a photo.  

Also, if the frame has significant rust, it may be difficult to read it.  (It isn't typically very deeply stamped into the steel.) And then I also seem to recall someone saying here that some MoPar models have the number stamped ON TOP of the frame rail.  (I have never seen that, so just what I've heard/read.)

Edited by Eneto-55
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Does the paperwork you have show the engine number or the serial number? Do you know if the engine has ever been swapped out?

 

The Chrysler Historical collection might be able to help here: The have many of the original "build cards" and they store them by serial number. The build card shows the original body number and original engine number so if you can get a copy of that it could help convince the verifier that everything matches up.

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What state are you trying to register it in? If in California, have a CHP "VIN" officer come out. Also, check with the DMV Special Processing Unit in Sacramento. If you have any family registrations from before non-op with your relatives name, they may process it without worrying about you having to go find the frame rail stamp.

 

I have never gone looking for the number on the frame of my 1947 Desoto, but I can tell you that my 1949 Desoto Convertible has the number stamped on the top of the frame about 1/2 down the frame rail. No way to see it without taking the body off.

 

As Tod mentioned,  sometimes engine numbers were as the VIN and sometimes used the body number on the door pillar. Make sure when you do the paperwork that you use the body number NOT the engine number as if you ever rebuild the engine and deck the block that number goes away.

 

Of course any idiot can stamp the number back on the engine.

 

Best, James

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I've said this before, so hope I don't sound like a broken record, but looking in the original repair manuals from CPDD, it is obvious that they intended that the Serial Number should be used for registration/identification purposes.  Sadly, some states did their own thing.  Now this mess.

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3 minutes ago, James_Douglas said:

As Tod mentioned,  sometimes engine numbers were as the VIN and sometimes used the body number on the door pillar. Make sure when you do the paperwork that you use the body number NOT the engine number as if you ever rebuild the engine and deck the block that number goes away.

 

The state determines which number is used in TX.  Texas uses the engine number on pre 55 car, except Fords.  I discussed this with the county tax assessor herself, this is who does registrations in TX.  I talked to her primarily because my hot rod 230 I am buildng has a different number, she dug up the paper work I needed to address it, which is basically having to go through the assigned VIN process. 

 

I was hoping to be able to get a title with the body number instead as Chrysler historical won't take paperwork that uses the engine number as proof for a copy of the punch card.  Which is stupid because one could include a picture or a rubbing of the vehicle number along with a copy of the title with the engine number as the punch cards have both of those numbers on them.  So even if they were only filed by vehicle number they could use the picture/rubbing of that to find the card and verify the engine number on the card matches the title paper work.  OF course that doesn't help if you have a non-original engine in it

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