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willysmjeeps.com :: View topic - VIN/Title Question
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VIN/Title Question
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MrHankey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:50 am    Post subject: VIN/Title Question Reply with quote

Recently I inherited my fatherís 1951 M38. It was turned into a civilian jeep prior to my fatherís purchase in 1970. There are no data plates on the vehicle. He used it as a daily driver for most of the 70ís. I have a title and old registration for it, which has the VIN as MC51606. I was told that the VIN on the title should match the number on the engine, the flat area behind the water pump, well itís doesnít, that is MC51604. Does anyone find that strangeÖ2 digits off? I havenít been able to locate any other data plates or stampings with the MC51606 number on the vehicle. My question is, would it be wrong to change the number on the engine to match what is on the title or should I just add a data plate with the VIN from the title on the vehicle? Or should I just leave it and not worry about having the VIN show up anywhere on the vehicle? My intent is to get the Willys up and running again so I can drive it around town.

Thanks,
Mark
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mdainsd
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Joined: Oct 20, 2017
Posts: 415

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is unusual for the engine and the rest of the Jeep to be off ONLY 2. They were never matched and throughout production the difference in those two numbers increased.

Personally, get the two data plates in question and stamp them yourself or have someone do them for you. Attach them to the Jeep where they go, and carry on.
_________________
'52 Dodge M37, '42 GPW, '48 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, '50 CJV-35(U), '51 M38, '42 WC-57 Command Car, '44 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlights, John Deere M-gator, '44 White M3A1 Scout Car
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MrHankey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank You, that's what I'll do
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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 15585
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should not change serials on a vehicle/engine. Not only against the law but could lead you down a path of serial number conflict later that could also cost you dearly.

Try to not use the term VIN when talking about vehicles built before the federal government required the long VIN numbers to replace the factory vehicle serial numbers in the mid 1970's.

It was quite common in many states for cars and trucks to be titled using their engine serials. Call your DMV office and ask when they stopped using engine serials to title vehicles in Michigan. To sort out your title simply point out the obvious 2 digit mistake to your DMV and ask them to correct your title. Once that is done I would avoid any further confusion with the DMV and the Police and get new dash plates and stamp them with the number on your title.

If you haven't filled out our jeeps survey form do so soon and email it to me. I can help narrow down the production date of your jeep with that document completed. I'll email one to you.

As mentioned above the M38 & M38A1 engine serials were never even close to matching chassis serial numbers.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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MrHankey
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Joined: Jan 31, 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Northern Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wes,
That sounds like the correct thing to do. I guess I didnít realize the possible implications of changing the number on the engine. Iím glad I asked.

Mark
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dpcd67
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Joined: Nov 25, 2016
Posts: 171
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Engines are not controlled items and their numbers are routinely erased when the block is surfaced by the machine shop.
If a state used an engine serial number as a vehicle serial number, they were foolish. There is no law against changing an engine, or its number, at least not here.
And yes, no M38 has a VIN. They have serial numbers.
At least here, the fewer questions you have and the less you interact with the DMV ladies, the better. They are not there to help you.
_________________
M38 23100 June 51
M38 34523 Sep 51
M606/CJ3B 1964 Kaiser 57348 118458
M37B1 1963
Willys MB 1944
Ford GPW 1942
Dodge WC63 1943
Dodge Power Wagon WM300 1967
Plymouth Barracuda, 1973, 340 4 barrel
All ground up restored by me.
Lots of others.
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wesk
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Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Engines are not controlled items and their numbers are routinely erased when the block is surfaced by the machine shop.
If a state used an engine serial number as a vehicle serial number, they were foolish. There is no law against changing an engine, or its number, at least not here.


Many states used the engine serials on their titles from the 1920's thru the federal crackdown on long VINs in the late 70's. Calling states names now is no help with the current issue. Once Michigan decided to use the engine serial for titles your ascertain that changing engine serials is not against the law is incorrect. You do not list your state in your member ID info but I am certain if you call your local DMV and ask them is it unlawful to alter the engine serial on an engine that was used by the state of Michigan as the vehicle serial on their title they would let you know the penalty.

Quote:
And yes, no M38 has a VIN. They have serial numbers.

Not true. Most states today will not register any highway use vehicle without assigning a proper 17 Character/digit VIN. This is required thru their reciprocity agreements with the federal government.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 1264
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And yes, no M38 has a VIN. They have serial numbers.

Might just be me, but I understood him to say that no M38 came from the factory with a VIN, which is a true statement to my understanding. I always thought that Willys and the military assigned every M38 a serial number when it first rolled off the assembly line.

And yes, when I titled my M38 in SC the DMV didn't give a hoot about serial number. They issued me a 17-character VIN that I had to mark the jeep with whether I wanted to or not if I wanted a title. Naturally, I did.
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51

ďThe only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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Joined: Apr 04, 2005
Posts: 15585
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a very good imagination Ron. Where did you see "FACTORY" in that comment?
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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Joined: Oct 02, 2014
Posts: 1264
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was reading his mind Wes. After a while, I get to know what some of the regular forum members are thinking when they type. Or at least in my mind I do. Very Happy

Besides, I'd bet there's still a few barn find M38's out there that never had a VIN and maybe never will. It's a good thing for me if I never find any. Not.
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51

ďThe only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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wesk
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do note I never said there were not any M38's that never had a vin!!!!! So do not read my mind and second post me with your reading!!!
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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RonD2
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Posts: 1264
Location: South Carolina, Dorchester County

PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger that and wilco!
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Ron D.
1951 M38 Unknown Serial Number
1951 M100 Dunbar Kapple 01169903 dod 5-51

ďThe only good sports car that America ever made was the Jeep."
--- Enzo Ferrari

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mdainsd
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Joined: Oct 20, 2017
Posts: 415

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well fortunately California, despite its faults, still registers vehicles with their original serial number if available. The Jeeps, the Command Car and the Scout car all use their original S/Ns.

I think of it as a bonus, a numbers matching GPW with a matching title is hard to beat. Cool
_________________
'52 Dodge M37, '42 GPW, '48 FrankenJeep CJ2A/M38, '50 CJV-35(U), '51 M38, '42 WC-57 Command Car, '44 WC-51 Weapons , (2) M1941 Sperry 60" Anti-Aircraft Searchlights, John Deere M-gator, '44 White M3A1 Scout Car
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Mike_B
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Joined: Dec 10, 2017
Posts: 271
Location: Southern Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maryland uses whatever the sellers title says when they process the title in your name. My Jeeps just have a 5 digit serial number on their titles. And because the jeeps were sold to the public after 1955 (when most States stopped using the engine serial numbers) they have the Tub/Chassis number on the title.

As a side note of interest Chevrolet stopped putting serial numbers on their engines after the 1956 model year...from then on they just got an engine code. I don't know if that ever happened with any of the "M" jeeps, but guessing it didn't???

Mike B Smile
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Mike B
1953 M38A1 Brush Truck
1952 M38
1951 M100 Trailer
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wesk
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my replies above I was trying to make a main point of "The rules vary by state. Not all States follow the 1981 Federal mandate for 17 digits VINs the same exact way. Many still allow exceptions for vehicles built before 1981 or more often for vehicles built before 1969." My point is "one should not offer advice to a member who asks this question using their home state as their guide against his home state's laws." The best advice to any person asking a legal question about titles and registrations is to advise that person to direct his question to the source (Usually his states DMV office) or an attorney licensed to practice in his state.
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Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100

Mjeeps photo album: http://www.willysmjeeps.com/v2/modules.php?set_albumName=Wes-Knettle&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_album.php
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