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I have a friend who is starting the build up of a '47-'48 Ford sedan in the old school tradition, and he asked me to ask a few questions. He does not know the exact year of the car and that is what he wants to find out.

1. How do you tell the difference between a '47 and a '48 Ford?

2. Is '48 the first year for hydraulic shocks in the front,because his car has hydraulic shocks.

3. Is there a website that will decode the VIN?

Can anyone help?
 

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Vin for a 47 Ford starts with 7 and a Vin for a 48 Ford starts with 8.
 

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Here's a site on serials. I saved this way back cause my dad has a '48, unless he's sold it recently. It was for sale. Hope this helps a little bit.

http://www.vanpeltsales.com/FH_web/flathead_serialnumbers.htm

http://www.bonusbuilt.com/decoder.html

Isn't there a difference in the parklight location or even existance of them and the type of grill. Like all chrome or stainless vs partial painted and the chrome? They are about before my time also but remember discussing this before with my dad or someone. Too bad my memory isn't any good.


Deb
 

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'47 & '46 had the differences in the park lights. '46 had them above the grille between the headlights, '47 & '48 had them below headlights as pictured above.

What are you hoping to find out from the vin? Either had a flathead 6 or a flathead 8 for an engine. There were no Pony interiors or such. Maybe to find out if it is a Deluxe? If this is going to be an old school hot rod then vin info really isn't going to do much other than letting you know what it started out as.

If this helps I can tell you that the '46 - '48 Fords are all built from leftover '42 sheet metal. There's a lot of '39 - '41 fords around but you don't see many '42's. That's because production was halted for World War II. At the end of the war there wasn't enough time for Ford to re-tool so they used up the stock pile of existing parts and kept stamping new ones until they completed the redesign for '49. So when you are scouring swap meets for doors, hoods, fenders, etc. be sure to not pass on '42 parts. They will fit.

Something else you might be interested to know is that there are no aftermarket instrument clusters available for these cars. The speedo is round and the other guages are small rectangles. Nothing fits in those holes and there are no complete clusters without major modification to the steel dash. Prices start at around $1500 to have existing guages reworked and refaced.

How do I know this stuff? Well first off I'm old and old school. Secondly I am involved with a friends '47. I installed the Painless 12 circuit harness and have assisted in getting the 289 that's in it up and running. Engine was built in '83 and was never fired.

Here's what we came up with to resolve the guage issue. Those are Motorsport guages.

Murff





_________________
Anybody can restore a car. It takes a real man to cut one up.
'68 Futura, Enderle injected 351W
_____________________________________


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Murff on 9/2/06 12:00am ]</font>
 

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The production of cars did not stop during WW-2. Fords were built for the war effort through the entire war.

The 1941-48 Fords had the same body shell. The first civillian Ford, A 1946 Super Deluxe Tudor, came off the assy. line July 3, 1945. It was presented to President Harry S. Truman by Henry Ford II. The cars started arriving at dealers in September 1945. The 1946 models were the longest running model of all Fords ( in months of production )

Generally speaking, you can tell a 1947 Ford from 1948 in two ways. The 1947 model usually had the switch lock on the steering column, and had rubber step plates under the doors. The 1948 Ford had a two position ing. sw. in the dash , and aluminum step plates

The above is not an absolute way to tell, as Ford made changes in certain months of the production run, but this is usually accepted.

Another thought, The first 1947 models did not have a hood ornament, nor holes to mount one. The later cars did.

Hope this helps.
 

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Good info, Ray. As usual, no matter how much I know about something, someone always knows more. That's one of the things I like about this board is the wealth of info available.

I think I knew that Fords were built for the military and I was thinking of as you put it civilian Fords. I haven't seen every car to be seen but I've seen quite a few. Just don't see many '42 - '45 Fords either restored or rodded. Doesn't mean they don't exist, just means I haven't seen them.

Murff
 

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Some 1942 civillian models were devoid of bright trim, and all 43-45 models were. The mouldings were on the cars but they were not stainless steel , nor chromed, but painted body color. The Army cars were olive drab, and Navy cars were Battleship Gray.

The parking lights, and tail lights were different from the civillian cars. They had round tail lights with yellow lens for brakes, and red for the running lights kinda like the A-Models had. The parking light were very simular to the tail lights.

All of the manufacturers for the government used the same lights to standardize the parts.

When you watch a WW-2 movie made just after the war was over: You can notice this.

By gov't order Ford ceased production of civillian cars February 10, 1942.

This information is taken from a book sent to stock holders on the 75th Anniversary of Ford Motor Company.
 
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