FAQ  •  Register  •  Login

42WL Case Search

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

<<

underwel

Posts: 3

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Location: Ohio

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:39 am

42WL Case Search

Let me begin by stating that, Yes, I probably shouldn’t have bought this bike.

Always wanted to restore an old Harley, so last summer I purchased a relatively complete 1942 Flathead. The history behind that bike that was explained to me was this guy’s father purchased the bike back in the mid 1970’s off a guy who was racing it. The dad owned it up until his death, and then it became the son’s. Throughout the years they had been working to restore it for the dad and then stopped after he passed away.

The guy was basically selling it to recoup some of his investment and had no desire to own or finish the bike. The bike came with a clean Title that showed where it was transferred from the Dad to him. He mentioned that the engine had been rebuilt about 3 or 4 years ago and the only thing that was left to do was put together the transmission and do a final assembly. Everything sounds good so far right. Well this is where I ran into the problem. My title is a 42WL30xxx. The numbers on the left case of the engine (which was rebuilt) isn’t even a Harley VIN number (Yes, I shouldn’t have purchase it). It looks like someone may had used one of the blank cases and stamped it ( 120 4XX ). It looks similar to the numbers that are cast into the cylinder heads.

Ok, so I have this 1942 Flathead with a 1942 Title but no case to match. From my research it sounds like there were something like 146 42WLs produced? What do you think the chances are that case is still out there? Does anyone collect these things?

I have two guesses as to what happened to the left case. Either the guy racing the bike back in the 70’s discarded it (or the engine while racing), or the case was replaced by the shop a few years back when they were trying to restore it (I’m trying to contact the shop). So this thing could be anywhere, or lost forever.

Is there a source for old flathead cases? Do people hold on to these things? Should I try an impossible search to find the original case and try and buy it? Or should I just find another engine (or case) with a clear title?

I know this is a lot to take in, but any ideas as to where I should start?
<<

MarkBranst

Posts: 341

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:01 am

Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:23 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

Sorry to hear about your problems ... I'm sure you'll get many responses to this, but I'll take a stab at a start ...

First of all, don't even think about trying to find the original case to match your title. I guess it might be worth your while to check the shop that rebuilt the motor, but somebody replaced it for a reason, and its likely long, long gone.

Second, 45 cases are the absolute cheapest and easiest to find of any Harley cases. There are matched and mis-matched sets on Ebay every day. Search using terms like "harley +(45,flathead) +(cases,cases)" and you will find many for sale with good engine serial numbers that you should be able to get titles for ... some will come with titles. Blank cases are bad because it is essentially illegal to put any new numbers on old cases. Your motor will need to be rebuilt using the new cases --- at least the bottom end.

Third, depending on what state you're in, you may be able to get a "builder's title" or "assembler's title" for the motor and parts that you already have. As a "restored" bike that would be monetary issue, but as a "rider" it might just be fine. You will need to check with your local police, or secretary of state to find out what the issues are. Every state has a different system --- some are very soft and easy, others damn difficult. In fact, before you do anything, you should check to find out what the rules are in your state.

I am sure a bunch of others will jump into the conversation at this point ... Good luck! :)

Mark
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4652

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:36 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

There were as many as 80,000 42wla's built and probably more than the number I mentioned. I do not recall the exact number Mr Bruce Palmer III notes in his book "How To Restore Your Military Harley Davidson". There were 7 types of the 42WLA built.
<<

underwel

Posts: 3

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Location: Ohio

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:36 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate the info. I heard back from the Mechanic but no luck. I'm guess that thing has been gone since its racing days. I would love to find a 42WLA engine with a title. I see cases alot on ebay and craigslist but I don't think getting a title would be very easy in Ohio. I guess my new quest is an engine search.
<<

Dusty-Dave

Posts: 868

Joined: Tue Oct 12, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Ojo Caliente,NM,USA

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:30 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

Don't know if it would work anymore but I waltzed into the local tag agency with a engine with a receipt and the title to my bike and asked if they could change the serial on my title since i was going to put this rebuilt engine in. I had to sign about 5 or 6 forms and let a cop look at the engine but they never asked to see my bike and issued a title with the new numbers.
Dusty
<<

Pa

Site Admin

Posts: 4652

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2000 1:01 am

Location: Ohio USA

Post Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:43 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

Sounds logical Dusty but they may want the old case half off of his titled engine to destroy. Assuming....just assuming ????? You backed into your bike several years ago, or when ever, and the damage was to the left side engine case. The left case was shattered from the impact and since you did not have the bike insured, you did not make a claim on the damage. Anyhow, the chunks of case contained the numbers and that area was really chunked out and lost in tiny bits and pieces. Luckily, you kept the original busted up left case because it went with the bikes title. I think you know where I might be going with this. You now need to replace the engine.
<<

MarkBranst

Posts: 341

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:01 am

Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL

Post Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

Until you make some calls in Ohio, and find out what the "title" rules are in your state, you're just staring at your navel. It really doesn't matter what happens in New Mexico ... Up until recently, it was a fairly routine process to get new titles from a private firm in Georgia, and then use that to file for new title in your own state. Do a little searching on the internet.

Mark
<<

RUBONE

Posts: 380

Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:24 pm

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:29 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

From what I understand from discussions on various forums, Ohio is tough. And a title from a "title mill" is an immediate red flag and a reason for them to NOT accept it and refuse to title it ever.
<<

BREWSKI

Posts: 919

Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2004 1:01 am

Location: RENO,NV. U.S.A.

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:07 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

I used to live in Ohio,I've had several H-Ds with mistyped VIN numbers on the titles. It took me 3 trys one day to get the local registrar to type a title with the Correct VIN number,I never made it to the parking lot the first two times. The easiest way for you to go is to find a set of NOS (unstamped) cases.
<<

underwel

Posts: 3

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Location: Ohio

Post Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: 42WL Case Search

I thought that was illegal. I think I will probably just search for a WL or WLA engine with a clear title. It is just too bad I don't have the original 42WL case to go with my title. I hear they are pretty rare.

Return to 45 Flatties

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot] and 2 guests

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012 phpBB Group.