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Frame number question


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Upon reading another post about frame numbers where forum member Marty Lum showed a pic of his frame, I decided to compare my numbers I just uncovered. My main question is this: In the rush to assemble these cars (remember number three in sales in 1955), would there ever be a "mistake" in frames placed in cars. My Century appears to have a 46C stamp on the frame, (but the engine number and body number indicate a true Century) along with I assume a build date and serial number. I know Dave Corbin has done tons of research on this...

Just for kicks the build date appears to be 2-7-55 with a possible serial number of 057675. There could be mistakes in either of these since while scraping off undercoating, I was also scratching white stencil paint off as well.

I would like to duplicate a stencil to repaint on my frame during restoration.

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With all due respect, numbers listed in the Buick/GM parts books/database are for replacement items only--and CAN change after the first parts books are distributed to the dealer network, even today. In many cases, these part numbers are not the same "ID" numbers which are used in production or would actually be on the particular part . . . whether for stamp numbers or casting numbers, but there can be a "decode" to correlate the two numbers (i.e., production code letters and part numbers on coil springs' paper tags). In other cases, production items are pulled (by assembly line operatives) by color code "daubs" or "stripes" rather than part/production number. Mr. Corbin would definitely be the one to contract regarding frame ID, etc.

Used to be that some casting numbers were "close" to the actual part number in the parts books, by about 1 or 2 digits (i.e., "452896" cast could be "452897" for the part number). These cast items will also have a date code on them too, for production ID and such. Similarly, the rear axle housing usually has some "birth certificate" information stamped on it, with appropriate decodes in the GM parts book (production numbers, axle ratio, PosiTrac or not, production date, etc.), for example.

If you find and compile the various casting numbers and related stamp code information, you can back-date when each component for the vehicle (with such numbers) was built and how it fit into the production chain which led to the ultimate vehicle. On later model vehicles, for anti-theft reasons, many more such ID information on various major vehicular components.

Good luck in your project, Mike!

Just some thoughts,


Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)
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I believe my question was "framed" incorrectly (groan).

I think the number Bob listed may be what was stencilled on the frame, i.e. Part number. The frame number that was punched into the top of the frame rail behind the passenger side rear axle kickup matches the body number exactly.

Thanks guys.

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