Joined: Jan 31, 2021 Posts: 3 Location: Northern Michigan
Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:50 am Post subject: VIN/Title Question
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.
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
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. _________________ Wes K
45 MB, 51 M38, 54 M37, 66 M101A1, 60 CJ5, 76 DJ5D, 47Bantam T3-C & 5? M100
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