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View Full Version : VIN vs Serial number and build sheet vs production order. What's the deal?



Studebaker Wheel
11-18-2014, 04:16 AM
Over the past several years I have noted that there has been a tendency by many to refer to a cars serial number as a VIN (vehicle identification number). I do not believe Studebaker ever used that phrase (VIN) and I doubt whether any other manufactures did either. It did not come into common usage until 1981 when the federally mandated 17 digit codes were required. Just wondering why some insist on using the “VIN” when referring to a Studebaker serial number when it was never used during the life of Studebaker?

While on that subject why do some insist on referring to that document that Studebaker always referred to as a Production Order as a “build sheet,” another phrase that was never used by Studebaker.

Neither is really a big deal but just a minor annoyance when I see them, and I see them often! Maybe the same category as hub caps vs wheel covers?

Gunslinger
11-18-2014, 06:42 AM
I think using"VIN" and "build sheet" rather than their more accurate and contemporary names is nothing but verbal shorthand for most...even those who know the proper terminology. Those who don't know that are simply applying modern terminology.

BobPalma
11-18-2014, 07:04 AM
What Bruce [Gunslinger] said: Verbal shorthand, bred of an ignorance (not necessarily stupidity, just ignorance) of the difference between a Serial Number and a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)....and the difference between a Production Order and a Build Sheet, although I'm not sure how I would define that difference.

I would suppose that a Production Order is just that; an internal factory document that tells the production department how to configure a given vehicle. From that order, the Production Dept generates a "Build Sheet" to tell the production line what components to install on a given chassis, and how that chassis is to be built as regards springs, drive line components, and such.

Now, to further complicate the subject is to point out that the last six digits of a Vehicle Identification Number are usually a given vehicle's sequential Serial Number, so VINs include Serial Numbers! :eek: But Serial Numbers were only generic Vehicle Identification Numbers before 1981, when the Serial Number was the legal number to identify a specific vehicle.

So Bruce gave a good short answer...and the long answer could go on for days, Dick...and around here, probably will. ;) :cool:

(Is it OK if I mention my Pet Peeve while were at it...that of referring to a two-door automobile with a rigid "B" pillar as a "post" car? :mad: :yeahright: Thank you; I needed that.) :QQ: :cool: BP

8E45E
11-18-2014, 08:28 AM
I do not believe Studebaker ever used that phrase (VIN) and I doubt whether any other manufactures did either.

1965 and 1966 clearly state 'Vehicle Identification Number' on the plate.

I posted a photo of a '66 plate here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?33994-vin-number-location-and-model-and-year-id&highlight=identification+plate

Craig

53k
11-18-2014, 08:40 AM
Over the past several years I have noted that there has been a tendency by many to refer to a cars serial number as a VIN (vehicle identification number). I do not believe Studebaker ever used that phrase (VIN) and I doubt whether any other manufactures did either. It did not come into common usage until 1981 when the federally mandated 17 digit codes were required. Just wondering why some insist on using the “VIN” when referring to a Studebaker serial number when it was never used during the life of Studebaker?

While on that subject why do some insist on referring to that document that Studebaker always referred to as a Production Order as a “build sheet,” another phrase that was never used by Studebaker.

Neither is really a big deal but just a minor annoyance when I see them, and I see them often! Maybe the same category as hub caps vs wheel covers?
Somewhat more annoying is seeing a reference to VIN number rather than just VIN (sort of like calling an ATM an ATM machine).

Skip Lackie
11-18-2014, 08:54 AM
It's also a matter of age. The term VIN has been in common usage for more than 30 years, so anyone born after, say, 1970, would probably never have been exposed to the once-more-common term serial number. Cops, DMV employees, and inspection station staff all use the term VIN because that's the term that their state guidance documents use. The long VIN was mandated by the Feds because the emissions, safety, and CAFE standards kept getting revised, though they generally only applied to new vehicles (and not to those already on the road). But the enforcement of these standards was only possible if the model year of a vehicle could be conclusively identified -- and that required a VIN that included not only the model year, but such other info as engine and trans -- so it was a lot more than just a serial number. The long VIN is also handy during recalls, as a computer (either govt or car company) can very quickly identify every single vehicle with the potential problem.

This model-year mania often extends to vehicle owners, too -- almost every week we get an inquiry from someone who just bought a 2R5 truck (Studebaker's all-time best seller) and desperately wants to know the model year. They are often disheartened to learn that it really doesn't make any difference -- there were only a few important running changes over the whole 1949-53 model year run, and all 2R5 trucks are essentially identical.

rkapteyn
11-18-2014, 09:43 AM
Richard
I like the term "birth certificate"

2R5
11-18-2014, 10:02 AM
1965 and 1966 clearly state 'Vehicle Identification Number' on the plate.

I posted a photo of a '66 plate here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?33994-vin-number-location-and-model-and-year-id&highlight=identification+plate

Craig

This is maybe proof the Richard doesn't know everything :rolleyes:

rockne10
11-18-2014, 11:25 AM
I would bet he knew it but was testing us! ;)

Guido
11-18-2014, 02:03 PM
My pet peeve, the term "hot water heater". Why would you heat hot water??? Vin is simply a nickname for Vinnie...

8E45E
11-18-2014, 02:10 PM
I would bet he knew it but was testing us! ;)

It won't be the first time: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?59582-From-the-archives-89-(A-1953-Studebaker-Jr-)&highlight=fiat+coupe

Craig

8E45E
11-18-2014, 02:18 PM
"Build sheet" seems more of a Company specific variation. Have never heard an old Studebaker employees use the term, but it was very common among GM "liners" (and Corvette people, who tend to insist on being annoyingly "correct" about everything). Remember old Studebaker employees calling production orders "line tickets". That makes sense to me, because it was integral documentation in that fine art of "line setting"--making sure that all the correct components and options arrived at exactly the right vehicle at exactly the right time in the assembly process. So to summarize--"Build sheet" sounds foreign to me. But frankly, "Production Order" sounds a bit formal, if not pompous. Though I use it interchangeably with "line ticket".

International did use term "Line Setting Ticket" to describe theirs: (post 9)http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?29679-Thoughts-on-an-IH-1500-4x4-(Now-here-w-pics)&highlight=international+1500

According to George Krem in his post #21 here, there were 8 pages to a Studebaker production order with their terminology/destination for each copy: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?22307-Superlark-Production-Figures&highlight=firewall+money

Craig

Pat Dilling
11-18-2014, 02:48 PM
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - some English guy.

Studedude
11-18-2014, 07:15 PM
You say potato and I say potahto
You say tomato and I say tomahto
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto.

StudeRich
11-18-2014, 07:44 PM
1965 and 1966 clearly state 'Vehicle Identification Number' on the plate.

I posted a photo of a '66 plate here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?33994-vin-number-location-and-model-and-year-id&highlight=identification+plate Craig

That is correct Craig, I was quite shocked to see "Vehicle Identification Number" in my '65-'66 Parts Catalog! :ohmy:

Studebaker might actually have been "Ahead of their time" as many non-Studebaker people like to say!

Actually, I prefer "Different by Design"!

8E45E
11-18-2014, 08:01 PM
You say potato and I say potahto
You say tomato and I say tomato

I just get right to the point and say that'll be French Fries with Ketchup! :D

Craig

8E45E
11-18-2014, 08:09 PM
That is correct Craig, I was quite shocked to see "Vehicle Identification Number" in my '65-'66 Parts Catalog! :ohmy:

Studebaker might actually have been "Ahead of their time" as many non-Studebaker people like to say!

Actually, I prefer "Different by Design"!

Thanks, Rich.

Closest I have to a non-Studebaker manual from that era is a shop manual for a 1967 Thunderbird. Sure enough, it also refers to it as a 'Vehicle Identification Number'.

Craig

Mark L
11-18-2014, 09:18 PM
I was just talking to my father and asking him about this. His entire career at Studebaker was in the Production Control department, and for the first five months after he was hired he was a "line setter". He called them Production Orders and like Stanwood said above, line setting tickets. Dad said they used a teletype system to communicate the orders to the heads of all the conveyors so that they would load the correct parts onto the conveyors in the correct sequence to match the cars and trucks as they came down the assembly line. He has some funny stories about the line setting mistakes - black fenders and hood installed on a yellow car, Goodrich tires being installed on fleet cars ordered by Goodyear Rubber, Pittsburgh Glass windshields being installed in cars ordered by Libby Owens Ford. Oops!

Mark L

Swifster
11-18-2014, 09:34 PM
It's all semantics...

StudeRich
11-18-2014, 10:27 PM
/Cut/He has some funny stories about the line setting mistakes - black fenders and hood installed on a yellow car, Goodrich tires being installed on fleet cars ordered by Goodyear Rubber, Pittsburgh Glass windshields being installed in cars ordered by the Corning company when Corning windshields were available. Oops!Mark L

That's really interesting stuff Mark, especially as told by someone who was there! :!:
I can see how the "Linesetting Task" was not for everyone. It would be a very precise, highly detailed job that many people just would not be detail oriented enough to deal with.

I really don't see a problem with Corning Glass though, I think they would be Aftermarket Suppliers, because they were not a OEM Studebaker Supplier.

All of the Post War Factory Installed Glass I have ever seen was (PPG) Pittsburg or Libby Owens Ford (LOF), maybe he meant them.

Mark L
11-18-2014, 10:45 PM
StudeRich, you are correct about the glass. We talked so long tonight I was getting some of the things mixed up. I'll go back and correct it.

Another interesting story he told was that one of his duties was to distribute paychecks for everyone in the Production Control department every Tuesday. Because his coworkers were spread all over the facility, he had access to a company car with an assigned space next to the body plant. He would go to the payroll office in the morning to pick up the checks, then he spent the rest of the shift going through all the factory buildings passing them out. When the weather was bad, he found it was easier to just walk through the enclosed conveyors from building to building, where he could.

I mentioned above he served in the Army for two years, from 1953 to 1955. After basic training was over, and everyone was getting their duty assignments, Dad was one of two to remain in the United States. 49 went to Korea, 49 to West Germany. Because he spent so much time on the teletype system at Studebaker, working to keep all the line tickets correct and error-free, he was fast and accurate on a typewriter. He ended up spending most of his enlistment at Ft. Sill as a clerk and typist, while the rest went to stand ready against North Korea and East Germany.

His typing speed and skill helped him get a job at the trucking company after Studebaker closed. He spent most of that time as a billing clerk, and later, a computer operator.

Mark L

8E45E
11-19-2014, 12:03 AM
He has some funny stories about the line setting mistakes - black fenders and hood installed on a yellow car, Oops!

So this one wasn't so 'special' after all? http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?41020-From-the-Archives-68-(1950-Special-orders-don-t-upset-us!)&highlight=alberta

Craig

studegary
11-19-2014, 02:07 PM
My pet peeve, the term "hot water heater". Why would you heat hot water??? .

This is also one of my "hot buttons" (from one Gary to another Gary).
I used to belong to the World's largest Gold's Gym (Lagrangeville, NY). On a door in the men's locker room was a sign that read "hot water heater". This bothered me every time I passed it. One day, they had removed the sign to repaint the door. I mentioned about the sign to the General Manager (a female that probably didn't go into the men's locker room, at least while the gym was open). I explained how you heat water to make it hot and that you do not heat hot water. The erroneous sign was never put back up.

8E45E
11-19-2014, 02:33 PM
I explained how you heat water to make it hot and that you do not heat hot water. The erroneous sign was never put back up.

Not sure if the was a cafeteria there, but if it had a kitchen area, there very well could be a booster heater, and should be stated as such. What is accepted as 'hot' water is between 120° F and 140° F; which can scald exposed skin. There ARE applications where 180° is required such as sterilization, and such a device is required to make already hot water hotter to meet NSF requirements. Here is a unit I used to sell: http://alliedboilers.com/products/electric-booster-water-heater/

Craig

hausdok
11-19-2014, 02:48 PM
My pet peeve, the term "hot water heater". Why would you heat hot water??? Vin is simply a nickname for Vinnie...

Well, technically, if it's a tank-type water heater it does heat hot water.

When you have just filled it and just turned it on, or have completely depleted it, it could be called a cold water heater until such time as it's fully heated what's in it.. From the point where it is filled and has completely heated the first tank, it is constantly re-heating hot water because the water that enters is instantly heated up by the hot water already in the tank. When convection lowers the temperature of the water in the tank when it's unused, or when cold water entering the tank lowers the temperature of that hot water to a certain point, a point where it is still hot, the burner or elements kick in to re-heat the hot water that's there. So, you can call it a water heater or a hot water heater and it's a true statement either way.

Now, it you're talking about a tankless water heater - that's an entirely different matter. Those do heat cold water all the time.

studegary
11-19-2014, 02:51 PM
Not sure if the was a cafeteria there, but if it had a kitchen area, there very well could be a booster heater, and should be stated as such. What is accepted as 'hot' water is between 120° F and 140° F; which can scald exposed skin. There ARE applications where 180° is required such as sterilization, and such a device is required to make already hot water hotter to meet NSF requirements. Here is a unit I used to sell: http://alliedboilers.com/products/electric-booster-water-heater/

Craig

This was the heater in the area between the men's and women's locker rooms that was used for sinks and showers.
There is no cafeteria in that building, but off and on there has been a restaurant in a remote part of the building (with light fare, mostly from a satellite location).
As I stated, this is the World's largest Gold's Gym. Besides all of the dozens of machines and free weights there are also areas such as an indoor track, a basketball court, an all purpose area used for indoor soccer/trade shows/ home shows/expositions, separate rooms for classes, yoga, spinning, etc.

8E45E
11-19-2014, 02:55 PM
Besides all of the dozens of machines and free weights there are also areas such as an indoor track, a basketball court, an all purpose area used for indoor soccer/trade shows/ home shows/expositions, separate rooms for classes, yoga, spinning, etc.

Then there was no doubt a steam room there too if it was that large.

Craig

studegary
11-19-2014, 03:04 PM
Then there was no doubt a steam room there too if it was that large.

Craig

I never used them, but there were several.

Stu Chapman
11-19-2014, 04:54 PM
Now that this thread has digressed into hot water, I hope my comment following doesn't get me into too much hot water. But up here at Studebaker of Canada in Hamilton, we actually often referred to the document under discussion as "build ticket". So there's another reference that no one seems to be aware of. But after all this is really about semantics isn't it?

Stu Chapman

8E45E
11-19-2014, 06:29 PM
But up here at Studebaker of Canada in Hamilton, we actually often referred to the document under discussion as "build ticket".

And Chrysler called theirs a 'Broadcast Sheet', and was perhaps the most colorful of all of them.

Well, Stu, it did start out with Studebaker's terminology of 'serial number' plate vs. 'vehicle identification number' plate. Once we were satisfied with the answer to that one, it went to production order/build sheet/line setting ticket/broadcast sheet terminology, with a few asides including two door sedan vs. two door 'post', and hot water.

Craig

Corvanti
11-19-2014, 07:30 PM
Well, Stu, it did start out with Studebaker's terminology of 'serial number' plate vs. 'vehicle identification number' plate. Once we were satisfied with the answer to that one, it went to production order/build sheet/line setting ticket/broadcast sheet terminology, with a few asides including two door sedan vs. two door 'post', and hot water.Craig

well Craig, is the thread "drift" much different than most? :lol:

BTW: i've seen a Studebaker or two for sale on ebay that has the "correct"(?) serial number plus enough "zeros" to add up to 17 digits. :confused:

8E45E
11-19-2014, 08:03 PM
well Craig, is the thread "drift" much different than most?

No, but (for me), it has been more interesting that most.

Craig

8E45E
11-20-2014, 08:09 AM
Mark L--

Thank you for sharing! Line setting is an absolutely critical part of the auto assembly process that is little understood by "civilians", or little studied by automative historians.

The video in this thread http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?84917-Wishes-on-Wheels-1950-s-Chrysler-Production-Movie shows how they follow a brand new 1955 Plymouth going down the assembly line by its production order.

Craig

SScopelli
11-20-2014, 05:00 PM
(Is it OK if I mention my Pet Peeve while were at it...that of referring to a two-door automobile with a rigid "B" pillar as a "post" car? :mad: :yeahright: Thank you; I needed that.) :QQ: :cool: BP

I agree, using the word "post" is not necessary.

That said, it is my understanding that a coupe is a car with less than 33 cu ft of rear passenger area, If more then it is a Sedan.

As in a Corvette is a 2dr Coupe because it has Zero cuFt, which is less than 33.
A 64 Mustang is a 2 dr Coupe because it is barley 33 cuFt.

The Whistler is a 2 dr Sedan since more than 33 cuFt of rear passenger area.

I believe it is proper to call a vehicle with a non ridged B pillar as a "Hard Top," because the other non rigid B pillar car would be a Convertible.

8E45E
11-20-2014, 06:05 PM
I believe it is proper to call a vehicle with a non ridged B pillar as a "Hard Top," because the other non rigid B pillar car would be a Convertible.

We actually beat that one to death here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?29377-Stupid-question-hardtop-or-not&highlight=bentley

and here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?9534-We-ve-come-full-circle!&highlight=brooklands

Craig

s2d63lark
11-20-2014, 10:14 PM
We actually beat that one to death here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?29377-Stupid-question-hardtop-or-not&highlight=bentley
Craig
Craig, your last post in that thread was just what I was looking for. My Grandmother told me once that the Lark I got from her was almost a "Coach" but they decided on the 4 door sedan instead. Had an idea what that was and you confirmed it. Plain old 2 door sedan. Any idea where the Coach term came from for that body style?

Doug

Mark L
11-21-2014, 12:04 AM
During our long conversation, Dad told me about the time the custom two-tone fleet cars for an electric utility came down the line about the same time another fleet order for a natural gas utility...with a completely different two-tone combination. A few of them ended up being three- and four-color cars before it was sorted out.

Mark L

8E45E
11-21-2014, 08:00 AM
During our long conversation, Dad told me about the time the custom two-tone fleet cars for an electric utility came down the line about the same time another fleet order for a natural gas utility...with a completely different two-tone combination.

The local gas company here in Calgary had a fleet of Lark 2 door sedans and Champ trucks in 1961/2. The were white & medium blue in color.

Craig

Son O Lark
11-21-2014, 11:53 AM
I wonder if there has been a scientific study of "thread drift"? How long does it take to happen? When does it finally return to original
topic? ETC...

8E45E
11-21-2014, 02:51 PM
I wonder if there has been a scientific study of "thread drift"? How long does it take to happen? When does it finally return to original
topic? ETC...

This post belongs under 'Club and Forum Discussions'.

Craig