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post #1 of 12 Old 01-19-2017, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, I need VIN help please.

Hi guys, I recently took the time to look at my VIN and it doesn't make any damn sense with any decoder I can find (I'm starting to worry someone put something else's VIN on my truck before I bought her).

If anybody know a really accurate decoder or knows how to themselves I would appreciate the hell out of it.

Thanks
-Ben
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-20-2017, 05:46 AM
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truck info? year!
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-22-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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truck info? year!
Sorry I didn't respond sooner Ive been busy, it's a 87 W150

1B7HW14T4H(S or 5)477171 if you can't make out the picture.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-23-2017, 09:46 AM
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Well, if that's the actual VIN plate I can tell you right now, it's not supposed to be removable from the truck. It should be riveted in place by the driver side A-pillar. If someone switched the VIN plate on the truck, it's a felony VIN tampering, and usually a very good sign of vehicle theft. There are ways (in person) to verify the VIN belongs to that particular truck, but the majority of them are police sensitive so I'm not going to post them on a forum.
The character you are unsure of is an S, not a five. That denotes the assembly location of Dodge City: Warren Michigan. That is supported by the character that denotes that it was manufactured in the U.S.A.
Each character has a specific meaning, and will tell you things like GVWR, trim, engine, year, etc. The year designation is correct for a 1987, though that's not to say everything else matches. If I stopped a truck with a loose VIN plate like that and anything didn't match up, I'd seize it to verify authenticity.
How long ago did you buy this truck? I hope you have a valid title in hand and that you have contact info for the seller.

As for an accurate online VIN decoder, the best I've seen is actually on Jeep's website. I was going to link it for you but it appears to be down right now. Check back on Jeep.com under the owners tab from time to time. I haven't tried it with other non-Mopar brands, but I saw it here once and tried my Jeep, Ram, and Charger to check accuracy and it nailed it.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-23-2017, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Shots View Post
Well, if that's the actual VIN plate I can tell you right now, it's not supposed to be removable from the truck. It should be riveted in place by the driver side A-pillar. If someone switched the VIN plate on the truck, it's a felony VIN tampering, and usually a very good sign of vehicle theft. There are ways (in person) to verify the VIN belongs to that particular truck, but the majority of them are police sensitive so I'm not going to post them on a forum.
The character you are unsure of is an S, not a five. That denotes the assembly location of Dodge City: Warren Michigan. That is supported by the character that denotes that it was manufactured in the U.S.A.
Each character has a specific meaning, and will tell you things like GVWR, trim, engine, year, etc. The year designation is correct for a 1987, though that's not to say everything else matches. If I stopped a truck with a loose VIN plate like that and anything didn't match up, I'd seize it to verify authenticity.
How long ago did you buy this truck? I hope you have a valid title in hand and that you have contact info for the seller.

As for an accurate online VIN decoder, the best I've seen is actually on Jeep's website. I was going to link it for you but it appears to be down right now. Check back on Jeep.com under the owners tab from time to time. I haven't tried it with other non-Mopar brands, but I saw it here once and tried my Jeep, Ram, and Charger to check accuracy and it nailed it.
I appreciate the help man. A couple sites said my year put them on the pillar and earlier ones were on the dash, which is where I found mine and I kinda took it off and it's been in my wallet for months. I bought the truck mid last summer. My confusion was in due part to that an 87 shouldn't have a 17 digit VIN but a 12 digit one.

Since your a cop, what should my next step be?
Also am I ****ed? Like would the court award me money from the guy who I bought it from instead of me being out almost 2 grand if it is stolen, I need to find the title.

Thanks
-Ben
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-24-2017, 08:44 AM
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The plate being on the dash, versus the A-pillar is up to the manufacturer. They are in the same general location, where they are plainly visible from the outside of the vehicle. That plate is the "public VIN", and there are hidden VIN's stashed all over the vehicle, especially on newer cars/trucks, intended to help identify theft. An 80's Ram will likely have some hidden VIN's but not as many as a newer one. It's something that has evolved to aid in recovery of stolen cars/trucks.
The next step I'd recommend for you, is to have an inspection done on the truck to verify it's not stolen. The VIN plate shouldn't be easy to take off, so unless you cut/ground the rivets out, it would lead me to believe someone else already did it. I don't want to freak you out, so I want to clarify that some people get a little over zealous when restoring/repairing older vehicles, and they'll take the VIN plate off without malicious intent (case in point: for whatever reason you took it off). It's also possible, though unlikely, that since it's a 30 year old truck, the rivets and/or plate have been affected by age. While that plate having been removed is an indicator of possible theft, it's not concrete evidence of it.
It may not be stolen, but you don't want to be blindsided by it if it is. A salvage inspection should be able to clear that up for you. If it is, and you were an innocent buyer you're not in any trouble (at least we don't charge them with anything). If you're lucky the title shows the prior owners information, or maybe you still have it. If you bought it off Craigslist, Ebay, ect, the site may have an archive that is accessible to law enforcement. If it is a false VIN, and you have a title with that same VIN on it, the person who sold you the truck is also looking at Title Fraud.
If it's not stolen (fingers crossed) you'll have peace of mind knowing that there's no legal surprises waiting for you.
To answer the other question though. If it's stolen, the court would require the fraudulent seller to reimburse you damages. That could be for the purchase price, time wasted on the ordeal, any money you've already put into the truck's repairs, title/registration fees, etc.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-24-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shots View Post
Well, if that's the actual VIN plate I can tell you right now, it's not supposed to be removable from the truck. It should be riveted in place by the driver side A-pillar. If someone switched the VIN plate on the truck, it's a felony VIN tampering, and usually a very good sign of vehicle theft. There are ways (in person) to verify the VIN belongs to that particular truck, but the majority of them are police sensitive so I'm not going to post them on a forum.
The character you are unsure of is an S, not a five. That denotes the assembly location of Dodge City: Warren Michigan. That is supported by the character that denotes that it was manufactured in the U.S.A.
Each character has a specific meaning, and will tell you things like GVWR, trim, engine, year, etc. The year designation is correct for a 1987, though that's not to say everything else matches. If I stopped a truck with a loose VIN plate like that and anything didn't match up, I'd seize it to verify authenticity.
How long ago did you buy this truck? I hope you have a valid title in hand and that you have contact info for the seller.

As for an accurate online VIN decoder, the best I've seen is actually on Jeep's website. I was going to link it for you but it appears to be down right now. Check back on Jeep.com under the owners tab from time to time. I haven't tried it with other non-Mopar brands, but I saw it here once and tried my Jeep, Ram, and Charger to check accuracy and it nailed it.
Thanks again Shots, it actually was kinda "rubber glued" to it's little "place".

I'm gonna get/find/look at the title and everything.

I'll get back to you if ya want?
Also just curious what department are you on if you don't mind?
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-24-2017, 10:08 PM
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-24-2017, 11:54 PM
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According to the Chiltons manual, on '81 and newer models,( this chiltons manual covers '67 to '88 dodge trucks ) the VIN number is located on the upper left corner of the instrument panel, near the windshield. So maybe you don't have to worry about it being a stolen vehicle. From '70 to '79 the vin tag is on the rear face of the drivers door.

Here is a scan of the VIN decoder from that manual....
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-25-2017, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Firefighter1821 View Post
Thanks again Shots, it actually was kinda "rubber glued" to it's little "place".

I'm gonna get/find/look at the title and everything.

I'll get back to you if ya want?
Also just curious what department are you on if you don't mind?
Yeah, feel free to update on it (you can PM if there is stuff you want to keep off the public forum).

I'm with the State Patrol in Ohio. I had a thread on here years ago, where I would answer all kinds of questions. It has since closed due to inactivity (the whole forum kinda dried up), but you can check it out here → LINK

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Originally Posted by K-Ray View Post
According to the Chiltons manual, on '81 and newer models,( this chiltons manual covers '67 to '88 dodge trucks ) the VIN number is located on the upper left corner of the instrument panel, near the windshield... ... Here is a scan of the VIN decoder from that manual....
Yup, same place the VIN is on most cars/trucks. I only say "most" because, some have it on the A-pillar instead. But those two locations are standard placement. Great shot of the manual though, I'm sure that helps the OP a lot.

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If only you could understand what it's like to go home to your family, greeted with smiles and kisses like any other day, and not have the heart to tell them you almost didn't make it home. Respect those who protect and serve.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-25-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome to DT!

I love the old Rams and would like to know how this comes out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Ray View Post
According to the Chiltons manual, on '81 and newer models,( this chiltons manual covers '67 to '88 dodge trucks ) the VIN number is located on the upper left corner of the instrument panel, near the windshield. So maybe you don't have to worry about it being a stolen vehicle. From '70 to '79 the vin tag is on the rear face of the drivers door.

Here is a scan of the VIN decoder from that manual....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shots View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefighter1821 View Post
Thanks again Shots, it actually was kinda "rubber glued" to it's little "place".

I'm gonna get/find/look at the title and everything.

I'll get back to you if ya want?
Also just curious what department are you on if you don't mind?
Yeah, feel free to update on it (you can PM if there is stuff you want to keep off the public forum).

I'm with the State Patrol in Ohio. I had a thread on here years ago, where I would answer all kinds of questions. It has since closed due to inactivity (the whole forum kinda dried up), but you can check it out here → LINK

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Ray View Post
According to the Chiltons manual, on '81 and newer models,( this chiltons manual covers '67 to '88 dodge trucks ) the VIN number is located on the upper left corner of the instrument panel, near the windshield... ... Here is a scan of the VIN decoder from that manual....
Yup, same place the VIN is on most cars/trucks. I only say "most" because, some have it on the A-pillar instead. But those two locations are standard placement. Great shot of the manual though, I'm sure that helps the OP a lot.
That's alot of quoteing.

ya I'll do my best to keep you guys updated, it is slow and will be slow since I'm in highschool but it'll all be worth it. Where can I get a Chilton's manual?, not the online one.

Thanks
-Ben
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-26-2017, 08:14 AM
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Check the library. You can get it for free any time you need to reference it. Just don't forget to take it back when you're done with the project you needed it for, so others have access to it too.

If you can't find a Chiltons Manual, check for a Haynes Manual. Before the internet (and in the days of dial-up) these two manuals were king. That's how we worked on cars that we didn't know specific details on. They would take a car apart, and put it back together, while taking photos along way. Then they'd print the manuals pointing out the specifics of that year using the photos to help aid the descriptions. It was a lot like the how-to threads that people used to post on here. Now that I think about it, pretty much every how-to I've posted is modeled off how Haynes and Chiltons did their books. Never did it on purpose, but I guess it stuck with me.

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If only you could understand what it's like to go home to your family, greeted with smiles and kisses like any other day, and not have the heart to tell them you almost didn't make it home. Respect those who protect and serve.
The unwanted, being underpaid, who will go unappreciated, doing the unthinkable, for the ungrateful.
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