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Discussion Starter #1
The lower cowl panel on my 1970 Mustang is rusted out. I have a replacement cowl assembly that will go into the car. The VIN tag is riveted to the OEM cowl. Can I simply remove the VIN tag from the old cowl and rivet it on the new? Or do I need to cut out the section of the old cowl and weld it into the new cowl to preserve the original rivets too?

Thanks,

Alan
 

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Remove the tag, replace the assembly, use black rivets to re-install the tag. Except 1968, which uses plain silver rivets. Then install the pad.

The 71-73 uses the special rivets, and they are visible, but the VIN is riveted to the dash pad, not the car. Oops.
 

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Believe that ECS carries the "Rosette" 6-sided rivets. They can also be found on ebay by some vendors sometimes, so check ebay first..before going to ECS...

:eek:)

Tony K.
 

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I hope I did this right. I replaced both L & R full aprons on my ’70 which had ID numbers on each. I took photos of each original dismembered apron including HR close-ups clearly showing the numbers. I cut out these numbered areas off the top of the original aprons as proof there is no other Mustang out there with these same numbers. I’m having these numbers stamped into the new aprons at the same locations and will forever keep the old cutouts. Additionally, the VIN that is at the base of my windshield corresponds with these numbers as does the buck tag (which was actually just screwed onto my radiator support). It ALL corresponds with the same Mustang that is on record associated with these ID numbers. I would think this would suffice.
 

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Please contact police before you do this. You could be saving yourself a lot of grief. Additionally, take pictures of vin tag attached to original part so you have proof that it was on there and not something bought off fleabay.
 

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Please contact police before you do this. You could be saving yourself a lot of grief. Additionally, take pictures of vin tag attached to original part so you have proof that it was on there and not something bought off fleabay.

People always say this. I'd like to know if anyone has actually done it. Likely, you won't find anyone at the police department who knows anything about it. If there is someone at the Police Department who knows anything about it, he or she won't be answering the phone for you or me. Nobody at the Police Department cares enough about this issue to be bothered. The Police Department typically doesn't even care about stolen cars, for crying out loud. "Someone stole your car? Submit a Police Report online. Buh-bye now."

The real deal is, ask yourself this question: "Am I intending to commit fraud?". If the answer is, "No", you're good. You're fine. No problem.
 

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I’m having these numbers stamped into the new aprons at the same locations...
Why ask such a serious legal question on an internet
forum after the fact rather than contacting your State
DMV before the repairs began? Your State laws defines
the rules for this process, not a bunch of yahoos on the
internet. We can't tell you the right answer for your State.

Who is doing this stamping and how? Why not just weld
the original VIN stamps back into the new fender aprons?
 

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By the way 70Machboy...

Keeping the original VIN stamps after creating new stamps
on the repaired fenders may be a big no-no. Somebody can
eventually get their hands on those original VIN stamps and
use them to commit fraud. For that matter, you could sell
your car then sell the original VIN stamps on Ebay as a
"novelty item". The buyer is almost guaranteed to weld
the stamps into an aftermarket body. You would become
an accomplice to fraud in that case. So again, you should
ask your State DMV what to do.

The real deal is, ask yourself this question: "Am I intending to commit fraud?". If the answer is, "No", you're good. You're fine. No problem.
No, that definition is too vague. People lie to themselves
constantly when money is concerned. Besides, we're way
over our heads in legal concepts here.

I agree 100% that the local police or sheriff won't know squat.
But your State DMV should be able to give you the facts. Go
to the State AG office if needed.

It's a complex issue because fraud laws vary by State. And
then you must factor in Federal statutes because automobile
VINs are also their domain. State and Federal fraud law should
be major factors on which your State DMV bases their rules.

One of the big legal surprises for me when I asked a law
professor friend was that "proving intent" is not what most
people think where fraud is concerned. First, the applicable
fraud laws may NOT require criminal intent to be proven.
When intent is required, some of the legal concepts are a
little scary. Was the description made with "reckless
indifference"? Can a prosecutor show that the buyer lost
significant money? What is "reckless" or "significant"?
It's not what you think is honest, it's what a jury thinks.

And that's just criminal fraud. Then there's civil fraud and
the possible lawsuits from some rich dude who can simply
bankrupt you for vengeance.

Better safe than sorry.
 

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By the way 70Machboy...

Keeping the original VIN stamps after creating new stamps
on the repaired fenders may be a big no-no. Somebody can
eventually get their hands on those original VIN stamps and
use them to commit fraud. For that matter, you could sell
your car then sell the original VIN stamps on Ebay as a
"novelty item". The buyer is almost guaranteed to weld
the stamps into an aftermarket body. You would become
an accomplice to fraud in that case. So again, you should
ask your State DMV what to do.



No, that definition is too vague. People lie to themselves
constantly when money is concerned. Besides, we're way
over our heads in legal concepts here.

I agree 100% that the local police or sheriff won't know squat.
But your State DMV should be able to give you the facts. Go
to the State AG office if needed.

It's a complex issue because fraud laws vary by State. And
then you must factor in Federal statutes because automobile
VINs are also their domain. State and Federal fraud law should
be major factors on which your State DMV bases their rules.

One of the big legal surprises for me when I asked a law
professor friend was that "proving intent" is not what most
people think where fraud is concerned. First, the applicable
fraud laws may NOT require criminal intent to be proven.
When intent is required, some of the legal concepts are a
little scary. Was the description made with "reckless
indifference"? Can a prosecutor show that the buyer lost
significant money? What is "reckless" or "significant"?
It's not what you think is honest, it's what a jury thinks.

And that's just criminal fraud. Then there's civil fraud and
the possible lawsuits from some rich dude who can simply
bankrupt you for vengeance.

Better safe than sorry.

Sure, but I think you're making much ado about nothing. Also, I think the DMV situation is the same as the Police Department situation. Likely nobody knows anything about it and doesn't care.
 

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If you do this, never bring the car to Texas, California, Pennsylvania or Florida.

Color me skeptical. Dollars to doughnuts, classic car restorers do it all the time in those states and nobody gives a flying flip. We've been over this subject again and again on this forum and I've never seen anyone post, "I actually looked into it and found out it's a big problem".
 

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Sure, but I think you're making much ado about nothing. Also, I think the DMV situation is the same as the Police Department situation. Likely nobody knows anything about it and doesn't care.
That was my situation, the DMV was only interested in the door tag. They dismissed the fender tag completely. I don't know where they got it but returned with a complete multi page history of the car from the date of sale in 67. They were interested in the title matching the door tag and getting a clean report back from running the VIN.
 

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By the way 70Machboy...

Keeping the original VIN stamps after creating new stamps
on the repaired fenders may be a big no-no. Somebody can
eventually get their hands on those original VIN stamps and
use them to commit fraud. For that matter, you could sell
your car then sell the original VIN stamps on Ebay as a
"novelty item". The buyer is almost guaranteed to weld
the stamps into an aftermarket body. You would become
an accomplice to fraud in that case. So again, you should
ask your State DMV what to do.



No, that definition is too vague. People lie to themselves
constantly when money is concerned. Besides, we're way
over our heads in legal concepts here.

I agree 100% that the local police or sheriff won't know squat.
But your State DMV should be able to give you the facts. Go
to the State AG office if needed.

It's a complex issue because fraud laws vary by State. And
then you must factor in Federal statutes because automobile
VINs are also their domain. State and Federal fraud law should
be major factors on which your State DMV bases their rules.

One of the big legal surprises for me when I asked a law
professor friend was that "proving intent" is not what most
people think where fraud is concerned. First, the applicable
fraud laws may NOT require criminal intent to be proven.
When intent is required, some of the legal concepts are a
little scary. Was the description made with "reckless
indifference"? Can a prosecutor show that the buyer lost
significant money? What is "reckless" or "significant"?
It's not what you think is honest, it's what a jury thinks.

And that's just criminal fraud. Then there's civil fraud and
the possible lawsuits from some rich dude who can simply
bankrupt you for vengeance.

Better safe than sorry.

I don't know where you are getting your information from but for 1970 the stampings are not the official vin. If the fenders have no stamps no big deal. The vin is on the left side of the dash. So stamp away who cares. Now if its a 1965-67 that could be an issue.
 

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After reading some of the replies here I felt I needed to talk to my local Police department about this. Initially I tried to contact the California DMV, but it is literally impossible to make phone contact with them and even my local police department said not to even make such an attempt. The police department then put me in contact with the California Highway Patrol and I explained everything including some of the replies here. Here's what I learned -

This is what the CHP VIN specialist told me:
On the 1970 Mustang - if the windshield base VIN ID has not been tampered with in any way and is still clearly visible, replacing the other portions of the vehicle that have ID stampings is permissible so long as you keep both the original frame portions having these original stamping to present to a CHP inspector upon registering the car. You should also have receipts that show these portions were replaced by parts you bought that are in your name. After this the old parts can be discarded. Following this you do not even need to transfer any numbers to the new parts. After the vehicle has been registered, if you desire to stamp in numbers for concourse correctness it would be permitted.
 

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After reading some of the replies here I felt I needed to talk to my local Police department about this. Initially I tried to contact the California DMV, but it is literally impossible to make phone contact with them and even my local police department said not to even make such an attempt. The police department then put me in contact with the California Highway Patrol and I explained everything including some of the replies here. Here's what I learned -

This is what the CHP VIN specialist told me:
On the 1970 Mustang - if the windshield base VIN ID has not been tampered with in any way and is still clearly visible, replacing the other portions of the vehicle that have ID stampings is permissible so long as you keep both the original frame portions having these original stamping to present to a CHP inspector upon registering the car. You should also have receipts that show these portions were replaced by parts you bought that are in your name. After this the old parts can be discarded. Following this you do not even need to transfer any numbers to the new parts. After the vehicle has been registered, if you desire to stamp in numbers for concourse correctness it would be permitted.
Yay, MachBoy! Thanks so much for actually making the effort to look into this. If you're ever in Colorado Springs, your beers are on me!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I appreciate all the replies, however I had no idea the range of responses I would get! My thanks to 70Machboy contacting the CHP and I can understand their response. However, in my case it is the legal VIN plate that I wish to move from the old cowl assembly to the new sheet metal. So far in my restoration, I have preserved the original VIN stampings on the inner fender panels above the shock towers. In my case, the shock towers, OEM front subframe, front inner fender aprons, and radiator support have all been replaced. I have a friend who is former law enforcement here in AZ, I am trying to get a answer from him regarding moving the VIN tag. Where severe damage due to accident or rust necessitates the replacement of the sheet metal supporting the VIN tag, it makes logical sense to simply move it to the new assembly and use the period correct rivets when doing so. However, the law may require inspections during the process to document what has been done. Some suggest once the original VIN tag has been removed, then the DMV may wish to substitute a new VIN number, not something I want to have happen. I am hesitant to blindly call our ADOT MVD for fear of talking to the "wrong" person and blowing this all out of proportion and putting myself under some bureaucrats microscope.

I am part of a local group of older hot rodders and industry retirees. I think I am going to pose the question to them next in the hopes I can find someone in the know for AZ.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I received advice from a retired AZ law enforcement officer than tampering with the VIN tag, ie. removing the rivets and riveting in onto a new panel is a class 5 felony in AZ. However, replacing the damaged sheet metal around it is not a violation. I am trying to get a bit more clarification, but it sounds like if I cut out the area of the cowl containing the VIN tag and graft it into the new cowl without disturbing the original rivets, the repair should be OK.

I am trying to determine if separating the section of the old cowl containing the VIN tag from the car is temporarily permitted, stay tuned.

Alan
 
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