Detailed Higgins serial number decoder?

Discussion in 'BIKE I.D. & VALUATION QUESTIONS' started by clerkkent, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. clerkkent


    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0

    Jan 30, 2010
    Fairfield, SF Bay Area, California
    Does anyone have a detailed JC Higgins serial number database? I have a Girl's 26" Higgins frame with the following on the bottom bracket:

    MOD502 218

    Based on the info from this thread: ... #post32212

    This is a 1955 Murray built bike for Sears.

    But I'm trying to find out what package the 218 indicates, and if the 6 digit serial number had any built in intelligence, or if it just a plain ole sequential number.
  2. roadmaster


    0   0   0

    Oct 26, 2008
    yreka, "state of jefferson"
    Serial numbers for J.C. Higgins are usually looked up one of two ways... is it Murray built or Huffy built. Most of all JCH bikes i've seen are all Murray build, and alot of people around here can decode Murray serial numbers like opening a candybar. Any number that is on a JCH/Sears bike built by Murray that isn't on a Murray badged bike is probably the cataloge code.

    Huffy built bikes badged as J.C. Higgins follow the Huffy serial number system, usually starting with a "S" designating it a Sears/JCH bike, an "W" for Western Flyer, but some of those "W" bikes ended up being JCHs, like my 61' J.C. Higgins Deluxe built by Huffy with a "W" ser#. Then the first number of that ser# would be the last diget of year of make (i.e. W1673635 would be a 51', a 61' or 71', just see if the rest of the bike has matches that decade). Any numbers left over are guide/cataloge numbers.
  3. Rustinkerer


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    Jul 31, 2008
    Newton, North Carolina
    That numbering system in the Cabe post is off (the pre '65 numbers anyway). ABC Services recently reprinted a western auto parts catalog from 1959, with invaluable frame dating info. 'MOS' is actually 1953, 'MOL' would be '47. 218 is the Sears model #., and MOD 502 is a Murray code on all built for Sears bikes. Probably, 'MOS-L' is still '53, it's typical of mid 50s JC Higgins. They're numbered slightly differently than bikes made for Western Auto. Later in the mid-late 50s, they started stamping the Sears catalog # on the bb, so you can often match that up to a specific year catalog page. -Adam

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