Now that my period of intensive marathon training is over I have some time to return to other goals. One goal from earlier this year was to make a mobile-friendly version of my Vehicle Certification Label (door tag) decoder.
The argument for such an application was that if you are out looking at a Mustang to buy where you have direct access to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Vehicle Certification Label (VCL) you might want to run the numbers right while looking at the car and making that purchase decision. This might prevent a situation where you are looking for an all original car but something has been changed (like the transmission) that would only be otherwise detectable if you can decode the VCL. In this situation you might only have your mobile device/phone. The simplified interface of a mobile-friendly decoder makes this a much more achievable task.
I originally described this as a project relative to fox-body Mustangs only. As with many of my projects, the scope has increased. I would like to ultimately include most, if not all, “late model” Mustangs by transforming my existing door tag decoder into a modular approach that can cross model years. Specifically, my goal is to be able to decode 1979-present Mustangs. As I mentioned in that earlier post, compiling a data source for this has been challenging. But, I am well on my way to getting it done. I have a first pass of VCL codes for 1987-2006 cars minus 1994 and 1995.
To kick things off a few days ago, I implemented VIN decoding for all 1987 to 2006 Mustangs on both the full and mobile sites. You may not have noticed it since it only appeared as a subtle change on the navigation menu. On the mobile site I have also added “beta” versions of the new VCL decoders for 1992, 1993 ad 1996. The full site versions of these are out there but hidden from public view.
For my faithful blog readers, here are links to the “hidden” pages that will become part of the forthcoming “Mustang Decoding” section of triplewhitefox.com:
The process of assembling each decoder is somewhat involved. Basically, I gather the data from several sources, load it into a database, write the decoder and then start testing it against real labels. Each decoder will have instructions to report codes not found in the list. My hope is that people will use it to report issues and problems and the end result will be better and more complete data.
Shortly, I am going integrate the new decoders into the full site replacing the existing 1993 only decoder. I plan to add more as I complete them. Also, the overall site navigation and style will change slightly along the lines of what you see in the “hidden” pages referenced above.
If you want to help out, right now I don’t have any source for data for the 1994 and 1995 cars. If you know of any let me know.