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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 09-13-2015, 05:48 PM
Hemibimmer Hemibimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: A BIG 4x4
VIN Code Question

I was looking at a VIN breakdown today on a 97 540I listed for sale and it had a line item "961 SPECIAL ENGINE". Can anyone tell me what that means?
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:08 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6 speed
My decoder says "S961A SPECIAL MOTOR." Who knows why they coded it that way? It just has the 4.4 liter V8, nothing special, until you drive it, that is!
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:19 PM
Hemibimmer Hemibimmer is offline
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I've been looking up several VIN codes today and that only seems to come up on the 97 MY cars. Curious.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:22 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is online now
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Mein Auto: E39 2000 528ITA
we've seen database inconsistency, try several other sites and see if they carry the same information..
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:30 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemibimmer View Post
I was looking at a VIN breakdown today on a 97 540I listed for sale and it had a line item "961 SPECIAL ENGINE". Can anyone tell me what that means?
That code (S961A SPECIAL ENGINE...AKA "Sondermotor" in German) indicates that your car came with the Alusil engine & not the Nikasil engine.

After the M60 Nikasil debacle in No America...BMW made sure that this market got the Alusil versions of the new m62 engines because Nikasil versions were still used in other BMW markets. You may also find that code on other 1996/97/98 VIN decodes for M62 engines & M52 engines (until the debut of the M52TU in 1998 & M62TU in 1999 in the USA)...again due to BMW using Nikasil & Alusil versions of these engines depending on what market the car was being sold.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 09-14-2015 at 12:43 PM.
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