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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 12-29-2002, 12:03 AM
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VIN # Interpretation


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  #2  
Old 12-29-2002, 12:24 AM
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Mein Auto: 2001 Z3 3.0i
very intresting my z3 starts off WB and that seems to say that it is
W= germany
B= bmw germany
and we know there all from spartanburg
good info to have though thanks
max
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2002, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 01silz3
very intresting my z3 starts off WB and that seems to say that it is
W= germany
B= bmw germany
and we know there all from spartanburg
good info to have though thanks
max
There were actually some cars from Spartanburg with German VINs.... I don't think they're supposed to do that, and I think they were told to stop that and start using the proper US coded VINs...
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2002, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 01silz3
very intresting my z3 starts off WB and that seems to say that it is
W= germany
B= bmw germany
and we know there all from spartanburg
good info to have though thanks
max
My '01 M coupe starts with WB too.
On my window sticker it states major source of foreign parts content: Germany: 55%. U.S. Canadian parts content: 35%
Sugar and spice: 10%

Last edited by Ron Stygar; 12-29-2002 at 01:17 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2002, 12:55 AM
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Ron
thats exactly what my sticker says
to bad we didnt get all the kick ass german stuff all we got was a german vin
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2002, 01:35 AM
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Spartanburg cars started with 4U VINs originally. Just saw a 96 E36 sedan with one. BMW decided they wanted all their cars to have German VINs for some reason so they switched to WB at some point. The E85s I've seen, though, I believe all had 4U VINs again.

And SA-build E46s also are WB
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2002, 07:20 AM
caylan caylan is offline
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Re: VIN # Interpretation

Is there anyway to disseminate what # off the production line, one's vehicle is from the above info?
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2002, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RS2
Check out this link!

/RS2

BMW VIN Decoder
That's pretty cool.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2002, 01:13 PM
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Re: Re: VIN # Interpretation

Quote:
Originally posted by caylan
Is there anyway to disseminate what # off the production line, one's vehicle is from the above info?
You'll have to find out what VIN range was used for your particular model that particular year. Sometimes they're not all in 1 single sequence, either.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2002, 01:19 PM
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I thought I read something about the VIN change being related to the manufacturing plant's status becoming a free-trade zone. Whatever ... my 00 Z3 Roadster had a 4US number, and my 01 Z3 Coupe has a WBA number.

I've heard dealers insist that the MZ3 Roadster and Coupe are manufactured in Germany... they'd point out the VIN number as "proof". Seems like the M cars took the WBA VIN's before the non-M's.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2002, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Daver
I thought I read something about the VIN change being related to the manufacturing plant's status becoming a free-trade zone. Whatever ... my 00 Z3 Roadster had a 4US number, and my 01 Z3 Coupe has a WBA number.

I've heard dealers insist that the MZ3 Roadster and Coupe are manufactured in Germany... they'd point out the VIN number as "proof". Seems like the M cars took the WBA VIN's before the non-M's.
VINs of M Cars would begin with "WBS"

I think all M cars are from Germany though... anyone know for sure?

Last edited by doeboy; 12-29-2002 at 04:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2002, 05:11 PM
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"I think all M cars are from Germany though... anyone know for sure?"

Not if they're Z3 based M Roadsters or M Coupes.
All of them were assembled in South Carolina.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2002, 05:22 PM
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BMW started using "German" VINs about the time the X5 went into production. The reason BMW did this was the BMW factory in Greer is technically a free trade zone (i.e. not really US soil). Therefore BMW started using WBA and WBS VINs. They never had NHTSA approval. WHen NHTSA found out they investigated and since VINs from Greer are not WBA or WBS I guess they ruled against BMW.

They only real way you can tell when a car was made is by looking at the plant location character (position 11 in the VIN).
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2002, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce

They only real way you can tell when a car was made is by looking at the plant location character (position 11 in the VIN).
Someone finally noticed that. Good job!!!
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2002, 07:04 PM
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Yep, and "L", which every Z3, M or otherwise, has is Spartanburg.

Ron's list is missing "M" as an available 3rd digit. My 2002 M Coupe starts with "5UM". While "S" is defined as passenger car I believe that "S" and "M" are exclusive to M cars.

Interestingly my parts content is 45% German and 55% other. Perhaps this was done to be compatible with the VIN prefix change from 2001s to 2002s but I believe that is a ruse. I find it difficult to believe that the parts content ratio actually changed on those cars (S54 M Coupes) from 2001 to 2002, at least by that degree.

Just BMW Spartanburg VIN shenanigans. The Free Trade Zone reasoning doesn't explain the parts content change and VIN change conicidence.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2002, 07:38 PM
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guess I'm just a weirdo, because I've got better things to worry about than deciphering a car VIN
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2002, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeamZ4
guess I'm just a weirdo, because I've got better things to worry about than deciphering a car VIN
Please share them with us.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2002, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ///M Rakete
Yep, and "L", which every Z3, M or otherwise, has is Spartanburg.

Ron's list is missing "M" as an available 3rd digit. My 2002 M Coupe starts with "5UM". While "S" is defined as passenger car I believe that "S" and "M" are exclusive to M cars.

Interestingly my parts content is 45% German and 55% other. Perhaps this was done to be compatible with the VIN prefix change from 2001s to 2002s but I believe that is a ruse. I find it difficult to believe that the parts content ratio actually changed on those cars (S54 M Coupes) from 2001 to 2002, at least by that degree.

Just BMW Spartanburg VIN shenanigans. The Free Trade Zone reasoning doesn't explain the parts content change and VIN change conicidence.
"S" in the 3rd character isn't exclusive to M cars....my 97 1.9 starts "4US".

I don't recall a parts content change? What was the percentages before 2001?
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2002, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeamZ4
guess I'm just a weirdo, because I've got better things to worry about than deciphering a car VIN
Maybe, maybe not...you are reading this thread right? :-)
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2002, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bruce
"S" in the 3rd character isn't exclusive to M cars....my 97 1.9 starts "4US".

I don't recall a parts content change? What was the percentages before 2001?
I don't know what the M Coupe parts content was prior to 2001.

I don't have my old 2000 M Roadster's window sticker handy but it also a German parts content over 50% and a VIN starting with "WBS".

You're right of course about the "S". I forgot all about the non-M Z3s but should have known better too. My birthday is right around the corner, perhaps it's showing.
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2002, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ///M Rakete

Interestingly my parts content is 45% German and 55% other. Perhaps this was done to be compatible with the VIN prefix change from 2001s to 2002s but I believe that is a ruse. I find it difficult to believe that the parts content ratio actually changed on those cars (S54 M Coupes) from 2001 to 2002, at least by that degree.
Based on the US supplier list, I'm surprised that it hasn't changed more.
http://www.bmwusfactory.com/media_ce.../suppliers.pdf
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  #22  
Old 12-30-2002, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Stygar
Please share them with us.
Ron,

I was just joking around, hope it didn't come across the wrong way

we be pals,

TeamZ4
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  #23  
Old 12-30-2002, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeamZ4
Ron,

I was just joking around, hope it didn't come across the wrong way
Not at all.
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  #24  
Old 12-31-2002, 12:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TeamZ4
Ron,
I was just joking around, hope it didn't come across the wrong way
we be pals,
TeamZ4
How about I support you technical wise, and you sharing your on going experiences turning the steering wheel.
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  #25  
Old 12-31-2002, 09:06 AM
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An interesting window sticker tidbit...

Here's something I didn't notice until yesterday (slow learner)...

My previous 2000 M Roadster, VIN starting with "WBS", German parts content 55%, US/Canada parts content 35% shows a "Port of Entry" of Charleston, SC and the VPC as Oxnard, CA.

My 2002 M Coupe, VIN starting with "5UM", German parts content 45%, US/Canada parts content 40% shows a "Final Assembly" of Greer, SC and of course the VPC in Oxnard, CA.

It would seem that the German country of origin VIN cars all have a point of entry of Charleston, SC. What's funny is that it is my understanding (and I might be wrong, this came from BMW Customer Service) that the cars go from the plant to truck to a rail head adjacent to the plant and then on to California by rail. They never see Charleston.

More shenanigans?
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