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E63 / E64 6 Series (2004 - 2010)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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Old 07-11-2017, 10:16 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Shipping the 650i to France

Doing something a little crazy here and shipping the 650i to France. Multiple reasons for this, but the catalyst was selling our house in Oakland, losing the garage space there, and having a hard time with alternate garage space. The path of least resistance if it stays in the US is to sell it, which I don't want to do.

Why France? I am from there, go there 3-4 times a year, will be going more frequently as parents' health declines (not doing well these days), and plan is to spend half my time there once I retire. Will be nice to have my own car.

I do have some questions in case anyone has info that I need for paperwork.
For homologation purposes, I need to find the engine number as well as the chassis number. I believe the engine number is stamped on the left (driver side in US) side of the block. I took the underside panels off while I had the car on ramps, but could not see the number on the block. Anyone know what else I need to remove or where to find it?
Now the chassis number is a gigantic PITA. This is not the chassis code (E63) nor the VIN, but an 8 digit number stamped somewhere on the car. On the E46 it's on the strut tower. I believe on the E63 it's on the firewall at the base of the windshield but have not been able to confirm it. I took the wipers and the windshield lower trim off, but there is some sort of sound or heat barrier material covering the firewall and I may need to take the wiper mechanism off. Not looking forward to that. Can anyone confirm the location of this chassis code on the E63? Is there an alternative to physical inspection such as pulling it in INPA or something?

Other than that I could have a rough road getting it road legal in France. I did the side mirror mod, but I know I will need to install the switch for rear fog light, and I may need to replace the headlights. Hope not and if I do I'll buy used ones. Hope that will be the extent of it and that the French gov't doesn't too much hassle.

I did some maintenance items that were coming due in preparation (oil change, air filter, pollen filters) as well as new brakes since they had never been replaced. I also gave it a full inside and out thorough detail and cleaned the engine.

Pictures of recent activity:

Brakes front and rear:



Inside out wheel cleaning:


Oil change and other underhood care as well as attempt to find engine block number:


Leaf debris clean out (want to make sure that water drains and doesn't flood the electronics):


Engine bay cleaned out:


The last bath on this side of the pond:



Still have a couple of things to tidy up tomorrow and planning to drop it off at the port in Richmond CA on Thursday.

Not sure if anyone cares about this adventure, but will post updates as the car goes through shipping and the homologation / registration process in France. I would appreciate any info on those engine and chassis codes.

Cheers!
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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions

Last edited by FredoinSF; 07-11-2017 at 10:22 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2017, 12:21 AM
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roseng roseng is online now
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Sounds like an interesting adventure. Keep us updated on your progress.

FYI, rear fog mod is very easy.
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:45 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roseng View Post

FYI, rear fog mod is very easy.

Yep, got your info from other thread. Thank you!



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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:52 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Today was drop off day. Started out from Reno, did a couple of stops around Donner for photo ops, then SF East Bay for lunch with colleagues, then drop off at shipping company and ride back to Sonoma home in the Jeep with the SO.
My stomach is in knots. Next time I see my car it will be 6,000 miles away in September.



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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:24 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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The engine stamp is on the drivers side of the block, between the #2 & #3 spark plug area on the block. You might have to slide the wiring harness up to see it?

The body vin would be on the front of the dash at the bottom of the windshield area. The vin should also be on the strut support, & the drivers door sticker. I do think that all of the original vin numbers are also on each body part. A dealer might be able to run a report with all of the numbers with your vin.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:57 PM
gunyvw gunyvw is offline
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that's awesome... this is very interesting
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:00 AM
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Sounds like a bit of a project but probably worth it in the long run as it will be more useful to you and give you more reasons to keep her.


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'14 M6 vert, san marino blue on amaro brown full merino leather, drivers' assistance, exec package, B&O sound system, CCB package, akra exhaust, tint, windscreen, etc.
'07 650i vert, beige/jet black, sports & cold weather pkgs, comfort access, etc.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:50 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
The engine stamp is on the drivers side of the block, between the #2 & #3 spark plug area on the block. You might have to slide the wiring harness up to see it?



The body vin would be on the front of the dash at the bottom of the windshield area. .


Thanks Herb, very helpful. Finding the engine number should be much easier knowing exactly where to look.
By body VIN, are you referring to the body shell number (8 digits stamped into the metal itself) or the VIN (17 digits found in various places.). The 8 digit body shell number is what I need. The form says it is only in one location per car such as strut tower, firewall, base of windshield, inner fender, or other... Form goes on to say removal of trim and components may be required. I found it on the E46 on the strut tower, very easy. Call to BMW France asking where to locate it yielded a response to take it to the dealer and pay them to find it. They won't process the homologation request if the form is not filled out completely. Dad called the local dealer and they quoted up to 3 hours of labor. Nice... At least there is consistency between BMW NA and BMW France. If I knew where to find it I could remove all the trim and get to it myself rather than going on a wild goose chase or paying three hours of labor for 8 digits.


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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:25 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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Look at this

https://www.bmwsections.com/vin-check/
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:04 PM
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Hi Fred, long time no see.

Have a safe time in France. I actually got back from Paris not too long ago and man are the streets small and cramped out there. The famous traffic circle in Paris is quite a scene to watch.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:26 AM
SchagenWagen SchagenWagen is offline
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had my car shipped overseas in 2009. same procedure for engine number. it is indeed located on the block just like people said here, however I had to remove driver's side engine mount to read the whole number and take pictures for the registration tech. Body number no clue, VIN was sufficient in my case
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:29 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Sorry, have been busy with lots of travel for personal and work reasons so just catching up. Thanks for responses, much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchagenWagen View Post
had my car shipped overseas in 2009. same procedure for engine number. it is indeed located on the block just like people said here, however I had to remove driver's side engine mount to read the whole number and take pictures for the registration tech. Body number no clue, VIN was sufficient in my case
Thanks, how did it go for you for lighting? Did they require new headlights? Hoping I don't have to replace them, not how I want to spend money on this car. I already have headlights that work....

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
Yeah, VIN not what I'm looking for though. I have that. The body number is different from VIN. On the E46 it's prominent on strut tower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07 E63650i View Post
Hi Fred, long time no see.

Have a safe time in France. I actually got back from Paris not too long ago and man are the streets small and cramped out there. The famous traffic circle in Paris is quite a scene to watch.

Haha. The round abouts are everywhere over there. I happen to like them, even the ones at the Arc de Triomphe.



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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:32 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Shipping the 650i to France

So a bit of progress.
Car cleared US customs, was loaded on a container, and sailed off earlier today from port of Oakland. It's still off the coast of CA heading to LAX at this time, first bit of progress on journey towards Europe.
Estimated arrival at Le Havre late September 6th. I get there the 16th, timing not awful.




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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 08-01-2017, 09:18 AM
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They drive on the same side of the road as in the States so the headlight mod should not be necessary, if you come over to the UK you have to do the switch, left to right depending on your point of view, but there is a switch on the headlight if I remember, anyway look in the manual. You will find your car really stands out on the roads, but as you are French you will know all the in's and outs of driving in France. Hope your car travels well. !!
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Old 08-01-2017, 11:04 AM
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Pretty cool that you can track the ship's progress.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:45 AM
SchagenWagen SchagenWagen is offline
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I had no issues with headlights or anything else. I am not in France thou
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:07 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Position update. Ship is through Panama Canal and now in the Caribbean Sea along coast of Colombia. I think there are a few stops along east coast in the US then it will go across the Atlantic.



Thanks for responses about the headlights. That is encouraging. French site says US headlight not up to spec, maybe that doesn't apply to all cars.


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__________________
Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:46 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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You are logging some serious miles on the car. I would do a good hand wash on it to neutralize any salt from the trip.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:15 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Shipping the 650i to France

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerbP View Post
You are logging some serious miles on the car. I would do a good hand wash on it to neutralize any salt from the trip.


Good point. Was going to wash it anyway but now it will be job 1. I packed detailing products in the trunk, among other things.


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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:27 AM
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Hope your cargo ship avoided that hurricane that passed through the Caribbean/ Yucatán ... . Would second the detail comment... with a clay bar too if you've got it.


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'14 M6 vert, san marino blue on amaro brown full merino leather, drivers' assistance, exec package, B&O sound system, CCB package, akra exhaust, tint, windscreen, etc.
'07 650i vert, beige/jet black, sports & cold weather pkgs, comfort access, etc.
'11 Acura MDX Advance with Entertainment pkg for wife - no mod's '04 Acura TSX (daughter) and '12 VW GTI - Autobahn (son)
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:25 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Shipping the 650i to France

Getting closer to its destination.
Ship made a stop on the east coast in Savannah GA a couple of weeks ago, then it started crossing the Atlantic at which point it was out of range with the free tracking app I'm using. I checked today and it's entering the English Channel. First stop in Europe is South Hampton England. I imagine it's going on towards the North Sea prior to hitting Le Havre given there is more than a week to go.
The French import company contacted me, I have paperwork to fill out this week. . Let the fun begin.




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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:40 PM
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That's a lot of ships!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:44 PM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Indeed. Yet there's only 1 I care about . Very selfish.


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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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  #24  
Old 08-29-2017, 08:53 PM
HerbP HerbP is offline
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It is good that it beat the hurricane that is wreaking havoc on Texas, that is surely a disaster! That is a lot of ships to keep up with, I hope it is not on the wrong one? She should be safely waiting on you when you arrive.
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  #25  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:22 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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I get there sept 16th, pick up scheduled for sept 18th. Can't wait to drive it again.
Filled out all the paper work and have been communicating with import agent. First piece of good news is I don't have to pay the 18 point something tax due to my "situation". I'll take that "situation" any day, thank you very much.


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Current:
2018 540ix
2015 428i convertible
2013 Cooper S
2007 650i - 6 speed
2002 330ci convertible - 5 speed



Past:
2012 X5 Diesel
2012 Countryman S All4 - 6 speed
2006 Cooper S - 6 speed
2006 330i - 6 speed
1997 328is - 5 speed
1991 318is - 5 speed
1988 635csi - 5 speed
1988 325i convertible - 5 speed
1969 2002 with tii and 5 speed conversions
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