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Gray market VIN

Discussion in 'E23 (1978-1987)' started by b29fe, Apr 25, 2011.

    b29fe guest

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    Just purchased a 84 745I. I have tried to decode the VIN and only the last 7 work. If I use the whole VIN it comes up as an error. Anyone else have this issue?

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    John in VA

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    • Member


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    The 17-digit VIN is a uniform US requirement for all manufacturers. BMW only uses the last 7 digits for the serial number. There is a number decoder in many Bentley manuals. Strictly from memory:

    The first letter is for the country of manufacture (W=West Germany, J=Japan, etc.)
    The next letter pair is the manufacturer (AU=Audi, BA=BMW, etc.)
    The fourth letter is the manufacturing facility (D=Dingolfing, C=Coventry, etc.)
    The next five characters identify the general series model and may include a random check digit.
    The tenth character is the model year designator (G=1986, H=1987, J=1988, etc. Later ones are numbers).

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