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Thread: Where are the Body Panel VIN Numbers

  1. #1
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Where are the Body Panel VIN Numbers

    I am new to the Board, but finally close to buying my Z8. My main question is where do I look on the various body panels for the VIN stickers/impressions? Is there a website link with a picture of the locations? The tips here are great. I have flown once to see the car, agreed on terms, had the local BMW dealer inspect, etc.. However I am not convinced that the BMW dealer's rep.'s affirmative nods at my questions to verify the buying questions on the Board list really meant they actually did it, and the "report" they gave me did not indicate the kind of detail I would like. In fairness, they did find the common things I have seen here, like the radio problem and mirror bubble. However, before I fly out again to verify the repairs that were agreed and seal the deal. I'd like to look at those VIN numbers myself. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    I am not 100% sure of all of them, but the rear bumper under the licence plate, under the doors, inside the hood and the fornt bumper are the ones I know about.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  3. #3
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Thanks so much, Andrew. You really are the heart and soul of the Board. Where is the one on the front bumper?

  4. #4
    I think it is underneath the hood where it lifts and latches, but honestly it has been a while since I remember looking, but I know I've seen it on there.
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  5. #5
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    There are eight in total. Each one is easily visible except for the one on the front bumper. I think you need to put the car on a lift and look from under the car. There is one located on the inside painted part of the trunklid. One on each door but you have to get on your hands and knees and look at the underside of the doors to see them. One on each front fender. When you open the engine hood, they are located half way back in the "gutters" where the fenders are rivited to the car. One on the inside painted part of the engine hood above where is shuts by the front bumper. And the rear bumper, as Andrew indicated, is behind the license plate. Even if all are there and accounted for, that is not a guarantee of original paint if that concerns you. I looked at a 2003 Z8 with 2,300 miles on it. The entire car was a repaint even though it had all eight VIN lables. How did I know? I have a meter that reads the thickness of the paint. A car with original paint will read anywhere from 3.5 to maybe as high as 6 but no higher. This car read from 9 to 13.5. Don't know why the car had been repainted and it had a clean Car Fax, but I didn't want to spend what they were asking for a repaint. You have to ask if the dealer has such a paint thickness meter. Most do to read the used cars they take in. You have to get a meter that not only reads steel but aluminum as well since the Z8 is entirely made of aluminum. It won't register on the bumpers "plastic" or on the hardtop "composite" but will read the rest of the car. Hope this helps.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  6. #6
    Great info Marty, thanks!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  7. #7
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    What about the engine and transmission?
    thegunguy

  8. #8
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Those do not have VIN lables; rather, each car has an engine number and transmission number the car originally came with. These records should be available through BMW. Now you are talking about a "matching numbers" car, meaning it has the original engine and transmission the car left the factory with. You always want to rebuild original engines and transmissions whenever possible so as to maintian the original numbers. While not critical now, as time goes on, a matching numbers car will be more valuable than a non matching numbers car.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  9. #9
    Team Z8 Charles's Avatar
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    Thanks so much to all of you. Your knowledge of this car is incredible.

  10. #10
    Administrator thegunguy's Avatar
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    Where do the engine and transmission numbers live?
    thegunguy

  11. #11
    Z8 Millennial Monster hayvenhurstkid's Avatar
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    Good question. On the transmission, most cars have the number somewhere on the side of the transmission housing but I have seen some cars where the number is on top necesstating the removal of the transmision to see it. Engine numbers are either stamped or cast somewhere on the block. Not sure on the Z8 where it is.
    Marty

    2001 Z8
    2014 Range Rover sport Autobiography
    2013 Ford Raptor
    2011 Porsche 911 turbo S coupe

  12. #12
    Z8 Addict Scott Pettit's Avatar
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    Marty,

    Just a minor correction on your statement on matching numbers. The numbers only need to fall into the series / year / manufacture run for the car and does not indicate that the tranny and engine are the ones that were installed when the vehicle was manufactured. Many collector cars have matching numbers but NOT the original components. They are still qualified as matching numbers vehicles.
    Scott Pettit
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