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My car is an early (1997) E39 523i, I am wondering what transmission would have been fitted. I understand that some early cars had the E34 ZF 5HP18 transmission and later cars had the ZF 5HP19 transmission. Does anybody know how to find out short of getting the car on a ramp and looking at the plate on the side. Was there a VIN number range that had the earlier transmission for instance.... I am trying to decide on how to change the transmission fluid and filter. My local garage does not want to do the job and BMW state that the outbox is sealed for life. ZF say that both transmission should have and oil and filter change at 50 to 60K miles