Not knowing much about hacking its hard to give an opinion. What I can tell you is that a VIN is the mechanism to begin the identification of parts. In most cases it also links a file called a "data card".
On the data card are all the option codes and pertinant numbers: trans, steering, engine, etc. I am relatively sure there are no engine number lists within the main program. One would need to search the data base of data cards.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician