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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 06-07-2012, 07:07 AM   #1
SalzundPfeffer
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Big Oops...Jack slipped. Need advice.

First post for me. Great forum you have here with great information that has helped me maintain my 02 325xi for the past 3 years.

Ashamed to admit it, but glad it wasn't worse, I had the car fall off the front jack point under the engine while lowering the car back down off of jack stands after doing a coolant flush last week.

Stupid me, I removed the jack pad from my jack because I didn't want it to crack the underbody paneling because of the barbs on the outer circumference of the pad when I jacked it up. I didn't have the front most panel installed when I was lowering it back down because I still wanted to check for leaks and I should have put the jack pad back on.

Anyway, after I removed the jack stands, I started to lower the car when the jack slipped forward off the small pad under the engine crank. It turns out that cars are heavy...The jack stayed upright as the car came down. Jack hit the outer pulley on the harmonic damper, broke two fan blades and air shroud and pushed into the radiator and condenser. Like I said, things can be fixed. Glad no one got hurt.

Fast forward to this week. Ordered in all new parts to put in the front end (radiator, condenser, hoses, belts) Got it all back together last night, filled it up with coolant. No leaks. Took it for a drive and it was like nothing ever happened.

My only concern is the front crank pulley/harmonic damper. As the car came down it grazed the outer lip of the pulley (evident by a bent outer groove on the pulley). I used a dremel and file to re-contour the pulley as it didn't seem too badly damage.

However, when I started the car last night and inspected everything, I notice a pretty good side-to-side wobble in the harmonic damper. This oscillation is evident in both the A/C and serpentine belt sections. But I can't feel the vibration in the car at all.

My question is, do these harmonic dampers have a tendency to wobble in the first place? I never paid any attention to it before and wonder if it is just coincidence. Or, did the jack contacting the damper bend the damper and/or crankshaft stub. And if it did, is there anything I can do about it or will it hurt the engine overtime.

I kind of freaked out about this so I appreciate any guidance. Thanks in advance.

-Brett
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #2
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The harmonic balancer shouldn't wobble. It is a 2-piece part, maybe with the hit it took, the outer section got separated from the inside, by tearing the rubber between.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
ChicagoRY
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Doesn't the car have 4 strategic square shaped points where could can already plant a normal pump jack under? That's what I do with no probs ever. I've had prior cars where you need the pad with a T in it to fit in the crease in the sheet metal (a lot of VAG cars have it, im sure more too).
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #4
SalzundPfeffer
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It does, but the front pad facilitates easy jacking of the front in one fell swoop. Jack at the center and insert jack stands on the sides where the other jack locations are.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #5
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time for new harmonic balancer - old one was probably due for replacement anyway and you'll end up with a nice smooth running engine when done.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by SalzundPfeffer View Post
. . .the front pad facilitates easy jacking. . .


hell ya it does!
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:45 AM   #7
MF325XI
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In the future, place a hockey puck on the jack pad and you can lift the front with the panel on with out harming anything.

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SalzundPfeffer View Post
First post for me. Great forum you have here with great information that has helped me maintain my 02 325xi for the past 3 years.

Ashamed to admit it, but glad it wasn't worse, I had the car fall off the front jack point under the engine while lowering the car back down off of jack stands after doing a coolant flush last week.

Stupid me, I removed the jack pad from my jack because I didn't want it to crack the underbody paneling because of the barbs on the outer circumference of the pad when I jacked it up. I didn't have the front most panel installed when I was lowering it back down because I still wanted to check for leaks and I should have put the jack pad back on.

Anyway, after I removed the jack stands, I started to lower the car when the jack slipped forward off the small pad under the engine crank. It turns out that cars are heavy...The jack stayed upright as the car came down. Jack hit the outer pulley on the harmonic damper, broke two fan blades and air shroud and pushed into the radiator and condenser. Like I said, things can be fixed. Glad no one got hurt.

Fast forward to this week. Ordered in all new parts to put in the front end (radiator, condenser, hoses, belts) Got it all back together last night, filled it up with coolant. No leaks. Took it for a drive and it was like nothing ever happened.

My only concern is the front crank pulley/harmonic damper. As the car came down it grazed the outer lip of the pulley (evident by a bent outer groove on the pulley). I used a dremel and file to re-contour the pulley as it didn't seem too badly damage.

However, when I started the car last night and inspected everything, I notice a pretty good side-to-side wobble in the harmonic damper. This oscillation is evident in both the A/C and serpentine belt sections. But I can't feel the vibration in the car at all.

My question is, do these harmonic dampers have a tendency to wobble in the first place? I never paid any attention to it before and wonder if it is just coincidence. Or, did the jack contacting the damper bend the damper and/or crankshaft stub. And if it did, is there anything I can do about it or will it hurt the engine overtime.

I kind of freaked out about this so I appreciate any guidance. Thanks in advance.

-Brett
The jack slipped off of the small pad under the engine crank? What pad are you talking about? There is no pad anywhere near the engine crank.

The only places you should be jacking the car from are the two jack pads on each side of the car, one under the door hinge for the front door, and one near the rear tire benind the door.

Last edited by jdstrickland; 06-07-2012 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
The jack slipped off of the small pad under the engine crank? What pad are you talking about? There is no pad anywhere near the engine crank.

The only places you should be jacking the car from are the two jack pads on each side of the car, one under the door hinge for the front door, and one near the rear tire benind the door.
xi's have a front subframe and a jacking point under the engine.

to OP, invest some ramps. they come handy when you just do some simple work such as changing oil and flush coolant.
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Last edited by jasonbimmer; 06-07-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:07 AM   #10
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Even the coupes have a jacking point in the front - it's the first place you can jack if you want to put the car up on 4 jack stands - the jack stands go under the jack pads on the rockers.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:19 AM   #11
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From what I understand, old coupes (or sedans for that matter with the tubular style reinforcement) have a rubber jacking point at front center. I understand the newer cars must be jacked from the four outer corner jack pads or the subframe in front of the diff (not the diff itself)

jacking of the aluminum plate will deform it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
From what I understand, old coupes (or sedans for that matter with the tubular style reinforcement) have a rubber jacking point at front center. I understand the newer cars must be jacked from the four outer corner jack pads or the subframe in front of the diff (not the diff itself)

jacking of the aluminum plate will deform it.
Mine is a 2001 and it has a stamped sort of bump with a re-enforcement underneith about where I circled in red below, jack stands where the green is - I jack it with a low profile floor jack with a rubber pad. It has not deformed:
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:41 AM   #13
SalzundPfeffer
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Yes, ramps would be a good idea to improve safety. I do enough wrenching on my other two vehicles that I'm considering a lift. For the amount of work I do, I think the payoff period would be rather short. Especially if I consider the expense of my own stupidity like this. If I have to order a new damper I'm going to be at just about $1000 in parts...
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #14
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The thing about ramps is they don't work for things you need to take the wheel off for, and it's hard to find a set which you can drive up because the car is so low

I think every gearhead dreams of a proper lift in their garage... do it
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:04 PM   #15
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Here's the link to a useful thread:

"Safe Jackpoints - Definitive Answer???"

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=348089

.
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #16
ChicagoRY
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The thing about ramps is they don't work for things you need to take the wheel off for, and it's hard to find a set which you can drive up because the car is so low

I think every gearhead dreams of a proper lift in their garage... do it
Yes and Yes. . .

I have a nice set of Rhino ramps and they put my Honda Crosstour really far up enough to work comfortably.

Hypothetically, call them 10" high ramps, I swear to you - they raise my E46 like 5", my nose scrapes against the oil pan (no I do not have a giant shnoze if that's what you're thinking).

And I have almost as many dreams about my fantasy garage as I do about my fantasy girlfriend. They do have like $800 scissor lifts that one might be able to do better than jack stands, but - I want to save up for the real thing. I think as a temporary hold over I want to get 4 high lift combination bottle jack/stands (it takes the load of the jacking part at some point, and becomes all stand). Total cost would be like $350-$500 I think.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #17
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So I attempted to do this today. What max saddle height are your jacks? At full up I couldn't get the jack stands under the jack pads. 12" jack stands....I guess I could use a wood block? Doesn't really seem as safe though.

On another note, anyone know what angle/grade to use for a home made ramp?

Last edited by Du411y; 07-12-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
From what I understand, old coupes (or sedans for that matter with the tubular style reinforcement) have a rubber jacking point at front center. I understand the newer cars must be jacked from the four outer corner jack pads or the subframe in front of the diff (not the diff itself)

jacking of the aluminum plate will deform it.
This is true. Do not jack it from the center with a facelift. That rubber jack point does not exist, and you'll deform your reinforcement plate as a result. Also note not to take your car to Firestone, because that's how they'll lift it up...

The best way is to jack up one side with a floor jack or the factory jack, then slide a wide piece of wood under the frame rail with another jack, lift the car up from that point, remove the floor jack or factory jack from the jack point and replace it with a jack stand. Do this for both sides for the front.
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