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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-22-2012, 10:40 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
Your loss.

Excellent post. When I first joined here, it took me a long time to find the same information. Thanks for doing the community this service.

As for the jack, I have the 1.5 ton lightweight aluminum jack from harbor freight and I love it. It's light, low profile and raises my car quickly. It even looks good. I threw down $70 or so for it and I even got the extended warranty. I also have the matching aluminum jackstands and they're great too. Incredibly lightweight as well. I can put my jack, jackstands, air compressor and a ton of other tools in my trunk with no worries.
yup good stuff. I know plenty of people with HF jacks with many many MANY years on them without any problems. Again, the jacks are lifting the car, not supporting them while you're under, people! if you guys feel iffy about HF stuff, then use Sears jackstands under the car to support it. or whatever jackstands you feel safe w/.

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Originally Posted by jbehr99 View Post
I agree with Mango that you should only lift the car from those 5 points he listed, but I do have a question. When you lift the car up from the rear using a floor jack at one of the side factory jacking points so you can place a jack stand under one of the front side jacking points, I'm assuming you have to jack the car up pretty high for this? Will there be enough clearance to place a jack stand under the front side jack point and be able to get the car off the ground a reasonable amount with placing the front jack stand?
You are correct. Your jack will have to lift the car high enough. A low-profile "racing" jack does the trick. Use a block of wood if your car has a stock suspension. it will help you achieve height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
Why can't we use the frame rails to lift the car?
Because they're not frame rails.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #22
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:46 PM   #23
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I do disagree with this method of jacking the car up, as outlined in the other thread. Much safer to use the front jack point than to jack one side at a time, imo.
Sure, but many E46s (like mine) do not have a front jacking point. I've been using this method for years.

That said you do need to be very very careful using this method as there is more of a twisting force on the car so you need to gently lower the car onto the jack stand. I always stop just as it touches and double check that everything is ok before lowering the weight of the car on the stand.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #24
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Because they're not frame rails.
Yeah they're part of the unibody. Should be just as strong as frame rails right?
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:00 AM   #25
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Are you sure that "BUTTON" in the middle of the front reinforment plate is a jacking spot? because I used it before and it ended up denting.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #26
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I use railroad tie sections and blocks sometimes if lifting high.(lets me set car down in between height of my 9 ton jackstand and the little dinkers). I cant lift full stroke with shop floor jack or will bust off jack pad and punch through side of car. I lift in several steps keeping car fairly level at all times so there is room for jack under opposite side of car and not angled too much. I like the railroad ties better on high lifts cause iffff car happens to fall you can set block really close and they wont tip or slip like stands could if up against ca or ta for example. Sorry cant say exactly where and the steps today. Havent been under in awhile. Good write up though for just gettin tires off ground

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:56 PM   #27
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This method is quick and works like a charm. Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #28
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Are you sure that "BUTTON" in the middle of the front reinforment plate is a jacking spot? because I used it before and it ended up denting.
I am wondering this as well. Someone confirm?
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:54 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by peytonracer4 View Post
Yeah they're part of the unibody. Should be just as strong as frame rails right?
They are welded directly to the front frame rails that give the car the crash strength and rigidity that it has. You're fine if you lift on the point in which they connect, which is just near the FCABs. Lots of people do it, lots of people don't have problems.

I'd show you the TIS that shows exactly this, but speghetti coder is gone.

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Originally Posted by Importjunkie View Post
I am wondering this as well. Someone confirm?
You can buy the M3 reinforcement plate, which comes with a jack point built into it. This is presumably because the front subframe can support the weight of the car. You can lift from that center "button" area, but the reinforcement plate is going to bend in unless it's the M3 plate.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:50 PM   #30
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I'm a little confused, every write up I've seen on jacking up the car is different. I've always used the center jack pad in the front (I have an XI) then place two jack stands on the side rubber jack pads. Then jack from the rear diff cover, then place jack stands on the rear side jack pads. Is this okay?
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #31
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Mango's method is fine but it's not going to work if you want to get the front up decently high. You're going to have to lift from somewhere at the front of the vehicle. It seems astounding to me that there's no central jacking point on non-Ms.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:12 PM   #32
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I got a Harbor Freight low profile jack and this would not lift it high enough for me to get the jacks on the jack points. But I worked out a solution. I built a box frame using 4x4's that I cut 30" long. 4x4's are wider than the wheels on the the jack so I spaced the 4x4's so they were centered on each wheel. Then I took some 1x6's and cut them to length so they formed a box with a lip around the 4x4's. The length of the 4x4's allowed movement of the jack as it was raising the car and the 1x6 boards prevents the jack from rolling off. I used this after I put the car up on Rhino Ramps. I used a nail gun to secure the boards then went back and screwed it all together.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:41 PM   #33
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The HF low pro jack I bought has no problem lifting it high enough. There is a central jacking point on my car too.
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:00 PM   #34
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Lol

The HF jack sucks, you can barely lift it high enough to get it on the lowest jackstand notch.

I want an AC Hydraulic floor jack.
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:23 PM   #35
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Clearly you aren't talking about the same jack.

http://www.harborfreight.com/low-pro...uty-68050.html

I have super heavy duty truck jack stands and it gets up plenty high enough.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:21 PM   #36
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Did this today, yes there is no problem lifting in this manner. I think someone should post a video or pictures doing this, because many (including myself) felt very hesitant to lift the front using the rear side pads. You just need a jack that can lift high enough to do it. Unfortunately there isn't enough light in the parking garage for me to show it.

I recommend this jack:

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-ton-...8049-8047.html

It's an absolute pig of a jack, but it works phenomenally and is insanely solid. This will lift you up enough to get the front in the air.

I saw no risk of slippage or anything like that when lifting from either side. I was able to get the whole front end up on jack stands in probably less than a minute with this jack and this method. Just remember to move the wheel chocks for each side.

Getting it down was just as easy as getting it up. Having the right jack makes all the difference.

As someone initially skeptical of raising the rear sides that high, I also recommend this method, it works fine. If you need to lift the car up really high, then this method can only get you so far.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:54 PM   #37
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All right, here are some ghetto cell phone pictures of the suggested process.

I was too lazy to get my DSLR, and by too lazy I mean I forgot it and I wasn't going to go back upstairs and get it and then edit pictures. The jack in these pictures can be found at Harbor Freight for about 80 bucks.

Chock your wheels, and don't forget to move the chock to the other side!

Step 1:
Placing the jack under the passenger rear jack pad



Step 2:
Raising up enough to slide one jack stand under the front



Here you can see the car raised up enough to slide a jack stand under the front jack pad


Step 3:
Raising the opposite side from the rear side jack pad



You can see that the first jack stand is well-planted and has no risk of slipping, even though the other side is being raised from the rear jack pad. The car is high enough to slip a jack stand under the other front jack point.


Step 4:
Firmly on jack stands, ready to start taking stuff apart! This took all of about a minute and a half to do.



Yeesh, from this picture it looks like I scraped something
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:45 AM   #38
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And then if you want to get on all 4 stands, you just lift from the rear subframe spot and place both rear stands on the side, I assume
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:02 AM   #39
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And then if you want to get on all 4 stands, you just lift from the rear subframe spot and place both rear stands on the side, I assume
Correct, I didn't include that part because I didn't need to put the rear up on jack stands. It's the front that people have the most questions about.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:10 AM   #40
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you can crush the frame rail IF you don't get it right HF makes a "low" profile floor jack that looks sweet Don't know what I'd do with third jack? but it seems when working on these cars it may be easier to have a spare?
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