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General E46 Forum
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
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Placing Jack Stands Under Car

What is the best way to jack up a BMW and place Jackstands underneath it.
I need to remove both front wheels.
After jacking up the car at the jack points on the side, where do I place a jackstand so that I can lower the jack and move to the other side of the car?

What are the best locations for jackstands? (front and rear)

Thanks
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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AaaHaaa

Before you guys flame me for not searching, I found what I was looking for.
I wasn't wording it correctly in the search.

However.......any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #3
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Good save!

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_jacking.shtml

The only difference is that newer non-Ms do not have a central jack point, so don't try to jack up on the subframe/engine brace.

And BTW about 6 million other forums members have the same quote in their sig, a little played out.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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When you jack up from the front center jack point, make sure you chock your rear wheels and put on the e-brake and have the car in gear...remember to chock when only lifting from the rear center jack point.

Lower it slowly onto the the jack stands under your jack pads, BB...and keep the jack there.

If you can't get the jack under the center jack point, you could just drive up on a 2x10 to get enough extra room to see and position the jack. I can get mine under without getting the car up a little, but it's much easier on me to just drive onto my 4 homemade ramps...a 2x10 with a 1x10 on top...I also put a 2x4 at the end to stop me from going too far.

Also, you know, depending on what you're doing, you could just jack up one side from jack pad and put something under the car in case the jack falls...like a spare tire. Just work on one side at a time.

GL!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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And make sure you're using a level HARD surface. So no yards or inclined drives.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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If you put the front end on ramps and then jack up the rear, you need chocks to stop the front wheels rolling off the ramps. The transmission and e-brake only act on the rear wheels - as soon as they're off the ground, the front end can roll, and so can your jack. If you're lucky, that will just shove the jack handle where you really don't want it, as 3400 pounds of car comes back down the ramps. Possibly a lot worse.

I mention this because the link in Post #3 doesn't.

Oh, sorry, just noticed dmax mentioned this too. But it's specially important if you're on ramps at the front.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zhp43867 View Post
Good save!

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_jacking.shtml

The only difference is that newer non-Ms do not have a central jack point, so don't try to jack up on the subframe/engine brace.

And BTW about 6 million other forums members have the same quote in their sig, a little played out.
newer as in what year moving forward?
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:42 PM   #8
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newer as in what year moving forward?
Newer as in 9/01+ MY02 cars with aluminum reinforcement plates versus the triangular black tubular steel crossbrace.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:56 PM   #9
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Newer as in 9/01+ MY02 cars with aluminum reinforcement plates versus the triangular black tubular steel crossbrace.
hmmmm

My 01 330ci I used to jack from the circle on my aluminum reinforcement plate. It didn't dent or deform at all, so far my new 03 I have only used ramps. Would the sedans be different from the coupes?

Last edited by zander271; 10-16-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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hmmmm

My 01 330ci I used to jack from the circle on my aluminum reinforcement plate. It didn't dent or deform at all, so far my new 03 I have only used ramps. Would the sedans be different from the coupes?
Not sure. maybe coupes have a different plate? too lazy to look up part #s
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:05 PM   #11
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Front:

- Chock both rear wheels. You also have a wheel chock in the back of your trunk
- Use factory jack, or another floor jack preferably, to lift up the front end slightly, just enough to get a jack + wood under the car. This can also be accomplished by driving the car on a 2x4, or even ramps.
- Place a block of wood on the jack to distribute weight, put it directly under the frame rail. You'll know what it is when you see it, it runs most of the length of the vehicle. There is one on each side.
- Jack to desired height
- Place jack stand under rubber jack point
- Lower car onto jack stand
- Repeat on other side

Rear:

- Chock both front wheels
- Look for large U-brace in front of differential
- Place a block of wood, or a rubber pad of some sort, onto jack
- Jack directly on U-brace to desired height
- Place jack stands under factory rubber jack points
- Slowly lower onto jack stands

Getting the car off jack stands is the reverse of the above.

I've done this many times and have had no damage whatsoever. Nothing is bent, everything is good, and I've inspected them thoroughly to make sure. The car can be supported by those frame rails. In fact, the Bentley manual mentions those as valid safe jack points in a few places. Remember, weight distribution is important. It is not ideal to have all the weight on one part of the rail, even though I am sure it can support it. A big block of wood to distribute it is always best.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
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And make sure you're using a level HARD surface. So no yards or inclined drives.
or mustaches
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Zell View Post
Front:

- Chock both rear wheels. You also have a wheel chock in the back of your trunk
- Use factory jack, or another floor jack preferably, to lift up the front end slightly, just enough to get a jack + wood under the car. This can also be accomplished by driving the car on a 2x4, or even ramps.
- Place a block of wood on the jack to distribute weight, put it directly under the frame rail. You'll know what it is when you see it, it runs most of the length of the vehicle. There is one on each side.
- Jack to desired height
- Place jack stand under rubber jack point
- Lower car onto jack stand
- Repeat on other side

Rear:

- Chock both front wheels
- Look for large U-brace in front of differential
- Place a block of wood, or a rubber pad of some sort, onto jack
- Jack directly on U-brace to desired height
- Place jack stands under factory rubber jack points
- Slowly lower onto jack stands

Getting the car off jack stands is the reverse of the above.

I've done this many times and have had no damage whatsoever. Nothing is bent, everything is good, and I've inspected them thoroughly to make sure. The car can be supported by those frame rails. In fact, the Bentley manual mentions those as valid safe jack points in a few places. Remember, weight distribution is important. It is not ideal to have all the weight on one part of the rail, even though I am sure it can support it. A big block of wood to distribute it is always best.
I know you don't mean harm but do not ever jack up the car from the aluminum reinforcement near the differential. It should be lifted from the subframe body itself. As far as the rest of the points go, only the four jack pads around the perimeter of the vehicle. TIS reinforces this.

Under no circumstances should you lift the car by the "frame rails." Those aren't really rails, but merely boxed sheet metal. They're not meant to support the weight in the car in one spot as they aren't reinforced/designed for that purpose. Any creased/boxed sections contribute to the overall structural integrity of the vehicle and are not meant for lifting purposes. You can easily poke a hole through your floor pan if you do this, ,especially if the jacking area is small (like a small auto parts store chinese jack)
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:39 PM   #14
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center point behind motor with jack, stand under front jack pads each side, drive up on 2x4 to get jack under car
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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Hmmm just took a quick peak under my car...the bump looks different.

My coupes looked like this (01 330ci)

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330..._Pan/ES130062/

I used a hockey puck as the cushion for the round bit.

For vehicles with production date up to 02/2001

My sedan looks like this (03 330i)

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-330...Body/ES128604/

-For vehicles with production date from 02/2001

Looks like my hockey puck will not fit now.


So it looks like there are 3 different types of reinforcement that that BMW uses.

A reinforcement bar, and 2 different metal plates. Maybe the earlier plates are heavier duty that the later ones?

Last edited by zander271; 10-16-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:49 PM   #16
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Neither one of the ones in your picture should be used as a jack point. Many have gotten lucky and not dented the pan (at least visibly) if they used it once or twice. That doesn't mean you should use it.

Also Mango, what do you suggest for the front? When I get the whole front and rear off the ground I use 2x4s+ my jack to lift the front frame rail, then support it on the jack pads. If you jack up from the jack pads where do you put the stand?
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #17
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On jacking from the rear...there's a flat part on the rear axle carrier in front of the diff...I think that's what Zell meant, Mango.

I've read about that here and used it myself...and lived to tell the tale.

I think he means the spot between where the two #7 bushings are, not on #12, the pushrod, which is rounded.

Anyway, it's a perfectly flat spot on my car and I just looked to make sure...it is the rear axle carrier.

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:09 PM   #18
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Neither one of the ones in your picture should be used as a jack point. Many have gotten lucky and not dented the pan (at least visibly) if they used it once or twice. That doesn't mean you should use it.

Also Mango, what do you suggest for the front? When I get the whole front and rear off the ground I use 2x4s+ my jack to lift the front frame rail, then support it on the jack pads. If you jack up from the jack pads where do you put the stand?
eh maybe I did get lucky . I took my old plate off my coupe twice to do the FCAB's. Which sucks because those bolts are kind of expensive to replace each time. Anyways it wasn't crushed or bent like others have described happening when jacking up their cars. That's why I was just GUESSING that the older style may be stronger hence why I got away with what I did.

That little bump from pictures is were on the older style pre 01 had a jack spot.

For example DMAX's should have the front jack spot. His is special and was painted fern green from the factory.

Last edited by zander271; 10-16-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:24 PM   #19
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Yes, I have the hockey puck and fits inside my jack perfectly! It didn't come Fern Green, though, but of course I painted it while I was doing my tires!

I've been hearing other things about how superior my car is to non-328s...the cable controlled TB, stronger internals, nicer pedal feel.

If anyone has a newer e46 and wants to trade, I'd consider it...of course it has to be manual and have heated seats. If it's not Fern Green, that's okay...I can paint it!
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:33 PM   #20
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I'll do a thread on jacking tomorrow maybe (not to insult anyones intelligence) but i've perfected it (as others probably have but don't talk about it)

Basically here's how you do it:

Raise the side-rear of the car first via the jack pad high enough to get a jackstand under the front side (same side as you're jacking the rear from)

Lower the jack.

Repeat on other side. Get another stand under the front. You now have the front up on jackstands.

Finally, raise the rear via the rear subframe and get two jackstands under each rear-side jack pad.

All four jackpads are now supported by a jackstand.

On cars with a front central jacking nub, the process is much simpler/easier.
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