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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2009, 10:44 AM
sjjones1 sjjones1 is offline
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Techniques for putting E39 on Jack Stands

I'd love to do more work on my car, but it bugs the craps out of me how hard it is to jack the thing up with the limited number of jack points.

Does anyone have a method that can be used to get all 4 wheels up on jack stands at the same time?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2009, 10:55 AM
armysweitzer armysweitzer is offline
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i dont think thats possible with any car, you can do front two then the rear two. I can get the car on jack stands in about 90 seconds.

jack up front cross member, two jacks, jack up rear diff, two jacks. Done.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:02 AM
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E39 has 4 jackpoints, 2 on each side with rubber stops. What's the issue?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:42 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack View Post
E39 has 4 jackpoints, 2 on each side with rubber stops. What's the issue?
5 official jackpoints (4 lateral + 1 under engine).
The 6th is your rear differential. Pay attention to that one though - wrap a thick cloth underneath.

Technique:
Pull the handbrake firmly.
Jack up front of the car (under the engine)
Post stands in front (2 lateral)
Jack up the rear (under differential)
Place the next 2 stands at the rear. Done.

Lowering is the reverse. Make sure you lower the rear first. There are no brakes on the front wheels.

Do the work at your own risk. Make sure your jack is a heavy duty and the stands are good for about 2 - 2.5 tons each.
Do not cinder blocks, wood stomps etc.

Good luck

P.S. I forgot to mention to use the wheel chocks for an added safety factor (which you have 1 in the trunk)
For easy lifting (front) i did build 2 ramps out of 2 x 4's
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Last edited by doru; 01-27-2009 at 12:03 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2009, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
5 official jackpoints (4 lateral + 1 under engine).
The 6th is your rear differential. Pay attention to that one though - wrap a thick cloth underneath.

Technique:
Pull the handbrake firmly.
Jack up front of the car (under the engine)
Post stands in front (2 lateral)
Jack up the rear (under differential)
Place the next 2 stands at the rear. Done.

Lowering is the reverse. Make sure you lower the rear first. There are no brakes on the front wheels.

Do the work at your own risk. Make sure your jack is a heavy duty and the stands are good for about 2 - 2.5 tons each.
Do not cinder blocks, wood stomps etc.

Good luck

P.S. I forgot to mention to use the wheel chocks for an added safety factor (which you have 1 in the trunk)
For easy lifting (front) i did build 2 ramps out of 2 x 4's
Now that's detail! Very nice my friend.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2009, 12:36 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I use Bottle Jack Stand ($33 at Harbor Freight):
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=99953

The beauty of this Bottle Jackstand is that it can be adjusted to any height to fit your need.
Plus it is rated at 5 tons. Just twist it to adjust to any height.

The standard jackstand has larger increments (up and down) and can be difficult to use.

PS: Yes doru, for easy thing like oil changes, I use wood ramp (3 layers of 2 x 10 lumber....have been using them for 15 years...)
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Last edited by cn90; 01-27-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2009, 01:01 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Also these are jack points for E36 and E39.

You can also jack under the Rear Diff but read a bit before doing it.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2009, 01:11 PM
sjjones1 sjjones1 is offline
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I hope you didn't roll your car over just to take that photo for me?


"Technique:
Pull the handbrake firmly.
Jack up front of the car (under the engine)
Post stands in front (2 lateral)
Jack up the rear (under differential)
Place the next 2 stands at the rear. Done."

In order to get my jack under the front mount point, I first have to jack up one side with the cheapie BMW jack in order to get (barely) enough clearance to fit my jack under the front mount point and give it room to 'pump'. That jack will then lift the car BARELY high enough to put a jack stand under each front wheel (at the lowest height).

Maybe I just need a better jack. One that a) needs less clearance to start jacking up, and b) can jack higher. Does such a beast exist?
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:04 PM
yoshi900 yoshi900 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Also these are jack points for E36 and E39.

You can also jack under the Rear Diff but read a bit before doing it.
Where is the jacking point under the engine?
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Also these are jack points for E36 and E39.

You can also jack under the Rear Diff but read a bit before doing it.
That is the most hilarious thing I have seen in weeks! Awesome! BTW those bottle stands don't look very stable. No thank you. I'll keep my old tried and true jackstands. Great post as always bluebee!
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2009, 01:13 PM
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Note, that you can also buy ramps at Walmart or Auto Zone.

I back the car up on the ramps, then lift the front from the engine pad, and set the front up on jack stands.

Tire Rack has a good deal on a jack and jack stands:
http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=68

Jason
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Note, that you can also buy ramps at Walmart or Auto Zone.

I back the car up on the ramps, then lift the front from the engine pad, and set the front up on jack stands.

Tire Rack has a good deal on a jack and jack stands:
http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=68

Jason

LOL $219 for a jack and 2 stands? I got a 2 ton Jack and 2 stands at pep boys for $29.99.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2009, 03:10 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Originally Posted by Mack View Post
LOL $219 for a jack and 2 stands? I got a 2 ton Jack and 2 stands at pep boys for $29.99.
Right, I have the same thing from Auto Zone.
Cheap crap, IMO!

The Tire Rack jack looks to be made by Torin, which IMO is good stuff, and blows away the cheapy Auto Zone jacks...

Jason
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:35 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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With the metal ramps, doesn't the front spoiler hit prior to the wheels actually traveling up the ramp? (I have a 540 M Sport..sits pretty low with the 18" wheels and 35 profile tires).....also, with metal ramps, they always seem to slide on you as you try to drive up on them. I can see how the wooden ramps would work....I don't think they would slide as long as you made them long "enough"...how long did you make the longest 2x10 (or 2x12)?

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:00 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black540eye View Post
With the metal ramps, doesn't the front spoiler hit prior to the wheels actually traveling up the ramp? (I have a 540 M Sport..sits pretty low with the 18" wheels and 35 profile tires).....also, with metal ramps, they always seem to slide on you as you try to drive up on them. I can see how the wooden ramps would work....I don't think they would slide as long as you made them long "enough"...how long did you make the longest 2x10 (or 2x12)?

black540eye,

Instead of jackstand, the other option is Home-Made Wood Ramp using 2 x10 Lumber.
See pic. The wood ramps are:

1. Sturdy.

2. Very smooth for the car to climb up (any car that I have owned, from my 98 Volvo V70 to my 2007 Honda Odyssey van):

3. Easy to make: using left-over Lumber at construction job site.
(or about $10 Lumber cost at hardware store).

4. Easy to use, just drive the car up. No need to jack up the car with jackstand.
Make sure you do not go over the "cliff"....LOL
Also: Apply E-brake + block the Rear Wheel with a brick.

I have been using wood ramps for 20 years changing oil, checking undercarriage, flush trans, flush rear diff fluid, bleeding brake etc. Very nice to use it: just drive up and down, saving alot of time jacking the car up and down.

For the most parts with routine maintenance mentioned above, wood ramps make your life very easy.

Of course the jackstand has it own use (suspension works, brake work).
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  #16  
Old 01-27-2009, 02:29 PM
mosearch mosearch is offline
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Bottle jacks are for buildings, not cars...I am not saying they'll necessarily kill you...but I would not use them on anything with wheels...
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:38 PM
andyffer andyffer is offline
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So for an oil change I should just jack up the front?

Couldn't I just drive the front onto ramps?
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyffer View Post
So for an oil change I should just jack up the front?

Couldn't I just drive the front onto ramps?


yes the jackstands are for other types of work. Like doing brakes and such. Ramps work great for oil changes.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:21 PM
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BMW states that you should not jack the rear up via the differential. Why, it did not explain. SO doing so is at your own risk. I jack up each rear side via the jack pads. Pain in the neck with one floor jack but I'm not going to 2'nd guess why BMW states not to jack on the diff.
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Old 01-30-2009, 05:38 AM
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Where does it say in writing not to use the rear differential

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
BMW states that you should not jack the rear up via the differential.
If you can quote where that recommendation is located in writing, I'd be interested to know because at least three other people in this thread recommended the rear differential.

I used the rear differential myself when I did my four-wheel brake job. I didn't see anywhere else (surely not the gas tank! ...

If you can find a written statement from BMW that says not to use the rear differential, that would be enlightening (especially to hear what they suggest to use otherwise)....
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:50 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If you can quote where that recommendation is located in writing, I'd be interested to know because at least three other people in this thread recommended the rear differential.

I used the rear differential myself when I did my four-wheel brake job. I didn't see anywhere else (surely not the gas tank! ...

If you can find a written statement from BMW that says not to use the rear differential, that would be enlightening (especially to hear what they suggest to use otherwise)....
I think all the hype about this is not to place the jack under the ribs of the diff (where the 2 halfs mate). Doing so, one would deform the diff.

0.02
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by doru View Post
I think all the hype about this is not to place the jack under the ribs of the diff (where the 2 halfs mate). Doing so, one would deform the diff.

0.02
Hmmmm... Is my picture below in the right spot?

I am not under the car right now so I can't tell if the two halves mate with the line perpendicular to the axle or parallel. From the pic, it looks like that mating line is parallel, which would mean a jack centered on the differential would have half the differential on each side of the jack head.

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  #23  
Old 01-30-2009, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Hmmmm... Is my picture below in the right spot?
I don't know. I cannot see clear enough from that pic. This why one would have to use a piece of wood, or wrap the jack head with a sturdy cloth. Also, some jacks have the head wrapped in rubber.
I still make sure it does not touch that mating surface (once the jack engages slightly to the diff, I crawl to see where it touches). If it's OK, I continue lifting. If not, i just reposition it.
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  #24  
Old 11-16-2010, 04:44 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If you can quote where that recommendation is located in writing, I'd be interested to know because at least three other people in this thread recommended the rear differential.

If you can find a written statement from BMW that says not to use the rear differential, that would be enlightening (especially to hear what they suggest to use otherwise)....
Here is the written statement from the BMW TIS: (seems to be hosted on photobucket so may disappear in the future)

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...0&postcount=33

This only issue I have with Cam's physics is the load on the Arrows #1,2,3 in Red can compress the rubber just above the bolts possibly tearing older rubber away from the subframe. This concentration of weight upward at 3 points before spreading out over the subframe can be an issue with worn out bushings, in which case the bushings need to be replaced anyway just like all rubber bushings on the car after 6 or more years and driving conditions.

Last edited by dvsgene; 11-16-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:47 PM
mosearch mosearch is offline
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BLACK540eye:
As far as the length of the 2x10 shim boards: about 24" should do it, but if you were very precise in your backing up you could probably get away with about 6 inches... or whatever the contact patch length or your tires is...'cause all they are doing is raising the front of your car up an extra 1.5" so you can slide the jack under...they are not part of holding the car up when you crawl under it. It's the same concept as the ramp approach mentioned in this thread, just a little more subtle, and you won't have that spoiler issue.
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