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E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 06-12-2013, 03:07 PM
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morrieschoice morrieschoice is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 3.0 Z-3 ROADSTER
Floor Jack

I have been led to believe that the front of my 2001 Z3 can be safely lifted with a floor jack by placing the jack underneath the front axel support (cross member) then placing the jack stands just behind the front wheels in the space provided by BMW. Any other opions or suggestions? I do NOT want to damage anything underneath the car.
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2013, 03:26 PM
jcard412 jcard412 is offline
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You are correct.
Works fine.
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  #3  
Old 06-12-2013, 05:46 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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You were led right. Put the jack under the flat steel plate of the front cross-member under the engine. Then put the jack stands under the car's front plastic jack pads and lower the front of the car onto them.
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  #4  
Old 06-12-2013, 06:16 PM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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You can crack the paint on the rocker panel by putting a jack stand under that point. Best to get one of these to put the pressure on the frame instead of the body panel:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=522524

This puts all of the weight on the rectangular part, which goes inside the plastic piece.

Depending on what I am doing, I often use this adapter with the floor jack to lift the car, then I put a jack stand under the frame rail farther under the car. I sometimes also lift it from the frame under the engine or from under the differential, but they require laying on the ground to line things up.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2013, 05:13 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
You can crack the paint on the rocker panel by putting a jack stand under that point. Best to get one of these to put the pressure on the frame instead of the body panel:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=522524
This puts all of the weight on the rectangular part, which goes inside the plastic piece.
Depending on what I am doing, I often use this adapter with the floor jack to lift the car, then I put a jack stand under the frame rail farther under the car. I sometimes also lift it from the frame under the engine or from under the differential, but they require laying on the ground to line things up.
Where did you hear that lifting on the plastic pads could crack paint? How?
I have a different impression of this. The rocker panel area is a "frame" member like the other subframes on the body. The plastic pad lifts the body where it was intended to be lifted, and protects the paint. The recess in the plastic pad is only for holding the car's jack peg in place so it does not slip off the plastic. The LeatherZ steel inserts are for protecting the plastic pads from scratches or gouges from a floor jack or jack stand. I use carpet underlayment to protect the pads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
... I sometimes also lift it from the frame under the engine or from under the differential, but they require laying on the ground to line things up.
That they do. I raise the car so I can lie on the ground under it some more, to do the work.

Last edited by vintage42; 06-13-2013 at 05:33 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2013, 05:43 AM
Blacklane Blacklane is offline
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The painted rocker panel is just a body panel and is even fairly easy to remove. Lifting at the plastic jack pad can deform that body panel a bit. The jack pad adapter puts all of the weight of the car on a point inside the slot and onto the frame. The big round part of the adapter doesn't touch the car. The jack that comes with the car also puts all of its force inside the slot of the plastic jack pad, not on the bottom face.
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:15 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklane View Post
The painted rocker panel is just a body panel and is even fairly easy to remove. Lifting at the plastic jack pad can deform that body panel a bit. The jack pad adapter puts all of the weight of the car on a point inside the slot and onto the frame. The big round part of the adapter doesn't touch the car. The jack that comes with the car also puts all of its force inside the slot of the plastic jack pad, not on the bottom face.
The painted rocker panel fits tightly over the body frame. The plastic jack pad is a thick structural plate that fits into a hole in the rocker panel and contacts the frame whether there is something in the slot or not. The sheet metal rocker panel is only contacted by the flange of the jack pad, and is not touched by the weight carried by the pad.

[IMG] photo Z3jackpad_zps2c003e4d.jpg[/IMG]

Many owners and most shops lift the Z3 using the plastic jack pads, and there is no damage because no force is put on the rocker panel; it all goes to the frame.

Here is an owner using the rocker panel to lift the car. He has carefully made the square adapters to go his jack stands to fill the slots in the plastic pads, and then slid the jack stands in place by using his big floor jack in the middle of the rocker panel.
https://www.leskanet.net/~mleska/pro...ack_pad_11.jpg
Still, because the rocker panel is backed by the frame, no damage was done.
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2013, 11:13 AM
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morrieschoice morrieschoice is offline
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floor jack

Thanks to all of you for your input. I am replacing the compressor which is on the passenger side under the front of the car, so I only need to jack up the front. So, from what you guys tell me, I can place the floor jack underneath the flat portion of the cross member to lift the car so I can have enough room under the car to gain access to the compressor for removal. BTW I have always placed jack stands under the car using the black pads on the car without any problems. They have not cracked and appear to be in tact . However, I did not know that the car could be lifted from the side rocker panels. Should all 4 wheels need to be off the ground, I will use this method....then place the jack stands where the black pads are positioned on the car for lifting.
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  #9  
Old 06-13-2013, 01:25 PM
Kornknarr Kornknarr is offline
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I use the side panels but I have a 2" X 2" meter-long piece of wood underneath to distribute the weight. I the lift one side, put jack stands and then lift the other side. One of the reasons is of course that the Ms have a cover underneath the front X-member so I canīt lift it there. If I want only access to the rear I lift at the differential.
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2013, 04:28 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morrieschoice View Post
... I do NOT want to damage anything underneath the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by morrieschoice View Post
... I did not know that the car could be lifted from the side rocker panels. Should all 4 wheels need to be off the ground, I will use this method....then place the jack stands where the black pads are positioned on the car for lifting...
I think that of various methods and points, lifting one side of the car with a floor jack in the middle of the rocker panel is the least desirable. It puts undesigned stress on the unibody as it tries to sag over the jack.

At each end of the rocker panel, the panel has an opening for a solid plastic bearing pad that contacts the side subframe. BMW designed each of these points to safely support 1/4 of the weight of the car, and designed the car's unibody to be supported at any one of these points without racking, as in changing a tire.

BMW did not design the mid-point of the rocker panel to support 1/2 the weight of the car. It is probably the weakest point in the unibody, right under a door opening. Of course they did not provide a bearing pad on the subframe there.

A piece of wood on the floor jack can help, only if it is thick enough not to deflect, and long enough to truly spread the force toward the ends of the rocker panel. A 2x2 is too weak. A 2x4 between the black plastic jack pad would be the minimum.

Many people do lift the car with a floor jack under the rocker panel, with no visible problem. Unusual stress on the body may cause no harm, at least none that is evident, but it is something that I would want to avoid.

Last edited by vintage42; 06-14-2013 at 04:35 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:09 AM
Kornknarr Kornknarr is offline
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My beam stretches from one of the lift points to the other. I wouldnīt dream of lifting it in one point in the middle. But with the pressure spread out I feel very confident in doing so. If the car can't take that it isn't drivable on anything but the smoothest roads. On my 2.8 I lifted under the X-member but then I had the problem that the car was so low that it was hard to get the jack under it.

If I do not lift the way I do I don't know how I'd get it up!

Per
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2013, 11:34 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Lifted the Z3 this morning for an oil change...
http://s49.photobucket.com/user/vint...d/Z3%20Jacking
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2013, 02:14 PM
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Randy Forbes Randy Forbes is offline
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For those of you that have never seen what is underneath the rocker panel cover, here's a look. Thats a very substantial beam, the thickness of the steel is likewise substantial.

As long as your jack is placed where it makes contact with the inner sill structure (flange under, and at the edge of the sheetmetal cover) I think it would handle more than half the car's weight. Without question, a 2x4 to prevent damage to the plastic-like underchassis coating, as well as distribute the load, is still a good idea.

The only thing that gets me with this scenario, is lifting the second side; if the jack (or jackstands) slip instead of rolling inward as the car is raised, you could have a real problem. Not long after getting my first ///M Rdstr, I invested in an AC Hydraulics jack, and it's long enough to reach the front XMBR, or the differential, allowing a jackstand to be placed, as required. When there's no lift available, that's still my preferred method.





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  #14  
Old 06-15-2013, 05:20 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Amazingly revealing photos. Glad to have seen them.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-2013, 12:49 PM
birdhunter birdhunter is offline
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Wow, even attractive without clothes! Pretty impressive photos! Thanks Randy.
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