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Hey everyone. Just curious...is it ok to jack the car up on the frame rail that runs along either side of the car. Ive never been able to find the center jack point so everytime I needed to jack my car up and put it on jackstands ive just been doing it on the frame rail...
 

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If you are in a pitch, you could do it. I would do a search on here because I know someone did a write up about this exact question.
 

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Hey everyone. Just curious...is it ok to jack the car up on the frame rail that runs along either side of the car. Ive never been able to find the center jack point so everytime I needed to jack my car up and put it on jackstands ive just been doing it on the frame rail...
I think that is a bad idea. The body construction doesn't lend itself to that.
 

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I think that is a bad idea. The body construction doesn't lend itself to that.
i disagree. I've been doing this for the past 9 years on all my bmws and never had any problem at all. i did have a friend try this on his honda and it did damage that car.

just have to put a piece of wooden block to protect the paint and be 100% sure that you are on the frame and not the unibody.
 

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I didn't find it's such a good idea to jack the car up from the frame rail. I found it better to jack the car up from the normal jack point, then support the car from the frame rail before removing the jack from the jack point. The front of the frame rail is definitely capable of supporting the car, at least temporarily. But it's DEFINITELY NOT a good idea to support/jack-up the rear of the car using the frame rail. Doing so will damage the car.
 

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Hmmmm...ive never dealt with jacking the rear of the car up so thats good to know! Yeah I was just curious...just wanted to make sure it wasnt going to bend the frame or anything like that. What is the difference between the frame and the "unibody?"
 

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I didn't find it's such a good idea to jack the car up from the frame rail. I found it better to jack the car up from the normal jack point, then support the car from the frame rail before removing the jack from the jack point. The front of the frame rail is definitely capable of supporting the car, at least temporarily. But it's DEFINITELY NOT a good idea to support/jack-up the rear of the car using the frame rail. Doing so will damage the car.
Makes sense. So you need 2 hydraulic jacks to do this, right?

1. Jack one side of the car up from the normal jack point.
2. Jack up the same side from frame rail. Can't use a jack stand here for support, right? Because, how are you going to remove it?
3. Remove the jack from the jack point and swap it with a jack stand
4. Remove the jack from frame rail

Does that make sense? Has anybody done it like this before?
 

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Hmmmm...ive never dealt with jacking the rear of the car up so thats good to know! Yeah I was just curious...just wanted to make sure it wasnt going to bend the frame or anything like that. What is the difference between the frame and the "unibody?"
The rear is simple. You just jack up under that u-shape differential brace (not the differential itself) put 2 jack stands under the rear jack points and remove the jack. I've done it a couple of times. The front is more difficult to do cause late E46 do not have a front jack point.
 

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Makes sense. So you need 2 hydraulic jacks to do this, right?

1. Jack one side of the car up from the normal jack point.
2. Jack up the same side from frame rail. Can't use a jack stand here for support, right? Because, how are you going to remove it?
3. Remove the jack from the jack point and swap it with a jack stand
4. Remove the jack from frame rail

Does that make sense? Has anybody done it like this before?
For best stability, I do this to raise the front:

1. Jack up the front using a pair of scissor jacks using the normal jack points
2. Place a third jack under the frame rail, and raise it slightly
3. On the same side, replace jack under jack point with a stand
4. Remove jack supporting the frame rail
5. Repeat for the other side

To lower the car:

1. Place jack under frame rail and raise it slightly
2. Replace stand with jack
3. Remove jack under frame rail
4. Repeat for the other side

My method and the scissor jacks are a bit slow. But this approach works for me.
 

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For best stability, I do this to raise the front:

1. Jack up the front using a pair of scissor jacks using the normal jack points
2. Place a third jack under the frame rail, and raise it slightly
3. On the same side, replace jack under jack point with a stand
4. Remove jack supporting the frame rail
5. Repeat for the other side

To lower the car:

1. Place jack under frame rail and raise it slightly
2. Replace stand with jack
3. Remove jack under frame rail
4. Repeat for the other side

My method and the scissor jacks are a bit slow. But this approach works for me.
A-ha...this is how you do it. Now I need to get 2 scissor jacks and I'll be all set. Thanks.
 

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A-ha...this is how you do it. Now I need to get 2 scissor jacks and I'll be all set. Thanks.
My way is easier IMO. Scissor jack on jack point to get it barely off the ground (or a little less) and then put my normal jack under the front jack point in the middle of the car under the engine, or just aft of the rear diff for the rear. Then jack to desired height and put jack stands under the stock jack pads. Done!
 

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My way is easier IMO. Scissor jack on jack point to get it barely off the ground (or a little less) and then put my normal jack under the front jack point in the middle of the car under the engine, or just aft of the rear diff for the rear. Then jack to desired height and put jack stands under the stock jack pads. Done!
The only problem...I do not have the front jack point. May be you have it on 99, but not any more on 02.
And if you use an allocated front jack point, why do you need a scissor jack at all? Oh, I see...because of your drop...Got it.
 

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I mean lets think about this realistically for a moment guys. What shape are jack stand heads? What shape are frame rails?

/thread
We don't need to think about it. We just need to look at your picture and can tell the jackstand has the wrong head shape for the frame rail. The car is quite liable to slip off the stands on a sudden gust of wind. So what are you getting at ?

/logic
 

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We don't need to think about it. We just need to look at your picture and can tell the jackstand has the wrong head shape for the frame rail. The car is quite liable to slip off the stands on a sudden gust of wind. So what are you getting at ?

/logic
:rofl:

Exactly why we wanted you guys at the fest to take this guy off our hands, lol.

Goingnuts, do you have any tech experience? Do you really know about bmws or do you just preach what you read on the internet? I am not a tech by any means but I have friends that are. People that helped me with my swap and most everything we all do with our cars, they use frame rails as jack stand points all the time. Just because you don't think it's ok, doesn't mean it isnt :thumbup:

I can get on www.dealerspeed.net and look it up, but that would waste a lot of time. You know just as well as I, frame rails are suitable for jack stand points.
 

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I have noticed many people talk about the low front ends on the e46's. Not sure if they have something different than I do but...When I did an oil change on my e46 I drove the car up on a couple of 2x4's that I laid flat on the ground and that gave me enough clearance to get the jack under the front end to jack it up. So no jackin' around! :D
 
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