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jacking question

5235 Views 37 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  jvr826
Yes, I know this topic has been discussed in thousands of threads, and I think I've now read almost all of those threads. For doing work underneath the front or rear of the car, I think I found a good method involving ramps and scissor jacks w/ a locking pin. However, I still can't find a good way to lift and support one end or corner of the car when replacing brakes.

I have a 2001 325i and front everything I've read, there really aren't any good front or rear center jacking points. For every point someone mentions, someone else points out why its a bad idea. So, I'm just not comfortable w/ any of the points that have been discussed. So, I'm faced with the age-old conundrum of jacking the car at one of its jacking points, yet being unable to use that same pint to put a jackstand under. I would think there might some sort of handy tool or adapter plate that could allow me to do this, but I haven't found one yet.

So, any suggestions?

I'm thinking that if there were some sort of "tool" that "plugged" in to both jacking points on 1 side of the car, and let you put the jack in the center of it, and then put jack stands on either end, that would solve all these problems. Someone must make something like this, right?
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Yeah, given that the e46 is a bit "delicate" in some ways, I'd rather nt jack it from one of those points.

I"m thinking that if someone makes a good, solid bottle jack or scissor jack that can be "locked", I could use those to lift and support the car from the "official" jack points. Someone's got t make something like this, right?
rumratt said:
Yep. In the front end, there's that little circle. It's perfect, except for the minor detail that it gets bent funny after a while. :eek:

And in the rear, no one agrees whether you should use the diff, or the little metal hump right in front of the diff. I put a hockey puck on my jack and use the little metal hump. I was under the car looking at it and it looks pretty solidly connected... but who knows...
I would personally never get underneath any car unless it was on jackstands, ramps or a lift.

Alex
robg said:
I"m thinking that if someone makes a good, solid bottle jack or scissor jack
Well-- I'd only use this for brake work where i'm not underneath the car and I stipulated that I'm looking for a jack that "locks" and I'd also put a wheel/tire underneath the car in case it did come crashing down.

But, if you can tell me how to get the car up on jackstands w/o jacking it from one of the front or rear center points that seem to bend, I really want to know...

One idea might be to jack it hight enough from the rear side jacking points to get a jack stand under the front jacking point, but I don't think that would work.

For work under 1 end of the car, i'll use ramps w/ jacks supporting the end of the car i'm not under.
BahnBaum said:
I would personally never get underneath any car unless it was on jackstands, ramps or a lift.

Alex
:eek:

I think I'd rather use the subframe on the front and rear.

Alex
rumratt said:
Actually, I think that works.
What's wrong with the center points that the rest of us use?

You could use the framerails further under the car if you don't want to jack on the usual part.
Well, for typical under the car stuff.. there's always ramps, but you can't exactly change your brakes if your car is on ramps.. personally, i'm afraid to use by myself.. i used those nice yellow metal ones.. it was hard enough getting up on them with my friend's help.. probably just need to get used to it..

anyway.. as for the jacks..

you can get pin locking scissor jacks from autozone.. probably checker also.. i'd bet even walmart.. there is a method i've seen, which I like, but haven't used, that someone uses two scissor jacks in the stock side jack points (all scissor jacks i've seen have a rectangular pad that are small enough to fit into the bmw side jack points). He used the two scissor jacks to raise the car evenly.. crank one side a little, then the other, back and forth to get the car up.. if he he got under the car he would crank it high enough to get ramps underneath.. then lower the car down onto the ramps.. then crank up the side he wasn't under with the scissor jacks and leave it..

it was like www.325i.net or something.. not sure.. it was his own website.. don't think he runs it anymore..
robg said:
Well-- I'd only use this for brake work where i'm not underneath the car and I stipulated that I'm looking for a jack that "locks" and I'd also put a wheel/tire underneath the car in case it did come crashing down.

But, if you can tell me how to get the car up on jackstands w/o jacking it from one of the front or rear center points that seem to bend, I really want to know...

One idea might be to jack it hight enough from the rear side jacking points to get a jack stand under the front jacking point, but I don't think that would work.

For work under 1 end of the car, i'll use ramps w/ jacks supporting the end of the car i'm not under.
It would be jacking the second side that way that would concern me.

Alex
rumratt said:
:dunno: I've seen several folks jack up the whole side of the car (from a jack point), to swap two tires at once. What's the issue?

I tried it on the E30 though, and the rear lifted rather than the side. :yikes: :eek:
Yep. When putting autox rims on the E30 I'd have to jack it up 4x. With the 330, I can get both side wheels in the air with 3 pumps of the harbor freight floor jack on the rear/side jack point.
rumratt said:
:dunno: I've seen several folks jack up the whole side of the car (from a jack point), to swap two tires at once. What's the issue?

I tried it on the E30 though, and the rear lifted rather than the side. :yikes: :eek:
Well, it seems like no one really agrees on what center points to use, especially on 00+ cars. For every post that says "use such and such a point", there's another (generally frm a knowledgale person) that says "no, use this one", or "that part will bend, or break".

The framerails idea is interesting, and I think i've read another post that suggest it, but I'm not quite sure where this is. :dunno:
Kaz said:
What's wrong with the center points that the rest of us use?

You could use the framerails further under the car if you don't want to jack on the usual part.
Look at the picture that Bren posted. The recommended jacking points on the front are the frame rails.

Alex
robg said:
Well, it seems like no one really agrees on what center points to use, especially on 00+ cars. For every post that says "use such and such a point", there's another (generally frm a knowledgale person) that says "no, use this one", or "that part will bend, or break".

The framerails idea is interesting, and I think i've read another post that suggest it, but I'm not quite sure where this is. :dunno:
Buy an M3. Problem solved.

Alex
rumratt said:
My 330 doesn't quite look like that underneath. The rear points don't seem to exist.
Yeah-- my 325i doesn't quite look like that underneath. I don't think I have any of the center points that he circles.
BahnBaum said:
Look at the picture that Bren posted. The recommended jacking points on the front are the frame rails.

Alex
Correct- i'd just be doing this to change brakes, so I could deal w/ 1 corner at a time.
rumratt said:
Ack. I wouldn't do that either. I thought he meant to planning to work on one wheel at a time. I could be wrong.
On my '01 325i, I can jack up both corners on the same side just using the standard jacking point in the rear. I use that sometimes when I need to replace wheels in a hurry. My rhino ramps have been very helpful when I can do work that doesn't need the wheels to come off. When I replaced the ATF and diff fluids, I drove the rear onto the ramps, then jacked up the front one corner at a time using the standard support points and put the jack stands on the LCAs. I think I had to alternate between the front corners a couple of times to be able to place the jack stands as high as possible for optimal work room under the car. There really isn't that great a need to be able to lift all 4 corners that often but it would be convenient to be able to jack up both corners on one end with just 3 pumps. Short answer is, there aren't any safe points under the car to do that.
robg said:
Correct- i'd just be doing this to change brakes, so I could deal w/ 1 corner at a time.
Thanks! That sounds like a plan. But, I'd be a little worried about putting the stands under the LCAs. I thought those things were pretty fragile on our cars?

I kind of like this idea for when I need to work under 1 end of the car (the end supported by ramps).
http://www.bmw325i.net/raise_rear.shtml

To drain the trans fluid, I guess I'd put hte front on ramps and rear on jacks.

I'd probably also put jackstands somehwere under the rear as a backup.
brave1heart said:
On my '01 325i, I can jack up both corners on the same side just using the standard jacking point in the rear. I use that sometimes when I need to replace wheels in a hurry. My rhino ramps have been very helpful when I can do work that doesn't need the wheels to come off. When I replaced the ATF and diff fluids, I drove the rear onto the ramps, then jacked up the front one corner at a time using the standard support points and put the jack stands on the LCAs. I think I had to alternate between the front corners a couple of times to be able to place the jack stands as high as possible for optimal work room under the car. There really isn't that great a need to be able to lift all 4 corners that often but it would be convenient to be able to jack up both corners on one end with just 3 pumps. Short answer is, there aren't any safe points under the car to do that.
Ditto.
Kaz said:
What's wrong with the center points that the rest of us use?

You could use the framerails further under the car if you don't want to jack on the usual part.
I'm using a pair of $15 hydraulic scissor jacks I found in Walmart. [/QUOTE]
[/QUOTE]
:eek: :eek: Trusting a $15 pos Walmart jack when working on the car.... :loco: :loco:
robg said:
I kind of like this idea for when I need to work under 1 end of the car (the end supported by ramps).
http://www.bmw325i.net/raise_rear.shtml

I always put a spare wheel under the car in case everything else fails.
robg said:
Thanks! That sounds like a plan. But, I'd be a little worried about putting the stands under the LCAs. I thought those things were pretty fragile on our cars?

I kind of like this idea for when I need to work under 1 end of the car (the end supported by ramps).
http://www.bmw325i.net/raise_rear.shtml

To drain the trans fluid, I guess I'd put hte front on ramps and rear on jacks.

I'd probably also put jackstands somehwere under the rear as a backup.
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