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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post. Also have not had much luck finding info using the search engine.

So here goes. I do not have the tow loop in the car, bought it used it is a e46 - 01 330xi. brand new to BMWs. I need to do a coolant flush and change the water pump etc... The pump is weeping. But here is the question

What size are the threads on the tow loop/jack pad? I am quite a distance away form a dealer and would like to make a DIY jack pad to use in the tow loop sockets.

thanks in advance.
 

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Is it Trackday yet?
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The tow loop is not used for jacking up the car.

Look under the side-skirts, there are two jack pads on each side, between the wheels. They are very obvious rectangular plastic things that the "jack of death" in the trunk fit into. I do not recommend using that jack to work on your car, get a floor jack.

Your owner's manual shows how to jack up the car and where these jack pads are located. If you don't have one, find the Wiki and there are links to PDF versions there.

Welcome to Bimmerfest!
 

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Ubergeek
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Also, if you search the forum, you'll see the center jack points under the car (if you have a floor jack). Pictures have been posted before. Rear one is the U brace ahead of the diff, front one is the beveled rectangle just in front of the oil pan opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys I have looked under the car and know where the jack points are and the floor jack has been with me for years. I saw a post on another forum that showed a jack pad built to go into the socket for the the tow loop, and thought that was interesting.

I was worried about being able to jack up the car and get jack stands under it, yes the jack stands have been with me for years also. I am very familar with working on pickups (mainly ford diesels) and large trucks, this is my first real stint with a BMW. I have a bentley manual enroute, but am using repair manuals from the library at the moment.

Can you give me an idea if you jack at the center front pad do you then put the jack stands at the front side jack points?

thanks again guys. Great site and more info than a person can digest in quite a few settings, but I am a trying to soak it all in. The wiki is great also, been there read it several times I am sure to visit many more times.
 

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Ubergeek
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Thanks guys I have looked under the car and know where the jack points are and the floor jack has been with me for years. I saw a post on another forum that showed a jack pad built to go into the socket for the the tow loop, and thought that was interesting.

I was worried about being able to jack up the car and get jack stands under it, yes the jack stands have been with me for years also. I am very familar with working on pickups (mainly ford diesels) and large trucks, this is my first real stint with a BMW. I have a bentley manual enroute, but am using repair manuals from the library at the moment.

Can you give me an idea if you jack at the center front pad do you then put the jack stands at the front side jack points?

thanks again guys. Great site and more info than a person can digest in quite a few settings, but I am a trying to soak it all in. The wiki is great also, been there read it several times I am sure to visit many more times.
THe picture you saw was likely of an E36. They don't have jack pads on the side, they have holes.. you put a bar into the hole in the side and jack up from there.

I jack from the front center, put jack stands under the front side jack points, then jack from the rear center, and put jackstands on the rear side jack points (to get the car up on "all fours"). I can do it in a few minutes flat.

The beveled edge on the front center jack point will bend unless you put an appropriately sized piece of wood on your jack to fit inside of it.. Mine is bent and I don't care... doesn't cause any damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
KrisL,

thanks again. I had planned on using the front center lift point, but after reading several old posts (many where you have responded, and I must say up on all fours in less than 3 minutes is something to be proud of) was worried about crushing the area around it. Looks like it is not a problem if you make a correctly sized spacer to put in jack cup.

I appreciate the help. Hope to be more knowledgeable soon.

The jack pad/point I saw was placed in the tow loop pocket and just had a flat round plate solid welded instead of the loose loop. I thought hey that could work well if you had 2 and used the cross beam or a frame rail air lift jack. So I was just curious and thought I would ask those who would know and have an expereinced opinion.
 

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Ubergeek
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The jack pad/point I saw was placed in the tow loop pocket and just had a flat round plate solid welded instead of the loose loop. I thought hey that could work well if you had 2 and used the cross beam or a frame rail air lift jack. So I was just curious and thought I would ask those who would know and have an expereinced opinion.
Right.. thats what the E36 thing looks like.

On the E46, the tow hook is not in the center.. so it wouldn't be very stable jacking up from there. It's also unknown whether the tow hook could handle vertical forces... it's meant to be pulled only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
KrisL,

thanks for the additional info on the difference between the e36 and e46. good to know that vertical loading may not be adequate using the tow loop pocket. I think I have found the info needed with your help. I will be doing a coolant flush and water pump cahnge tonight or this weekend so the info is timely.
 

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Rambling Wreck
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The jack pad/point I saw was placed in the tow loop pocket and just had a flat round plate solid welded instead of the loose loop.
The E36 had holes in the rocker panels - not in the bumper covers - that could be used with the factory jack to lift one corner of the car at a time for emergency wheel and tire changes. If memory serves, the jack plate was originally developed by Steve D'Gerolamo at the Ultimate Garage before the design was copied, mass-produced, and marketed by multiple other vendors as a quick and easy way to jack up one's car.

If you tried to jack at the towing eye socket, you'd probably wind up bending or shearing off the impact absorber, not to mention the damage you'd do to the plastic bumper cover.
 

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Scrapcan - Welcome to the 'fest, you sound like good peoples. You won't find a better or more helpful bunch of guys if things go south on your car than the guys here.

Can't add too much to the experts (I'm not one), but in the event it helps here's a few tips from a noob:

- I made small wooden blocks out of 2 x 2 PT lumber, and milled the sides slightly beveled. When cut to length and sanded on 1/8" round they fit into the four jack sockets perfectly. I used these four blocks in combination with my jacking technique:

- Same as Kris (but not as fast, I am 49 :D) I jack using the center front aluminum cross brace using a 2x4 block to spread the load. Jacking carefully I have seen no deformation of the cross brace. On the back, I use the jack point of the U-brace as well. Also no problems.

- When I get the front or rear off the ground, I jack until I can slide my jack stands under the wooden blocks. When I carefully lower the jack, the car settles on the blocks onto the jackstands perfectly.

Hope this helps.
 

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I need to do a coolant flush and change the water pump etc... The pump is weeping.
You may know this already, but autohausaz.com has Graf Waterpumps, and free shipping over $50. I just bought one for my 60K service at $59.76.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wingspan,

thanks for the welcome and the info. I have looked at autohauzaz quite a bit. I wa able to purchase a water pump locally, of a reputable manufacturer. I just did the coolant fluch and pump change. now I have another issue.

See post under abs and other wranign lights on. I use dthe center jack point and went very careful to make sure nothing was happening. went right up in the air and onto the jack stands. all work performed and intial warmup and air bleed went well (heat to heater core on max).

going for test drive in a few minutes. Not srue what to think about the warning lights. This is my first BMW so the learning curve is straight up. I hate this fixing one thing only to have something unrelated appear when you are done.

help on the other issue is now welcomed.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Don't know about the E36 but for the E39, complete pictures of all six main jack points are discussed and photographed in this thread.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=267424

That thread also includes pictures of frame rails with and without the jack pads installed, as well as pictures and discussions of where to put floor jacks and jack stands on the E39 (most of which should apply to the E46).

Donna

 
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