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      09-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #1
M3V8Driver
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Putting car on jackstands

So I was wondering what the easiest way is to put the M3 up on four jackstands with only one jack. I've jacked up one side at a time, as the front jack point is placed to lift both the fron and rear off the ground, but that also leaves me with one jack and one jack stand. I gues what I need to know is if there is a safe place to jack up the car in order to place stands under the two jack points. Thanks.

I think I'm going to buy a lift soon
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      09-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #2
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From insideline. Probably this is what you need.

+1 on the lift.
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      09-20-2010, 02:43 AM   #3
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http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=296726
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      09-20-2010, 06:45 AM   #4
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There is a post here saying to jack the car at the rear by the differential cooler. The BMW recommended jacking point is the black differential casing in front of the cooling vanes. There is a small "ridge" which helps identify it. It can be a PITA to get to with a dropped car and after market exhaust. I use a hockey puck as a pad

I use this method:

http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_jacking.shtml
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      09-20-2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, that jacking plate does not exist on the 90 series M3. There is a section of subframe just to the rear of the diff cooling vents, but it's hard to access, and it's not perfectly flat. A piece of 6X6 lumber cut to fit would probably work. If you drive the car on some small ramps, or jack it up enough to place about 4" of planks under it, I believe you can find a suitable jacking point either at a point near where the lower control arm attaches to the frame, or the center portion of the differential, then placing the stands at the rear side jacking points.
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      09-20-2010, 09:48 PM   #6
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Well, here's how I ended up doing it:
1. Jack up one side by front jacking point, place jack stand under rear jacking point. Lower car.
2. Jack up other side of car by front jacking point, place jack stand under rear jacking point. Lower car. Now rear is up.
3. Was able to get jack under front central jack point to jack up front. Placed jack stands under both front jacking points.

Note 1: Did not need ramps or boards.
Note 2: This is NOT an ideal method, as it introduces twisting force on the chassis. Safe to do once or twice, but not all the time.
Note 3: Ordering this lift now (http://www.harborfreight.com/6000-lb...ump-46604.html)

It's amazing how nice and easy it is to change wheels/tires and brake pads with all four corners int he air at once. It's also fun when you have air tools. I think with the combination of the lift, air tools, and power bleeder, it will be possible to service all four corners in under 30 minutes.
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Last edited by M3V8Driver; 09-20-2010 at 09:53 PM.
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      09-21-2010, 12:19 AM   #7
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If your car is not lowered, why not lift up front center, place front jacks; lift rear diff, place rear jacks.
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      09-21-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Well, here's how I ended up doing it:
1. Jack up one side by front jacking point, place jack stand under rear jacking point. Lower car.
2. Jack up other side of car by front jacking point, place jack stand under rear jacking point. Lower car. Now rear is up.
3. Was able to get jack under front central jack point to jack up front. Placed jack stands under both front jacking points.

Note 1: Did not need ramps or boards.
Note 2: This is NOT an ideal method, as it introduces twisting force on the chassis. Safe to do once or twice, but not all the time.
Note 3: Ordering this lift now (http://www.harborfreight.com/6000-lb...ump-46604.html)

It's amazing how nice and easy it is to change wheels/tires and brake pads with all four corners int he air at once. It's also fun when you have air tools. I think with the combination of the lift, air tools, and power bleeder, it will be possible to service all four corners in under 30 minutes.
Can you lock that jack in position?
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      09-21-2010, 08:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
If your car is not lowered, why not lift up front center, place front jacks; lift rear diff, place rear jacks.
This isn't rocket surgery people

I'm also getting a giggle out of putting a "twisting force" on the chassis with a jackstand being a concern, this isn't the first place I've heard this so I'm not surprised to find it here. There's a reason our cars are fat heavy pigs and most of that is the incredible stiffness of the unibody relative to cars made just 15 years ago, and I haven't heard of any E36's falling apart because somebody put one corner on a jackstand...
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      09-21-2010, 10:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
If your car is not lowered, why not lift up front center, place front jacks; lift rear diff, place rear jacks.
Can't get a jack under front or back with car on the ground, and I have a low-profile jack.
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      09-21-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiM3y View Post
Can you lock that jack in position?
Yes.
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      09-21-2010, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
This isn't rocket surgery people

I'm also getting a giggle out of putting a "twisting force" on the chassis with a jackstand being a concern, this isn't the first place I've heard this so I'm not surprised to find it here. There's a reason our cars are fat heavy pigs and most of that is the incredible stiffness of the unibody relative to cars made just 15 years ago, and I haven't heard of any E36's falling apart because somebody put one corner on a jackstand...
Are you serious? Do you really believe that our chasses are not prone to metal fatique? FYI, when you have one corner on a jack stand, and you then jack up the opposing corner, it puts a twisting force on the chasis, no matter how stiff the chassis is. I didn't say it actually twists the chassis, but do this enough times, and you'll start to experience new squeaks and rattles. This is true even with race cars, with all their cages and added bracing. That's part of the reason teams retire them after just a season or two, then sell them on the cheap. You won't find Turner or BimmerWorld running the same chassis for three seasons, even if they've never been wrecked.
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Last edited by M3V8Driver; 09-21-2010 at 10:22 AM.
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      09-21-2010, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Are you serious? Do you really believe that our chasses are not prone to metal fatique? FYI, when you have one corner on a jack stand, and you then jack up the opposing corner, it puts a twisting force on the chasis, no matter how stiff the chassis is. I didn't say it actually twists the chassis, but do this enough times, and you'll start to experience new squeaks and rattles. This is true even with race cars, with all their cages and added bracing. That's part of the reason teams retire them after just a season or two, then sell them on the cheap. You won't find Turner or BimmerWorld running the same chassis for three seasons, even if they've never been wrecked.
You go ahead and worry about your chasses fatique then.

I don't know why I open these "how do I pick my nose?!" threads anyway.
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      09-21-2010, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Yes.
How about for an extra 300, you can get one of these!

http://www.bestbuyautoequipment.com/.../al2-9k-ac.htm
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      09-21-2010, 10:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Are you serious? Do you really believe that our chasses are not prone to metal fatique? FYI, when you have one corner on a jack stand, and you then jack up the opposing corner, it puts a twisting force on the chasis, no matter how stiff the chassis is. I didn't say it actually twists the chassis, but do this enough times, and you'll start to experience new squeaks and rattles. This is true even with race cars, with all their cages and added bracing. That's part of the reason teams retire them after just a season or two, then sell them on the cheap. You won't find Turner or BimmerWorld running the same chassis for three seasons, even if they've never been wrecked.
I suspect jacking the race car is only one small part of why the chassis of a race car fatigues. Although, to be fair, I have heard Bill Auberlen complain on the Continental Series broadcasts that the car is squeaking!

Saying that, I hate corner jacking, even if it is doing minimal damage.
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      09-21-2010, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Can't get a jack under front or back with car on the ground, and I have a low-profile jack.
Just drive it on some 2X12 planks. I made four low ramps from two thicknesses of 2x12 and it works fine. Or you can jack each side and place the planks.
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      09-21-2010, 11:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3V8Driver View Post
Are you serious? Do you really believe that our chasses are not prone to metal fatique? FYI, when you have one corner on a jack stand, and you then jack up the opposing corner, it puts a twisting force on the chasis, no matter how stiff the chassis is. I didn't say it actually twists the chassis, but do this enough times, and you'll start to experience new squeaks and rattles. This is true even with race cars, with all their cages and added bracing. That's part of the reason teams retire them after just a season or two, then sell them on the cheap. You won't find Turner or BimmerWorld running the same chassis for three seasons, even if they've never been wrecked.
With all respect, I don't believe metal fatigue from jacking is a very compelling reason that race teams retire cars every few years. Of course, every time you place any strain on metal, there is resulting molecular damage. But frankly, there is way too much beer to be drunk to spend time worrying about it. But that's just me.
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      09-21-2010, 12:10 PM   #18
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You go ahead and worry about your chasses fatique then.

I don't know why I open these "how do I pick my nose?!" threads anyway.
If you plan to own your car for long after its warranty is up, why risk it? I work on my own cars enough to worry about it. Cars just aren't made to withstand it in the long run, otherwise they'd all be seam welded.
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      09-21-2010, 12:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiM3y View Post
How about for an extra 300, you can get one of these!

http://www.bestbuyautoequipment.com/.../al2-9k-ac.htm
No room in a typical residential garage for a two or four post lift
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      09-21-2010, 12:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiM3y View Post
I suspect jacking the race car is only one small part of why the chassis of a race car fatigues. Although, to be fair, I have heard Bill Auberlen complain on the Continental Series broadcasts that the car is squeaking!

Saying that, I hate corner jacking, even if it is doing minimal damage.
I doubt even a few times will do any damage at all, but a few times a month on average for a couple of years... yes.
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      09-21-2010, 12:15 PM   #21
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Just drive it on some 2X12 planks. I made four low ramps from two thicknesses of 2x12 and it works fine. Or you can jack each side and place the planks.
While the wooden ramp solution is doable, it is a PIA IMHO. It takes up storage space and takes time to setup. The scissors lift will live under the car year-'round
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      09-21-2010, 02:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Cars just aren't made to withstand it in the long run, otherwise they'd all be seam welded.
No lift picks a car up perfectly level, especially when it initially takes the load off the suspension. The factory jacking points are designed with this in mind. That's why they're located at one of the strongest parts of the car, the rockers. You're introducing a bending moment in the chassis whether you use a lift or a floor jack and a jackstand, either way the car is "made to withstand" that bending moment.

Like I said, you are free to imagine whatever boogeymen you want to, but try not to spread it around so BMW owners can feel free to work on and enjoy their cars without blowing money on useless things like a scissor lift that precludes access to the transmission. There's already enough fear and intimidation related to working on an expensive and complicated car without throwing things like "metal fatique" (that's spelled with a "g" by the way) from jacking the car up, in the same fashion that people have raised cars off the ground since the beginning of cars, in to muddy the waters.
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