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Discussion Starter #1
I know that the subject of DIY jacking with floor jack and axle stands has been beaten to death and that us sensible DIY people know how to do this but nobody has talked about how to use a proper lift. I have access to a proper lift now and want to make sure I don't f' up my car.

What is the proper way to lift an e46 using a proper lift ? I assume the lift arm pads should be placed under the 4 stock jack points (square rubber pads under the rocker panels) ?

Is this how certified mechanics lift e46s or is there some other locations that are used (like the frame rails, CAB mount points, etc.) ?
 

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Yes, on the jack pads. I've seen many e46s lifted this way without incident.

Lucky you to have a lift! BTW, the jack pads are super strong, so putting the metal jack ends directly on them is fine, you don't need to use wood or anything...unless you've lost your jack pads.

You could do frame rails too, but there's no need...besides, whenever I look at them they seem so flimsy to me. I know they're not, but still!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, thanks for confirming. I had the car pulled into the hoist today but when I swung the hoist arms under I could only get the two rear arm pads to line up with the stock lift points. The front hoist arm pads swung well past the stock lift points. Basically, the lift arms were too long to use with my 325xit, yet they worked with all other manner of ****-boxes (Ford escort wagon for instance). The only thing I could think of is to let the stock jack points be lifted ontop of the metal lift arm itself and not the hoist pads directly, but I'm not sure if this is a no-no.
 

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Ok, thanks for confirming. I had the car pulled into the hoist today but when I swung the hoist arms under I could only get the two rear arm pads to line up with the stock lift points. The front hoist arm pads swung well past the stock lift points. Basically, the lift arms were too long to use with my 325xit, yet they worked with all other manner of ****-boxes (Ford escort wagon for instance). The only thing I could think of is to let the stock jack points be lifted ontop of the metal lift arm itself and not the hoist pads directly, but I'm not sure if this is a no-no.
No, that's fine. You might need to drive the car forward or back to center between the arms of the lift. Just push the extensions all the way in...and if needed to level the car for whatever you're doing, just add a block of wood, if, for instance, you're at the end of an extension in the front, but on the arm in the rear...if that makes sense.

The jack pad is probably lower than anything else below the car, but as you lift, just double check before you hit anything else, but it should be all clear.

Oh, and the hoist pads should just lift out too...and they might have spacers in them also, which should also lift out...but think you'd figure that out!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok thanks. The extensions were as short as they could go. Just wasn't sure if it was ok to let the jack pads of the car rest on the bar metal of the lift arm as opposed to the lift arm rubber pad (more slippery).

I also thought that it's really a geometry problem that could be solved by moving the car backwards, keeping the rear hoist arm pads under the rear jack points until the front hoist arm pads lined up with the front jack points. But this would mean both arms of the lift would be pointed backwards. I can't see why that would matter but I'm not a pro lift operator.
 

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Kubica might be right that you need to center between better.

But, it doesn't sound right to have one arm tilted backward; although the lift could take it, you've got half of your weight under the hood, so sort of want to be lifting it from there, as centered as possible...

Out of curiosity, where are the owners of this lift...can't they show you?

Maybe to make you more comfortable, take a photo and send it here. I've seen many lifts, but not them all...

You don't need to worry about the rubber things on hoist...your car will do fine on the flat arms under jack pads. Again, the issue is centering the 'center' of the lift arms between the jack points, and making sure the arms don't hit anything as they extend underneath your car beyond the jack pads.
 
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