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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I've read a lot of diy, tutorial vids on jacking up our e46 and it offered me more confusion than certainties 馃槄 so looking for direct experiences.
I will jack up the front onf the car, with 2 jack stands.
here's my speculations and doubts.

jack only the front / the rear
is that safe? assuming the other 2 wheels will be blocked with wedges.

jack the front: handbrake and gear or not?
this is the most controversial point I found. someone says nonono for handbrake/gear to avoid mechanic stress, other says is the first thing to do.

lift points. FRONT
Yes, finding the perfect lift point on E46 is a chimera: I found mainly 2 solutions.
  • the center aluminium lift point on aluminium plate reinforcement. Mine is a convertible.
Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle

  • the 2 "rails" that goes from the front to the center of the car.
Tire Land vehicle Wheel Car Vehicle


Seems me "safer" using the 2 rails but....

lift points. REAR
on the rear there are less uncertainties, the metal "bar" tha wraps the differential seems the right solution.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire


additional "safety supports"
putting wheels/wood blocks/unpleasant mother-in-law on some other points of the underhood, so if a jack wails/move there is something else that helps the car to not fall over us.
someone says to leave the floor jack under the car, maybe on the points where you jacked the car; not in tension but near.
 

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2003 325xi
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19 Posts
I replaced my front axles (325 xi sedan) by jacking up the front using the rubber jack points. I did not use the E brake or chock the rear wheels. I used two strong floor jacks, one on each side. I was on a level concrete floor in my barn.

I put jack stands under each side front control arms and got to work. No issues. I did not use the reinforced areas under the car, but in the future I might.

The biggest thing I learned was next time I will be obtaining a set of Quick jacks and using them so I can get really deep in the car safely.
Good luck.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I replaced my front axles (325 xi sedan) by jacking up the front using the rubber jack points. I did not use the E brake or chock the rear wheels. I used two strong floor jacks, one on each side. I was on a level concrete floor in my barn.

I put jack stands under each side front control arms and got to work. No issues. I did not use the reinforced areas under the car, but in the future I might.

The biggest thing I learned was next time I will be obtaining a set of Quick jacks and using them so I can get really deep in the car safely.
Good luck.
and you wasn't afraid on lurking, applying forces on a car that could potentially move on rear wheels?
 

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For the front the center purtrusion on the aluminum support that you show is a place for the jack, YES. For the rear the center over the differential shown is also a great lifting point, YES.

For jack stand location use the 4 designated pads as to avoid damage to the underbody. The rails that you show can deform under load.

As far as lifting one end only, use a wheel chock/wedge is always for safety. It does not hurt to place the transmission in park or in gear for a manual trans and the emergency brakes especially when the rear tires are on the ground.

I have seen people place the tire after removal under the car for added protection should a jack stand fail, so that is not a bad idea.

Mostly, think safety and whatever makes you feel comfortable and safe getting under the car. No one will fault you for being extra cautious and don't over think it.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The rails that you show can deform under load.
I was thinking to use them to raise the car, obviously the car will per on jack stands on the OEM jacking points
 

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I was thinking to use them to raise the car, obviously the car will per on jack stands on the OEM jacking points
I would not as it is too risky.

I have a set of ramps that I use to drive the car on whether to raise the front or the back. Once I have it on the ramps I use the jack for adjustments in height that I need and place the jack stands under the jack pad, once in place I remove the ramps.
 

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2002 330ci auto
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339 Posts
this is the most controversial point I found. someone says nonono for handbrake/gear to avoid mechanic stress, other says is the first thing to do.
Handbrake, gear/park AND chock the wheels.
The handbrake is not being stressed much at all when you jack the car up. If you're on level ground and jack the front of the car up 30掳, the rear wheels will still not want to roll. Even though the car is tilted, the ground under the wheel is flat.

I don't like using the frame rails to jack the car, I prefer jacking it evenly on the center. Even using the jack point on the corners to lift a wheel up makes me a little uneasy. Don't worry about the front center jacking point collapsing. It does but there's stiff steel right above it so nothing bad can really happen.

If you can't reach the center jack point on the front like me, I use the spare tire jack to lift the corner a couple of inches until it fits. When I drop the car I put wood planks under the wheels so the jack can slide out.

One thing to note is when jacking the rear up, having the handbrake on holds the wheels up. When you release the handbrake the suspension will drop quite a bit.

Jacking only one end of the car is perfectly safe, it's what I prefer doing to be honest. If you ever take the wheels off when working on the car, put one wheel under the frame rail on the side you're working, and the other wheel on the floor next to the car for you to sit on :)

One important thing is to make sure the jack stands and jack is on the center of each jack point. I jacked up one corner with the jack pad not centered and the sill popped itself in, was fkn scary hearing that pop and seeing the car drop. The load was designed to be spread across the entire plastic pad. Another reason I don't like lifting one corner, to much stress in one section.

Don't be afraid of the car falling, if the wheels are chocked and it's stable with the pads in the middle of stands, it really can't. It's 300+ kg of weight on each stand. It takes a lot for that much weight to shift.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't like using the frame rails to jack the car, I prefer jacking it evenly on the center. Even using the jack point on the corners to lift a wheel up makes me a little uneasy. Don't worry about the front center jacking point collapsing. It does but there's stiff steel right above it so nothing bad can really happen.
jacking there, I supposed to put a wooden plate to distribuite better force
 

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E46 330ci coupe
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63 Posts
Handbrake, gear/park AND chock the wheels.
The handbrake is not being stressed much at all when you jack the car up. If you're on level ground and jack the front of the car up 30掳, the rear wheels will still not want to roll. Even though the car is tilted, the ground under the wheel is flat.

I don't like using the frame rails to jack the car, I prefer jacking it evenly on the center. Even using the jack point on the corners to lift a wheel up makes me a little uneasy. Don't worry about the front center jacking point collapsing. It does but there's stiff steel right above it so nothing bad can really happen.

If you can't reach the center jack point on the front like me, I use the spare tire jack to lift the corner a couple of inches until it fits. When I drop the car I put wood planks under the wheels so the jack can slide out.

One thing to note is when jacking the rear up, having the handbrake on holds the wheels up. When you release the handbrake the suspension will drop quite a bit.

Jacking only one end of the car is perfectly safe, it's what I prefer doing to be honest. If you ever take the wheels off when working on the car, put one wheel under the frame rail on the side you're working, and the other wheel on the floor next to the car for you to sit on :)

One important thing is to make sure the jack stands and jack is on the center of each jack point. I jacked up one corner with the jack pad not centered and the sill popped itself in, was fkn scary hearing that pop and seeing the car drop. The load was designed to be spread across the entire plastic pad. Another reason I don't like lifting one corner, to much stress in one section.

This is a great post, but the bolded is one of my most important tips for anyone under a car. Even in the event it drops (which is unlikely because I prefer to jack the car up and then shake the sh*t out of it) if you put your wheels under the car it's extra extra insurance and can save your ass.

I literally just responded to another thread on a different forum where a guy was changing the ATF in his Escalade and cut a couple of corners...Lo and behold he knocked the thing out of park and it ran over him. Thankfully he was ok, but he could've died very easily.
 

Premium Member
2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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916 Posts
Not sure if you're been to San Francisco, but many of the streets are on steep angles, greater than what you will find when you jack up one end of the car. Guess what? People park on these streets with the transmission in gear and parking brakes. No mechanical issues at all.
Sky Building Cloud Window Road surface


+1 to previous posts on using a wheel as a backup. If you have a wheel off, place it under the frame rail or anywhere under a structural part of the car. The thickness of the wheel will save your head from crushing in an emergency.
 

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Since the OP's car is a 'vert, the channels pictured are stouter than those
on a sedan or cou-pay. And they'd probably be fine. I'd still use a chunk of
wood to avoid cutting through the underbody coating.

I too find lifting the whole front of the car to be a pain in the ass, compared to anything
before it. It's too low and too plastick to just put a jack under the engine cradle/front subframe
and if you lift a side, where then do you put the jackstand?

One of these decades I'm gonna weld a stouter aluminum plate to the front protector plate,
but maybe.... naw, I bet I get to it this decade.
Other than that, I usually lift one side, stuff a 4x6 chunk under the wheel, put a
spreader on the front protector plate, then lift the whole nose. It's cumbersome.
I've tried driving it onto things, but half the time they scoot away from me, as the floor's smooth concrete.

bleah.

t
 

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2000 BMW E46 323i
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101 Posts
I don't know about the vert, but i jack my sedan up all the times using central jacking points for front and rear with no problems. It's awesome because then you just slide jackstands under your original jacking plastic pads. If your front aluminium reinforcement plate has a jacking point, i would go for it. As for the rear i always use a thicker flat piece of oak or similar dense wood, even though i welded a reinforcement jacking plate onto my rear subframe. First jack the front of the car, handbrake on an in 1st gear, then the back. Don't be afraid of using gear as added safety. I, my friends and hundreds people i know use gear when parked with no problems. In winter, when there is more than negative 10 degrees Celsius i use only gear because parkinh brake shoes tend to freeze because of water condensation inside brake rotors. But if it's a bigger slope, i always use handbrake and gear at once
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all, so I'll go for the center jacking point. The annoying thing is that I have to do oilservice AND oil sensor replacement, so I have to remove all, change sensor, reassemble everything than oil drain, put the car down to let all oil flow then jack the car up again. I'd like to tighten all at the end but that central jack point is crucial in that way 馃槄
Wish me luck applying 59nm torque under the car 馃槵馃槵馃槵馃槵馃槵
 

Premium Member
2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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916 Posts
No, don't do that :).

Central jack, place on two front jack stands, remove reinforcement plate, drain oil, replace oil filter, replace oil level sensor, replace reinforcement plate, fill oil, put jack back under central jack point, remove jack stands, lower car from jack. Start engine, check for leaks reset oil service light.

You cannot replace oil level sensor without first draining the oil. You do not need to let car down to drain the oil.
 

OEM ///PLUS
2003 M3 6MT Slicktop
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23,653 Posts
Front center jack point: Yes
Rear center jack point on brace (not diff):Yes
Always chock wheels: Yes
*Place in gear: Yes
Parking brake: Yes
Jack or jack-stands on side four jack pad locations: Yes

*rwd when lifting rear the parking brake doesn鈥檛 aid. same for putting in gear. so even more important to chock.
 

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2003 325xi
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19 Posts
and you wasn't afraid on lurking, applying forces on a car that could potentially move on rear wheels?
There was no movement and I did not ever feel the car was unsafe. I also was not under the car very much. Just to get to the skid plate, and to pop off the axle ends from the differential. Wheel chocks would probably have been a good idea but I didn't think of them. The car was in park, and didn't go anywhere.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
No, don't do that :).

Central jack, place on two front jack stands, remove reinforcement plate, drain oil, replace oil filter, replace oil level sensor, replace reinforcement plate, fill oil, put jack back under central jack point, remove jack stands, lower car from jack. Start engine, check for leaks reset oil service light.

You cannot replace oil level sensor without first draining the oil. You do not need to let car down to drain the oil.
I wanted to let oil drain with car angled on jack stand, then when oil is finished remove oil sensor.
Then reassemble sensor, aluminium plate, put down the car to completely, completely drain oil.
I want to take more oil than I can because I did vanos so Id like to have engine with less old oil around as i can 馃槄

When is completely drained, put the car again on jack stands and put in the drain plug.
Why not? It seems to me the only way to have car completely drained with oil
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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916 Posts
I don鈥檛 know anyone who would put in that kind of effort to get the last bit of oil out. Feel free to do that but you鈥檙e not going to get much more oil out. The effort is not worth it IMHO.
 

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E46 320ci M54, 2.2 170cv convertible '00 manual
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don鈥檛 know anyone who would put in that kind of effort to get the last bit of oil out. Feel free to do that but you鈥檙e not going to get much more oil out. The effort is not worth it IMHO.
Don't know how much oil can be inside, so to be sure i wanted to act this way.
Car is stopped from 2 weeks: worth to take it for a ride and get engine hot or due to fact that oil is already all in the pan from days i can proceed to remove it with engine cold?
Leaving it drain for 2,3,4 hours doesn't matter.
 
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