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      12-27-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
Used2be
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Floor jack lift points

For those of us who don't have a professional car lift system in their garage at home and need to use a floor jack, are there safe lift points for the front and rear? I want to be able to place the jack stands at the proper place two at a time, front first and then rear, so I'll need to use a central spot for the floor jack both front and rear. When looking at the pictures of the undercarriage in the Akrapovic installation exhaust thread, there doesn't look to be any obvious cross member either front or rear. With the bottom engine shield removed there does seem to be a crossmember in front of the oil pan, but difficult to locate with the shield in place. Is the finned bottom of the differential strong enough to handle the weight of the car to lift the rear? Any help appreciated, thanks.
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      12-30-2012, 08:01 AM   #2
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Sounds like you are thinking of installing an exhaust? Am I right? If so, you are setting yourself up for failure and safety issues by doing it the way you asked. If Im wrong, then forgive me. I wouldn't craw under anyones car when those floor jacks looses hydrolic pressure and you have no way out if it is an install. Remember safety first. I installed my Rpi at my friends house. Proper equipent and tools. You will need two people to do this as there are many screws and bolts to take off and when it is time for removal, you will need those extra hands to hold up the opposite end of the exhaust when that last bolt is removed. It damn near runs the length of the car. You really need a clear field of view to do this job properly. If it were me, since you don't have a lift, I would pay the couple hundred dollars to a shop and allow them to do this for you. I cant answer the question if the finned area is strong enough to hold up, I just want you to to it properly. Again no disrespect and best wishes.
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      12-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #3
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If so, you are setting yourself up for failure and safety issues by doing it the way you asked. If Im wrong, then forgive me. I cant answer the question if the finned area is strong enough to hold up, I just want you to to it properly. Again no disrespect and best wishes.
I've spent decades under cars but always use jack stands for secure support. Certainly not as nice as being able to stand up while working under the car, but I still enjoy the challenge of doing things myself. Both exhaust and springs are on my list, but with the recent mention of possible damage to that lower, downward facing radiator I might reconsider the springs......? But the car does look better with just that slight drop. I've already scraped the black plastic surround of that radiator just coming over a slight rise onto the street while turning, and at slow speed, so it has me thinking.

Thanks for your advice though, and of course no one should ever be under a car with just the hydraulic jack supporting it! I guess there aren't too many home mechanics working on their own M5s on this site. I'll take a closer look at the undercarriage when I have my 1200 mile service done at the dealer to learn more about where to lift.
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      12-30-2012, 11:22 AM   #4
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chk pm please
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      12-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Oh yea, I agree with the use of jack stands also as I use them myself for things. I like the look of the drop also with the springs, but I thats out of my realm so I have to let a shop do it for me. Best wishes.
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      01-14-2013, 05:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Used2be View Post
For those of us who don't have a professional car lift system in their garage at home and need to use a floor jack, are there safe lift points for the front and rear? I want to be able to place the jack stands at the proper place two at a time, front first and then rear, so I'll need to use a central spot for the floor jack both front and rear. When looking at the pictures of the undercarriage in the Akrapovic installation exhaust thread, there doesn't look to be any obvious cross member either front or rear. With the bottom engine shield removed there does seem to be a crossmember in front of the oil pan, but difficult to locate with the shield in place. Is the finned bottom of the differential strong enough to handle the weight of the car to lift the rear? Any help appreciated, thanks.
Sorry to say this but

The 4 spots front and back are there...
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      01-14-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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Sorry to say this but

The 4 spots front and back are there...
I'm not sorry to say this, just read my post and attempt to understand what I was saying. Of course there are the four lift points on each corner of the chassis, but those are very awkward to use if one is trying to put the car on jack stands with a floor jack. A central lift point front and rear reduces the torsional twist on the car while placing the stands, as well as just being much easier. Especially true if you want the car higher than the initial lift limit of the floor jack and need to repeat the process.
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      01-15-2013, 05:46 AM   #8
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My bad, I take it back
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      03-15-2013, 09:34 AM   #9
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I want to be able to place the jack stands at the proper place two at a time, front first and then rear, so I'll need to use a central spot for the floor jack both front and rear.
I forgot to post my experience with the floor jack and hope that this will help those home mechanics who are as timid as I was at first. For the front, the raised dome of aluminum right in front of the oil pan is a sturdy place for the floor jack and has good balance through the lift. My car is still at stock height and even with that I had to lift the car slightly from the side initially to allow the floor jack to travel far enough under the car to place the lift pad in the right place. For the rear I used a folded towel on the jack pad to cushion and add some anti-slip for use on the finned portion of the differential. It was solid and the fins handled the weight with no problem. I was just nervous with a new car, but it is a simple process when done with care.
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      03-18-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Used2be View Post
I forgot to post my experience with the floor jack and hope that this will help those home mechanics who are as timid as I was at first. For the front, the raised dome of aluminum right in front of the oil pan is a sturdy place for the floor jack and has good balance through the lift. My car is still at stock height and even with that I had to lift the car slightly from the side initially to allow the floor jack to travel far enough under the car to place the lift pad in the right place. For the rear I used a folded towel on the jack pad to cushion and add some anti-slip for use on the finned portion of the differential. It was solid and the fins handled the weight with no problem. I was just nervous with a new car, but it is a simple process when done with care.
Thanks for this Used2be,
I will at some point, be having the car on axle stands, for one reason or another, and your guide helps greatly. Did the jacking on the diff, feel ok, ive had a quick look at the finned area, and wasnt sure ?. Did you check the front member, after jacking, to see if there was any damage at all ?, many thanks, regards, SIMON.
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      03-18-2013, 07:50 AM   #11
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Did the jacking on the diff, feel ok, ive had a quick look at the finned area, and wasnt sure ?. Did you check the front member, after jacking, to see if there was any damage at all ?
I think the folded towel as padding helps when doing both the lift at the diff and the front. The lift pad on my floor jack is a little deeper concave than the projection of the aluminum dome on the front under engine tray, and I didn't want to possibly dent the aluminum tray when lifting. No bending or any sign that the tray was torqued in the front. I'm not sure why BMW has the very solid 'dome' welded into the tray. It's either a sort of skid pad, or is actually there for a floor jack lift point.

I was concerned that the differential might shift as the jack lifted the car, but it was solid as a rock with no creaking or flexing. I'm still worried about those long thin fins, but with the padding to distribute the load more evenly and to avoid slippage in a metal to metal lift, I don't think there's a problem.
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      03-19-2013, 04:17 AM   #12
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I think the folded towel as padding helps when doing both the lift at the diff and the front. The lift pad on my floor jack is a little deeper concave than the projection of the aluminum dome on the front under engine tray, and I didn't want to possibly dent the aluminum tray when lifting. No bending or any sign that the tray was torqued in the front. I'm not sure why BMW has the very solid 'dome' welded into the tray. It's either a sort of skid pad, or is actually there for a floor jack lift point.

I was concerned that the differential might shift as the jack lifted the car, but it was solid as a rock with no creaking or flexing. I'm still worried about those long thin fins, but with the padding to distribute the load more evenly and to avoid slippage in a metal to metal lift, I don't think there's a problem.
Thankyou for this Used2be.
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