3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
I want to jack up the front end of my 2000 323i sedan and place jack stands under the vehicle so that I can inspect (and maybe work on) the suspension and steering. In anticipation of this, I jacked up one front corner the other day and took a quick look. My short inspection revealed no good location for a jack stand. There are several flat spots that look somewhat like frame rails, but I suspect that they are just part of the belly pan are are not capable of supporting the weight of the car. I noticed that the body panel under the door, the rocker panel, has several screws along it's lower portion that might hold it in place. Is there a frame rail that will provide a location for a jack stand that this body panel covers?
You're gonna hate this answer. You know those 4 jacking points? Those are your 4 jack-stand points as well. Sucks, huh?
If you want to stand the front up, Jack from the rear point so the car will be resting on one jack and 2 opposite wheels. Support the front tire with a stand. Release jack, repeat other side. Realize the car will seem wobbly while up on one jack, one stand and one tire, but it will be nice and sturdy after you place the second stand and release the jack.
It does seem that getting the car on the stands will be a bit of a balancing act, but I can see how once there it will probably be stable. I do wonder about how my jack stands will engage the jacking points... they seem to be made of some plastic or composite material and I fear that the concentrated load of the car through the edge of the jacking point will fracture that edge. I assume that this edge on the recessed jack point is there to lock in the OE jack, not meant to take the weight of the car. Should I fabricate some metal plates to "flush out" the jacking points past their edges so that the load transfers as it would with the OE jack?
Naaa, the jack points themselves will be fine. I've lifted my car half-a-dozen times already and haven't had a problem with them. That being said, you did give me a great idea... it'd be awesome if we had custom fab inserts for our jack points to fit our jack stands. Not so much for the load bearing capacity, but to prevent slipping off the stands during the "balancing act". If you come up with something, make sure to post it here.
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