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Old 03-23-2008, 09:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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lifting engine to replace steering rack - question

OK -first off I did spend a good deal searching for this answer but couldn't find something specific to my questions.. if someone has a link to a thread that provides these answers please post it!

I am going to be replacing the steering rack on my 97 e39 528i and do not have the facility to lift the engine as the bentley manual states you must do to pull the rack. Is it possible to lift the engine from underneath, and if so, what is the specific jack point to raise the engine the required 1.6 inches?

Thanks for any help....
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you'll need to borrow a hoist. i don't know a way to jack and support the motor from the bottom.
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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cool, thanks for the response. I talked to my next door neighbor, who is also a mechanic (who now owns a used car lot) and he just happens to have a portable engine hoist at his dealership that he is going to bring home this weekend to let me use...It's great to have good neighbors!!
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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hey what part of jax are you in? i lived there a few years ago in neptune beach. i left right before they built the pier.
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I live down in Julington Creek, but work downtown. Been here in Jax a long time, since '74 when my parents moved here from Ohio.
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, well I am halfway into replacing my steering rack today. #4 step was to raise the engine. Getting to the rear engine hook is just too much of a pain without having to to remove a whole bunch of stuff, especially if you don't have the BMW engine lift tool (which I dont). So I decided to test and improvise..

I undid the right and left engine mount nuts, then took my floor jack and put a 4x4 block of wood on top of it. I then put it right up to the bottom of the engine block and started to lift, very gently. It seemed to move just fine without pulling any wires, hoses, or anything, and I was able to jack it up the required 40mm to allow the steering rack to be removed. The only thing that seems to be in the way of the engine moving much further is the fan shroud. I would think you could use this method to easily replace engine mounts as well, but you would have to remove the fan shroud, as it just needs about 1cm more clearance to get the mounts out easily.

I will take some pics of he location I put the jack and 4x4 and post it later tonight.

After I finish this yummy turkey sandwich I'll be heading back out to pop the tie rods off and get this sucker replaced.
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Old 03-31-2008, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well got it all buttoned up yesterday evening, took me about 5 hrs total. Getting the rack out was like one of those crazy puzzles with the nails..after some twisting and turning it just popped out and I was able to slide it out from above the subframe. Turns out one of my tie rods was toast so I had to hit the stealership this morning for one ($90 later..) and was able to get it installed in about 15 minutes. Then ran it up to the local tire place for a quick alignment. rides straight and smooth now, and no more leakage! Quite the job, however, not one I would recommend for the beginner.
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