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      09-20-2014, 11:53 PM   #1
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Where is the best place to jack up the rear of the F30?

Sorry for the newb question, but this is the first time jacking up my 2014 328i M-Sport thats been lowered about 1.5 inches. I recently had BC Coilovers installed and want to adjust the rears a little, so i need to jack up the car.

I know about the 4 side jack points on either side of the car, but my car is too low to get the floor jack under any of these 4 points. I know of the front center jack point and was able to get the car up from there (barely), but the rear i'm not so sure.

I've seen a lot of pictures floating around for the rear, but not for the F30. I know to avoid the rear differential. I think i may have found the rear frame just behind the differential, but its slightly curved (yellow arrow pointing to it). In addition, there is some mysterious box shaped cover/container(?) that is bolted to it (highlighted in yellow rectangle).

Anyone know what this box is and how fragile it is? The jack's saddle can be wedged in between this curved arch area and this mysterious box, but i'm afraid that too much pressure might damage it. Due to the curvature, and where the jack's saddle is situated, as the jack goes it, it puts more lateral force against this box.

Any idea if this is a bad idea? Can someone point to a better place in the rear for the jack point? Seems as though a lot has changed in the F30, comparing it to pics i've seen of the 3-series prior to 2012.

Thanks in advance!
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      09-21-2014, 09:57 PM   #2
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Try jacking the front as you described as high as you can, then put 2x10 or 2x12 lumber (~2ft) under the front wheels. Take if off the jack and see if it gives you enough lift to get the jack under the factory jack points. I stack them 6 deep on each wheel for fluid changes.
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      09-22-2014, 12:41 AM   #3
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haha .. i actually did that today just to get a better view of the underside of the F30 to see where a better (central) jacking point might be for the rear.

I created a little ramp by stacking pieces of 2x4x10 together for the front wheels to create a little stair step. It allowed me to jack the front up high enough to get some husky 6-ton bottle jacks on both of the rear side jack points. It allowed me to get the rear wheels off, but still.. i would like to know where a better rear/center jacking point is.

Here is what i could see reaching as far under the rear as i could go with my DSLR. That mysterious box-like unit is highlighted in the yellow rectangle. The differential is in front of that (to its right in the picture), and a potential jacking point just at the front of the differential (to right of the differential in pic) highlighted in the yellow circle looks like a good spot to jack, but wanted to see what y'all thought.

Its some weird t-shaped flat surface and i have not seen it in any underside pics of a 328 prior to the F30. Anyone know what that is and/or if its a good jacking point?
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      09-30-2014, 02:11 AM   #4
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Found that the inner control arm (near the inner mounting bolt) just left of where i originally positioned the jack worked out Ok. The control arm seems like its a pretty robust area for the jack. I had it up long enough to put two 6-ton bottle jacks on either side of rear of the car, which relieved some pressure on the floor jack. Good enough.

I'm still a little leery of jacking up on the differential, but thats just me ...
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      10-02-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
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Wow thank you for the photos, this is helpful stuff. Jacking up the F30 is definitely tricky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlyboy View Post
I know of the front center jack point and was able to get the car up from there (barely), but the rear i'm not so sure.
Can you by chance show the front center jack point? I read about it on the M3/M4 but there didn't appear to be anything obvious under the front of my F30.
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      10-02-2014, 06:21 PM   #6
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I can try to post a pic the next time i have the car up on jacks, but from the F30 training manuals, the area highlighted by the red rectangle is where i jack it up.

Its really hard to see it when you are viewing it from an angle you are laying when you have the car up on jacks, but you might see this "trap door" looking area just behind it. Just place the jack in that little indentation just ahead of that and you should be good. There's really nothing pronounced that sticks out that marks the area as the spot. Its more of an "indentation" on the underside paneling.

Another way to find it is to eyeball the small area where an imaginary "cross-hair" is located formed by the center of your wheels intersecting the middle of the car.
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      10-02-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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One other thing... there are really only two ways i can reach this front center jack point with my floor jack and have enough room/clearance to pump the handle to get the jack saddle up. And i have more of a challenge since my car is lowered to the point where i have only 2" clearance off the ground (measured from front bummer lip/splitter to ground).

1) Coming from an angle behind the front wheel gives me the most vertical clearance to give me room enough to pump the jack handle up and down. When the jack first starts going up, you've got only a few inches of vertical room to pump. The extra space provided by the wheel well helps.

2) Coming directly from the front center of the car. This gives you less vertical room for pumping the handle up/down, partly due to the farther distance you have to slide the jack under the car to reach the jack point, and partly due to not having the extra space that the wheel well affords you. To compensate, i had to create a 4-step ramp using 2x12 lumber. It provided me 6" of additional vertical pumping room to get the car up. You need this extra clearance to be able to pump the handle.

Given the two approaches, I've opted for 2) because 1) has a little side effect that makes the placement of the car onto the side jack stands a little unsafer. Using method #1, when you get the car high enough on the floor jack to put jack stands on the front side jack points, you have to slowly lower the car onto these jacks. But since the car is being lifted up at an angle, as the car comes up, it will actually start moving towards you due to the natural swing/motion of the saddle arm. Its kind of a weird effect.

Anyways, as you position the standing jacks under the side jack points, as it comes down on top of them, it doesn't come down perfectly vertical - it comes down at an angle as well. And unless you have to wide based standing jacks, it will actually "pull" the jacks at an angle causing them to be tilted/lopsided. You can slowly adjust as it comes down, but at some point, there is so much weight on these jacks, that it becomes impossible to adjust by hand. In the worst case, your car will be sitting on these jacks that are not perfectly level on the ground. Kinda scary. Definitely less safe. Hope that makes sense...
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      03-18-2015, 02:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlyboy View Post
Found that the inner control arm (near the inner mounting bolt) just left of where i originally positioned the jack worked out Ok. The control arm seems like its a pretty robust area for the jack. I had it up long enough to put two 6-ton bottle jacks on either side of rear of the car, which relieved some pressure on the floor jack. Good enough.

I'm still a little leery of jacking up on the differential, but thats just me ...
That looks scary! Not even half the jack is contacting the car.
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      03-18-2015, 02:17 AM   #9
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Rubber padded jack directly under the axle is how I've done all cars for years. Never had an issue
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      03-18-2015, 03:32 PM   #10
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Buy another lower jack and use the recommended jacking points. Once you've got one jack under you can use the standard jack on the other jacket point on the same side.

I wouldn't randomly jack up bits under car thinking they are safe - especially in the middle of car where you'd be putting about 2200lb pressure on the bit in question.

You could also buy some car ramps. Either way it's cheaper than repairing a bent part. Man maths may help justify the car ramps for working under the car

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      10-08-2015, 08:36 PM   #11
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That won't work for me as my car is lowered and the ramp angle is too steep. I had to do something like the ramp in the pics below. DIY to build it is here. A more complete jacking procedure is in this thread. At the bottom of that thread is a view of the bottom of the F30 without the protective liner to show where you need to hit for the front. Otherwise, you risk hitting the oil pan fins $$$
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      10-10-2015, 10:22 AM   #12
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You can jack it up at rear diff with a block of wood between diff and jack lift pad
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      10-12-2015, 04:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlyboy View Post
That won't work for me as my car is lowered and the ramp angle is too steep. I had to do something like the ramp in the pics below. DIY to build it is here. A more complete jacking procedure is in this thread. At the bottom of that thread is a view of the bottom of the F30 without the protective liner to show where you need to hit for the front. Otherwise, you risk hitting the oil pan fins $$$
...or buy some low clearance ramps ...



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      11-13-2017, 07:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidlyboy View Post
One other thing... there are really only two ways i can reach this front center jack point with my floor jack and have enough room/clearance to pump the handle to get the jack saddle up. And i have more of a challenge since my car is lowered to the point where i have only 2" clearance off the ground (measured from front bummer lip/splitter to ground).

1) Coming from an angle behind the front wheel gives me the most vertical clearance to give me room enough to pump the jack handle up and down. When the jack first starts going up, you've got only a few inches of vertical room to pump. The extra space provided by the wheel well helps.

2) Coming directly from the front center of the car. This gives you less vertical room for pumping the handle up/down, partly due to the farther distance you have to slide the jack under the car to reach the jack point, and partly due to not having the extra space that the wheel well affords you. To compensate, i had to create a 4-step ramp using 2x12 lumber. It provided me 6" of additional vertical pumping room to get the car up. You need this extra clearance to be able to pump the handle.

Given the two approaches, I've opted for 2) because 1) has a little side effect that makes the placement of the car onto the side jack stands a little unsafer. Using method #1, when you get the car high enough on the floor jack to put jack stands on the front side jack points, you have to slowly lower the car onto these jacks. But since the car is being lifted up at an angle, as the car comes up, it will actually start moving towards you due to the natural swing/motion of the saddle arm. Its kind of a weird effect.

Anyways, as you position the standing jacks under the side jack points, as it comes down on top of them, it doesn't come down perfectly vertical - it comes down at an angle as well. And unless you have to wide based standing jacks, it will actually "pull" the jacks at an angle causing them to be tilted/lopsided. You can slowly adjust as it comes down, but at some point, there is so much weight on these jacks, that it becomes impossible to adjust by hand. In the worst case, your car will be sitting on these jacks that are not perfectly level on the ground. Kinda scary. Definitely less safe. Hope that makes sense...
Nice write up!
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      11-17-2017, 12:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast400 View Post
Rubber padded jack directly under the axle is how I've done all cars for years. Never had an issue
This is in fact what BMW says in their shop manual..."Lift by rear differential case only...do NOT contact the differential cover, use rubber jack pad."
There is also a caution note about not jacking on any of the surrounding area when using the front center lifting point. To avoid "tilting of jackstands" just lift a bit at each end...I use ramps to lift front...then move to the rear and jack up that, position my rear jackstands...then move back to the front with my jack...extra room in there due to ramps...lift front..since rear is already up you will not have any "tilting" issues...lower onto jack stands and you're ready to rock installing winter wheels...bleeding brakes etc....
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      11-21-2017, 05:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spitpilot View Post
This is in fact what BMW says in their shop manual..."Lift by rear differential case only...do NOT contact the differential cover, use rubber jack pad."
There is also a caution note about not jacking on any of the surrounding area when using the front center lifting point. To avoid "tilting of jackstands" just lift a bit at each end...I use ramps to lift front...then move to the rear and jack up that, position my rear jackstands...then move back to the front with my jack...extra room in there due to ramps...lift front..since rear is already up you will not have any "tilting" issues...lower onto jack stands and you're ready to rock installing winter wheels...bleeding brakes etc....
that's a great tip, get the front up in the air a little bit so when you jack the back up, the car is more level and doesn't want to pull the jack stand over.

i recently jacked mine up using the rear diff, was nervous about it too, and it was completely fine. just be mindful to put the jack pad entirely under the pumpkin (there's plenty of room) and stay clear of the differential cover and everything will be OK.

if your car is too low, those stepped pieces of wood work just as well in the back as they do in the front. and part of owning a lowered car and working on it yourself is making sure you have the tools to do the job. go buy a low profile jack.
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      11-22-2017, 10:43 AM   #17
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can you zoom in and read the part number on the sticker of that mystery box?
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      12-03-2017, 04:13 PM   #18
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Hi! This has been a problem on my F33 as well.
I can fit a floor jack onto the jack pads, but the problem is where to put the jack stands?
I measured the distance between the front and rear jack pads and it is about four feet. I’m thinking of getting a piece of sturdy flat steel and affixing two jack pad adapters to each end. They go into the jack pads on the car, and I raise the side of the car with a floor jack and put jack stands under each side of the steel. I then repeat this on the other side of the vehicle and now the car is evenly supported at exactly the same height. But these four foot steel bars will need to be very strong.
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      12-04-2017, 08:47 AM   #19
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Hi! This has been a problem on my F33 as well... although having a car so low that you canít fit a floor jack into the jack pads... WOW!
Even if you fit a jack onto the jack pads (as I can), the problem is where to put the jack stands?
I measured the distance between the front and rear jack pads and it is about four feet. Iím thinking of getting a piece of sturdy flat steel and affixing two jack pad adapters to each end. They they go into the jack pads and I raise the side of the car with a floor jack and put jack stands under each side of the steel. I then repeat this on the other side of the vehicle and now the car is evenly supported at exactly the same height. But these four foot steel bars will need to be very strong.
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      12-05-2017, 08:44 PM   #20
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Lifting the car via ramps is convenient and safe, but sometimes you have to get it higher, you have to lift both ends, or you have to lift the bimmer at a specific spot in the garage. This is how I lift my lowered 335i.

1. Using an inexpensive secondary jack, lift the front by jacking up on a front jack point, just high enough to get your main jack under the front center jack point.
2. Using the main jack, lift the front of the car high enough to place jack stands under the two front jack points. Use the lowest settings on your jack stands.
3. Place the main jack under the cross-member in back (or front if you are looking at it from the back of the car) of the differential and jack the rear high enough to place jack stands under the rear jack points.
4. Repeat lifting the front until you get it to the height you want.
5. Repeat lifting the rear until the car is horizontal to the ground.
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      12-05-2017, 09:09 PM   #21
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Another tip...if you need the car to be "level" as it sits on the road..say for changing diff or manual trans fluid..place a small magnetic "torpedo level" on the roof and level it with shims...then adjust your jack stands until the level reads "level" and you have the car positioned as it sits on the road.
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      12-06-2017, 12:14 PM   #22
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I, too, am curious about the "black box" you highlighted in the first picture. What's its purpose? It almost looks like a factory installed lifting pad.
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