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Jacking Up Your Vehicle
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Jacking Up Your Vehicle

Nick Czerula

Time:

30 minutes30 mins

Tab:

$0 to $50

Talent:

**

Tools:

Floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Jack pads, if needed

Hot Tip:

Work on a solid level surface

Performance Gain:

Ability to service components beneath vehicle.

Complementary Modification:

Replace missing or broken jack pads

Jacking up and supporting your BMW Z3 off the ground is required for many maintenance and repair tasks. A common but not so difficult job, still creates a bit of anxiousness in the mind of the experienced mechanic as well as the amateur. A repeatable process with safety in mind can ease the nerves. For example, always work on level solid ground, use tools you trust and never rush the job. Remember to block the wheels to prevent unwanted vehicle movement. Use a good quality jack and jack stands and don't be afraid to add an additional jack stand or support under the vehicle.

When jacking up the front of your vehicle, place the transmission in Park and apply parking brake, along with blocking the wheels with a chock. When jacking up the rear of your vehicle, you do not have the transmission or parking brake to hold the rear wheels still. Use wheel chocks on right and left front wheels, (in front and behind tire).

BMW Z3 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels.
Figure 1

BMW Z3 models have 4 solid plastic jacking pads, slightly behind front wheels and slightly in front of rear wheels. (green arrows)

The jack pads are designed to support the vehicle from below when using a hoist, hydraulic jack, or when changing a tire in an emergency situation.
Figure 2

The jack pads are designed to support the vehicle from below when using a hoist, hydraulic jack, or when changing a tire in an emergency situation. This is where you will place a jack stand to support vehicle when working with vehicle raised. (green arrows)

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking vehicle, otherwise body damage can occur.
Figure 3

If a jack pad is missing, replace it before jacking vehicle, otherwise body damage can occur. This photo shows jack pad area with missing jack pad. Jack pad snaps into hole in body. (green arrows) There are two small square holes shown here (yellow arrows), there should be plastic anchors for the jack pad fasteners to screw into. If these are missing you will need a jack pad, screws and the plastic anchor.

This photo shows the jack pad, screws and the plastic anchors that are inserted into the body.
Figure 4

This photo shows the jack pad, screws and the plastic anchors that are inserted into the body. To replace a jack pad. Remove screws, then lever jack pad out of body. If jack pad is missing, use following steps to replace it.

Install two new plastic anchors into body of vehicle.
Figure 5

Install two new plastic anchors into body of vehicle. Use a screwdriver to press them in until flush.

Then push the new jack pad into body.
Figure 6

Then push the new jack pad into body. You may have to tap it in using a soft-faced hammer.

Install two new screws (yellow arrow), evenly tighten them checking that jack pad is becoming flush with body.
Figure 7

Install two new screws (yellow arrow), evenly tighten them checking that jack pad is becoming flush with body. I want to note that sometimes the jack pads are torn out from an impact, this can dent or bent the mounting hole, if this is the case, it may take some finesse to drive the jack pad into the body. You can see the pad in this photo is not flush yet, I had to slowly tap it in to align it. I installed the screws a few turns to keep it aligned as I tapped it into the body. To jack vehicle, park vehicle on level solid ground. If removing a wheel, loosen wheel studs before jacking vehicle. Install wheel chocks to block wheels that are not being jacked. This will help to keep vehicle from unexpectedly rolling. Do not assume the parking brake or transmission will hold vehicle, wheel chocks are a must. Jacking front of vehicle:

There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time.
Figure 8

There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time. When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift front of vehicle, place hydraulic floor jack under steel box section of body (green arrow). Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring jack and vehicle position.

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle.
Figure 9

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle. Slowly lower vehicle onto jack stand until full vehicle weight is supported. Check that jack stand is not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can add a second jack stand under steel box section of body for added support. Note this vehicle has the wrong jack pad installed. It is working but I replaced it shortly after this photo was taken.

Jacking rear of vehicle:
There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time.
Figure 10

There is not enough room to jack and support vehicle in jack pad area at the same time. When using a hydraulic floor jack to lift rear of vehicle, place hydraulic floor jack under center of rear differential (green arrow). Raise vehicle slowly while monitoring jack and vehicle position. Since you are lifting vehicle center most point in rear, I suggest placing jack stands under both rear jack pads. This will make it easier to keep vehicle level while lowering it onto jack stands. Be careful not to jack on the differential vents and be sure you are on the solid portion of the differential when jacking.

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle.
Figure 11

Once you reach desired height, install jack stand at jack pad location to support the vehicle. Slowly lower vehicle onto jack stand until full vehicle weight is supported. Check that jack stand is not tilting or moving when vehicle is lowered. You can leave the hydraulic jack under rear differential for added support. Note this vehicle has the wrong jack pad installed. It is working but I replaced it shortly after this photo was taken. When lowering your vehicle, raise off jack stands, remove jack stands from beneath vehicle and slowly lower vehicle to ground. Make sure all tools and parts are clear before lowering your vehicle.

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Comments and Suggestions:
stig Comments: Is there any way to jack up the whole front of the car at once?
November 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not on the vehicle shown. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: is there a freeze out plug in a 98 Z-3
May 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, they vary depending on engine. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Passout Comments: I was always told to release a convertible top before raising the car in case the body flexes and rips the top. Is the Z3 stiff enough to not need to loosen the top?
March 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have never heard that and it has not been my experience. So I can't offer any insight. Check with your source.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
rusty Comments: By Placing the Jack under the differential is there a possibility of breaking or cracking the differential from the weight of the car? Or is it strong enough to handle the load?
November 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have not had an issue using this method. However, it all depends on the condition of the mounts int he differential and the differential. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Vic Comments: Hello. It's me again. The "plastic anchors and screws" I am referring to are the ones in your Figure 4. Where can I buy them?
August 28, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican Parts:
Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Vic Comments: Where can I get the plastic anchors and screws for the jack pads?
August 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Pelican Parts. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ephophex Comments: This is the most complete, thorough guide I've ever seen on the topic. Thanks!
July 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Blue Comments: I need a jack
March 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right jack. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:07:12 AM