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Using a floor jack to lift the rear end of an E60

Discussion in 'E60 (2004-2010)' started by chebowitz, May 28, 2013.

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    chebowitz

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    I have a 2006 530xi (E60). I plan on supporting the rear end of the car with a jack stand under each of the rear jack points i.e., one jack stand on each side by the rocker panels. I'm looking for the best place to lift the entire rear end of the car from a single point using a floor jack. There seems to be some online dispute regarding if it is safe to lift the car by the differential, the key issue being risk of damage to the differential or any connecting linkages. There is a cross support bar just behind the differential that may be a good lift point for a floor jack (please click on the attached image which includes some mark ups). I would appreciate anyone to chime in with what single point is the best place to put the floor jack to lift the entire rear end of the car. Is it okay to put the jack under: The cross support bar? The differential? Neither? Or both? Thank you in advance.

    E60 rear end differential and cross support bar.jpg
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    steven s

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    Not familiar with your car but the thing to be careful about when jacking under the diff is to be sure you are under the main housing and not the cover. The few times I've done it that way I also used a piece of wood on my jack.
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    MGarrison

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    Did some googling - this one's useful, although not quite entirely E60 specific;

    http://blog.bavauto.com/563/bmw-preventive-maintenance-jacking-up-your-car/

    Found a variety of threads from other forums - at least one was somewhat emphatic about not jacking on the diff case without a block of wood. I wouldn't use anything thicker than a 2x4 and be wary of the block slipping off your jack pad, even if that's pretty unlikely. Ditto Steven's point, don't jack on the diff cover.

    One of these may be useful - if not this time, eventually.

    http://burgertuning.com/BMW_jack_pad_adapter.html

    In addition to all the common-sense caveats with jacking any vehicle, if you jack the rear and are lifting both rear wheels at the same time, it might be a good idea to securely chock both sides of the front wheels. The parking brake is only on the rear. Might be less of an issue with x-drive, but why take any additional risks.

    What's the project?
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    charlson89

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    Either the diff or the rear cradle are fine areas to lift at a single point. Ditto about the diff cover though do be careful. The support is actually part of the rear subframe and is very strong. As garrison mentioned you will need to chock the front wheels from moving while jacking or the car could roll forward and off the jack. As you are lifting the rear you can easily tip the one direction or the other be very careful to balance the car while jacking it up. And of course NEVER EVER get under a car with out jack stands even while operating the jack. Keep clear at all times when the vehicle is not on jack stands especially when doing a single jacking point. Good luck a be safe.
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    chebowitz

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    Excellent feedback. Thanks to all. I especially appreciate the emphasis on safety. I personally tend to be a bit overcautious, so it's good to see this being echoed here too. I already have a pair of wheel stops and have used wood wedges when needed. In light of the suggestions, I'm going to pick up another pair of stops so both front wheels can be properly chocked in both directions. Afterall, I'll be saving many hundreds of dollars on this project.

    The project is replacing my rear brake pads, rotors and flushing the brake fluid. I'm contemplating replacing the parking brake liners/shoes, and am wondering if it's worth it. They seem okay but it may make sense to replace them while I'm already in there replacing the rotors, etc. (similar to replacing a throw-out bearing as a matter of course when replacing a clutch). Is this overkill? Can someone please offer their thoughts on this?

    I am assuming the "case" on the differential is where the fins are... can someone please confirm this?

    As a side note, I bought my floor jack over 30 years ago and quickly realized the benefit of using a wood block. So I fashioned a 2x4 with notches so it fits snugly and securely in the floor jack's metal cup.
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    steven s

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    I would describe the case as the housing and the fins the cover.

    Parking brakes in my 318ti were a royal PITA. but it is a 16 year old car with +260,000 miles and the brakes didn't work at all. They needed to be replaced since I was replacing rotors and studs anyway.

    Personally I wouldn't replace them unless you are having a problem.
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    MGarrison

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    I had a nice, detailed reply all written up earlier, but then, kablooey, browser crash & Bye, Bye, Miss American Reply - and then I had to go to the dentist - so...

    In short this time - I also wouldn't suggest replacing parking brakes any sooner than you need to - adjusting and getting them bedded in properly is a bit of a nuisance. I was going to say maybe sometime north of 150k, or more. If the pad lining cracks, separates from the shoe, or is down to metal, then that might be the time. Ditto Steven on the diff cover - it's aluminum with some fins, bolted to the case, probably a bit shy of 2" thick. When you place your jack pad, center it on the case, and not overlapping onto the softer aluminum.
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    charlson89

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    Ditto on the parking brake pads just adjust them and clean them up. The diff cover dose have cooling fins on it should be aluminum and is bolted to the cast steel diff. Good luck with the project is amazing what you can save by doing this stuff your self.
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    steven s

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    Even if takes longer than a shop, it is satisfying.
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    chebowitz

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    Many, many thanks to all for the great feedback. Regarding the parking brake, it's sort of a catch 22 in that the brakes are okay now but I won't know if there are wear signs as described by MGarrison until I'm doing the job and if they need replacing then I won't have the parts... another DIY dilemma. I guess I'll heed everyone's advice and not buy the parts now. On the bright side, should they need replacing, at least I'll be that much more experienced.

    Regarding the differential, is it possible my model (2006 530xi) doesn't have a cover/cooling fins? (Please click on the attached picture.) This is why I asked my question in the first place.

    2006 530xi rear differential close-up.jpg
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    MGarrison

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    Yup - looks like no fins; nothing unusual about that; some models may, some may not.

    Even if you do find yourself in need of parking brake shoes and don't have the parts, it's no big deal, just some duplication of effort to get back to it later on. Accessing the parking brake shoes is as simple as pulling the wheel, the caliper, and the rotor.

    Oh - when you install your rotors, good idea to liberally coat the rotor set screws with anti-sieze, just don't get any on the pads or rotor surfaces. If they strip out when you try to remove them (hopefully not), you can drill the heads off most of the way and knock off the rotor with a hammer. If you have to do that, using a drill bit for metal that's new and sharp can make it reasonably expedient.

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