Poor man's lift. Hot to get an E92 onto jack stands by ProfessorCook

By diyauto
( 3 )

7 minute read

Poor man's lift. Hot to get an E92 onto jack stands 

Compliments of ProfessorCook @ bimmerfest.com


I've been meaning to post this thread for a while. I'm sure there are easier and better ways to do this, but I've got a way of getting the E92 on jack stands at all four corners providing you have or can borrow three floor jacks.

Disclaimer: I'm not a pro. If you do things wrong, you could wreck your car or kill yourself (or both). You have to be confident in your own skills and you have to know that your equipment is designed for the job at hand with sufficient capacity to handle the loads. I also might be doing something wrong here. I don't really know. So use this information at your own risk.

First, chock the back wheels, take two jacks, put them under the two forward jack points (the plastic blocks just behind the front wheels) and jack up the front of the car evenly.

Being somewhat paranoid and playing by the book, I located jack stands just in front of the jack points at a spot on the frame that would work if a lift failed. (It might wreck the plastic trim, but it wouldn't wreck me.)

Then get under the front of your car and locate the forward central jack point which is a nicer rubber block projecting through a small rectangle in the plastic underbody shield.

Jack at this point to lift the car off the floor jacks at the sides and move the jack stands to the forward jack points. Pull the side floor jacks well clear and carefully release the front central floor jack to set the car down on the forward jack stands.

Now lower the side floor jacks, put them under the rear side lift blocks, lift evenly, and provide yourself with backup jack stands. Get under the rear of the car and locate the transverse frame beam which is between the gas tank and the differential.

Do not jack on the differential. Using a wooden block, take the third floor jack and jack the rear of the car at this point lifting it off the side floor jacks.

Now pull the side floor jacks clear, position the jack stands, and set the car down on the rear jack stands.

I've done this a few times, and with practice, it doesn't take long at all. Remember that floor jacks have to be able to roll smoothly forward and back as they jack. If you forget this and a jack gets caught, it could pull your car one way or the other which might cause some horrible accident.

The wheels were chocked front and back, it's just washed out in the photo.

If you press hard against the plastic under the car you can feel that there are rails running under the doors from the rear tire to the front tire. I do not know for sure, but I'm guessing that those rails can support the car near the actual jacking points. So that's where I put the back up jack stands. The backup jack stands do not actually touch the car, they're just there in case something goes wrong with the floor jack.


I got them through Northern Tools.


I bought the first as a bundled kit... floor jack plus to jack stands.

Later, when I decided to buy two more, I could no longer find the kit. The jack stands are now sold separately.


Frankly, I'm a bit more comfortable with a pair of old, cheap, steel jack stands I've had over many years. You can see these steel, black, tripod style jacks in several of the pictures. I think they're a bit more stable.

The floor jacks are very good, very nice finish, easy to move around... I like them very much. They have a low enough profile that I've simplified my procedure and start by jacking in the center rear... they fit under the car.

They are difficult, however, to disengage slowly. If you're not very careful, you can drop your car rather suddenly. And they're expensive.

Another way to do this might work, though I haven't tried it. You could drive the car up onto ramps. (Many do this only to change the oil.) With the front end elevated, you might be able to jack off the center rear jack point (the frame), put stands under the rear jack points, and then lower the car. 'Might work. I don't know.

For those who have a couple of grand, here's an option I thought hard about***********:


This would definitely be easier and safer to use.