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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Supporting a car with *only* 4 jackstands



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      04-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #1
Lenaxia
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Supporting a car with *only* 4 jackstands

Hey guys, I plan on doing some major work under my car here soon. In general all the mechanical work I've done I've always kept atleast 2 tires on the ground.

I really don't feel comfortable working under a car supported purely by 4 jackstands.... I fully understand it's very unlikely, but the possiblity of the car shifting, and toppling from the jackstands just bothers the hell out of me.

I am thinking about leaving 2 jacks at the front and rear center jack points to assist as a failsafe should the jackstands shift.

thoughts?
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      04-25-2011, 01:54 PM   #2
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If you place the jackstands at the correct locations, you should be fine. I push on the car in a few directions once I have it up on all 4 just to make sure. Honestly, the car usually feels more stable sitting on 4 than 2 (no danger of the car rolling off).

All that said, I am paranoid by nature so I actually use 6 jackstands in this situation -- the 4 main ones and then I use 2 "backup" stands strategically placed under the section I'm currently working under. Coupled with the jack itself sitting under a third spot fully ready to take on the load, I feel safe. I've been known to put my wheels under the car too just for additional coverage.
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      04-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisherbln View Post
If you place the jackstands at the correct locations, you should be fine. I push on the car in a few directions once I have it up on all 4 just to make sure. Honestly, the car usually feels more stable sitting on 4 than 2 (no danger of the car rolling off).

All that said, I am paranoid by nature so I actually use 6 jackstands in this situation -- the 4 main ones and then I use 2 "backup" stands strategically placed under the section I'm currently working under. Coupled with the jack itself sitting under a third spot fully ready to take on the load, I feel safe. I've been known to put my wheels under the car too just for additional coverage.
I was planning on doing all of that sand the 2 extra jack stands, though that sounds like a good idea. I'll pick up another set for myself before I jump under the car.

I've always felt safer with two wheels on the ground chocked.
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      04-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenaxia View Post
I was planning on doing all of that sand the 2 extra jack stands, though that sounds like a good idea. I'll pick up another set for myself before I jump under the car.

I've always felt safer with two wheels on the ground chocked.
Honestly, I know it is safe, but I always have to psych myself up to crawl under the car... no matter how many jackstands I have under it! Something about 3.5k+ pounds falling on me makes me worry.
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      04-25-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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Four stands should be sufficient. As someone posted already, push it around once its up to see if it is solid.

In the future, you might want to consider ramps rather than stands. I feel much more comfortable with the car on ramps. I hear nothing but great things about Rhino Ramps
http://www.rhinoramps.com/
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      04-26-2011, 02:15 AM   #6
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I've always used four jackstands, plus four, big homemade wood ramps under the tires. They don't touch the tires, but they are close. Is a jackstand were to fail, the car only will fall to the height of the ramps.
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      04-26-2011, 05:40 AM   #7
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If you properly lift the car using the front and rear center jack points and place the jack stands under the lifting points under the side sills on a level hard surface using suitable load bearing jackstands you will be perfectly fine. It is really difficult to push a car off jack stands on a level surface. There is basically 900 pounds of force between each jackstand and lifting point, that is a lot of friction to overcome. What ever you are doing under the car couldn't move it if the car is properly sitting level on four stands.
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      04-26-2011, 01:25 PM   #8
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Maybe find a lift to rent instead?
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      04-26-2011, 01:31 PM   #9
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+1 on rhino ramps...if you don't have another jack stand place your wheels flat under the side of the car as well, might save your life one day.
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      04-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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Jack stands are fine. To be extra safe leave the jack under there too while you work on it.
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      04-29-2011, 06:04 PM   #11
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I hear you on the scared to crawl under thing. Its always unnerving even though stands are perfectly safe. If I'm not working with the wheels, I put it on some wood ramps, and never think twice about it.
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      05-03-2011, 09:12 PM   #12
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