Save The Pinch Welds!
A Guide To Proper E30 Jack and Jack Stand Use
The most common flaw I come across during my pre-purchase inspections is crushed pinch welds from improper jacking and lifting methods. This often damages the body coating and allows dirt and water to work its way into the sheet metal and eventually rust and will spread like cancer. The metal isn't too thick so I try to take the time to straighten them out with a variety of clamping tools, hammer and dolly, and heat application, before recoating with POR-15 or your preferred rust prevention product. Additionally, we recommend adding a set of slotted pads for your jack and jack stands to your toolset. The cheaper the better, and it's a small investment towards preserving the longevity of your E30. We included a link at the bottom of the page to purchase these from Amazon!
Below is an image from the beginning of the internet and saved from the great Photobucket purge of 2017 where millions of images worth of knowledge were lost forever. It shows the underside of the E30 chassis and outlines the proper points to lift and support the vehicle during maintenance. Jack and Jack stand pads should be used whenever using the spots on the pinch welds marked orange. These pinch weld positions are also the best spots to support the vehicle when performing any suspension work since the jack stands are positioned well out of your way.
Factory Jack: (Sketch Level 9000)
We recommend using the factory jack with extreme care and caution, and only if you absolutely have to. It can only be used on solid level ground and only as a means to get a jack stand in place to support the vehicle. Under no circumstances should you ever work under a vehicle supported solely by a hydraulic or OEM jack.