I never really paid attention to the shield between the transmission and the engine, I though it had a purpose somehow.
To lift the engine, I used the engine block opening at the back of the engine (like a big hole on the driver side design to lift the engine) and for the front, I used the BMW special hook that is in the engine also. I didn't have to make anything each time I had to lift a bmw engine.
The hoist was cheap so I bought it along with an engine stand. Very handy.
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'85 Euro 635csi M30 Turbo race car
'92 525i Touring