Off Road Engine Stand

General tips/tricks/tools that could be utilized on any platform.

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ProctorSilex
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Off Road Engine Stand

Post by ProctorSilex » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:30 am

Or an off road stand for engines!
I don't have even ground to work on. Even getting an engine out of the shed/garage pictured requires dropping down six inches to uneven concrete. I haven't so much as moved engines as dragged, cursed, and gasped for air. At home, my engine shed is out back with inclines across uneven ground and my garage is too small to do engine out of the car work. I have tried moving engines on a yard cart, but the engine starts to fall off and the cart wants to tip over. I can compensate, but the engine's bottom gets all scraped up moving to and from a jack and it's just a super pain in the rear.
I got this Horror Fright engine stand. It is pretty good, but the casters are only good for a level, hard, and smooth surface. Plus it will not serve as a test stand as is.
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So far, I have added big wheels (fixed ones are solid and I have solids for the casters). The center casters remain such that the arms can still be lifted for storage. I still need to brace the caster risers. Next, I need to make an engine mount for work. I have the common EMPI et al flimsy one. I welded one to a tube to fit a cheaper HF stand. That works well, but the EMPI unit really is crappy as it bends from a 40HP (mainly at the engine mount tabs). I want to either add another arm to the EMPI or build one like this four arm mount from scratch.
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Lacking a bender (and I doubt the HF units could bend repeatably or sharply), what would be a good source material? I was thinking of getting another cheap EMPI for an arm, perusing a junk yard, or finding an elbow like a weld el (I would use pipe fittings but they are cast iron).
As for engine testing, I plan to build a frame and mount a bell housing (already have!) directly to the stand with four bolts. I don't know whether to mount it low or high at the level of the existing receiver. I already want to make a low mount point for engine transport so that might be the better way to go.
I have not seen anyone post about using an engine stand for front beam work. I have a frame head that I plan to weld to a tube to fit in the receiver.
Another issue is the angled receiver. I guess they made it that way to compensate for loaded deflection and maybe for safety to keep the engine from trying to pull out. I put a tube in it and sat over the casters. It was hard to do alone, but a level on the receiver showed very little deflection. I weigh 145#. Another 100# for an engine yields two times very little deflection which is still not as much as this thing is angled. I am thinking about replacing the vertical post bolts with welds when I build the frame and decreasing the angle. Does anyone have any input on this angle? Is it ok to make horizontal?

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ProctorSilex
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by ProctorSilex » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:48 am

I can't add this above:
Unlike that mount, I want mine to be three bolt as I really dislike the two bolt but could the case halves be joined/split? It could be oriented to avoid the stud of the mobile half, but I wonder whether the bell housing mating ridge around the engine would hang up on the mount.

Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:15 pm

I am being kind of silly and not silly at the same time. I have seen that engine stand head before and it is kind of a yes and no on it. I see weaknesses an positives, pros and cons.

With the problems you have with the terrain maybe a compromise is in order:

viewtopic.php?f=28&t=140736&hilit=engine+stand

I built this engine run cart for both running up an engine and storing an engine. What about a run cart and on the other end add the head off the stand you have now...

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An idea for wheels to get you around in the uneven terrain you have to deal with.

Just and idea...

Lee

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Dale M.
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Dale M. » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:48 am

Lives his life vicariously through his own self.
1970 "Kellison Sand Piper Roadster"

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ProctorSilex
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by ProctorSilex » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:11 am

Dale,
Thanks. I forgot about those. My EMPI came from a lot purchase. I can't believe how chintzy it is. If the measurements on the three arm matches my stand, then the cash hemorrhage is worth saving the DIY time.

Lee,
I am looking over that thread. I think I read that a while ago. I know I saw that cart company before.

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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:53 am

If you have a three wheeled engine stand I would recommend that you change it to 4 wheels. Another one of the problems is the engine sits so high on the stand which is for making it easy to work on standing up (stating the obvious naturally) but also makes it top heavy; one of the reasons that a tri-pod style of stand as a tendency to tip. I have two stands and both have hooked on either joints in the concrete or on something on the floor and tried to tip on me. OK if there is nothing on the stand but it has happened with an engine on a couple of times. I think the liability issue is why the three wheeled stands for sale are not as common as they used to be.

The balloon tires on the jack stand was kind of a lark as they can lose air over time which makes them not practical. The steel wheels are good for not going flat (spots) like a rubber tire can but for rough terrain the smaller diameter wheels just don't cut it when moving things around.

The cart I built has some positives and, I think you could easily design one that would break down for storage. Building it narrow, in your case, would not be a good idea as you would then be back in the tippy area again. Normally trying to do a bunch of things with one unit you compromise each thing you are tryingn to accomplish but this might be one of those exceptions to the rule.

Not saying the cart is the way to go but maybe it will give you some ideas you might try.

If you do have an option then I think one of the ones Dale M gave the URL to is a good idea. Since the stands usually hook to the two studs on the one case half and the open area is for fllywheel access/installation/clutch addition I would feel comfortable with a stand head that still uses all 4 fastening locations... more of a comfort thing that you have a back up other than the two studs.

My two-bits on this.

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Dale M.
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Dale M. » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:05 pm

Here is mine and the why...

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Note is a "build" stand and a "run" stand... Notice plug in tool tray and with it removed there is a "run" control station...

Big collection of pages on 'the samba" for how others have built run stands, many good ideas,,

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=288599

Dale
Lives his life vicariously through his own self.
1970 "Kellison Sand Piper Roadster"

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ProctorSilex
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by ProctorSilex » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:57 pm

Dale, I like the simplicity! I think I will mount my bell housing low also. Is your mount receiver horizontal?
Sadly, the linked mounts fit a 2 3/8" ID receiver. Mine is 3". I will have to check out the metal supplier to see if they have something to solve that problem.

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Dale M.
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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Dale M. » Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:37 am

Yes main receiver is "horizontal"... A few degrees of vertical lift at front side probably would not hurt and if there is any flex then the engine may come down to true level.... Incidentally most materials on project were from some sort of tread walker exercise machine...

Only problem is the legs on my unit are not quite rigid enough and I get some flex and bow along horizontal length (not alarming so but its there)... I uses some 2x2 inch stock that has leveling adjusting screws in them (at ends) from base of some kind of store display.... In retrospect I think a length of 2x3 inch with taller vertical side wall would eliminate the flex... Thinking some day if I get around to it of adding a length of 3 x 1/8 flat stock as a horizontal stiffener...

The concept of having bell housing low was so if running engine the torque factor was not multiplied by the additional height... Some have complained and commented "you have to bend over" to do any engine adjusting with low run position, but to me the safety of lower center of gravity is a plus.... I like the wide stance base as you can see the hydraulic lift goes between base rails, only negative is rails are some what in the way when assembling engine and interfere with your feet, but you learn to work around it...

The receiver on my stand was just a piece of steel tubing I picked from local ranch fence builder that uses a multitude of pipe and tubing to build arches over driveways and gates and bridge rails and what ever... Believe it actually measure a 3 inch OD....

Dale
Lives his life vicariously through his own self.
1970 "Kellison Sand Piper Roadster"

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Re: Off Road Engine Stand

Post by Leatherneck » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:18 pm

Dale M. wrote:Here is mine and the why...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Note is a "build" stand and a "run" stand... Notice plug in tool tray and with it removed there is a "run" control station...

Big collection of pages on 'the samba" for how others have built run stands, many good ideas,,

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=288599

Dale
Nice setup Dale

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