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I am going to do a step by step on how to convert your regular engine stand to one with dual bearings supporting the engine allowing the engine to be rotated easily as the bearings are doing all the work. I am using an old Ford 9" axle and a piece of 9" housing with a housing end on it. I narrow rear ends for a living, so I have this stuff lying around, but they are not hard to find.


This is the axle and housing end piece I am going to use. The old axle bearing will be re-used. A big bearing axle is best, it does not matter if it is 28 or 31 spline, as the splines will be cut off:


The first step is to bore the end of the housing end out to accept a sealed bearing with a 2 5/8" O.D. and a 1 3/16" I.D.:


Here is the finished bore. You will need a slight press fit:


The next step is to whack off all but 6" of the axle and turn down the end to slip into the 1 3/16" I.D. bearing. The 6" is measured from the outside edge of the bearing:


We now need to do some cutting, a plasma cutter or torch will make quick work of removing the axle flange and the old tube on the engine stand plate:


The axle is chucked back into the lathe and the O.D. of the axle stub is turned down. The old brake drum pilot is also turned down to the I.D. of the engine stand plate, which in this case is 2 3/8":






The axle stub is then placed on the plate and it is welded on the inside and the outside:




Here is the stub assembled on the housing end piece:


This is the engine stand that will be modified. The plate that is on it is for Chevy engines, but it will be replaced with a universal plate:


The old tube is cut off, and the piece is saddled to accept the housing end piece:


The new tube is set in place and welded all the way around:


The plate with the axle stub is bolted in to place, the bearing is pressed into the housing piece and the assembly is complete. A lock down bolt was also added to keep the engine from turning. The engine will now turn effortlessly:







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Wow. I've always hated that feeling of dread when rolling an engine over on an engine stand. That unit would eliminate anybody's concern. Nice work.

Might be a good market for that with engine builders/machine shops.
 

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That is a great project for someone who does several motors a year. It is certainly an improvement over the commonly used design. My hat's off to you for another great idea!
 

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Nice work. However, having had a stand that used roller bearings, I prefer the standard "tube in a tube" setup. The bearing setup offered no resistance when rolling the motor over and more than once I almost had my big block get away from me. I ended putting a clamp type brake on it for some resistance before finally discarding the whole setup altogether.
To each his own though.
 

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I bought a stand an old friend built- thing weighs a couple hundred pounds...
for the rotation, he used about a 3" bronze bushing, rotates freely enough- a bearings a bearing right...nice thing was he used a solid 'axle' with a couple slip fit dowels into a rear 'cap' with one center bolt, and you just snug/loosen the bolt for locking, or rotating at desired drag(pins keep cap/bolt from rotating tighter/looser when rolling over). best thing is its 4x4 tubing, in the old tripod configuration, but its so strong it had a full 429 bolted up, and a 396 chebby sitting on the lower leg, rolls smooth as silk on 4" cast iron wheels...Ive stood on the 429 to get stuff out of the rafters- not springy at all.


Back around '82 I had a cheep lakewood stand flip over and bust a aluminum VC/studs/rockers the day I finished up the 396- talk about pissing yourself off... plus took a nice chunk out of the floor- luckily didnt bust a head casting or hit the crank, luckily the dist/carb werent mounted yet- luckier yet it missed me :)
a lot of stands the footprint is dangerously small and 90% of the weight is on the front wheel(which is a caster) and can easily 'trip' when rolling...I'd rolled into a little flat washer on the floor and it was like a wheel chock- flipped that sucker soon as it hit the wheel.

the stand my buddy built, the front caster is a good foot past the crank end, and the rears are near 4' wide...yeah it kinda gets in the way, but its a helluva stand - and rolled easily even with TWO bigblocks sittin on it :)

one last bonus- If I remember right, the headbolts on the 429 took 160 ft/lb, and on the big stand, easy to do...on the little stand I was chasing that lightweight stand all over the garage when trying to break it down...doubt I weighed 160 back then :)
 

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I thought about doing something very similar but with a front wheel hub that I removed from my wife's explorer. but I agree with AlanCasida, it needs SOME resistance to avoid the chance of it getting away from you. after all, as you assemble the engine it's not necessarily centered (weight wise) on the pivot point of the engine stand. so once you have the heads on it, it is most definitely top heavy.

good idea though
 

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very nice work. I too had an engine rotate out of control. I didn't use the adjustable arms to center or balance the engine as I should have. Haven't had that problem since.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is the fourth or fifth one I have done, and if you center the engine correctly, and use the lock down bolt for a little drag, there is no problem with an engine flipping over.
 

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Great write up and pics. Problem for me is I don't have a lathe or I would make one. I just grease it up and use a long bar to rotate it around. Thanks for the info.
 

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This is an excellent write up. Something I recently did makes me think of something I'd do.
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just a thought…

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Now, if you can fabricate a low effort, geared hand crank to turn the engine with, you'll have a major winner! ;)
I saw one once(might have been a rotisserie- but same thing basicallly) that had a cheap wormscrew winch like used for a boat trailer or something, ideal for a engine stand... I'm hacking/building a 'overkill rotisserie' of sorts right now out of a old gantry hoist, gonna try to use something similar to keep the car from flipping if imbalanced...
 

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A bar and some grease works well enough for me too but this is a slick set up for heavy big blocks and not much different than the stands for industrial engines. The other thing is those big blocks get heavier every year and at some point this could be more useful than it is now to you. The basic same idea works well for a homemade body rotisserie. On one of them we used the latching gears off of hand crank winches (most are too thin and cheap for this now) and old flywheels work in the same manor for heavy duty versions.

n2omike, Even a hefty flexplate off of something small for the engine stand would work. That plus the starter gear, a pillow block and a handle and you'd have your fully indexing gear driven unit... just add a safety lock. A 110 volt motor spinning it would flip out your buddies and give everything a good coat of oil LOL...

I'd still think about adding a way to turn the engine off the back of the axle such as the socket mentioned by MasterAnubis and bore stop points in the shaft for the keeper bolt if nothing more. It would keep it simple, give positive stopping points, and allow a few more positions while working on the engine. Using a heavy duty 1/2" or 3/4" ratchet to turn it would slow movement and keep it from getting away from you with little effort.
 
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