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Engine Stand Build

I have a '46 flathead for my Merc 1/2ton - the one that cracked it's block  - that's been sitting in the corner awaiting parts. Although the Merc is running under the power of a 56 Flatty I swapped in, I want to get 'er back to year-correct status when I can (or at least have the engine ready for when I need it!)

So, since I got the parts for the engine and I had a bunch of scrap lying around, I thought I'dmake myself a new stand - for flatty's.

The base is courtesy of BendPak! It's made from the end-piece that held the ramps and legs together for shipping. Never throw anything away!
 I had these casters sitting in a box for a couple of years...finally something to use them on!!




Next, I measured (twice) and cut (once!)the various bits, using my other engine stand as a template:


Time for some welding. I notched the upright square tube to accept the round stock and give it a place to sit, which also strengthens the weld area. I use a Lincoln 180 with 0.030 wire for this kind of work (heavy), but normally have .023 or .025 wire in it for panel repair.

For an early (up to 1948) flatthead engine, it's best to attach the engine at the exhaust manifold, rather than the attached (and weak) 1/2 bellhousing flange. So I welded this plate to the tube that will then be inserted into the larger diameter tube welded to the upright. This will act as the pivot point in order to be able to work on all ends of the engine.
I eye-balled up the exhaust holes and drilled them on the press. I must've been tired  'cause I had to do a lot of filing to get  a couple of the bolts to match up properly.... here I'm filing the holes to fit.

I then mated up the pieces and drilled some holes: First, I drilled through the top of the outer and then into the the top (only) of the inner tube, which will allow me to insert a dowel (bolt, pin, etc.) to lock it in position. Then I pulled the pieces apart and drilled holes every 1/4 way around the inner tube so that, using the same outer hole, I can turn the engine to various positions and lock it in place. Lastly, I drilled a hole close to the outer end of the inner tube so I could insert a piece of bar-stock, or long prybar, as a handle to do the turning.

Finally, I bolted the block-plate onto the block and prepared to lift the block to mate the pieces together...
Unfortunately (for me as usual!), I lent my Father-in-Law my lifting straps and they have yet to come back. So I had to use this chunk of nylon rope to do the lifting...
So with the flange bolted to the side of the block, up it went. I positioned it close enough to mate the two pieces together, inserted the tube and used a long Grade 8 bolt as the locking pin.  

Although I don't anticipate any tippage, I loaded some of the extra parts onto the bottom - which got them out of the way as well.

   Total cost? $4.00 in scrap metal, $20 for casters, some mig wire, gas and my time.  

Of course "YOUR" time (labour) is only free to yourself, right? If we had to figure that in,the stand would have to sell for about $250! ;)



If you've ever torn down a flathead engine, you'll know how difficult it can be! These buggers where NOT designed to come apart!! Volumes have been written and many knuckles torn up removing head studs, releasing valve keepers, or prying valve springs out....

Which quickly showed the weak spots in my design....

So a re-design was contemplated and this is what I came up with - 

I removed the exhaust hole flange from the inner (male) part of the swivel point and instead welded this 3/8" thick plate to it. Then, I measured up 2 pieces of 1 1/2" angle iron and bolted them to the exhaust flange points, leaving them long enough to clear the attached 1/2 bellhousing to the rear. 

Lifting the engine into place, I leveled it up then tacked the angle iron arms to the plate. After double-checking it was square and level, I welded the arms solid to the plate in 2 passed, on every surface.

Now, the engine is in more of a "traditional" position, is easier to rotate due to the better center of inertia (is that the right term? lol!). 

        Just goes to show ya - re-design is part of design......or.... sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right! Thanks for looking, hope you got some ideas for your own projects!

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