How to Mount an Engine on a Stand

by Russell Wood

Building an engine is difficult work, and to really be able to get at all sides of the engine, an engine stand is the best way to go. There are tons of different engines out there, and lots of different configurations, but for this article we'll use a Chevrolet 5.7l V8 with an automatic transmission as an example.

First, remove the engine from the vehicle. This involves disconnecting all wiring, as well as unbolting the exhaust and motor mounts. Attach the engine to an engine hoist, and lift the engine out of the vehicle.

With the engine safely removed from the vehicle and the engine hoist lowered so that the engine is on the ground, start removing the transmission. This can be done by unbolting the inspection cover on the bottom of the transmission and removing the bolts that attach the torque converter to the flywheel. Then, you can unbolt the bellhousing bolts from the engine, which will separate the transmission and the engine.

Prepare the engine stand. Most engine stands have four adjustable arms with long bolt holes. This is where the engine will mount to the engine stand, using the 3/8-16 bolts that can be picked up at any hardware store. If the bolts aren't a 3/8-16 pattern, take one of the bellhousing bolts to the hardware store and pick another bolt that has the same diameter and thread pitch. Ideally, the bolt will be long enough to go through the engine stand mounts and go at least one inch into the engine block.

Lift the engine with the engine hoist and move it towards the engine stand. Remove the pin in the rear of the engine stand and remove the pivoting mount on the engine stand which the arms are attached to.

Using the 3/8 bolts, run them through the engine stand mounts and bolt them into the engine where the transmission was mounted to the block. There are four arms, so mount two of them low on the engine, and bolt the other two up higher.

Adjust the arms on the engine stand mounts so that the pivoting center is centered on the flywheel. By doing this you can ensure that the engine is balanced on the stand.

Lower the engine with the engine stand mounts attached lower to the ground so it's the same level as the engine stand itself. Slide the circular pivoting center of the mount into the engine stand.

Slowly lower the engine hoist so that the engine stand starts to support the weight of the engine. Double-check all fasteners and be sure that the engine stand is locked in place. Once you are confident that the engine stand can support the weight of the engine, disconnect the hoist. Now the engine is mounted to the engine stand and can be rotated around to access all sides of the engine.

Warning

  • close If you're not a professional mechanic, you may want to reconsider pulling your engine. Removing an engine from a vehicle is a complicated process, and you want to be sure you can reassemble it once its time to put it back in the vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Russell Wood is a writer and photographer who attended Arizona State University. He has been building custom cars and trucks since 1994, including several cover vehicles. In 2000 Wood started a career as a writer, and since then he has dedicated his business to writing and photographing cars and trucks, as well as helping people learn more about how vehicles work.