Engine Break-In Stand

Discussion in 'Tools and Workshop' started by jniolon, May 26, 2015.

By jniolon on May 26, 2015 at 7:58 AM
  1. jniolon Article Contributor Founding Member

    So, I've been in the process of building this truck since 1995. On again ... off again...but it was this year that things are starting to happen again. I finally convinced myself that time would not be my friend and farmed out the engine build to someone who actually had the time, knowledge and expertise to do it. It's a 460 cu in Lincoln engine and it's currently hanging on HIS engine stand (instead of mine) and it's nearly complete.

    For years it sat lonely in the corner of the shop of this homemade engine cart.....

    The cart is simply a box (2'x 4') made of 2x2 tubing with one crossmember to hold the motor mount uprights. The uprights are 1/5" tubing that is cut to the angle of the block with a plate welded on that will bolt to the block. There is a riser at the rear made from 1.5"x 1/4" flat bar and drilled to match the transmission mount blocks. For testing, the transmission will not be attached to the engine by flexplate to torque converter... The torque converter will be removed and the transmission is simply a place to mount the starter. If I had had a bell housing I could have simply used it (and made the whole thing about 18" shorter !) There is no provision for the rubber motor mounts since this stand was simply a place to 'sit' the engine out of the way. There will be a little more vibration but nothing to be concerned about

    The cart was originally built to make the engines/transmission mobile. It's been put in the frame a half a dozen times to fab up engine mounts, transmission mounts...etc. It was just easier to build one cart to hold both together than try to wrestle with two and joining the two parts each time.

    As my engine builder got closer to completion we started talking about break-in. He had a sorta stand to run it in on but I figured... what the hell... I've got half of one already I'll just build one and then have one to use again or lend out.

    I also had a 'start' of another run-in stand that someone gave me years ago and it's been holding down leaves in the yard for years. It was built for a small block chevy and was about 1/2 done. the base was actually too small for what I needed but the uprights and dashboard were the perfect size to fit my existing cart.


    I gave it a little thought and considered if I might want to use the uprights and dash on the existing stand so I attached it to my cart with slide in legs. I used two pieces of Unistrut for the sliders. They fit perfectly into the 2" tubing the cart was built from. This also gave me some adjustment in length, should it ever be needed.

    My block is still on Jerry's stand so I just have to guess at the actual length but the unistrut gives me some wiggle room. Without the block the only thing I could do was work on the dash and wiring. One box on the shelf in the garage offered a Sun tach from another old ford truck and a never used set of oil pressure, water temp gauges. Just what I needed. A little more scrounging produced an ignition switch and starter button and a solenoid for the starter. Now all I need is the a radiator, the cables, a fuel can, a battery and a throttle assembly.... easy enough to find

    I had an old unused lawnmower throttle lever/cable assembly and using it and some tubing and sheet metal fabricated a throttle lever for the test stand.

    engineruninstand007.jpg engineruninstand007.jpg
    I still have to notch the alum plate dashboard for the throttle and mount it from underneath, but it should work perfectly.


    A shout out to a body man found a brand new Caddy radiator sitting in his garage that will cool the project engine perfectly... Haven't decided on a 12 volt puller fan or just hang a box fan in front of the radiator and push some air through it. I hate to spend a hundred bucks on a 12 volt fan that might never be used again.

    the wiring is really nothing complicated. The distributor is a DUI so it's one wire to the dist from the tach, one to 12 volts at ignition switch and one to ground. The gauges are mechanical, so we just need the right adapters to the oil pressure port and the intake manifold for the water temp. The electrical for the start/run is just basic automotive wiring... minimum #4 gauge cable for starter wiring... minimum #12 for fan circuit and a 60 amp relay or higher...# 16 for all the other wiring. The cooling fan is wired thru a switch and a relay...the heavy current for the fan doesn't go thru the switch that way.

    The on/off switch supplies voltage to the ignition and the lighting. The Fan is wired directly to the battery so it can be left on after engine is turned off and of course the start switch is momentary push type. Lighting is switched since you usually don't need them in daylight but they are nice in a poorly lit shop area

    The drawing turns into this in the real world... a little messy but functional
    The pretty side looks like this now... it's a little different in layout than the picture above... things got crowded on the back side
    here's some more pics of the finished product showing a little more detail​

    The radiator is not permanently mounted to the frame.... I used flat mending plate to make 4 'hangers'. They are bent in a Z shape. Easy to bend by hand in a vise and plenty strong. I added padding on the side that contacts the radiator to cut down on vibration and wear. Self-tapping sheet metal screws hold them to the frame
    enginestand001.jpg enginestand015.jpg

    The fan I used was from a 80-something honda something. I picked up two of them for 20 bucks. It's a puller fan and it's mounted on the outside of the radiator and blows out toward the operator. The stock mounting tabs were of nearly no use but two did line up somewhat together and I bolted the fan to a 1" square tube mounted across the frame. There was a little vibration so I tied the bottom of the fan down with tie wire.
    enginestand002.jpg enginestand004.jpg
    The starter relay is mounted on a panel below the dashboard... you can see it in the first fan picture... and here

    overall shots follow
    One thing you might notice in the picture above is the counterweight sitting on the end of the stand... when I added on the dashboard and especially the battery... all of that weight was hung out outside the wheels... it wanted to tip over ... I could add another set of wheels under the dashboard... or just counterweight it till the engine/transmission is put on the stand... there will be no tipping over at that point.

    As I said before, this stand was built specifically for a Ford 460 engine... the only difference in this stand and any other is the motor mounting... you could make the verticals and the crossmember they are mounted movable and they would fit nearly any engine. The other difference is that the transmission is used to hold the starter and it is the rear support for the engine... changing that, is just fabrication, and there are several different ways to do that...
    enginestand007.jpg enginestand006.jpg

    One alternate mounting arrangement would include movable uprights that mount onto a movable cross member at the engine mounts and a similar arrangement for the transmission mount. These wouldn't be hard to fabricate if you needed them.

    That's about it for build detail... I hope to get to take some pictures of the engine mounted on the stand while we run it in... but I might be too busy.

    When the engine builder called and said it was ready to fire I hauled the break in stand over to his shop and we mounted it up, made all the connections and put a fire under the pig.... ahhhhhh what a sound. A nicely build big block with short pipes echoing through the neighborhood ! After the break in we left it mounted on the stand and winched it up on the trailer for the trip home... here's some shots after unloading at home. The stand performed as expected without a glitch... because of the difference in Ford water pump outlet and GM radiator we had to do some jury rigging on hoses and such but it did what it was supposed to do.

    DSC04109.jpg DSC04111.jpg DSC04113.jpg DSC04114.jpg
    boilerplate denial of liability statement… i.e. the fine print

    This device is something I came up with to prevent me from spending too many dollars on a commercial patented device, it is not patented, engineered or even perfect… it is what it is, a home made contraption. I’m sure there are alternatives to this design some even better/cheaper/easier, I just didn’t think of them or warrant them necessary... there are several similar units on the internet waiting behind Google for you to see/copy/build…(just like I did) This work was done by me and for me or by friends who were nice enough to help me out. I only ask that if you reproduce it give me credit for it and if you make money from it… give me my percentage.

    Since I have no way of knowing your level of competence, welding or cutting skills, mechanical ability or estimated intelligence, there are no guaranties or warranties either verbal, written or implied with this article. Along with this article I am giving you absolutely free of charge…that’s right ! FREE !!...the liability, total and complete liability for the use or misuse of this contraption will be yours and yours alone.

    It belongs to you with that in mind… I am in no way responsible for any damage, injury or embarrassment you may suffer from the use of this homemade device. If it doesn’t look like something you’d be comfortable using… don’t build/use it. If you’re not intelligent enough to make that decision about your comfort level… ask a family member or friend.. but here’s a hint… if you have to ask someone… don’t build it !

    Pictures were made at different stages of construction and all assemblies in pictures may not be complete in each shot. I.e.. a picture showing ‘some parts’ only means that it was not finished, but I’ve tried to make the idea complete to the best of my ability. If you have questions or see mistakes or problems, let me know by e-mail and I’ll make the corrections if possible..

    Use these ideas at your own risk. Modify them at your discretion and to suit your purpose. Your mileage may vary, batteries not included, much assembly required... wait one hour after building to enter the water, additional charges may apply. not all applicants will qualify for advertised A.P.R., for ages 10 to adult…side effects are comparable to placebos. Do not take drugs when building or operating machinery. JUST SAY NO.

    Copyright . 2012 John Niolon, All International Rights Reserved. This document may not be copied or published without prior written consent of the author- [email protected]



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Discussion in 'Tools and Workshop' started by jniolon, May 26, 2015.

    1. sdetweil
      did you get that engine IN the truck yet?!..

    2. jniolon
      sorry Sam... missed your comment... it's been in and out... hanging on the engine stand right now
    3. Old 86
      Old 86
      [email protected]

      Awesome disclaimer! It's the ONLY one I have ever read that I could fully understand and makes complete sense. I am, however, confused. Are you a lawyer? It"s obvious you have great mechanical skills, but I have never seen both in the same package.:Danim No offense to the mechanics out there...yeah OK, or to the lawyers. Go ahead and sue me for all of the nothing I own, if you think that will make you feel better.:devil:anim
      My disclaimer: The statements above may or may not be true. Offer good for a limited time only. EPA estimate only, your mileage WILL BE WORSE. All natural, no artificial colors or additives, that our suppliers made us aware of. You may use any of, or all of these statements, but if you show this to a lawyer, and he kicks your "a hum" I will disavow any knowledge, which will be easy, as I don't know much anyhow. Do not try this at home. Do not insert into any body orifice. If itching persists, see a doctor, if scratching doesn't cure it. Keep out of the hands of children, you are too big for those little hands. Do not use the top two steps of this ladder, we put them there to tempt you. Stay clear of fire and flame, they are really hot. Use with adult supervision only, it's the only way they will learn. No user serviceable parts inside, just buy a whole new one. This product is guaranteed for one full year(365 days), 104 weekend days of which they are closed, and not counting holidays. If it's on the internet, it is true. I can prove this with one simple question....have you EVER been lied to on FTZ? See, I told you so. I am a real person in a human body, breathing air and drinking beer. My name is Old 86 and I can prove that too.. I'm on FTZ! Seriously, I hope you found some humor in this, I don't mean to offend anyone,......... except Tim. If anybody is offended, I already feel terrible, so don't contact me to let me know your pissed. My advice to you would be to go stand in a corner, tilt your head down, and pout, and then GFU. (No that's not Good For You,... it's Go "Feel" Yourself,:talking:anim I think ). My work is done here, or there. (-;;)<Yeah the smiley face and I are both blind in the left eye. Old 86
      Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
    4. V10 NUT
      V10 NUT
      Turn smiley upside down you end up with frowny with his/her right I poked out%)

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