What is an Engine Stand?

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  • Written By: Bobby R. Goldsmith
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2019
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An engine stand is an apparatus that is used to hold an engine after it is extracted from a vehicle or prior to installation. It is primarily used to safely hold the block in place while a mechanic or engine builder breaks down, repairs, or rebuilds an engine. The stand is generally constructed from high-grade iron or steel, features rollers for easy portability in the engine shop, and rotates on a fixed axis to allow the engine builder easy access to every part of the engine while on the stand.

With the wide variety of different engines in existence, there are nearly as many types of engine stands in the marketplace. A stand that is proper for small automobile engines is ill-suited to the larger engines required by trucks, trailers and heavy industrial equipment. Also, v-block engines sometimes require an engine stand that is designed differently than stands suitable for in-line engine blocks.


To attach an automobile or light truck engine to a suitable engine stand, one must ensure that the bolts used are proper engine mount bolts. Engine mount bolts have the proper thickness and length to ensure a secure attachment between the engine and the engine stand during repairs. One must then orient the attachment arms on the engine stand, lining up the bolt holes on the attachment arms to the bolt holes on the engine block that are located around the flywheel housing. This is where the engine would bolt up to the bell housing for the transmission. The engine mount bolts are inserted through the attachment arms, into the engine block, and should be tightened with a torque wrench at the specified rate of torque for the particular engine.

Engine stands for small engines tend to be versatile and are capable of handling a variety of different engine types. The primary benefit to this is that a small or medium-sized auto repair business does not have to invest in numerous types of engine stands in order to service the various types of engines that come through the shop. Multi-purpose engine stands are suitable for most standard four-stroke engines, but rotary engines and motorcycle engines usually require different equipment.

For larger tractor-trailers and heavy industrial equipment, the factory recommended engine stand for that specific engine should be used. Multi-purpose, generic engine stands are not common in the industrial sector because proprietary designs are often coupled with fleet purchases. In many cases, a corporate or industrial contractor purchases an entire fleet of vehicles and equipment from the same manufacturer. As a result, multi-purpose support and repair equipment that can be used for engines made by different manufacturers is not available.


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