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Technical Physically lifting a V-8 engine with the proper tool ?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by blazedogs, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. nh-lead-man
    Joined: Jul 24, 2006
    Posts: 181


    SLING IT! I never lift a complete engine off a manifold. Yes they do it all the time. Does that make it ok? Not for me when I have $6 or $8k hanging over a 25K car or truck.
    Bubba1955, chryslerfan55 and czuch like this.
  2. just you wait.....I'm going to look for that old chain S hook the old man made for the yard....
  3. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 3,019

    from Minnesota

    Used to use the plate and lift engine/ trans combos out with a come-a-long chained to a rafter. That was back when rafters were made of real wood, tools were well built.
    I might have been a bit crazier back then.
  4. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,438

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    I'm also a Mechanical Engineer (Aerospace) by profession.
    While I know many do it all the time, without problem... My balls aren't big enough. Too many factors to take into account. Most carburetor mounting holes aren't deep enough. Cast iron manifold with good threads...yea.

    jeffd1988 likes this.
  5. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,092

    from Berry, AL

    First time I ever used one was to pull a 460 out of a E350 van chassis motor home. Had to hook it directly to the cherry picker, no room for a chain. I was puckered up when I was dragging it over the front bumper, but it held fine. I also used it pulling the 350 out of the Lincoln, it had a two barrel cast iron intake with only two carb studs. I was puckered up again, pulling engine and trans at the same time, but no problems even having to raise the engine up nearly as high as the cherry picker would lift. Put the 302 and AOD back in same car, aluminum intake but at least it had four carb studs.

    Used to use a chain bolted to the exhaust bolts, but you had to pull the valve covers or they'd get bent up. Harder to balance that way, too.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,966


    I have an extra aluminum intake I keep specifically for lifting purposes with that bracket. Never an issue. Just did it a few time in the last couple weeks with trans attached (4L60E)
  7. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,110


    The good thing about using the intake manifold plate is that the bolts have the loads straight along them. What's much more dangerous is using exhaust manifold bolts that have the load sideways on them, especially if they aren't tight.

    My Ford has only five 3/8" bolts holding the cast aluminum bellhousing to the engine. And only four 7/16" bolts attaching the transmission, and they are threaded into aluminum.
  8. I'm with the camp of being leary about those plates, to me the surface area of it compared to the rest of the engine/trans combo just looks to damn small.
    I always use bolts each side in the head where the exhaust manifolds bolt to, you can tilt it back that way if you want. I still get nervous when they're up in the air no matter what. 20151202_171926_zpsp5i1rowx.jpg
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  9. 47ragtop
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 664


    I have read this thread and it got me to thinking ( no comments please ). I have used the factory installed brackets found on many sbc engines one bolted on top of the intake manifold into the cylinder head (the factory used these to install the engine/trans on the assembly line) . Which is stronger 2 coarse 3/8 bolts into cast iron or 4 5/16 bolts bolted into aluminum? Not trying to be a smart a@# , just posing a question. Later Bii
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    chryslerfan55, czuch and squirrel like this.
  10. WTF really
    Joined: Jul 9, 2017
    Posts: 1,261

    WTF really

    I use them plates a lot never a issue. When I was a bit younger and a lot dumber I've used fan belts and seat belts either or because I didn't have anything else. Where there is a will there's always a way.
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,789


    Yup, a 3/8" bolt cantilevered out with a chain on it scares me....but that's what a lot of guys use.
  12. Oh hell no, the bolt has to be tight
    squirrel likes this.
  13. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,784

    from kansas

    I use to keep a couple of the 60`s Pontiac engine pulling brackets. Back in the day Pontiac had a nice single bracket that bolted in with one of the intake to head bolts. I kept 2 & when I pulled any engine I'd bolt both of them on the motor and remove them when I was done. Nice heavy bracket with a nice big hole.

    Need to find a couple of them again.
    czuch and 47ragtop like this.
  14. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,966


    A little while back I bought a nailhead for a price I couldn’t pass up from someone cleaning out a deceased friends garage.

    Only bolt he could find that fit to lift it was pretty long, and most of it wasn’t threaded.
    Really didn’t have too much of a choice so we tried it out. We were just about up to the height of the flatbed truck (just under chest height). When the bolt snapped.
    First and only time I’ve seen an engine let loose from a hoist and drop like a ton of bricks.
    Scary. Definitely never had a problem with it threaded all the way in, even finger tight.

    I’ll never take that gamble again. Luckily, we were all smart enough to keep body parts out from under the engine.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,021


    I welded up my own plate several years ago have lifted a number of 350s with it plus the 500 Cad with turbo 400 behind it and set into my 71. The Key as Jim said is good threads in the intake and having what ever fasteners you use tightened down all the way on the plate with no slack from bottomed out fasteners.
    I prefer the plate to having chains hooked to bolts in a 90 degree shear. I have seen the results of chains being bolted to heads with the bolt at 90 degrees to the pull of the chain where the bolt broke a few times. Mostly smashed pan, broken oil pump pickup and embarrassment on the part of the dude who did it but it happens. Never seen a manifold mounted plate pull out and so far have never heard of one pulling out.
  16. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 609

    from norcal

    Nobody has said one has failed !
    czuch and cretin like this.
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,021


    Quite true and that is what I was referring to. I have seen the results of chains breaking an bolts breaking but have not seen anything on a plate that bolts to the intake breaking or the bolts into the intake pulling out or breaking. Usually what breaks is a bolt that is too long that is at a 90 degree shear angle or a link in a light chain that was already suspect.
    We had a bolt break off when we tried to pull an engine years ago right at the start because the guy who hooked it up used a long bolt to hook it up and that was all he could find or the first one he found. I was about 50ft across the shop when it broke. That was human error rather than anything else. Every other dropped engine because something broke either was the result of a chain being hooked to a bolt that was in a high shear install= SBC exhaust manifold bolts with a chain attached or in one case a chain that should have been in the junk from the get go. That was a chain that wasn't in good enough shop to hold a junk yard dog let alone lift and engine.
    My engine lifting plate is seriously ugly being made of some scrap plate and I used a carb mount gasket to draw out the bolt holes. It works and I feel safer with it.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  18. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,371


    Those plates have been used by thousands of people a countless number of times. If there was a problem with them not working I'm sure there would be post after post about it. They work.

    That said, I just use bolts and chain.
    cretin likes this.
  19. I have used whatever happens to be on hand, but always double-up with a sling, another chain or a rope. It may look ugly on the way in or out, but I figure if something goes "twang", it may drop a couple of inches, but it wont try the bounce test with the floor.
  20. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,337

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    I also double up with a back up sling, but primarily use my heavy equipment chain with hooks. Hook on to the side motor mounts (which are bolted to the engine block with 3 bolts). Leave the valve covers off or use junkers to keep from dinging the build valve covers. The covers would be pulled off to confirm top end oil pressure upon prestart prelube anyway.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  21. simpsonrl
    Joined: Aug 31, 2017
    Posts: 79


    That's the way I have always done it. Come-a-long, span three rafters, chain to diagonal intake bolts with big washers. Lift easy, no shock loads and don't put your fingers in places they shouldn't be (always good practice). The carb plate is probably safer than the chain.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  22. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 15,327

    from oregon

    Nothing uglier than an oil pan that has failed the bounce test.
    mrchewie likes this.
  23. Any idea how this all sounds to any person with rigging experience?o_O
    I'll guess that would be NO.

    Ok kids, don't try this one at home :D:p
    image.png j
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
    swade41, chryslerfan55 and czuch like this.
  24. Only mechanics with boobs can wear open toe shoes
    Note the proper use of lifting plate
    chryslerfan55 and flatheadpete like this.
  25. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,210

    from NC

    Thanks to the directions in your avatar, the EPA knows where U live!!

    P.S. Used a plate about a year ago to pull a 502/502 BBC with TH400 & Gear Vendor overdrive out of my Chevelle. Always use grade 8 bolts w/washers. Will use it again to put a 396 with 700R in a mid '60s PU.
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  26. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 11,069

    from Zoar, Ohio

    I’ve always removed the intake bolts and ran right into the top of the block.
    dan c likes this.
  27. Gavin Tittle
    Joined: Aug 15, 2017
    Posts: 248

    Gavin Tittle

    I had an edelbrock streetmaster with a massive crack in the middle of it, and a carb plate I got for free when I bought the motor, used it to move the engine around for months, In my experience, like many others, make sure the bolts are tight and threads are good, you’ll be fine

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  28. solidaxle
    Joined: Jan 6, 2011
    Posts: 564

    from Upstate,NY

    C'mon, He's pulling your chain!
    chryslerfan55 and Old wolf like this.
  29. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,246

    dan c

    lots of folks bolt a '32-'48 flathead to an engine stand by the cast-in bellhousing. why tempt fate?
  30. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,927

    from So Cal

    Here's some charts for strength of internal threads in different materials. The 2nd chart shows 1/4" - 5/8" diameter coarse thread bolts. The strength depends on the amount of threads engaged, but if you get 100% engagement (the same length as the diameter of the bolt) the yield strength is around 160k psi. Multiply that by 4, that should be sufficient to lift the engine.
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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