If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll likely need an engine stand at some point to rebuild or replace an engine or two. If you have never used one before, they may all look the same to you, so what makes one different or better than another?
Engine stands aren’t something that most people buy or use every day, so it can be confusing to know where to start looking. To help you out, we have reviewed several different engine stands and put together a list of five that we think are the best on the market today.
|Sunex 8400 Folding Engine Stand|
|Performance Tool W41025 Capacity Engine Stand||30 lbs||4.6/5|
|Torin T23401 Engine Stand|
(Best for the Money)
|Torin T26801 Engine Stand||77 lbs||4.3/5|
|Best Choice Products Engine Stand||42 lbs||4.0/5|
The Sunex 8400 is our favorite engine stand because it has a sturdy frame that won’t flex under the weight of any motor that weighs up to one ton. Its casters have ball bearings in them to make them easier to move around. They also have a safety lock to keep them from moving when you don’t want them to. The mounting plate that’s used to secure the motor is thick and reinforced to help ensure that your engine is secure while on the stand.
This stand has a rotating head that will lock in eight different positions to allow you the most straightforward access to the area of the motor that you’re working on. It also allows you to raise the engine up high enough that you don’t have to work in a constant bent-over position. Once you’re done and have put your motor back into your vehicle, the Sunex 8400 folds up nicely to store in a small area of your garage.
The only problem we found with this stand is that the motor tends to shift when you pull the pin to rotate the engine. The central holes then become misaligned. You may want to have a screwdriver handy to stick in that hole before you pull the pin. This will allow you to swivel the engine and will keep everything lined up for you to put it back in.
The Performance Tool W41025 Capacity Engine Stand has a half-ton weight capacity, though it can be wobbly without the weight of an engine on it. It also comes with heavy-duty casters for moving. However, each caster requires four bolts to attach to the frame. Rather than supplying long bolts that will go entirely through the structure, this stand comes with short bolts that have to be put in from the inside of the hollow frame. This can be very tricky. If you have large fingers, you may need to find a creative way to get your casters securely attached.
The W41025 allows you to rotate your motor 360° and will lock into six different positions to help you reach those hard-to-reach places. This stand does have the same issue of holes getting misaligned during rotation that the Sunex 8400 has, though. You’ll want something to keep the alignment while you’re rotating the head, or you’ll find yourself wrestling with it every time you change its position.
The Torin T23401 Engine Stand is the perfect stand for anyone who has small motors to work on. It’s reasonably priced and gets the job done. It has the capability to hold engines weighing up to 750 pounds with its four adjustable arms. Once you have the motor on the stand, you can rotate it 360° to make it simple to get to those tough-to-reach places.
This stand is great for anyone who needs an engine stand but just doesn’t have the money for a better one. Remember that it isn’t made as well as many others. The frame does have some flex in it, and with the three-wheeled system, it can tip easily if you put too much weight on it.
The Torin T26801, also known as the Big Red Steel Rotating Engine Stand, is the best stand for those with smaller budgets. It can hold motors weighing up to ¾-ton securely. It rotates 360° and has four adjustable arms to make mounting and working on your engines simple. It is rather low to the floor, though, so if you’re a tall person, you may want a different stand.
This product is easy to put together but doesn’t always have all the parts. When we opened the box, there were no materials around the product to protect it during shipping, so it was beaten up. It almost looked like it had been used before. We were also missing a few parts. Research shows that this is a common problem with this engine stand. We also found the welding to be pretty shabby. Nothing was straight or square. Whatever Torin’s quality control consists of, it definitely has a lot of room for improvement.
Another issue with this engine stand is the play around the positioning pin. The hole is too big for the pin, so it isn’t a tight fit. This allows the block to wobble somewhat when it should be secure.
When you purchase a Best Choice Products Engine Stand, remember that you get what you pay for. This stand can hold up to a ½-ton engine, but it’s not anywhere near as sturdy as any of the stands mentioned above.
This stand is made to be easy on the pocketbook. Unfortunately, that means using cheaper materials for its construction. Though it’s rated with a ½-ton capacity, we don’t recommend pushing the weight limits to the max. It is a little flimsy and may bow somewhat under heavier weight. You may want to consider adding some supports to help make sure you have a secure and stable place to work.
When we received our Best Choice stand, a few parts were missing. We have read many reviews that say that others were missing parts too. Be prepared to have to purchase some small items to get this stand put together.
The handle that you use to rotate the motor is really short and doesn’t give you much leverage. You may want to see if you have something longer that will work as a handle. Better leverage will make it easier to rotate the motor. With the shorter handle, it is almost impossible to do by yourself. You’ll need a second pair of hands to get everything positioned correctly.
Engine stands come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you know which one is best for you? Read on, and we will give you some useful information.
Engine stands come with different numbers of wheels.
a. Three wheels:
Three-wheel stands are triangle-shaped with two wheels in the back and one in front where the narrowed frame comes together. These are meant to be used on motors that weigh less than 1000 pounds. Once you hit the ½-ton mark, the three-wheel stand becomes unstable and more likely to tip over.
b. Four wheels:
Four-wheel stands are the most common and are sufficient for most engine jobs. They have an L-shaped base with a wheel at each corner. This setup makes a stand very stable and less likely to tip.
c. Six wheels:
Six-wheel stands are also very sturdy and suitable for almost any job. They do take up more space than the four-wheeled ones, though. They are shaped like a triangle with the tip chopped off. The back of the frame is the narrowest part, and the legs widen as they go forward. There are two wheels in the back, two at a cross-bar in the middle, and two in the front.
The weight of your engine determines the size and type of stand you will need. As stated above, a three-wheel stand is sufficient for engines that weigh less than 1000 pounds, or 1/2 ton. Any heavier and you risk the chance of it tipping over.
For motors weighing 1000 pounds or more, use either a four-wheel or six-wheel base.
Engine stands that fold up are great, especially if you don’t have a ton of space to store one when it’s not in use. Some are more compact than others, so read the total measurement of the compacted state to ensure that you have enough room before you buy one.
It is important that your engine stand has a rotating head, so you can turn the motor to a position where it’s easily accessible and comfortable for you to work on.
It’s essential that once you find that sweet spot, you can lock the head in place so it won’t move around on you while you’re trying to work.
Stands with large casters are easier to move around. They don’t get caught up as easily on cracked or uneven floors.
Most engine stands have swiveling casters in the front and fixed ones in the rear. Be sure that at least one wheel will lock. This will help keep the stand from moving while you are working.
A cherry picker is the hydraulic crane-like tool that you use to pull your motor out of your car. It’s used to lift the engine over the nose of the vehicle and then lower it to the height of your engine stand. Once they’re at the same level, you can transfer the motor to the stand to work on.
Cherry pickers are not meant to hold your engine for an extended period, so be sure the engine stand you choose has enough space to allow easy access for your cherry picker. Pulling the motor won’t do you any good if you can’t get it attached to the stable working base.
Other car-related articles we’ve written:
Now that we’ve given you some essential features to look for in an engine stand, let’s quickly remember our favorite five of those that we reviewed.
1. Sunex 8400 Folding Engine Stand – Top Pick
2. Performance Tool W41025 Capacity Engine Stand – The Runner-Up
3. Torin T23401 Engine Stand – Best for the Money
4. Torin T26801 Engine Stand
5. Best Choice Products Engine Stand
Hopefully, we have provided enough information that you feel equipped to make an educated decision on which engine stand is for you.