Author Topic: Building an engine test stand  (Read 19949 times)

Offline MiniDave

Building an engine test stand
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:45:38 PM »
I've been wanting to do this for a while, so I can run in the cam and do some general tuning on the engines I build.

I started with a treadmill I found on the curb at a neighbor's house the other day, cutting up the frame and piecing it back together in a size commensurate with the engine's requirements. The hardest part so far has been getting the angle of the motor mounts right! I found the remains of a weight bench there too and got some more good steel out of it (the black parts) free metal is good metal!

I added some plates so I could put casters on it - my favorite metal supplier is clear across town but their prices are so reasonable it's worth the drive - they made 4 - 4 1/2"X 4"x 3/16" plates for me for a grand total of $5.21......the time it saved me not having to cut each plate out of a long bar was more than worth it! It took them about 8 minutes to shear them to the right length from the time I walked in the door till the time I was back in the car....

Today I mocked it up with some parts I had lying about the shop to see where I was at - I still need to add a couple of braces and build a "dashboard" with some switches for ign, starter and fuel pump, and a tach, oil pressure and water temp gauge. I'll add a shelf under to hold a gas can and battery, then mount a fuel pump, filter and pressure regulator on the cross bar in front. Then wire it up and she'll be ready to go......

My welds improved considerably with some new tips and a fresh spool of wire I also bought at the metal supplier.....also very reasonably priced!

I'll clean up some of my turkey turd welds and give it a coat of paint once it's all done, but I think I have a good start on it.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 07:47:24 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 08:00:33 PM »
Is this the official announcement you're the restoration-mini engine builder?

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 08:20:00 PM »
Have I been conferred that honor?    71.gif


It will have more gravitas when I actually build one!   ;D
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 08:49:36 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2016, 07:51:59 AM »
Lol true.  Take lots of pics and we'll set you up a page eventually.

Offline MiniGene

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2016, 10:45:51 AM »
Using the metal from an old treadmill and weight bench--that's an awesome way to 'up-cycle' those things!  Nice work on this stand. 


Offline MtyMous

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 05:25:07 PM »
Looks awesome, but my ankles hurt just thinking about knocking against one of those faster feet. I'd round those suckers off. haha

Offline John Gervais

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Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2016, 08:01:03 PM »
Yeah, I'd be a bit worried about my ankles too.  It looks really nice, but I'd have only installed 2 castors and retained either 2 legs or a skid along one end.
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Offline MtyMous

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 12:23:07 AM »
I'd love a break-in stand, but with the 1 engine I intend to build for the next 20 years I just can't justify it. haha. I'm definitely following this build though.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 02:57:09 PM »
So, I have the new instruments ordered - Tacho, oil press, water temp and volt gauges and some pretty cool push button switches that were pretty cheap - aluminum bodies, push to latch with LED illumination 4 for $15 shipped.



I also bought a battery  ($33 for 650 cranking amps) and dug out an old electric fuel pump and pressure regulator.

Next I need an LCB just to make sure it will clear the frame, then all I have left to build is the engine steady and the dash board and it will be ready for the first start up. I'll still need a couple of battery cables and to wire the dash and relays up but that will have to wait till I determine the layout, which I will do once I get the instruments.

Lastly, I cleaned up the radiator shroud and found a small crack in it. A quick pass with the welder and she's good to go now. I also sourced an electric fan for the radiator too....it's amazing what people have lying around in their garages. This fan has been in my buddy's garage for at least 20 years that I know of, and it's brand new! He was happy to see it go, one less thing in the garage......

That little hole in the weld is where I started to weld without the gas turned on....I hate it when that happens!  :-)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 03:03:42 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2016, 03:05:58 PM »
Coming along  4.gif

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2016, 03:08:52 PM »
Yep, all I need now is a radiator and some parts to build the engine and we'll be getting somewhere.....

BTW, are you shipping me an exhaust header along with the rest of the new stuff?
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2016, 03:19:07 PM »
Yeah as parts roll in I'll send a header.  I may likely have a full exhaust from a 1098 you can have.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2016, 04:47:34 PM »
Right now I just need something so I can mock it up and make sure it will clear everything......a muffler would probably be a good idea if you have an old one lying about, just so the neighbors don't complain!

I hooked that fan up to the battery just to test it and man does it put out some air!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2016, 04:51:04 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2016, 06:14:21 PM »
Yeah we can use the old muffler and add it to it for noise reduction.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2016, 02:18:48 PM »
Some more pieces to the puzzle.....aluminum rad - $60 shipped! and gauges.

Now I need to settle on where I'm putting the dash and what it's going to look like and I can finish it up.

I also have a fuel pump and starter solenoid for the early style starters, I even have an old left over fuse panel I can use.....

Still to come, the switches I bought and to build a bracket to hold the electric fan.

I had my last class yesterday, all that's left is to grade papers from the semester and give the final exam next Thursday....so my time should free up a bit more. Of course now I'm mowing grass about every 4 days and trying to keep ahead of the weeds and brush growth too.....plus my dealership driving gig.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2016, 03:01:06 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2016, 02:19:59 PM »
Gotta love those chinese rads!

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2016, 02:46:00 PM »
They had them for a few $$ less, but I wanted the threaded drain plug so I could either use it to drain the water or install a temp switch there for the electric fan...right now I'm just planning a manual switch. I think the electric fan may over cool the engine, so I may want to put it on a thermoswitch.....
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline gasmini

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2016, 11:44:51 AM »
The aluminum rad I put in my pup kept the temp down to 170 but now I have to chase down why my fuel is getting too hot.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2016, 01:12:46 PM »
Are you getting vapor lock?

Does it have an electric or mechanical fuel pump? some installations run the fuel hose right next to the exhaust pipe - I wrapped my header and it knocked under hood temps down a bunch.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline gasmini

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2016, 11:41:41 AM »
Are you getting vapor lock?

Does it have an electric or mechanical fuel pump? some installations run the fuel hose right next to the exhaust pipe - I wrapped my header and it knocked under hood temps down a bunch.
I beleve vapor lock is what its callled. After driving for a while there are bubbles coming from the fuel line into the filter.
I have a mechanical fuel pump. I had the header ceramic coated which I thought would cut down on some of the heat. Now I'm thinking of wrapping the fuel line in some heat resistant tape.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2016, 01:34:51 PM »
Are you getting vapor lock?

Does it have an electric or mechanical fuel pump? some installations run the fuel hose right next to the exhaust pipe - I wrapped my header and it knocked under hood temps down a bunch.
Now I'm thinking of wrapping the fuel line in some heat resistant tape.

That should do it....either that or add an electric pump back by the fuel tank.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2016, 12:52:32 PM »
My switches came in today, so I'm trying to figure out the layout for them and the gauges.....any thoughts?

It probably doesn't matter in the least but I'd like to have it look good as well as function....I also can't decide between painted metal or a nice piece of aluminum or stainless sheet to set them in.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 12:54:48 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2016, 06:06:42 PM »
The first arrangement is more compact.  I would also be inclined to swap the positions of the Temperature gauge and the Voltage gauge.  (Tach, Oil and Temp representing the "health" of the engine versus Voltage indicating the battery health.)

Offline Willie_B

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Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2016, 06:24:49 PM »
 Do you a big kill switch is case something goes bad?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2016, 06:26:24 PM by Willie_B »

Offline MiniDave

Re: Building an engine test stand
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2016, 07:42:23 PM »
Actually, I do have a kill switch and a bigger red start switch coming......but nothing's going to go wrong....(he says while whistling in the dark)  ;D
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT