Last Update: 10 Jan 2021

How Does an Engine Stand Work?

James Kelly
James Kelly

Hi! This is James. I'm a professional writer and working on this field for a long time. Basically I love to write about everything related to tools, diy and home improvement. All my writings speak for itself as I'm passionate about this. I love to explore new things as well as new places whenever I get free time. You'll never find me free for this reason!

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There are times when you are working on a vehicle Engine; you have to take the whole engine out for a closer look. As easy as it may sound, in reality, That’s a tough job. Engine hoist and engine stand are two popular tools to make your task relatively easy. To give you a better perspective here, we will discuss how does an engine stand works?

In short, the engine stand is a tool to hold your engine outside of a vehicle. So, you can carefully examine, rotate, move, and repair with much ease. The way it works is, it comes with adjustable arms that can be aligned to the engine block’s bolt hole. With a proper size bolt, you can mount an engine on the stand, just like it was in a vehicle.

Many professional mechanics rarely use engine stands. Maybe because they have years of experience. But if you are learning or new to car repair game, engine strand is an excellent place to start.

In this article, we will discuss the working process of an engine process as simply as possible.

Let’s dive in.

Going Deep on How Does an Engine Stand Work:

All the engine stand is designed in a manner to eliminate any compatibility issue with the engine. That means an engine stand can support almost all the engine types, as long as your engine’s weight supports it.

There are four primary functions of an engine stand. One- the ability to mount a motor outside of your car. Two- rotate the driver for a better work angle. Three- Adjust engine height to your liking. Four-move the stand around your garage with the motor attached. Now, we will elaborate on each core fiction for your better understanding.


After removing the engine from your car, the next step will be mounting it to the stand. You must do it properly. Generally, the driver will be attached to the engine stand at the flywheel end.

The engine stand has typically 4 adjustable arms. What is the use of these arms? Well, not every driver is built in the same way, and they have a different bolt position. These adjustable arms help change position according to holes that the car transmission attaches to the engine.

There is some issue you need to be careful before attaching the engine to the stand. First, make sure your position can support the engine weight. The capacity is often in the stand name. If it is not, look in the spec sheet of the stand. Never use a position that is not suitable for your exact weight.

Second, when attaching your engine to the stand, make sure you have the proper size bolt. The engine bolt will not have enough length to fit through the handles. One way you can do this is to measure the engine bolt first, then add the range of adjustment armholes. There, you have the proper length of the bolt.

Rotating the Engine

One great feature of the engine stand is, you can rotate the engine. Like upside-down for easy access to the bottom side of the engine. This is very useful for precise work you need to do on the bottom part of the engine.

Necessary engine stands can be rotated using a metal bar and then held in position with a locking pin. There are around six to eight different angles at which the engine can be fixed. This design works fine most of the time, though it can raise an issue to rotate large engines when using this method.

The longer the metal bar, the better control you will have. Although a metal pipe can be placed over the handle to extend the handle size and for extra leverage.

One disadvantage of this type of stand is that the engine tends to sway quite a bit when you’re working on it. This is because there is a small gap between the locking pin and its holes.

One other way you can rotate your engine is with Crank handles. Which can be found in a more professional engine stand. The crank handles use a worm gear to spin around the engine.

The best advantage of this crank handle is it is more precise than the metal bar option. The worm gear allows users to access more angles and able to rotate more massive engines more efficiently.

Adjusting Height

Adjust height

The stand-head, where the engine is mounted, can be raised or lowered with a designated lever. Some advanced stands come with a hydraulic head, which can move up or down to set the desired engine height. It is a nice feature. Especially if you’re working for long hours, you can set the height to a comfortable position.

Moving the Stand

Moving the stand

The engine stand is often used for transporting the engine from one place to another place. After attaching the engine to the stand, it becomes easier to move it anywhere. The position can lift heavy-duty engines and has caster wheels. The better those castors are, the less struggle you’ll have to do to move it.

Most stands come with 3, 4, and 6 castors. Be careful of 3-castor positions. There isn’t a huge difference in balance between 4- and 6-wheel stand, but the 6-wheel stand will move easier because the weight is distributed across more wheels.

There should be at least two castors with a lock on the stand. So that you don’t have to chase it around the workshop while you’re trying to undo a bolt.

How to Choose an Engine Stand

Final Verdict

The engine stand is a great tool to help you with your hobby or any DIY project. Also, it will allow looking much closer at the complicated part of an engine and lets you do careful repair work. Not to mention, the amount of struggle it will ease while you are working on an engine.

We have presented you with a digestible article on how does an engine stand works?

With that being said, we hope you find this article helpful.

How Does an Engine Stand Work? All You Need to Know 1