1. I have now built 5 of these stands; the first one was so useful
and made it easy to move engines around shop that eventually I built 5
while teaching welding seminars.
2. Caster selection I have tried a number of types of casters and for
my purposes a 3-4 metal caster has proven best for rolling on smooth concrete
and wood floors. If however your floor is not smooth or you need to be
able to roll the engine out side on rough surface dirt, or gravel you
probably will want to select a larger diameter and different design. Concerning
steering casters I have tried 2 non-steering paired with 2 steering as
well as 4 steering. The latter on anything but very smooth surfaces is
not as practical, and it also introduces more of tipping potential when
3. Instruments - the following are what I have found to be useful. of
these OIL PRESSURE and TEMPERTURE GUAGE are essential. The others can
be worked around if you have individual testing equipment that you can
clip on or connect. But if you are really going to run the engine in on
the test stand go ahead and buy the two inch gauges. In terms of lay out
of the instruments organize your panel so that all of gauges that have
electrical connections are at one end and all mechanical gauges are at
the other end. It is also important to remember to tape or protect all
connections so that they will not accidentally short out. Things like
mechanical temperature gauges with their long tubes going to the sensor
are quickly ruined when the metal tube shorts out on the terminals of
the amp meter.
a. Oil pressure; try to find gauges that will be at half scale at the
operating pressure of the engine.
b. Temperature Gauges- either mechanical or electrical, suggest using
which ever type the engine will have once mounted in the vehicle. I
have added a 2nd gauge which allows checking at two points on the engine.
c. Amp Gauge- as one of the reasons for running an engine on the test
stand in the first place is to also test adjust the generator and the
voltage regulator both of these are included.
d. Volt Meter- though my test panel doesn't have one I think adding
one might be useful, often have a multi meter reading the voltage as
e. Vacuum Gauge - is extremely useful in testing an engine,
f. Tachometer- very useful in testing and also making sure you don't
over speed the engine during breaking in.
g. Fuel pressure Gauge- amazing how many simple problems this help you
spot that other wise would drive you crazy.
4. Other Controls and Taps on the panel
a. Hand or Manual Choke
b. Hand throttle
c. Ignition switch
d. Electric fuel pump switch
e. Wiring connection terminals - these bring the electrical connections
from gauges and switches to the front of the panel where it is easier
to make connections. These are the connections on my panel;
i. Battery (s) ground connection
ii. Fuel pump power + out to pump (connected to switch behind panel)
iii. Fuel pump ground
iv. Power to fuel pump switch (connected to switch behind panel)
v. Amp Meter + connection (connected to meter behind panel)
vi. Amp Meter - Connection (connected to meter behind panel)
vii. Power into ignition switch (connected to meter behind panel)
viii. Power out to coil (connected to ignition switch behind panel)