Engine stands as tools are mainly used in vehicle servicing shops and are used to hold engine midair at an arms-level height for easier servicing and repairs. These are different than engine hoists that lift and lower engines. The stand is used to simply hold the engine in place.
The structure of the stands makes working on the engine a tad easier as you can reach every part that with relative ease. The stands are also designed to rotate the engine 360 degrees, allowing those working on the engine to access all parts of the engine with exceptional ease.
Additionally, the stand protects the fragile parts of the engine as it holds the engine in place using the mounting parts of the engine. Laying an engine on a flat surface makes the fragile parts susceptible to damage as they were not designed or meant to withstand high loads.
Parts Of An Engine Stand
The Base – The base of the engine stand is designed to be inherently stable and easy to move around. In this regard, engine stands can have 3 to 6 casters. Typically, the caster count is about four, for increased stability and reduce space footprint. However, for smaller capacity engine stands (stands with a weight limit of up to 500 kg), they may have 3 casters. 5 to 6 casters bases are used to make stands with a high weight capacity of up to 2 tons.
When it comes to legs, stands with two legs tend to be more stable, and thus are used for high capacity engine stands. The legs also have a locking mechanism (usually, locking pins) which is used to keep the stand in place when working on an engine. The legs can also be foldable.
The Stand – This is the part of the entire stand that is used to transfer the weight of the engine to the base. As such, they are usually made of heavy duty steel, which can withstand the weight of the engine. in higher weight capacity engine stands, the stands usually have braces.
The Head – The head has the mounting plate which secures the engine. The mounting plate has mounting arms, which are essentially screws used hold the engine in place. On the other end is the rotating mechanism and handle. This is used to rotate the engine 360 degrees for easier reach to the underside.
Here’s a decent YouTube video showing how to put an engine on a stand:
With regards to safety standards, engine stands should adhere to the Safety Standard for Portable Automotive Service Equipment developed by the ASME. As for pricing, engine stands can vary greatly in terms of pricing. The price of an engine stand can cost as little as $20 for stands designed to hold engines not more than 250 kg/500 lb. On the other end of the weight spectrum, 2 tons/ 4000 lb. engine stands can cost thousands of dollars.