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  • Engine hoist capacity

    New thread so as not to hi-jack the 8x36 mill calamity thread.
    I recently dropped a nice shiny new race engine on the floor. Looking at the rated capacities it shouldn't have happened, but it did and rather easily. Maybe someone else can benefit from my near miss.
    The details: Princess Auto / chinese, shop floor engine hoist. Smooth, level concrete floor, Big block Chev engine, aluminum heads & manifold. Should be no more than 650 lbs +-, lift arm was in the 1/2 ton (1000 lb) hole, should be good to go, right ?
    Engine on the engine stand, hook up nylon straps to the heads (don't want to mark anything), take up the weight with the hoist 'til I can see the weight is coming onto the hoist and off the engine stand (now I've got maybe 750 lbs on the hoist). Pull the pin on the stand, pull on the neck of the stand to pull the base of the stand off the mounting brackets, it doesn't want to come off, I pull harder, with a bit of a jerk and in an instant the front wheels of the hoist shoot straight back, the rear wheels go up about 5 ft. and the engine crashes straight down to the floor .
    I've done it like this dozens of times, never a problem, 'til this one. I must have pulled a bit harder this time to get the engine stand to separate.
    Damage wasn't too bad, gouged a blower pulley, squashed the oil filter and cracked a valve cover (not to mention the wounded pride). Could have been lots worse though, could have landed on my feet.
    Careful guys, some of the ratings on these things are rather generous and they may be closer to tipping over than you may think.

  • #2
    I'm going to assume that you went with "nothing but the best" when you did the BB Chevy, so you may want to check out these cherry pickers:

    http://www.rugerindustries.com/floor_cranes.html

    Over the years I've worked in a number of heavy duty truck shops that had the Ruger brand hoists, even the worn out ones were better than Chincom cheepies.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I going to go read about the mill fiasco.


    Rex

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    • #3
      Did anything bend or did the arms for the front wheels telescope?

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      • #4
        It sounds like the engine swung out past the front wheels and lifted the rear wheels off the floor.

        Does your base have telescopic legs that allow you to lengthen them out beyond the end of the boom?

        The center of gravity of the load must remain within the perimeter of the wheels or the lift will tip over. I have seen engine cranes with the front wheels well in front of the load tip sideways, when someone tried to pull the load sideways. My brothers crane is one of the few that has swivel casters on all four corners. If you pull the load, the crane will follow the load in any direction.

        I have only seen a couple engine hoists that the legs can both extend and adjust out in width. Most with adjustable legs are just set at an angle. As you extend them out the wheels also get further apart.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cuslog
          New thread so as not to hi-jack the 8x36 mill calamity thread.
          I recently dropped a nice shiny new race engine on the floor. Looking at the rated capacities it shouldn't have happened, but it did and rather easily. Maybe someone else can benefit from my near miss.
          The details: Princess Auto / chinese, shop floor engine hoist. Smooth, level concrete floor, Big block Chev engine, aluminum heads & manifold. Should be no more than 650 lbs +-, lift arm was in the 1/2 ton (1000 lb) hole, should be good to go, right ?
          Engine on the engine stand, hook up nylon straps to the heads (don't want to mark anything), take up the weight with the hoist 'til I can see the weight is coming onto the hoist and off the engine stand (now I've got maybe 750 lbs on the hoist). Pull the pin on the stand, pull on the neck of the stand to pull the base of the stand off the mounting brackets, it doesn't want to come off, I pull harder, with a bit of a jerk and in an instant the front wheels of the hoist shoot straight back, the rear wheels go up about 5 ft. and the engine crashes straight down to the floor .
          I've done it like this dozens of times, never a problem, 'til this one. I must have pulled a bit harder this time to get the engine stand to separate.
          Damage wasn't too bad, gouged a blower pulley, squashed the oil filter and cracked a valve cover (not to mention the wounded pride). Could have been lots worse though, could have landed on my feet.
          Careful guys, some of the ratings on these things are rather generous and they may be closer to tipping over than you may think.
          Glad to hear you were not hurt.

          Did the lift fail or did you move the center of mass beyond the working envelope of the lift?

          A question for the group....why are the bases of these engine lifts angled like the letter "A"?

          Why aren't the bases wider for more stability?

          The reason why I am asking is that I am planning on rebuilding all my engine cranes to make them have a wider and hopefully more stable base.

          TMT

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TriHonu
            It sounds like the engine swung out past the front wheels and lifted the rear wheels off the floor.

            Does your base have telescopic legs that allow you to lengthen them out beyond the end of the boom?

            The center of gravity of the load must remain within the perimeter of the wheels or the lift will tip over. I have seen engine cranes with the front wheels well in front of the load tip sideways, when someone tried to pull the load sideways. My brothers crane is one of the few that has swivel casters on all four corners. If you pull the load, the crane will follow the load in any direction.

            I have only seen a couple engine hoists that the legs can both extend and adjust out in width. Most with adjustable legs are just set at an angle. As you extend them out the wheels also get further apart.

            Well said.

            Any links to those cranes whose legs extend out in width?

            TMT

            Comment


            • #7
              Cuslog:

              I also have one of those Princess Auto hoists.

              I take the lift weight ratings with a grain of salt. Maybe some of them are capable but the consistency of the welds is a bit alarming, I moved my 750Lb Mill with it in the 2,000Lb position and even at that it was groaning quite a bit.

              Glad your motor didn't suffer too much.
              Mike

              My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

              Comment


              • #8
                I have a cheap Chinese 2 ton engine crane that came from Machine Mart. It has its faults, but then so has every folding crane I've ever used. Overall it's a great bit of kit and I've tested and even exceeded its ratings without problems. However, when you're using the One and Half Ton boom extensions, you do have to be careful about balance. I nearly came a cropper when loading a Lister CS engine into a van. The engine (in 'Start-O-Matic' form) weighs 450+Kg and to get the height we neede the boom on full extension. As we pushed over the sill, one wheel caught on grit, the engine swung forward and the crane tried to tip. It was only becuase I jumped on the back as soon as I felt it go light, that we didn't drop the engine. When I moved my BP clone, I made sure that the crane woudn't tip....



                Sometimes it helps to have an 18 Stone mate to call on for help!

                Whole thread of the mill move is here; http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...ght=long+chang

                When lifting engines off stands, me approach has always been to lift the stand just clear of the ground, then slide the stand off the engine. Not the other way around.
                Paul Compton
                www.morini-mania.co.uk
                http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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                • #9
                  I have the same lift as shown above with the BP base and smiling Brit on it. It works well but what everyone said about not extendng it beyond the wheels is important.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I suspect most accidents like that are caused by over-balance problems and not by lack of weight lifting capacity. Many of the engine cranes seem very unstable with a high swinging load. Many of the engine stands also seem very marginal for base area and the ones with the column end wheels close together will tip over very easily. Hitting a small rock or tool while moving them can be very risky!
                    Don Young

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mine is exactly the same as the one in the photo above and no, the tubes containing the front wheels were not extended. The comment about extending the tubes so the load is not outside the wheels is probably good advice for these particular units. I don't think there's anything printed directly on these units re: keeping the loads inside the wheel base but its probably a good idea.
                      I was shocked at how easliy (and quickly) it tipped over. Maybe my little mishap will serve as a "heads up" to someone else with a similar hoist.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There have been numerous threads on other forums with many other disasters on the Chicom hoists, where does the upper ram attach at in relation to the whole and the girder bracing????

                        Sorry for your woes.......blower pulley and alum heads has me thinkin this was a nice one?????
                        Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....

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                        • #13
                          Posted in 8 X 36 Calamity instead. No delete function......
                          Last edited by gnm109; 09-06-2010, 12:14 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Always use your engine hoist at the *shortest* boom extention that will do the job. In my case I moved both my 1000lb lathe and mill on the 1ton extention point for lots of safty room.

                            Remember: moving the load or just raising/lowering it and suddenly stoping can put huge shock loads on the hoist. Keep it as low to the ground as possable when moving (less distance to fall) and don't be afraid to retract the boom first before moving, even if you have to extend it again later. Prep work is quicker then repair work.
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cuslog
                              Mine is exactly the same as the one in the photo above and no, the tubes containing the front wheels were not extended.
                              The legs on my crane above are fixed length. With the boom on full extension, the balance point is less than a foot behind the front casters. If you KNOW that and act accordingly, then no problem.

                              Keep it as low to the ground as possible when moving
                              Even better, put bars accross the legs, lower the load and take 90% of the load off the boom.
                              Paul Compton
                              www.morini-mania.co.uk
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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