building a crate for your engine

people tend to over complicate their crates when they ship an engine, or they are shipped, supported wrong, without any thought as to how a finished and nicely painted engine will go back in it when it is shipped back. ideally you want to make the crate really practical to re-use. imagine all the items that will need to go back in it and how much extra space will be needed. don't just make space for a short block, when you will be receiving a completely assembled engine when it leaves here. the absolute minimum dimensions are 37 x 30 and 35" tall. you will be able to fit mounted exhaust manifolds and carb/ air cleaner. that is without counting the 3, 4x4 skidders that must be screwed under it for fork lift and pallet jack accessibility. (note in the pictures below, the middle skidder isn't installed on most the pics) start by making a stand that resembles the letter 'H" with 2x8 board, to support the pan rails. take note that the pan is NOT square and the 322/264 oil pan is wider than the 57 and later. screw your OSB floor to that, then your 3 skidders to the bottom. take note that 2x8 H frame can also be used to support an engine in the bed of a truck. distance between outer skidders must be at least 29 inches apart (from insides.) then frame up with 2x2 stock so that your OSB has a footprint to screw to. once you get 3 of your side walls mounted, now set your engine in there. use the cavities on the floor around your H frame to stash your goodies and other pieces. mount the flexplate to the front wall and double nut the bolt you use so it doesn't loosen. cling plastic wrap is good for wrapping the carb if you choose to not put it in a box. the wrapped carb also seals the intake. i use gorilla tape on head runners, both intake and exhaust to keep out contamination. bolt the intake over the top of the tape using 4 outer mounting bolts. now install your last crate wall. from the top, measure your width and cut at least 4, 2 x 4s that are that width. these boards will be used to secure the engine down and keep the engine from moving forward. bolt boards over the top of valve covers, balancer, bellhousing and water pump snout (waterpump and timing cover are fragile.) i loaded lots of pictures, as pictures are worth more than words for this type of project. take note, the cost of material right now was $225 after wood and hardware. its an entire day of labor to build a crate and load an engine. its basically impossible to charge my labor rate to do so, so i highly encouraged and appreciated that crates are built like this when engines are sent to me.

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