Engine test stand

Rat Rods Rule

Help Support Rat Rods Rule:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Active member
Nov 13, 2007
Good Morning Folks,
I want to build my own engine test stand. Cant afford a thousand dollars. Does anyone have plans they can post or PM?

I've gathered up some parts and pieces to build one as well. I don't have any plans, but do have a few pictures of ones that have ideas, and features I liked, and will include into my own creation. If you use Google images or something similar, you'll get a few examples and ideas.


  • Base-ETS_12.jpg
    31.3 KB · Views: 78
  • Base-ETS_38.jpg
    40.2 KB · Views: 79
  • PRW-Low-Profile-ETS.jpg
    37.2 KB · Views: 89
  • Run_In_Stand.jpg
    63.8 KB · Views: 67
  • Run_In_Stand_3.jpg
    72.6 KB · Views: 66
  • Run_In_Stand_4b.jpg
    48.5 KB · Views: 67
  • Run_In_Stand_5.jpg
    59.7 KB · Views: 59
  • Run_In_Stand_6.jpg
    64 KB · Views: 56
my stand

old exercise stuff works great. people are always scrapping or giving away this kind of equiepment.

mine l made outta a walker/glider, an old weight bench bottom, motor stand parts and scrap metal we scrounged.

for a gas tank that holds a gallon l used an overflow tank off a newer car.

my back piece, so the rear has a mounting place to give it three points when bolted down was cut off a old motor stand mounting plate. the exercise frames motor sand pieces that l got came from a friend who does scrap metal runs for extra money. it's not quite finished, still need to make radiator brackets, motor mount stands and a place to mount the guages.

l used the shocks that l got off the walker/glider to help dampen vibrations.

best part of the stand, IT WAS FREE:D

hope this helps,



  • motor stand 001.jpg
    motor stand 001.jpg
    154.6 KB · Views: 67
  • motor stand 002.jpg
    motor stand 002.jpg
    134.7 KB · Views: 59
  • motor stand 003.jpg
    motor stand 003.jpg
    159.6 KB · Views: 58
  • motor stand 004.jpg
    motor stand 004.jpg
    134.7 KB · Views: 53
  • motor stand 005.jpg
    motor stand 005.jpg
    130.1 KB · Views: 54
  • motor stand 006.jpg
    motor stand 006.jpg
    121.4 KB · Views: 47
I built mine set up for an engine and trans, so I could test them as I pull them out of the donor. Most of what I mess with is BBF/C6, so I made it a little larger than many will want or need, and it is very stable. I used .125"-.250" wall tubing, depending on what was available in my stash. Outside portion of the "frame" is 2"x4"x.125", the front legs and cross braces at the bottom are 2"x4"x.250"... rear legs are 2"x2"x.250". The motor mounts/hitches slide into receiver tubing for trailer hitches.

The black pieces are adjustable hitches from Harbor Freight, with a frame mount attached for a through bolt style motor mount. This allows adjustment for width and height of the front of the engine. Once I had an engine sitting on it, I drilled through holes so it can be pinned to keep it from vibrating side to side. The 3 tabs on the left are for the frame of the radiator, which detaches so I can change waterpumps, timing chains or cams while on the stand. Radiator is from a 79 F250, and mounts similar to the way it did in the core support.

The trans mount is also adjustable like the front, just mounted below the frame, as that is how the measurements came to work out. It also adjusts front to rear and up/down as needed. I can put just about anything from a 4 cylinder auto to a big block or something as heavy as an IH engine and trans without a problem, although, I have not tried one with a transfer case to see how it would clear. The tabs on right will hold the exhaust up and keep it from breaking the headers, mufflers or pipes.

I made it wide enough to clear headers for a 73 460 Torino. The height is good for working on without bending over, although since the 6" casters have been added, it is a bit tall for me to look in the carb. It is also tall enough to remove the oil pan on the engine or trans from underneath.

I have also added some cut down length truck running boards to the sides, which make small shelves for tools and parts while you are working on it, especially when running. It is wired for a Duraspark or points type ignition. Gauges, ignition switch, and wiring is on a small panel that mounts to the ds of the engine. I guess that if a guy had to actually buy new materials to copy this, it would amount to about $250 in steel, including hitches. The associated car parts actually came from donor cars, so the money was already spent on that to get the drivetrain. I collect engine mounts, exhaust manifolds, radiator hoses, and brand specific items as they come along on donors.

Last edited:
thanks. its getting the juices flowing. Collected the box tube for the frame yesterday.

Again thaks for all the input
I've built one that's mounted on a trailer. I also built a dolly that it can be off loaded onto so that the trailer can be also be used as a motorcycle trailer. All the photos that I have are of early fabrication on the engine stand, but you get the general idea. Still had to mount gauges, wiring , battery box, fuel tank and misc. loose ends. I might even paint this one. ( I didn't paint the last one I built.)









Latest posts