Last Updated on April 20, 2020 by Tim
Once upon a time, you could do major work on your Ford or Chevy’s engine without any special equipment such as an engine stand, and often without even removing the engine.
Modern cars are a lot more advanced and manufacturers cram more components in less space making major repairs and maintenance difficult (to put it mildly).
Often times, complete removal and mounting of the engine onto a stand is preferred or even required.
The best engine stand should be well-built, easy to use, and not cost a fortune. Most brands will get two out of three but these JEGS stands and cradle, you’ll get the best bang for your buck.
Whether you use an easy-to-use rotating engine stand or a simple engine cradle, your knuckles and lower back will thank you.
Don’t forget the engine hoist if you don’t already have one.
Top Pick (Engine Stand):
Weighing in at 98 pounds, the 80059 is a rotating engine stand that requires only a fraction of the effort needed for most stands. Instead of using multiple pins or bolts, this heavy-duty stand employs a simple crank that allows the engine to lock in place automatically when you stop turning the handle.
The mounting head is fully adjustable to allow use with almost any engine, whether it be a small 4-cylinder for your Honda or V-10 for your Dodge Ram.
The stand collapses for easy and efficient storage when not in use.
Customers love how sturdy this stand is when holding even heavy loads, as well as how easily it rotates the engine.
Another popular feature is its ability to fold and roll around even while in the folded position. Many consumers have noted that the grease zerk and the double-welding of the shaft are features other stands of this price range tend to lack.
There are very few complaints about 80059. Out of those few, one is the fact that not all four casters rotate independently. This can make movement and positioning particularly difficult when working with a heavy load. It’s not bad but it could be a bit better.
Another complaint lies with the assembly instructions. Many have found them a bit difficult to follow, as pieces are not clearly identified. But since there are only a few pieces, it’s pretty obvious how all the parts go together.
When looking for a small engine stand that can do the job, it doesn’t get much easier than the 80040. The mounting head is fully adjustable and attaches securely to the back of your engine.
A crank allows you to rotate the engine a full 360 degrees for easy access, while the steel casters make it easier to cart the mounted engine around your workshop.
Owners of the 80040 have commented on how easily the stand assembles, as well as the sturdiness. A few have commented that the casters are able to roll through the yard almost as easily as on a hard surface.
While not compatible with all engines, consumers have been able to test it on a wide range of both small block and heavy block engines with excellent results.
You can even use a couple of these engines stand to build a car rotisserie for auto restoration.
There are only a few complaints about the 800400 and revolve around manufacturer defects that weren’t caught.
These generally revolve around paint coating the threads of bolts or an error in the welding that requires adding some extra washers for balance.
While it’s always better for defective parts to be caught prior to shipping, JEGS customer service is known to be pretty quick to replace any affected parts.
Top Pick (Engine Cradle):
Designed to handle almost any small block or big block engine, this cradle is a Chevy owner’s best friend.
Made entirely of steel, the cradle has four heavy-duty 3-inch swivel casters for easier movement. When not in use, the bolts may be stored in the crossbeam to prevent loss.
The ultra-lightweight of this stand has proven beneficial to some owners who simply lift the 80064 and attach it to the engine while it is still suspended from their crane, lowering the entire assembly once done.
Overall, assembly is quick and easy, although the castors generally need to be removed during the process.
Users have also noted that the U-shaped assembly allows for minor adjustments by loosening and tightening the bolts, making it easy to fit engines of varying sizes.
Finally, many users have commented on how easily the cradle may be moved around, as well as the ease in storing a mounted motor due to its overall size.
Some have noted that assembly can be a little difficult if you don’t first disassemble the casters due to their free-spinning studs.
They have also run into the occasional stripped or missing bolt when assembling, although this is an increasingly common problem with shipped engine stand products from most companies.
The cradle’s inability to fit the Chevy LS-Series has also proven a disappointment to some owners of this product.