Engine Lift – Explained

Engine Lift

An engine lift is a type of device that is used to install and remove engines in cars and trucks. The design that is most frequently used will normally have a hydraulic cylinder that is bolted or welded onto a steel frame and a hook will hang down from the top of the device. There will be a boom that is adjustable, so that the lift can be used on engines which are at differing heights. Some engine lifts will have folding legs as an option which allows for easy storage of the lift when it is not being used. There are other types of engine lifts that make use of:

  • Electric cable lifts
  • Come along pullers
  • Chain falls

Why Do You Need An Engine Lift?

In order to facilitate many kinds of transmission or engine repairs, the vehicle’s engine must be removed.  An engine lift of some kind is needed in order to accomplish this task.  On a lot of vehicles, after disconnecting the engine from its electrical harness, fuel lines, and chassis mounts, an engine lift can be connected to the engine by chains or a lifting bracket and removed from the car or truck. However, on many vehicles that have front wheel drive, the engine must be removed from beneath the chassis. In this scenario the vehicle’s body is often blocked in a position that is elevated and the engine will then be lowered from the chassis using an engine lift.

Alternatives To an Engine Lifts

If an overhead beam or supporting structure is available, engines can be removed using a winch or chain falls. When there is no overhead supporting structure available the engine lift will be the best device for this job.  One problem with the engine lift is that it must be operated on a solid, level surface. If the surface is soft, the wheels of the engine lift will sink into it. This will make it very difficult to move the lift away from the vehicle when the engine is suspended from it.

If you must work on soft ground then you can cover the area that the engine lift is on with a piece of thick plywood. This will allow you to maneuver the engine lift when the engine is suspended from it.

Engine LiftPrecautions When Using Engine Lifts

When using an engine lift it is important to not leave the engine hanging from the lift for a prolonged time period. The continual stress of the engine’s weight which is unsupported and hanging from the lift can cause the lift to fail prematurely. This can also lead to engine damage caused by it being dropped on the floor.

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