M110 Engine with crane

Having engines outside of cars can pretty annoying when they have to be moved. It is usually impossible to lift the engines without a crane and wrestling them around on the floor. Usually will make some damage either to the engine or the ground. The 6 cylinder M110 engine is quite heavy due to the cast iron bottom end. And it does not particularly make it lighter when the transmission is bolted on. The engine itself is over 200kg – real heavy weight.

I have been lazy, and the engine has been for a long time stored on top of a pallet. The pallet have been shoved into a corner on top of some boards and gravel and partly forgotten. This garage does not have flat concrete floor. So moving the engine have been challenging. It required a lot of wrestling with at least two persons and using the crane to move and lift it.

Last time it was moved, it got moved closer to the garage entrance in expectation for moving it to another storage location, however moving never happened. And the engine is still on top of a pallet lying on the gravel, but this time the engine is also blocking the entrance space for winter parking two cars there. So it was a good time to fix this issue.

The plan is to fit the pallet with wheels like a shopping cart, so it can be easily moved around and moved by one person without using the crane, much more efficient and safe. The wheels should be sized to the ground type. Shopping cart wheels are probably OK for perfectly flat surfaces, but in my case I had to go for three times bigger wheels. For outside use maybe wheel barrow wheels might be necessary. Bigger wheels also makes the project more expensive, and it was not the plan to use much resources on this.

Firstly the pallet for the needs some reinforcement due to the increased stresses the wheels can make on the pallet when over uneven ground. Here I used two pieces of planks and put it across the lower edges on the short sides.

Reinforcing pallet
Reinforcing the pallet with extra boards.

Then the pallet will be fitted with wheels like a shopping cart, except two of the wheels will be in fixed positions and two of them can rotate like shopping cart wheels. The reasons for this are; fixed positions wheels were cheaper and the car can be handled more safely on uneven ground.

Since the fitting of the wheels were quite wide, there needed to be placed four wooden blocks under the reinforcement boards for the wheel screws.

Fixed wheel
Fixed wheel fitting. Notice the extra piece of block used under the supporting board.

Each wheel needs four long screws with a large flat head, alternatively use shims. They also needs to be long enough for securing the wheels properly. Remember this construction needs to handle several hundred kilos. Make sure the fixed wheels are pointing in the longest direction of the pallet.

Rotating wheel
Rotating shopping cart wheel.

When the cart is done the engine can be lifted onto the pallet with the crane. If you do not have an elaborate amount of chains and shackles I recommend using normal jacking straps used for securing loads on trucks or similar. This was also necessary here since I do not have the front engine lift mount for this engine.

Engine Cart
Engine Cart Finished

When placing the engine on the pallet from the crane, it was not possible to get the entire pallet under it. The engine was placed half way onto the pallet and while still secured to the crane, it had to be dragged along the pallet while simultaneously slacking up the crane.

Now when the pallet has wheels, the engine makes for a high point of gravity on top of the pallet. Safety is an important factor here, since we do not want it to roll of and crush anyone. Use a dedicated jacking strap and tie it around the engine and avoiding delicate parts and tighten it down to the underside of the pallet. You can get these very cheap in any auto store.

Engine placed on pallet
Engine on pallet secured with jack straps

Since it is stored in a dusty garage and I do not want it collecting more grime and cobwebs than necessary, I covered the engine with a plastic tarp.

Engine stored properly
Engine stored properly with a protective tarp

By Robs

Passionate about vintage Mercedes Benz where driving, maintaining and learning new things and teaching others on the black arts of car maintenance.