[s-cars] re: [S-List] Shipping an Engine

Dave Burig dburig at igsenergy.com
Wed Nov 5 09:36:28 EST 2003

DAMN, I've missed the 'Poet!

Cheers Marc!  Good to have you back.

Dave Burig...thinking 'bout my next trip to Tampa, if it ever gets cold

-----Original Message-----
From: s-car-list-admin at audifans.com [mailto:s-car-list-admin at audifans.com]On
Behalf Of The CyberPoet
Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 2:12 AM
To: gabriel at ts.bc.ca
Cc: s-car-list at audifans.com
Subject: [s-cars] re: [S-List] Shipping an Engine

The big thing is to crate it correctly. As a former professional
shipper of heavy industrial equipment, here's what I recommend:

(A) Start with a good quality pallet. This is important, as the unit
will be transfered at various transfer points from truck-trailer to
cargo transfer-point to truck-trailer via fork lift. You can generally
get good pallets used at various places for $5 to $30 ($15 seems to be
the going rate), including sod installers (who often have stacks of
them laying around). Feel free to upgrade a traditional pallet by
adding a sheet of 3/8" all-weather plywood over the traditional slats,
if the wood isn't really sturdy as hell to begin with (i.e. - if the
slats flex at all under your weight when you bounce on them, definitely
need to install another layer).

(B) Build an engine stand out of wood, designed to support the engine
across the length of the block on both sides (as verses to supporting
it at the oil pan, etc). Pre-attach the stand to the pallet before
loading with the engine. The best designs also use the engine mounting
points to bolt up to, to help absorb lateral and front-back stresses.
Use at least 2x4 timber to do this. Don't pay for pressure treated
(only has to last a couple weeks), but softer woods like poplar aren't
advisable. Be cautious of leaking or weaping woods (such as fresh
pine), which will leak a tar or sap -- make sure to use dry wood, which
is significantly stronger. Also make sure your stand is designed to
keep the engine from moving front-to-back by cross-bracing as well.
Alternative: You can also consider contacting a 2-part high-density
pour-foam manufacturer and obtaining heat-foam, although be specific
about the intended useage -- the stuff is weight sensitive and not all
foams are created equal. Ask them if there is a local vendor or
industrial user they can get to do a sample engine packing as a test
bed (& that you will pay the chemical expenses). Often they can come
through for you in a few days to a week.

(C) Use aluminum foil and rubber-bands to cover all openings on the
engine (intakes, exhaust, etc), and then cover the engine with a large
2-mil to 4-mil plastic bag before you put into the stand or the
pour-box. Remove the excess air and tie off the bag. Place the engine
into the stand.

(D) Now surround the whole stand with 3/8" plywood, forming a box
around the engine. Use 2x4 stock at the interior corners and metal
roofing truss straps to ensure that the container will not give even if
the sides are slammed into (externally or by the engine itself). Place
the engine in the stand, and (optional, but recommended:) surround it
with a volume-packing material (industrial high-density pop-corn,
foam-pour, large chunks of styrofoam, etc.). Form a top of 3/8" plywood
with 2x4's around the edge (in such a way that the 2x4's on the inside
corners support the 2x4's in the lid) and set it on top of the box.
Hammer it closed.

(E) Contact your various freight haulers or search for a quote on the
internet. Since you don't have an accurate ship-weight, you'll either
have to calculate one (drive an empty pick-up truck through a
weigh-station, then go home, put the pallet in the back and drive back
through the weigh-station), or trust the freight hauler to tell you.
Your freight will be determined by volume, weight, distance, whether
the item supports top-stacking (i.e. - loading cargo on top of it),
plus whether pick-up & delivery are to take place (or if the item will
be brought to/picked-up from the local freight yard). The ability to
top-load other cargo over yours can make a cost difference of 40%, and
is the reason the exterior box was built so sturdily.

Or go the easy route and ask around at various engine rebuilders/mod
shops if you can have one of their used engine crates suitable for your
engine (may take some doing since the Audi engines are not 'standard'
block sizes compared to what most usually take in). Expect to pay up to
$150 for it, since that is worth the cost + pain & effort of building
your own.

Good Luck!
=-= Marc Glasgow

S-CAR-List mailing list
S-CAR-List at audifans.com

More information about the S-car-list mailing list