You?ve never pulled an engine before? That?s okay! We?ve all been there. Your old engine stand is getting sketchy, the one you got from your dad?s neighbor?s uncle?s friend? Let?s replace it! Maybe you need a spare cherry picker for the shop or home garage. No problem.
Whatever your need is, the right engine removal equipment is out there ? and we?re going to help you find it.
Cherry Picker ? Like, for Trees?
This guide starts from the top, so if you know what you?re doing feel free to skip ahead. While we won?t cover how to remove an engine, we?ll cover everything you need to know about the equipment involved in the process.
Read our guide on floor jacks to learn all about lifting a vehicle off the ground, something most will require for this process.
A few basic items are needed to remove an engine with or without an attached transmission:
- Cherry picker / engine hoist
- Engine stand
- Heavy-duty chain
- Adapter plate (optional)
- Stabilization (optional)
Don?t worry, all of these will be explained as we discover the best cherry picker, engine stand, and accessories for pulling an engine.
Safely Remove an Engine
In addition to plenty of room, paper towels, proper tools, and time, you need patience for this process to go smoothly. A lot of physics are involved here, and one wrong move could lead to several hundred pounds of metal falling on your feet, or worse, your car!
Always wear protective gear when operating a cherry picker. This can?t be understated ? work gloves and steel toe boots are considered standard fare. An engine stand is a sturdy thing, but accidents can happen there as well. Take precautions and you?ll live to work another day.
Weight limits aren?t something to test ? that?s how things get dropped. Most of these tools are designed to operate at or slightly above the stated weight limit if they must, but always respect the manufacturer?s stated limitations. Engineers set these limits for a reason: safety.
With that said, most hydraulic systems on this list are designed to operate well below their true maximum capacity. There are two reasons for this. First: when an item is in motion it essentially weighs more, so it exerts more stress on the engine hoist components. Second: longevity. These machines are designed to last for years with little to no maintenance, and to guarantee this, manufacturers must ensure their components aren?t overstressed.
Most of this equipment is specialized in some way, so be sure to research what specific items your engine requires. There is a lot of variety in engines, and in turn, a lot of variety in these products. Forums and other communities can help a lot when it comes to oddball engines.
If you plan to remove the transmission at the same time, or if you use this equipment for something other than engines, be sure to determine how much the target item weighs before choosing a product. Most of the products in this guide cater to the casual engine-puller, those of us who are fine with an engine stand and cherry picker with a lower maximum capacity.
This Ain?t Cheap!
If you?re pulling an engine for the first time, congratulations: you have officially earned a new level in the realm of the serious mechanic. In this world, cheap dollar store tools aren?t going to cut it anymore. If a bargain-bin wrench fails, no big deal. If a bargain-bin cherry picker or engine stand fails, your engine is toast.
There?s no getting around that removing an engine can get expensive. If you only plan on doing this once, consider renting an engine hoist and engine stand from your local Sunbelt.
Quality tools are a smart investment ? you only need to buy them once ? and this list features durable tools without the big-name prices. In the long run you not only save on shop labor but on any subsequent rounds of rentals. Not to mention, one of these times your buddy is going to be using his engine stand when you ask to borrow it.
But I Don?t Have Room for a Cherry Picker!
All the products you?re about to see include free shipping for Amazon Prime members, so you can skip driving to the big-box store with the constant sales, loading heavy boxes in your truck, and driving all the way back. This would be even more difficult if you don?t have a truck, or if it?s down and you need to take the engine out to fix it.
Even the biggest items on this list can be disassembled for easy storage. Out of excuses? Great! We?ll learn the rest along the way ? without further ado, let?s dive right in and find the best cherry picker, engine stand, and accessories available today.
Best Cherry Picker / Engine Hoist
The job of a cherry picker is to lift the engine out of the car. That sounds simple enough, but when you consider an average engine weighs between 300 and 800 pounds without a transmission attached, lifting one is no easy task. The basic functions are the same as a floor jack ? an arm is actuated, compressing hydraulic fluid within a cylinder, which forces a piston to move, which raises a boom, and your engine hangs at the end of the boom. It?s like a miniature crane.
Most cherry pickers come with a chain and hook, but you need to buy a longer chain to lift anything with. Skip to the Accessories section to see those.
There are three main styles of cherry picker, so let?s explore them.
If you?re just looking for a regular ol? cherry picker, this is the one for you. Sure, you can pay more than this, but why? It has a folding neck and removable legs for easy storage, 360-degree rotating wheels, and a hydraulic cylinder that?s rated for eight tons. The actual lift capacity is between 1000 and 4000 pounds depending on how far you extend the boom neck. The cylinder is overpowered to make lifting engines a breeze, and to ensure it?s never overworked.
This engine hoist is made of quarter-inch steel and can extend to eight feet tall. It comes with a 60-day warranty against defects, which is about as good as it gets with an engine hoist. It?s only meant to protect against defective hydraulic rams and other random abnormalities.
Using a cherry picker is easier than lifting an engine with your hands.
- Folds for easy storage
- Easy to move
- Easy to use
- More capable than most ever need
- Weighs 132 pounds
- Manual operation
- Short warranty
Dragway Tools Truck Bed Engine Hoist Crane