I'm currently doing an engine swap on on 97 Corolla Levin, need to swap over the exhaust manifold, water pump etc from one engine to the other, but not sure what the best way to handle the engine whilst doing it? I've currently got it in a tire on a pallet, but it would be preferable to not have to work on the floor. Also worried about stabilising it. Took the tranny out with and swapping that over as well, so a conventional engine stand is not a lot of good to me. I have an engine crane, but figure there must be an easier safer way than suspending it from the crane whilst working on it?

As you can tell I'd fall in the over enthusiastic weekend warrior category of car noob.


Leave the engine on the pallet where it can't fall and get damaged. It's safest that way. If you don't want to bend down to work on the engine, invest in a nice comfortable cushion to sit on or put a couple of bricks under the pallet to raise it up.

Personally, I love sitting flat on my behind while working. It helps me concentrate. Although it's a pain to have to get up to fetch something out of reach.

  • Since i have to transfer parts from one engine to another, I think this is going to be the way to go. Good idea with the cushion!
    – BiGXERO
    Jan 27 '14 at 6:22

I highly recommend an engine stand. They're normally adjustable to allow you to find the right places to attach the engine to support it while allowing nearly unrestricted working space around it. Typically they're height adjustable too, so you can work sitting or standing.

  • 2
    @BIGXERO ... And if you are worried about the transmission while using the stand, just leave it as the last thing to attach before stabbing the engine/tranny back into the bay. Jan 17 '14 at 13:30
  • I think the combo of the engine stand and doing things in the right order would be the best option, however, given that I'm transferring parts from one engine to another, and they are both already on the floor, I think I may go for the lazy option and just leave them there
    – BiGXERO
    Jan 27 '14 at 6:20

You can mount the engine on an engine stand by the bolts on the side of the engine. This gives you free access to the back of the engine including allowing the transmission to stay on.

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