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Engine Crane Boom Upgrade

PROSTOCKTOM

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After fighting with an Engine Crane boom that's been 7"-8" to short for years I decided to make a new one. My problem has been with the engine crane legs beveled outward and the engine stand I like to use also has the legs beveled outward makes it impossible to get the chain hook centered over the block with these two pieces of equipment. The original boom extension is only a 2ft. long piece of 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" 3/16" wall tubing. I've had the tube slide out so far that only 3" were inside the outer tube. Not safe at all, and still not far enough out for what I need it to be. I looked all over town and no one had this size tubing in stock, so I ended up ordering a piece off of Shapiro Metal Supply in St. Louis, MO. However they were advertising the metal I wanted cheaper on eBay than they were on their company website.

I ended up buying a 4 ft. piece of 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" .250" wall for less money than I could buy 3/16" wall tube anywhere else by $20.00 less.
Material ($89.76), sales tax ($9.36), and shipping ($44.00) Grand total $143.12 Steel Rectangular Tube - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" x .250" x 48" | eBay

Now I might have to use some counterbalance on the other end of the crane depending on how far I need to pull it out.

I've never liked how most engine crane booms just have the chain hanging out of the tube, so I decided I was going to make this one a lot nicer looking. I cut a bevel on the bottom and then radiused out the corners. While I was at it I bought a 3/8" 316 Stainless Steel Jaw-Jaw Boat Anchor Swivel off of eBay for $15.00
3/8" 316 Stainless Steel Boat Anchor Connector Swivel Jaw - Jaw WLL 1,870 lb | eBay
It's rated working load is 1870# and breaking load of 7480# so it should be more than adequate for the intended use I need it for. Then I realized I needed to keep the chain centered and not wanting to take the time to machine some spacers I used some 3/8" stainless steel AN washers to accomplish that job. While I was at it I upgraded the bolt from a Grade 5 to a Grade 8 because the original bolt was to short to use a Nylock nut on. I still need to figure out spacers for inside the tube to keep the top of the chain centered, but I'll find something to use in there. Now all that's left is drop off the tube at the powder coaters and I'll be ready to start using this crane without the frustrations I've dealt with for years. If you've been in this boat, or are now in this boat here's the solution for you.

Tom

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After fighting with an Engine Crane boom that's been 7"-8" to short for years I decided to make a new one. My problem has been with the engine crane legs beveled outward and the engine stand I like to us also having the legs beveled outward it makes it impossible to get the chain hook centered over the block with these two pieces of equipment. The original boom extension is only a 2ft. long piece of 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" 3/16" wall tubing. I've had the tube slide out so far that only 3" were inside the outer tube. Not safe at all, and still not far enough out for what I need it to be. I looked all over town and no one had this size tubing in stock, so I ended up ordering a piece off of Shapiro Metal Supply in St. Louis, MO. However they were advertising the metal I wanted cheaper on eBay than they were on their company website.

I ended up buying a 4 ft. piece of 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" .250" wall for less money than I could buy 3/16" wall tube anywhere else by $20.00 less.
Material ($89.76), sales tax ($9.36), and shipping ($44.00) Grand total $143.12 Steel Rectangular Tube - 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" x .250" x 48" | eBay

Now I might have to use some counterbalance on the other end of the crane depending on how far I need to pull it out.

I've never liked how most engine crane booms just have the chain hanging out of the tube, so I decided I was going to make this one a lot nicer looking. I cut a bevel on the bottom and then radiused out the corners. While I was at it I bought a 3/8" 316 Stainless Steel Jaw-Jaw Boat Anchor Swivel off of eBay for $15.00
3/8" 316 Stainless Steel Boat Anchor Connector Swivel Jaw - Jaw WLL 1,870 lb | eBay
It's rated working load is 1870# and breaking load of 7480# so it should be more than adequate for the intended use I need it for. Then I realized I needed to keep the chain centered and not wanting to take the time to machine some spacers I used some 3/8" stainless steel AN washers to accomplish that job. While I was at it I upgraded the bolt from a Grade 5 to a Grade 8 because the original bolt was to short to use a Nylock nut on. I still need to figure out spacers for inside the tube to keep the top of the chain centered, but I'll find something to use in there. Now all that's left is drop off the tube at the powder coaters and I'll be ready to start using this crane without the frustrations I've dealt with for years. If you've been in this boat, or are now in this boat here's the solution for you.

Tom

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That’s what I’m talking, better engineered than some mass produced, make cheap and send it out the door. GREAT job brother
 
Nice work! You’re right about counter balance. I bought a home made hoist at a farm auction a good 20 yrs ago. Very heavy duty and I was thrilled at the amount the boom extended. Not thrilled in the right way though when I got ahead of myself with the extending and had the rear casters start to lift off the ground. Managed to save the situation. Couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about that before hand.
 
Nice work! You’re right about counter balance. I bought a home made hoist at a farm auction a good 20 yrs ago. Very heavy duty and I was thrilled at the amount the boom extended. Not thrilled in the right way though when I got ahead of myself with the extending and had the rear casters start to lift off the ground. Managed to save the situation. Couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought about that before hand.

Thanks, I am not going to be dealing with that until after I get it powder coated, but my guess is once the chain point gets a few inches forward of the front casters it will raise the rear caster off the floor if the weight being picked up is more in front than the crane weight behind the front wheels (it's all leverage). So I already know it will need counterweights if I am pickup something more than a couple hundred pounds. I have a 1000# heavy duty spring scale (same design as a fishing scale) I'll be attaching to the crane and the ball hitch on my truck. I'll add enough counterbalance that I can pickup a 1000# (a little safety factor over a 440RB engine weight) at the given point on the boom extension. I have already extended the boom to the point I need it to work with the front of the crane and the engine stand allowing me to get 3" over center on a BBM block and filed a witness mark from top to bottom on the boom. Most likely once I get it set and counterbalanced I'll never have any need to extend the boom any farther forward. This has made for a fun project that will eliminate the constant hassle every time I need to load and unload an engine to this particular engine stand.

Tom
 
Cool!
Just an FYII from the cheap seats. it will be tough to get good / complete powder coverage inside the tube due to Faraday caging. It will wrap an inch or two on the ends but the majority of the inside will be bare steel.
 
Cool!
Just an FYII from the cheap seats. it will be tough to get good / complete powder coverage inside the tube due to Faraday caging. It will wrap an inch or two on the ends but the majority of the inside will be bare steel.

Thanks Leanna, I was aware of that from having done electrolysis cleaning. I am not worried about the inside, as I probably just spray it with some oil and call it good, but you have to have some bling on the beam. LOL A rattle can job doesn't look as nice, nor is as durable.

Tom
 
Why is the new boom cut on an angle below the bolt?

So the chain isn't just hanging out of the end of the tube like all the cheap engine cranes that are made. The really expensive cranes have a boom tube made from 1/4" wall tubing and bevel cut. It just allows the chain to travel freely.

Tom
 
I got busy this afternoon and made a set of spacers out of Delrin, but didn't like the gap, so I made another set. Got that issue taken care of.

Now just waiting on the powder coater to call me.

Tom

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Thanks, I am not going to be dealing with that until after I get it powder coated, but my guess is once the chain point gets a few inches forward of the front casters it will raise the rear caster off the floor if the weight being picked up is more in front than the crane weight behind the front wheels (it's all leverage). So I already know it will need counterweights if I am pickup something more than a couple hundred pounds. I have a 1000# heavy duty spring scale (same design as a fishing scale) I'll be attaching to the crane and the ball hitch on my truck. I'll add enough counterbalance that I can pickup a 1000# (a little safety factor over a 440RB engine weight) at the given point on the boom extension. I have already extended the boom to the point I need it to work with the front of the crane and the engine stand allowing me to get 3" over center on a BBM block and filed a witness mark from top to bottom on the boom. Most likely once I get it set and counterbalanced I'll never have any need to extend the boom any farther forward. This has made for a fun project that will eliminate the constant hassle every time I need to load and unload an engine to this particular engine stand.

Tom
One suggestion: have the coater use an epoxy powder if they’ve got it available in a color you want. Better chemical resistance and a little tougher surface once fully cured.
 
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