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MG TD TF 1500 - Tips on hoisting engine

I've got the engine on the floor and I was trying to figure the best points to pick it up with a one-ton chain hoist. The obvious pickup points would be the head bolts but the head is already torqued on and I don't want to have to redo that. Anybody got any simple tips or pix on good attachment points?
Thx in advance.
Geoffrey M Baker

1" ratchet straps at HD. They come in sets of four. Cinch 3 up (one for safety and fiddling) and hoist away.

thx sounds good Mandrus
Geoffrey M Baker

I used these specialhoisting straps, very convenient. The balancer at the hoist is also very usuful. The engine has to kind of dive into the bay and approach the gearbox support. Good luck, Huib

Huib Bruijstens

The valve cover studs are the most common lifting point. Use L-brackets, or a bracket similar to what Moss sells. The Moss item is incredibly overpriced but the design is good. You can make your own for a few dollars.

Here is how the bracket mounts...

Steve Simmons

When I rstored my MGB I used the valve cover bolts for my engine removal/installation with the gearbox attached. I was skeptical until I saw a factory photo of the engine being put in the car the same way.

TW Burchfield

When I restored my MGB I used the valve cover bolts to lift/install my engine with the gearbox attached. If you do it that way be sure to use a solid piece of metal with holes drilled for each stud. Lifting the engine with only a chain attached to each stud will surely bend them or worse. The attached picture is an MGA but the principle is the same.


TW Burchfield

I know it sounds obvious, but DON'T use the valve cover knobs - get large flat washers and nuts. I saw an engine once where the plastic knobs were used ("Hey, they were there before..."), and the engine broke free, smashing the distributor, sump, timing cover and aluminum valve cover, and bending a whole lot of stuff.

Tom Lange
MGT Repair
t lange

Plastic knobs to lift a 400 pound engine? I guess those are the people that the warning labels on plastic bags are for. ;)

You would be surprised how strong the valve cover studs are. I've seen numerous engines lifted at steep angles without bending them. A solid bar is never a bad idea though. No such thing as being too safe.
Steve Simmons

Thanks Tom; I was going to look for some nuts because the plastic knobs look way too weak.

But for half an hour of work (I like to practice my welding) here's the tool for the job. I'll have to drill some holes for eyebolts - maybe every half inch - along the square tube, so I can adjust my balance points - but most of the work is done.

Yes, those are the plastic knobs holding it in place. I promise not to use them!

What's the thread on those nuts? 8x1?

Geoffrey M Baker

I used a couple of heavy duty canvas slings & a block & tackle & had no problems. Gearbox was attached. Cheers
Peter TD 5801
P Hehir

Threads are 8x1, no problem. Picked up some nuts and washers at Ace... now on to drilling some holes for the chain attachment points.
Geoffrey M Baker

OK it's done. I put 3/8 Jbolts on either end of the bar, hooked chain through them, and used a small hook to grab the chain. The nice part about that is using a small hook it won't let the links slip through, so you can find the balance point and put the hook on that link of the chain... instant balancing system.

Geoffrey M Baker

Well that's certainly heavy duty enough. You could probably lift the car and set it on the engine with that getup! ;)

Hard to tell from the photos but be careful if using the tip of the hook inside a chain link. It can very suddenly pop out if a side load is introduced. If you want to lock the position, maybe try bolting two links together under the hook. Also keep an eye on those two j-hooks to make sure they don't bend as you lift. Good luck!
Steve Simmons

Thanks Steve!
A quick test showed no problems at all. I quickly found the balance point and then was able to lift the engine evenly without difficulty. The J bolts bent inwards very slightly as the tension came on the chain, but held perfectly. I don't forsee any problems.
I'm not using the tip of the hook; I purchased a small slotted hook that is the right size for the chain, so you can slip a link sideways into the hook (not through the tip). This way it is impossible for the chain to slide in either direction, the hook holds the link precisely. As I said, a simple balancing system!
Geoffrey M Baker

I'm not a metallurgist but I suspect the bend in the J hooks weakened them significantly. On the next version I'd recommend drilling the holes for the J hooks at about the same angle as the chain when it is in tension. Shorter bolts through the last link of the chain would also probably work. Just musing on a pretty neat rig. Jud
J. K. Chapin

Well made Geoff,
But the idea is that you will have to tip the motor to get it in,,, Lifting it up an the balance point isn't necessarily going to allow you to set it in the car.
As you tilt it in the installation process, the chain might slip on the hook,,
Steve Wincze

Actually, after a second look, I would suggest moving the lift hooks closer together to make tilting the engine easier,,, the farther apart they are, the more difficult it will be to tilt during installation,, Note how the pictures show how much the engine is tilted

Steve Wincze

Jud, I might replace the J bolts with welded eyebolts...
Steve, I'm really not concerned that the chain will slip. I'll try to take pictures of what I described to show you better, but I bought a hook with a long narrow slot designed to catch the link of one chain. (Not by using the tip of the hook, but by sliding the chain link in sideways so that both sides of the link are in the slot in the chain.) This means that the chain simply cannot slip in either direction, because it will just jam on the next link of the chain. The only way would be by tipping the engine perpendicular to its axis more than 45 degrees, at which point the chain link could slip out completely. As there will be no tipping of more than 10 degrees in any direction, that can't happen, either.
I think it's about as secure as it can be. Additionally, I'll probably wrap a strap around as backup anyway :)
Geoffrey M Baker

I think the problem will be when you HAVE to tilt the engine to get it in,,, not so much the slipping, but the front chain will have a lot of slack in it and it won't want to tilt easily..

Steve Wincze

I bought an Oberg tilt lift years ago after struggling with a HF crank-tilt abomination. It has been a godsend, especially with the MG midget race car that requires starting at a pretty high incline and moving to a level position.

I have to do this fairly often, though, so it may not be worthwhile for a once-in-lifetime project.
David Littlefield

Geoff, I'd be happy to loan my Oberg Tilt Lift to you. Makes life easier. Bud
Bud Krueger

Just hook it under the centre of the rocker shaft I've done loads of times, it's too short to bend
A R Jones

Bud, a kind offer. I might take you up on it in a few weeks when I get back from Seattle!
Geoffrey M Baker

This thread was discussed between 30/08/2015 and 31/08/2015

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