Using a break in stand

Jaxson Frye

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I searched through some threads but couldn’t find what I need so… I would like to run my freshly built 350 (now a 355ish) on a break in stand but I’m not sure what to do for wiring, I still need to do a couple things like distributer, MPFI conversion with higher horse power support, powder coating, egr delete, and stuff like that but for the most part the engine it self is done. Since I’m using the factory intake, and factoryish injection I would like to know what I would need to run the computer controlled stuff. Best of all I would like to do this with a tuned 0411 ECM since that will be what’s in the truck. Any help is appreciated!!

I don’t think it would change much but it’s a decently built engine, my buddy who does derbies built an almost identical 355 with carb and it’s about 500 hp. If needed I can add what Ive done and still need to do with this engine.
 

Supercharged111

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Uhh, wire it up? I feel like if you have to ask, you're already in over your head. I've never done this, but would just use a schematic to build a standalone harness out of a junkyard truck harness if I did and there's nothing stopping you from using a 411 here, exact same procedure as swapping it into the truck itself. I must ask, why bother with the stand? Why not just shove it in the truck, tune it, and be done?
 

Schurkey

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I just use the engine assembly stand. I built a radiator cart on wheels that rolls up to the front of the engine, and has a battery, switch-and-gauge panel, etc. A two-gallon fuel jug sits on the floor. The "legs" and the gauge panel swing away for storage; it takes up very little room when it's not needed. I use distilled water plus "water pump lube" during break-in; no antifreeze to clean up if things go badly.

This works great for carbureted engines with engine-driven fuel pumps. Have a garden hose available to mist the radiator if things get warm. I support the front of the engine with a chain to an engine hoist from the water-pump area. The engine does jiggle around a little as it runs, and I need to be careful opening/closing the throttle as there's some torque reaction when the engine changes speed. Most of the exhaust system came from a '67 Dodge Dart with the Leaning Tower of Power, adapted via flex-tube to fit whatever I'm working on at the moment. Quieting the exhaust noise is ESSENTIAL as you won't hear knocking rods or ticking lifters otherwise.

Pontiac 455 with rad cart:
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Making a run-stand, or adapting my "radiator cart" to an EFI--computer-controlled engine would be significant work. You'd need an electric (probably in-line) fuel pump of at least the pressure required by your injection system; and a return system back to your tank. You'd need a computer plus wire harness for every engine-related sensor--and all the sensors. I suppose you could do without the O2 sensors; it'll run in open-loop. The computer would need to be grounded to the test stand just like it's grounded in the vehicle. And don't forget to include a MIL light and OBD-2 connector so you can view the data stream as it runs.

And, of course, the computer will have to be "tuned" to the engine.




Overall, I agree with Supercharged111. Put it in the truck, use the truck wire harness and whatever computer you want to use. OR put a carb on the thing, a non-computer-controlled distributor, and a low-pressure inline electric fuel pump. Run the engine on the stand, then put install the EFI and computer systems before installation in the vehicle.
 
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Jaxson Frye

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Uhh, wire it up? I feel like if you have to ask, you're already in over your head. I've never done this, but would just use a schematic to build a standalone harness out of a junkyard truck harness if I did and there's nothing stopping you from using a 411 here, exact same procedure as swapping it into the truck itself. I must ask, why bother with the stand? Why not just shove it in the truck, tune it, and be done?
i would prefer to run it before I put it in the truck as there is a decent amount of modifications that will be going into to the truck and would like to know if everything based on the engine it self will work for future reference if something doesn’t work. It’s really just so I know that everything that attaches itself to the engine works and when theres a problem it lies somewhere else
 

Frank Enstein

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I just use the engine assembly stand. I built a radiator cart on wheels that rolls up to the front of the engine, and has a battery, switch-and-gauge panel, etc. A two-gallon fuel jug sits on the floor. The "legs" and the gauge panel swing away for storage; it takes up very little room when it's not needed. I use distilled water plus "water pump lube" during break-in; no antifreeze to clean up if things go badly.

This works great for carbureted engines with engine-driven fuel pumps. Have a garden hose available to mist the radiator if things get warm. I support the front of the engine with a chain to an engine hoist from the water-pump area. The engine does jiggle around a little as it runs, and I need to be careful opening/closing the throttle as there's some torque reaction when the engine changes speed. Most of the exhaust system came from a '67 Dodge Dart with the Leaning Tower of Power, adapted via flex-tube to fit whatever I'm working on at the moment. Quieting the exhaust noise is ESSENTIAL as you won't hear knocking rods or ticking lifters otherwise.

Pontiac 455 with rad cart:
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Making a run-stand, or adapting my "radiator cart" to an EFI--computer-controlled engine would be significant work. You'd need an electric (probably in-line) fuel pump of at least the pressure required by your injection system; and a return system back to your tank. You'd need a computer plus wire harness for every engine-related sensor--and all the sensors. I suppose you could do without the O2 sensors; it'll run in open-loop. The computer would need to be grounded to the test stand just like it's grounded in the vehicle. And don't forget to include a MIL light and OBD-2 connector so you can view the data stream as it runs.

And, of course, the computer will have to be "tuned" to the engine.




Overall, I agree with Supercharged111. Put it in the truck, use the truck wire harness and whatever computer you want to use. OR put a carb on the thing, a non-computer-controlled distributor, and a low-pressure inline electric fuel pump. Run the engine on the stand, then put install the EFI and computer systems before installation in the vehicle.
A REAL engine. I would love to built my fantasy Pontiac engine for Frank!
 

stutaeng

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I've seen folks start them using only the engine stand like @Schurkey shows. Just make sure the stand is secure, maybe add a support near the front. Or get yourself one of those little cradle stands made this use. They allow your engine to sit lower to the ground: https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/80064/10002/-1#

I bought one when I was dropping in my swapped engine into my truck, mainly just to be able to roll it around my backyard and power wash it. I didn't start it on the stand, but I did change the leaky oil pan while still on it and the the flywheel.
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Frank Enstein

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I've seen folks start them using only the engine stand like @Schurkey shows. Just make sure the stand is secure, maybe add a support near the front. Or get yourself one of those little cradle stands made this use. They allow your engine to sit lower to the ground: https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/80064/10002/-1#

I bought one when I was dropping in my swapped engine into my truck, mainly just to be able to roll it around my backyard and power wash it. I didn't start it on the stand, but I did change the leaky oil pan while still on it and the the flywheel.
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Ahhhh, The engine in it's natural habitat...
 

Schurkey

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A REAL engine. I would love to built my fantasy Pontiac engine for Frank!
Caddy 472/500. Has approximately the right RPM range for a truck, heaps and piles of torque. You WILL need a 4L80E or stronger. I keep hearing that, built properly, the fuel economy is actually pretty good.

Downside is the horrible OEM rocker-arm system--but not such a problem to you as to those folks trying to RPM the silly things. I've got a few, but have never rebuilt one. Someday.

Another alternative is a Buick 455. Probably more power/torque potential (cheaply) than the Pontiac (cheaply) unless you find "good" Pontiac heads. Huge bore, short-ish stroke. Downside is the terrible oiling system--trying to suck oil through two feet of tubing and drilled passages, into an aluminum-bodied, easily-scored/worn pump housing? And then driving the pump via a tiny distributor gear driven by a cam gear overhung off the front cam bearing? Front cam bearing problems are epidemic. The front cam bearing is so overloaded they get hot enough to melt the babbitt. What the hell was Buick thinking? But if you can get reliable oil pressure, and keep a cam bearing in the front...they're Hemi-Killers.

The Olds 455 is similar to the Pontiac--about the same bore centers, therefore smaller bore and longer stroke compared to Buick. Somewhat RPM limited compared to Pontiac but way better than Caddy. Small valve sizes compared to the better Pontiac heads. But since you'd be building for torque, not high-rpm power, not much of that is a real drawback. Same oiling system as Pontiac--not as good as Chevy, enormously better than Buick or even Caddy.
 

Supercharged111

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i would prefer to run it before I put it in the truck as there is a decent amount of modifications that will be going into to the truck and would like to know if everything based on the engine it self will work for future reference if something doesn’t work. It’s really just so I know that everything that attaches itself to the engine works and when theres a problem it lies somewhere else

Even if you get it in the truck and something doesn't fit are you gonna throw your hands up and scrap it or make it work?
 

Frank Enstein

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Caddy 472/500. Has approximately the right RPM range for a truck, heaps and piles of torque. You WILL need a 4L80E or stronger. I keep hearing that, built properly, the fuel economy is actually pretty good.

Downside is the horrible OEM rocker-arm system--but not such a problem to you as to those folks trying to RPM the silly things. I've got a few, but have never rebuilt one. Someday.

Another alternative is a Buick 455. Probably more power/torque potential (cheaply) than the Pontiac (cheaply) unless you find "good" Pontiac heads. Huge bore, short-ish stroke. Downside is the terrible oiling system--trying to suck oil through two feet of tubing and drilled passages, into an aluminum-bodied, easily-scored/worn pump housing? And then driving the pump via a tiny distributor gear driven by a cam gear overhung off the front cam bearing? Front cam bearing problems are epidemic. The front cam bearing is so overloaded they get hot enough to melt the babbitt. What the hell was Buick thinking? But if you can get reliable oil pressure, and keep a cam bearing in the front...they're Hemi-Killers.

The Olds 455 is similar to the Pontiac--about the same bore centers, therefore smaller bore and longer stroke compared to Buick. Somewhat RPM limited compared to Pontiac but way better than Caddy. Small valve sizes compared to the better Pontiac heads. But since you'd be building for torque, not high-rpm power, not much of that is a real drawback. Same oiling system as Pontiac--not as good as Chevy, enormously better than Buick or even Caddy.
The fantasy engine is a 326 block with a 455 crank, re-bushed rods with 305 Chevy pistons. That is around 370 cubic inches with a 4.21" stroke. There are 4.25" and 4.5" cranks readily available! It's mostly a mind exercise.
 
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