Recently inspired by Viny Charb's engine build (and engine test stand he built), I decided to start building my own version of an Opel specific engine test stand.
In truth I've wanted to build one for 20+ years. Roger Wilson built a very nice test stand ten or so years ago which really came in handy when he was building and selling engines. I got a lot of neat of ideas from that too.
But since Ive been doing a lot of shop cleaning lately I started remembering that my memory wasn't as good as it once was! Previously I could look in my shop or my barn and tell you the mileage and condition of any engine that happened to be sitting there, and the running condition it was in before it got put in storage. Now, after 30 plus years of collecting parts and 30+ years of getting OLD
, my memory isn't as sharp as it once was!
In addition, it's just nice to be able to test fire a newly built engine and break in the cam, as well as ensure there are no coolant or oil leaks. Much easier to fix on an open test stand than in a car!
So, without further ado, here's my own version of a custom built Opel engine test rig. I'm building it as good as I can on my budget, since I don't intend to build another one any time soon. I'm using as many new items as possible, because I hate the thought of damaging an engine because I cheaped out. I hope to have the majority of the work done in 1-2 weeks, as time allows.
This is yesterday's progress report.
The first item I built was a fuel tank. I could have used a plastic gas can or bought a metal lawn mower gas tank, but I couldn't find anything I like dimensionally. I wanted the tank to fit the confines of the test rig. I wanted a threaded filler (no fumes), and I wanted a drain petcock, so I can empty the fuel between tests easily. Modern gasoline sucks in terms of storage life!
I made the fuel tank from some .083" thick aluminum diamond plate scraps, and a threaded filler neck I got from Speedway Motors a few years ago but never used. Capacity is just over 1.5 gallons (231 cubic inches). Here is the fuel tank amidst some of the tubing I've started to cut for the test stand frame. I'm using 1.5" x 1.5" square tube with a .095" wall thickness. I will be using a Facet electric fuel pump mounted directly below the fuel tank.
Here is the mocked up engine I'm using. Note the utilization of a bellhousing, as I needed a good place for a rear mount, and I didn't want to expose myself to the spinning saw blade of death known as the flywheel ring gear while running an engine.
I set it at the angle and height which I thought was most useful for me, and started designing the frame around these requirements.
Here are the engine mount brackets I'll be using. They are early Manta/Ascona brackets. Unlike a GT's, they are symmetrical in length, but the bolt hole locations are NOT. So I welded up and redrilled one of the holes so that they are now symmetrical. Easier this way, less chance of screwing up. The actual rubber engine mounts are some cheapo 'hot rod' mounts I also got from Speedway Motors for $19.95 per pair. Very compact, and should not bounce around much.