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I have built a BBC (396/402) slightly modified over stock - nothing to crazy, but it does have a retro fit hydro roller (street use). I am looking to get the engine tuned and valves adjusted while the car is in the shop for body work. Does anyone have experience starting an engine on an engine stand or a low engine cradle - I have both and it is currently in the cradle. I probably wont have a tranny or accessories on it, I am also considering starting it for a few minutes w/o a radiator. What is your experience? Thanks Dan
 

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I've run both of my previous engines on the engine stand before installation.

Makes life much easier for re-torquing heads; verifying that nothing leaks, etc.

As long as you don't suddenly change throttle position--AND--your engine stand is reasonably sturdy/stable to begin with--you shouldn't have any problem.

I built a radiator stand that also has gauges, switches, a battery, etc. I just roll that up to the engine stand, connect the hoses 'n' cables; add fluids, and push the button...
 

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I knew a man years ago that restored Ford cars, model a and flatheads. He built a stand with a rad and a bellhousing so he could start the engine and warm it up before installing in the car. It was good to check for leaks oil pressure, etc. It had wheels on it so it could be rolled out of the shop into the fresh air to run. Something like this may be more work than you would want, but easier than finding that rear seal leak after the engine is in the car!
 

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one thing though....if you build it make sure you build it on level ground.....my buddy built one while he was in school and the floor there was a little off lol and when we got it in my garage to start my old 406 it shook a whole bunch cuz all the wheels werent on the ground lol...i thought it was cool starting it on a stand cuz we did it with open headers and it was sweet sounding inside a garage at 3 am
 

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i have started many engines without water in them, i never run them more than 30/40 seconds and they would not even start to get hot to the touch. if upi have a sturdy stand go ahead nothing to worry about ..... just dont get crazy with the throttle
 

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I put mine on a engine cradle and hooked up the radiator. At least this way you can run it for a few minutes. (No fans) I'm not sure I would run it in a typical engine stand. With the cradle the engine was only inches from the ground.
 

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I knew a man years ago that restored Ford cars, model a and flatheads. He built a stand with a rad and a bellhousing so he could start the engine and warm it up before installing in the car. It was good to check for leaks oil pressure, etc. It had wheels on it so it could be rolled out of the shop into the fresh air to run. Something like this may be more work than you would want, but easier than finding that rear seal leak after the engine is in the car!
I used to have one like this to test run chevy small and big blocks on. It was on wheels with gauages, a gas tank, radiator, and a battery. I wish I still had it but sold it due to space contraints about 12 years ago...
 
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