Where should I attach engine hoist chains?

January 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


I am overhauling a 218 cid flathead six from a 1953 Plymouth and would like to know the best place to attach the engine hoist chain. Also, what is the weight of the engine alone and the engine with the bell housing, three-speed transmission, and overdrive unit attached?

And, one more question. Do you know if a spin-on oil filter adapter is available to replace the original canister type on the same engine?


I always prefer to attach the engine hoist bolts to the engine in horizontal holes instead of vertical ones. In this way, the weight of the engine acts against the bolt in shear rather than in tension. Most fasteners are actually considerably stronger in tension than they are in shear, but when it comes to lifting antique engines the issue is not the strength of the bolt in tension, but rather the strength of the weakest point of the entire setup in tension. The weakest point in the entire setup is usually the threads. It is normally more likely that the threads in a decades old casting will fail first and an engine hoist bolt that’s threaded down into the engine (for example, down into a cylinder head bolt hole in your flathead six) will pull out when subjected to a significant load. Conversely, it is normally less likely that a proper size and grade bolt will shear when subjected to the same load. I would, therefore, thread the hoist bolts into holes in the front of the block, such as the water pump bolt holes, and into the rear of the block, such as the bell housing bolt holes. Basic arithmetic dictates that bolting in two chains in the front of the block and two in the back will spread the load so that each anchor point is bearing about one-quarter of the total weight while using a single anchor point in the front and a single in the rear means each is carrying about half the total weight.

I could not find anyone who knows the weight of your engine, transmission, bell housing and overdrive unit. I’ll hazard a guess that all parts together weigh about 550 pounds.

Spin-on oil filter adaptors are more or less universal in that they all have an inlet and outlet, a means for mounting, and a fitting that accepts a standard size spin-on filter. You can buythese from any number of places, including Jegs (jegs.com) and Summit Racing Equipment (summitracing.com).

You will likely need some additional brass fittings to plumb your existing lines into the adapter. These can be bought from the same place where you buy the adapter or from any auto parts store.