How to Build an RC Model Engine Test Stand

Written by donna armstrong
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Many people prefer to break in an RC model engine before installing it into a vehicle. A good way to break in an engine is to run it on a test stand. A model engine test stand is bolted or clamped to a work bench and the engine is placed in the stand. Test stands can be used for model aeroplanes, cars, boats, trucks and much more.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • One one-inch by 10-inch wood board, 12 inches long
  • Drill
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Two wood triangles, four inches tall, with a four-inch wide base and a two-inch wide top
  • Two steel bolts, eight inches long
  • Two steel wing nuts
  • Two eye hooks
  • Rubber bands

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  1. 1

    Measure one inch from the end of the 12-inch board and draw a six-inch long line on the board. Cut out a one-half inch notch in the board that is at least five inches wide. The notch must be in the centre of the board. The bolt shaft will be placed in the notch while the engine is being tested.

  2. 2

    Drill two holes in the 12-inch board. The holes need to be six inches from the end of the board and one inch from the edges of the board. These holes will hold the triangles that will support the engine.

  3. 3

    Remove 1.5 inches from the top of each triangle with a saw and store the top pieces for later. Drill a hole, big enough for the bolt to go through, from top to bottom of the triangle. Drill the hole 1.25 inches from the corner of the triangle.

  4. 4

    Slide a bolt through the 12-inch board from the bottom up and place a triangle over the bolt. Repeat for the other bolt. Turn the triangles so that the flat sides are facing each other.

  5. 5

    Place the top pieces of the triangle you cut earlier on the bolts and use the wing nuts to hold them down.

  6. 6

    Screw eye hooks one-half inch from each end and attache rubber bands to the hooks. The engine will be mounted on the triangles with the engine flange that comes with the motor. The rubber bands will hold the front and back of the engine in place and the engine can be tested.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are testing model engines that run on fuel, cover the triangles and base with a thin coat of resin or epoxy. Should the fuel leak, this will keep it from soaking into the test stand.

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