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As you say, lifting the bike is not the problem. It's what happens if things go wrong. But, hey, why waste the time to do it right the first time when there's plenty of time to do it over later?
It worked for me the first time and has been working well each time since then, for what it's worth. I do appreciate all the feedback.
 

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Food for thought. 4 1/4 inch bolts are holding this motor lift plate to the cast alluminum intake of this powertrain.
 

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Food for thought. 4 1/4 inch bolts are holding this motor lift plate to the cast alluminum intake of this powertrain.
Aluminum V8 intakes are a very stout piece of aluminum. To compare that to a motorcycle engine case is comparing apples and oranges. It's standard operating procedure for professional mechanics to lift automotive engines by the intake. It is not SOP to lift motorcycles by the engine case.
 

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I've had the harbor freight jack for better than 5 years now. I always end up putting a 2x4 on the rear fork of the jack and aiming between the oil filter and the reg/rec. can't count how many times I've done it for oil changes, tires, forks, reg/ rec change out. Never broke the aluminum casing. I think scraping on high speed bumps is more damaging. But what do I know? MaybE I'm just lucky. As far as the front fork... Heck modifying it to fit the frame would be a total PITA. However I do admire the folks who take such pains as to do it all correctly and avoid mishaps. So thanks for the words of warning... They are appreciated if not always heeded :)
 

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As you say, lifting the bike is not the problem. It's what happens if things go wrong. But, hey, why waste the time to do it right the first time when there's plenty of time to do it over later?
It's the second time that gets expensive!:idea:
 

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Actually Motorcycle engine cases are a pretty stout piece of aluminum too, and by the way...thanks, But I know...I am a professional technician. ;) so just like the Tomato Tomotto argument, do whatever floats your boat!
 

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If you say so. I'm not betting a $$$$motor because I was too lazy to modify a jack to work without lifting on the motor. A real professional would not raise the bike by the engine.
 

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There are 2 reinforced portions of the engine case that are designed for lifting and supporrting the engine assembly. Anyone who has actually lifted one with the harbour freight jack knows that the bulk of the weight is supported on the aft portion of the frame. The piece under the crankcase has very little weight on it anyhow and this part of the engine is reinforced for this purpose. My bike sits jacked like this all winter with no issues in the 4 years I have had it. I even run the bike in this configuration with the bike tied down to the jack. I can see no reason for any damage to be done to the case. The whole bike weighs what? 600lbs dry (I don't remember but I know mine is 900 loaded) 70% of that weight is supported by the aft part of the frame when on the jack.

Do what you will but I will continue to jack mine as I always have.
 

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So, it's been a little while since this Battle Royale was last discussed. Has anyone been converted to/from engine case lifting?
 

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My whole engine case split in half the other day when I lifted my bike :( Actually thats false! Just the other day lifted it on the engine case and rear of the frame... Even sat on on it while it was on the lift. Turns out the engine cases are kinda strong. :) That ought to add fuel to the fire for a while! lol
 

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So, it's been a little while since this Battle Royale was last discussed. Has anyone been converted to/from engine case lifting?
Nobody will ever admit, on the internet, to having their mind changed or being converted. However, this thread was pretty much wrapped up as follows:

1. In an ideal world, a jack should lift a bike by the frame only
2. Many people who are unwilling or unable to construct an apparatus to do that, have had success lifting their bike by the frame in the rear and the engine in the front. On this thread at least, there are no first hand accounts of that method being anything other than successful.
 

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Hard case
I recently came across a deal I couldn't pass up, on a roll-around hydraulic jack stand. When I got it home, I lubed those damn squeaky wheels and got it positioned under my '06 1600 Nomad. Then I see that the engine case hangs down below the frame. My question is, can I jack up this 800 lb. machine with the jack against the engine case and not the frame? Can the case support all that weight? I am afraid to try it for fear of cracking the case or creating a leak. What can you suggest? Great magazine, by the way...
Joe Gass
Via e-mail

While picking the bike up by the case isn't the preferred method, it's unlikely it'll do any damage. I've done it many times myself without problem, so if that's the only way you can safely lift it, that's what you'll have to do. A better method might be to build a small cradle or use pieces of wood to shim the jack pads so they contact the frame instead of the engine.



Read more: Motorcycle Tech Questions and Answers - Motorcycle Cruiser magazine
 

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for me its not that the frame wont take it.... Its that the bike is so much more stable on the Jig I made :)
 

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Do you really want to take a chance on breaking a very expensive and difficult to change out, aluminum engine case.

Never lift a bike by the engine.
like a guy i know that tried to change both tires at once by wrapping straps around the jugs and up to the ceiling to lift the bike.. and snapped off half his fins..... I asked him what was wrong with attaching to the frame at the neck doing the front tire then lifting the back the same way and the answer was.... "this seemed easier" worked out in the long run for him......
in an emergency you could get away with it but I would rather build a jig.. not that I use bike jacks its just one more thing in my way. I use overhead lifting whenever I can just so the stuff isn't under foot while I am working on the bike.
 

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What I did was simple with a scissor jack and a piece of 1" x 3" steel tubing placed a top the jack and then the jack goes up and lifts under the bike frame just behind the oil filter. The jack doesn't even come in contact with the motor.

I put a 2x6 under the kick stand first to level the bike. The bike stays very stable and you can leverage it to either make the front or back wheel to come off the ground.

I still change the oil just by putting a 2x6 under the kick stand. There's enough room to do the job, or you could do as others by putting a seperate 2x6 under each wheel and kick stand.
 

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1100's is what this thread was pertaining to due to the engine case extends below the frame.
 

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I bought one of those Harbor Freight motorcycle jacks on sale with a coupon, how can you past that up. I was concerned that when lifted my motorcycle she listed to one side. Looking at the left side of my motorcycle it was level; looking from the front (directly at the headlight) it was leaning towards the right.

I will be making this modification.
 
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