155 Title turbo

With the CB160 project complete I find myself floating between universes with no clear direction. I have more of my own project ideas that I would like to pursue but also find myself in idle mode. There is never a shortage of tasks to complete for others and although I have got better at managing the “request” list I figured I would take on a quick and simple project.

The Porsche dealership in the city was in need of some tool room organization and they required some way to store some large equipment items. The dealership is required to purchase, and needs, certain special tools that are available from the manufacturer. One of these special tools includes multiple large metal engine table lift adapters. Basically they are comprised of metal channel configured to adapt to different models of Porsche engines. The cradles sit upon a hydraulic engine scissor lift table and allows for removal of power train units for various models Porsche produces.

The cradle adapters are big, bulky, heavy, and awkward to store and to move. The have leaned up against a wall for years and all the related adapters just get thrown in a pile. Since the dealership is moving into a brand new facility they didn’t what to transfer the “tool pile” into the new tool room. Some means to organize, store, and move the tooling was required.

155 Cayenne cradle

The cradles, and adapters, that require storage are used on top of an engine lift table. Here is a picture of a Cayenne engine and transmission sitting on the cradle that is perched on top of the lifting table. The adapter is the gold colored contraption. Porsche has multiple of these adapted including Panamera, Carrera GT, and Cayenne.

I had offered to weld up an A-frame style cart that would allow the larger cradles to hang. The idea would be to fabricate shelving for all the extra adapters. The only request on the dealerships part was that the cart was painted red. I basically was allowed to fabricate the cart any way I saw fit as long as it held all the necessary tooling.

So I lugged all the engine cradles and adapters home and started to measure and configure in order to come up with a plan. The engineering was far from complicated and the main focus was to make the entire unit as compact as possible.

It seems like it has been awhile since I have posted just some basic fabrication that I do in the shop. To some of you the pictures may be boring. For me I like seeing how others complete some of the most basic tasks and so this is what I have tried to show. It is cool how many different ways there are to go about accomplishing the same thing. The following shows you my way.

155 setting for circles

Setting up my plasma circle guide to do some radius cuts on 8″ mild steel. The radius gets set to 4 inches.

155 spittin sparks

I love watching sparks fly. Some people have a horsepower and torque addiction. For me it’s all about molten metal.

155 rough cur 8 inches

This is the top tray and support for the structure built from 8″ wide by 3/8″ thick mild steel. I wanted to give the tray come nice lines therefore curves are in order.

155 bending edges

The top tray support needs some sides in order to prevent stored hardware from getting away. The sides were bent from 2″ x .125″ flat bar.

155 clamped 4 welding

The flat bar sides were bent in two sections then clamped to the base and welded.

155 top tray

Here is the top tray support completed.

155 cut 2 length

With the top completed it was time to move onto the base. The stock was cut to size. The base was plasma cut out of 10 gauge and the perimeter is 2×4 steel tubing.

155 lower tray

Not a lot of fancy engineering going on here. The base is fairly basic. Just needed to be clamped in place and welded. The base measured 24″ x 60″.

155 caster spacing

I hate drilling for casters. It is boring and time consuming so I decided to make a jig to speed things up. I dialed in the caster bolt spacing into the milling machined DRO.

155 caster template

With the DRO programmed I drilled a template with my caster bolt spacing.

155 drilling 4 wheels

Now that I had a jig with perfect bolt hole spacing I was able to quickly drill all 4 corners of the base for fitting of the casters.

155 base done

Base complete. Nothing great to look at at but it’s functional.

155 clamping uprights

Time to connect the upper tray to the lower base. Lots of clamping and measuring before things got tack welded into place.

155 3D roughed

Here the upper and lower got final welded. Everything measured out square. The Germans would be proud of me.

155 test fit b4 continuing

Before going on I wanted to ensure the cradles would hang properly on the rack. Clearances worked out great.

155 pegs clear

The peg clearance wasn’t left to chance, I calculated it all out before welding on the hooks.

155 middle tray

Last tray to complete. I planned to put a middle tray in to allow for more storage. This one was built from 10 gauge and featured a similar design to the top tray.

155 middle tray test

Test fitting the middle tray before moving on. In this picture you can see the hooks I fabricated to allow for hanging of the engine cradles.

155 middle tray sides

Bending more sides for the middle tray.

155 midle sides tacked

Clamped and TIG welded.

155 fab complete

Completed support. All it needs now is some color.

155 underbelly red

I gave the option of sending out the rack for powder coating or I could just Tremclad it as a cheap option. They opted for Tremclad so although the finish prevents the final product from looking completely pro it was not in the budget. They requested red for visibility so the Fire Engine red got brushed on.

155 Fire Engine red

155 trays

155 Finished cart

  1. Don Neufeld says:

    I’m glad I got to see the real thing. I’m sure it makes a big difference in the shop. VERY nice work Gord.

  2. Luis Rodrigues says:

    Lucky bastards. You should have a logo to stamp on your work.
    How about making a video of you riding your Honda CB160 around?
    Thanks for sharing.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Luis, I should get GG name plates made up. I would love to post a video of the CB160 ride unfortunately I need winter to “leave da hood”. The bike continues to sit and wait for dry roads. Soon though…weather is looking good for next week, snow is disappearing quickly.


  3. Jess Davis says:

    Very cool. Making racks, holders, and organizing stuff is always satisfying.

    Of course, if Porsche had any sense, they would make lifting provisions part of the engine design criteria, and their dealers wouldn’t have to buy all those insanely complex frames, one for each model. One tool could work for every engine.

    Much as I like tools, “special tools” are one of my pet peeves. Special Tools are Crutches for Bad Designs. And you can quote me on that.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Jess, I agree that getting things organized so that they can be accessed and stored easily is satisfying. I understand your comments in regards to special tools. I think it gets complicated since the manufactures make a profit off the dealers forcing them to by mandated tools. Much of the time the special tools make the job easy and quick however the tools aren’t always required as work arounds can be executed. However sometimes you are screwed and the tool is absolutely necessary in which case the manufacturer owns you.


  4. Dustin Penner says:

    Eh frames has me wondering if you’re Canadian… Where do you live? I’ve just recently come across your page and I’m continuously impressed with your work. I’m in the middle of building my own foundry and I wish I had a shop like yours to build it. My main interest for the past few years and my garage reflects that… I can do anything with wood, nothing with metal haha. Thanks

    • Dustin Penner says:

      That was supposed to say “my main interest for the past few years has been woodwork and my garage reflects that”.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Dustin, thanks for checking out the blog. Yes I am Canadian and live in the Western half. Building a foundry is also on my list of projects to do however it is currently not on the priority list, hopefully someday. Would love see some of your woodworking projects, have an pictures posted anywhere? My apologies for the (very) late reply.


      • dhpenner1 says:

        I’m from central Alberta, its nice to see amazing work like yours coming from a fellow Canadian. I don’t have any of my work on displayed on the web. Maybe someday!

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hi dhpenner, no work on display you say? What are you waiting for? Blogs are free, just start posting. Would love to see what you have.



  5. howder1951 says:

    Hi Gord,
    I am enjoying your blog immensely and I am trying to pass the interest to my fellow gear heads.
    Keep up the nice work, the attention to fine detail is not only very interesting, but it should be required reading for all young aspiring trades in this country.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks howder1951, I appreciate you taking the time to check out my projects, it nice to get positive feedback from people like you. I enjoy the detail which is why this is a hobby and not a career.

      Thanks for spreading the word.


  6. Dustin Penner says:

    Is gord dead?

    • gordsgarage says:

      Ha! No Gord is not dead. Time management has been challenging over the last number of months. The blog has suffered however the garage work has not. Still melting metal and spitting chips. I have fallen sooooo far behind in responding to comments I feel guilty showing face around this place. I will make an effort to start posting again. Hang in there.


      • howder1951 says:

        Too bad Gord, I realize how much work it is to document your activities, but I would encourage you to continue as one of the very best blogs I have followed. You blew me away with the detail level on the Honda project and the eh frame. Your pictorial coverages are the best, speaking for your followers, we all miss your entries and are looking forward to next one.

      • gordsgarage says:

        Thanks howder1951, I will try and get back into more consistent blog entries. It has proven to be challenging but it is always nice to be able to share what is happening within the confines of my garage.

        Stay tuned!

      • Luis Rodrigues says:

        Any new projects?

      • gordsgarage says:

        Hi Luis, since you wrote this comment I was able to high-lite the garage happenings from the last 4 months. I go through stages and it would seem that I’m in the mood for machining these days. I have some fun, useless project, ideas that I think I may play with. I’ll do my best to post.


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