I need to ship a vintage motor (R69S) to California from North Dakota. I have concerns about who to use as I have not had good experiences with shipping companies. I plan to make a metal frame around the motor with square tubing a cover it with thin metal to keep the weight below 150 lbs. I will welcome some suggestions.
A couple of suggestions. Vech has this on his website for shipping engines. I believe he even sends one to you if you planned on having him do work:
Another idea comes from Tom Cutter of the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, a good Airhead mechanic in PA. He says to drain completely and clean/dry the engine. If the heads/cylinders are off, be sure and protect the exposed rods. Wrap the whole motor with paper towels, use the whole roll. Now stuff the ball of motor and towels in a plastic trash bak. Stuff that into another bag. Wrap the whole ball with a whole lot of duct tape, making a big, soft ball of motor. Put this into a sturdy cardboard box that fits snugly. Now put this box into a second, larger sturdy box, with at least 3" of clearance on every side. stuff the space with wadded-up newspaper, so that the inner box cannot touch the outer box.
Duct tape is probably called for to hold the whole mess together. Someone else mentioned that expanding foam stuff. Spray some in the bottom of your shipping contained, let it set up a bit, and then put the mummified engine onto that. Stuff newspaper, etc., around. Finish off the box with duct tape...if you have any left!
Should be something around 100 pounds depending on the engine and the amount of "stuffing". I would suspect that any of the major shipping companies will handle this as ground freight no problem. If not them, then find a trucking company.
I shipped an R62 motor and transmission by air freight to Italy. I did this by building a plywood and 2x4 framed box around the components and used drywall screws to lag it to a palette. Inside the box I had two spars of 2x4 that I drilled to accept the motor mount studs, so the motor and transmission were bolted to the box just as if they were mounted in their original frame. It arrived in the Italian Dolomites after two flights and three truck journeys completely unharmed.
I realize that this is somewhat different from your project, but you can take notes of what has worked for me. The combined unit, box and palette weighed something like 170 lbs.
I moved 2 prewar engines in large rubbermaid type containers. I lined the container with a poly sheet, then filled it about 1/3 full with expanding foam (Great Stuff or similar) with another layer of poly sheeting. The engine, encased in 2 HD garbage bags, was lowered into the foam. The next day, I covered the engine with another layer of poly sheeting and filled the container with foam. These went inside my moving continer, so they were not subject to the handling they would go through in a truck or air shipment, other wise I would have made a wood crate.
Vech uses a well made wooden crate and mounts the engine a cradle using the engine bolt holes. The only problem with this is that with engines where the rear engine bolt is on a long, cantilevered "shelf," it doesn't take much break and old and tired engine casting. I know of a R5 engine (mine) and the R6 engine of a friend that broke in this way. Using this type of crate, I STRONGLY recommend placing a piece of polystyrene (extruded is stiffer, but expanded is probably OK) under the pan that is thick enough to be slightly compressed when the engine is bolted to the cradle. It should give it enough support to prevent the shelf from being fractured if mishandled.
I personally favor the foam encapsulation.
Another engine protection technique I have used for storage is "industial" plastic wrap (giant size Saran Wrap). After fogging the innards, many wraps in multi directions does a good job of sealing it up.
i just got an engine from 600 km away on a truck, driven by Schenker... it was just strapped down to a pallet with clamping straps. it worked great, engine arrived perfectly. the only "problem" was the driver being so curious that i had to tell him all about the bmw's i have & give him the grand tour of the garage.
with schenker, i always been satisfied. i use them when shipping records & other stuff from my company to all over europe...