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Shipping a Crankshaft


Matt Wilson
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Hi all,

 

I'm preparing to ship a 251 crankshaft and trying to figure out the best, most secure but least expensive way.  I've never shipped something so heavy and odd-shaped. 

 

I started constructing a wooden crate this afternoon, with the idea of making supports for each main journal, but I read a post on another forum, where someone said not to make things so rigid that the box will transfer the shock of being dropped to the crankshaft.  Another post on that thread suggested making a crate, placing the crankshaft in it and surrounding it with spray foam. 

 

I'm leaning toward the foam idea, without the supports at each journal.  That's also something a friend of mine suggested.  I just hope the spray foam is durable enough to stand up to rough handling, up to and including being dropped, without breaking down or squishing to where the crank will end up being loose and less protected.

 

Any comments or ideas?

 

Any idea how much shipping this thing would cost?

 

Should I use one of the standard shippers like UPS or FedEx, or is there another shipper that's better for this type of thing?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Matt Wilson
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Hi Matt

I have never done this so nothing I say can be considered helpful but I would be leery of spray foam as I am not sure how easy it will be to remove it at the receiving end. Am I correct in assuming you are sending it to a machine shop?? Even if that isn't the case I would contact a couple of crankshaft places or parts supply depots and ask them how they ship them? Otherwise my best guess would be supporting the two ends in the crate and filling the remainder with those commercial packing pellets (peanuts) but again I don't have any experience in doing this. Hope it all works out for you.  Dave

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Maybe also consider bracing the crankshaft with some sturdy small boxes or foam like they put in many boxes you see today within a sturdy box.  The boxes will allow some give if it's dropped.  Make a box with sturdy handles on the sides.  Workers are more likely to drop or toss a heavy box without handles. 

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I got my redone crankshaft back in the trunk of a Taxi car. 25 mls were enough to distort the shaft: 0,0004 inches off center.

I brought it back to the shop on the back seat of my car and one of the old mechanics was able to get it aligned perfectly with a dozen hits on strategic points with his leather protected chisel and hammer.

 

So, You must find a way to send it excluding the risc of getting it back out of alignment.

The machine shops should have tried out safe methods!

Greetings from Düsseldorf!

Go

PL_Welle2 KL.jpg

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Originally a new 251 crankshaft was shipped in a very heavy duty wood box.

12" X 12" X 36"....

I bought six of them years ago.

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Maybe verify with the recipient what shipping method is acceptable...I have shipped bulky items by Greyhound and by FedEx Freight to the nearest town, then I had to go pick them up, which was kindofa hassle as neither station was enthusiastic about letting me get my stuff out of their cages cuz they both had reps with a case of the don't-wanna-try.  I have since become acquainted with several ppl at FedEx Freight so I can call them directly instead of dealing with the automated operator round'n'round.

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Fastenal also does third party shipping via thier logistics operation. I've shipped engines and other very large items through them in the past. Last time was 3 or 4 years ago and the price was still reasonable then.  Drop off at your nearest branch and pickup at the nearest destination branch.

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On 10/31/2022 at 2:27 AM, Go Fleiter said:

I got my redone crankshaft back in the trunk of a Taxi car. 25 mls were enough to distort the shaft: 0,0004 inches off center.

I brought it back to the shop on the back seat of my car and one of the old mechanics was able to get it aligned perfectly with a dozen hits on strategic points with his leather protected chisel and hammer.

 

So, You must find a way to send it excluding the risc of getting it back out of alignment.

The machine shops should have tried out safe methods!

Greetings from Düsseldorf!

Go

That's interesting that you had a crankshaft warp due to transport in the trunk of a car.  I also had a freshly ground crankshaft that was transported by the grinder in his trunk to a central meeting location where we moved it to my trunk and I brought it home.  Total "trunk time" was about 2 hours.  But I didn't experience any warpage.  I measured every main journal very carefully and they were all within 0.0001 or 0.0002" TIR (total indicated reading).  This was for a 265 flathead crankshaft.

 

As for the 251 crankshaft that I'm preparing to ship, it is used and in need of regrinding, so any damage that is incurred during shipping, so long as it is relatively minor, can be corrected by grinding.  Thanks!

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On 10/31/2022 at 9:04 PM, JBNeal said:

Maybe verify with the recipient what shipping method is acceptable...I have shipped bulky items by Greyhound and by FedEx Freight to the nearest town, then I had to go pick them up, which was kindofa hassle as neither station was enthusiastic about letting me get my stuff out of their cages cuz they both had reps with a case of the don't-wanna-try.  I have since become acquainted with several ppl at FedEx Freight so I can call them directly instead of dealing with the automated operator round'n'round.

Good point.  I'll contact the buyer and see what he says.  Thanks.

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On 10/31/2022 at 9:40 PM, vintage6t said:

Fastenal also does third party shipping via thier logistics operation. I've shipped engines and other very large items through them in the past. Last time was 3 or 4 years ago and the price was still reasonable then.  Drop off at your nearest branch and pickup at the nearest destination branch.

Thanks, I'll check with them.  I've also used them, but last I remember, I thought I heard that they were no longer doing this.  Or maybe I'm confused by the fact that my nearby Fastenal no longer sells fasteners to the public.  Maybe I'm confusing the product sales side with the shipping side.  Or maybe it's just the local Fastenal that doesn't do it anymore.

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Thanks for all the responses, everyone.  When I talked about using spray foam, I meant that I would wrap the crankshaft in plastic first.  Yes, the spray foam would otherwise stick to the crankshaft.  I think I'm going to go the route of the spray foam without the internal supports at the main journals.  Those would add a fair amount of weight and I'm not sure they would enhance the protection much and might actually add risk of damage if the box gets dropped and that shock transmits into the shaft through those supports. 

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9 hours ago, Matt Wilson said:

Thanks for all the responses, everyone.  When I talked about using spray foam, I meant that I would wrap the crankshaft in plastic first.  Yes, the spray foam would otherwise stick to the crankshaft.  I think I'm going to go the route of the spray foam without the internal supports at the main journals.  Those would add a fair amount of weight and I'm not sure they would enhance the protection much and might actually add risk of damage if the box gets dropped and that shock transmits into the shaft through those supports. 

Good choice IMO.   On the Fastenal question, they suspended the service I think in the earlier days of the pandemic.   The biggest issue is their two zone system.  They have an East and West zone and only ship within those zones.  Shipments are never sent inter-zone.  So your destination must be in your sending zone. 

 

Lots of guys have posted on other sites about using Greyhound.  Seems to work but can be slow as it is a space available service with no transit time warranty.  And limited coverage for damage.

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6 hours ago, kencombs said:

Good choice IMO.   On the Fastenal question, they suspended the service I think in the earlier days of the pandemic.   The biggest issue is their two zone system.  They have an East and West zone and only ship within those zones.  Shipments are never sent inter-zone.  So your destination must be in your sending zone. 

 

Lots of guys have posted on other sites about using Greyhound.  Seems to work but can be slow as it is a space available service with no transit time warranty.  And limited coverage for damage.

Ok, all good information, Ken.  I get the impression that the buyer is in kind of a hurry to get the crankshaft, so Greyhound might not work, but I'll still check in with them.

Edited by Matt Wilson
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