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Shipping for us primarily involves engines, since shipping whole cars is a commodity affair. We've loaded and shipped whole containers full of cars, but if you want that, you need to talk with us directly. Meanwhile, if you have just one car to ship to us, or for us to ship to you, if you're close, we'll do it ourselves, or if farther afield, we'll use a standard carrier.
AT RIGHT: One of our engines about to be returned to our customer in our custom made crate. Note the ink markings that that show customers how to fit either a 356 or 912 engine perfectly.
We've shipped engines pretty much literally all over the globe, though surly there are countries we've not yet shipped to, and we've shipped a handful of transaxles around, too. ...In our experience, the most important feature is the shipping crate, and second most important, the shipping insurance! That said, here are the issues the customer needs to consider:
BELOW RIGHT: Our crate, all sealed up. Note how the 1/2" sides are doubled by three verticals on two of the sides.
The crate protects the contents. Officially speaking, it's considered in the shipping industry as a consumable commodity, though we have for many years had our own custom made crate that we ask customers to ship back to us. We've had several such crates over the years. We figure that our reusable crates cost us around $1100 to construct, and $200 to return to us (empty and disassembled) each time though sometimes we've been lucky and had other customers pick up our crate from another user and ship their engine to us in it! ...And, we've had such crates serve as many as twenty transcontinental transports, though sometimes suffering substantial damage enroute.
So, with such long life, a reusable crate makes a lot of sense, but a lot of customers object to having to pay for shipping it back. As an alternative, we can provide a one-time-use crate that you keep. It's not quite as small as ours (which is tailor fit to the exact minimum needed), so it costs a small bit more to ship, and you still have to pay for the brackets and such that mount the contents, but for some customers it can be a good choice.
One time use crates for engines, ready to ship with 1/4" sides, as of the summer of 2017, will cost you a grand total of $375, and do note that we're absorbing some of the costs to give you a nice round number. There's no obligation to ship such crates back, though we hope you pass it on to someone else who needs an engine crate, or otherwise put it to good use. The same crate with 3/4" sides costs you a total of $575. Note that we use 1/2" materials for our sides and 3/4" in the tops and bottoms of our custom crates, so our sides are mid-way between with the same grade top and bottom. We don't yet have enough experience to say that the 1/4" crates are good enough, but they're rated around 5.75 times the needed capacity, and you can make your own choice.
AT RIGHT: Another of our crates, this one not to be returned to us, though it's of basically the same construction. Our customer paid us to make this one for him to keep.
If you want to use our engine crate, you'll have to provide a $750 deposit and return our crate to us, or, in a very lucky event, pass it on to a new customer of ours in your area (which has happened twice so far) so they can return it for you with their engine inside. Note also that if the crate gets destroyed in sending its contents to you, we may instead have you pay us the return shipping cost rather than returning the crate, since sometimes the damage is beyond reasonable repair. In such case, we'll just take it out of your deposit.
How the contents are affixed greatly influences their condition upon receipt. We've received engines literally chained down to a simple pallet with nothing but cardboard surrounding the engine suffer damage worth more than the cost of the shipping. And, we've had many properly crated engines where the crate got seriously damaged but nothing happened to the contents. In large part, how well an engine (or transaxle) survives in a shipping mishap is based upon how well it is affixed to the crate. We believe in positively bolting down the contents. This prevents vibration damage and otherwise ensures the contents arrive in their best condition.
If we crate the an engine or transaxle going to you, we'll bolt it down appropriately. Our pricing reflects this.
BELOW: Here are closeups of a simple, effective, inexpensive way to bolt down an engine using ordinary shelf brackets found at any retail hardware store. At left we see the flywheel end, and at right the muffler end. (Further below there's an image - not quite so close-up - that shows what to do if there's no muffler.) IMPORTANT NOTE: Each of the two M10 engine-to-transaxle mounting studs shown below left have TWO nuts threaded on them! One goes behind the bracket, not visible here of course, and the other can be seen. The two nuts get "backed together" to grab onto the shelf bracket and "jamb" themselves together so they won't come lose. (This also provides for some fore-aft adjustment of the engine in the crate.)
AT RIGHT: A one-off crate headed to Europe. It contains a long block. This one didn't need standoffs for forklifts because it went airfreight and not having them was an advantage! We delivered this one directly to the airline at SFO.
Strange as it might seem, shipping companies charge a premium for non-business end-points, on either source or destination. For this reason, it's vital that both ends be a "business" in order to ensure a good price. In addition, if there's not a forklift available at both ends, they also charge more, so the best price is when both have businesses with forklifts. We, of course, are a business with forklift. If your end isn't a business with a forklift but have a business you can have send or receive for you, do that, and so much the better if they have a forklift. We've seen some residential deliveries in the USA be charged nearly $1000 for the total shipping whereas a delivery to a business in the same city priced around $400, so make no assumptions about how it will play out for you and play the shipper's game.
If you have us find the vendor, once quoted, it'll be firm unless some of the terms are not properly accepted, which may include letting the driver use his lift-gate and pallet jack when your forklift was sitting right there. We strongly prefer that our customers have their own relationships with the shipper (and insurance company) because we're truly not liable for this stage of the business, but if you ask us, we'll act as your agent on these matters. ... Remember, we're car people, not shipping agents!
AT RIGHT: Another one-off headed to Europe. This one went by ocean-freight but first via our shipping it to a consolidator in the LA area and so needed the skids.
Insurance is the most often overlooked aspect of shipping! We've had engines shipped by us (or to us) get lost or damaged in transit and as unfortunate as that is, it's not our fault. So, we're very keen on recommending to every customer who has an engine shipped to please buy insurance! It's not dirt cheap, but not crazy either. And, pricing often depends on what shipping carrier you choose. As of the summer of 2017, our favorite shipper's insurance costs $83 for $5000 of coverage and $95.37 for $12,000. Don't let yourself down by not buying insurance! And certainly don't blame us if you don't!
Here are a few links to engines we've built that have been shipped. Scroll to the bottom of each to see the shipping details. This group was selected mostly for the variety. (Look to the images below for more examples.) The bottom image below shows how to attach the pulley-side when you don't have a muffler to attach to.
BELOW: 1963 production SC engine in turn-key form, in reusable crate with extra parts enclosed.
BELOW: Here, a turn-key normal with after-market exhaust is crated. It has the same bolting down at the flywheel end, but the rear is different. Note how there's a rear attachment to the case on the left lower corner of the timing cover! This was done becasue the exhaust didn't have a good spot on it. Shortblocks and long-blocks can also be done this way - any time there's not a stock muffler to attach to.