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Shipping a crankcase

Discussion in 'Norton Commando Motorcycles (Classic)' started by swooshdave, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    [​IMG]
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    Well it didn't take long for someone to snap up this crankshaft and crankcase. I'm happy to see it go to a new home. I'm looking for suggestions on how best to ship it. It's only going from Oregon to LA (~1500 miles, I guess when I write that out it will seem like a long way to some people). It doesn't have any main bearings so I was thinking of getting some used one and lightly inserting them so I can house the crankshaft in the crankcase and then bind the crankcase together. Then into a box that is well padded. I think that will keep everything safe but I don't want the crankshaft bouncing around as it could cause a lot of damage to the case.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. cyclegeezer

    cyclegeezer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    I've never tried it, but have received parts that were cushioned by trash bags filled with expanding foam like Great Stuff.
     
  3. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Great idea! Should I be ok leaving the crankshaft in the crankcase? How secure do I need to make it there?
     
  4. Lineslinger

    Lineslinger VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2017
    I shipped the overdrive unit from a 60' Austin Healey using the same technique Swoosh mentioned. Found the right size box and put a small block of wood in the bottom to set the unit on. I then wrapped the OD tightly in a couple of trash bags and set it in the box. Then filled it with that expanding foam. Once dry I shaved it flat, closed it up and wrapped tightly with gaffers tape. It came back in the same container.
     
  5. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    The foam out of a can will most often not set up inside a plastic bag. It needs air contact apparently. I have used it successfully by putting the parts into plastic bags and then spraying the foam between. But you gotta make sure you don't get so much foam in there that you have to chisel it out. I've shipped parts (to myself) by putting them into a bag, setting it inside a box then poking a small hole in the box to insert the tube of the can. I fill the void inside the box with foam. It strips off easy when I cut the box open. But I'd be careful spraying it inside the case with the crank in there.

    Pipe wrap insulation is cheap and really good for stuffing into spaces. It makes it pretty easy for the other guy to unpack it.

    PS - the spray foam in a bag will set up if you leave the bag open and apply it in layers.
     
  6. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Another thought here...I wouldn't ship USPS. Every heavy box I receive (granted in Alaska) looks like they rolled it off the truck or down a set of stairs.
     
  7. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Maybe they hire grizzly bears in the shipping department?
     
  8. rvich

    rvich VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    I think they have someone who says "Hey! I bet this was expensive!"

    Our heavy packages that arrive via Fedex or UPS are in much better condition. Don't know why as they are all basically flown in on the same airplanes. But in the lower 48 shipping via "ground" is a good option price wise and I think probably safer. I also learned that the post office will not honor their insurance unless you can somehow prove that the item shipped was not damaged when you shipped it.
     
  9. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I'll ship it through work, they let the employees take advantage of the corporate rates. :cool:
     
  10. Dances with Shrapnel

    Dances with Shrapnel VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    I shipped a Victor 441 engine to my good friend in an almost identical manner. I wrapped the engine well with craft paper and a few garbage bags and fitted the bottom of the box with a 3/4" thick plywood. It was rather cool out and I loaded that box up with foam, quickly telescoped another box over the opening and wound it up tighter than an eight day clock with fiberglass reinforced packaging tape.

    The next morning I went out into the garage and there was this odd bloated cubic orb looking thing with stranger looking foam horns coming out from all over. You could drop it off the back of a truck and nothing would have harmed that engine. I thought I did an excellent job packaging it, broke off the horns and shipped it of.

    When my friend opened it up (still a good friend) he began to MF me as the foam had managed to bypass the garbage bags and craft paper and got into many nooks and crannies of that engine. It was an odd mix of unset foam and engine grime. He ended up having to abrasive blast it clean with plastic beads.

    The things I regret in my life: I wish I took a picture of the package.:)
     
  11. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Wrap the crank noses in cardboard (just enough to still fit thru the bearing holes in the cases, then wrap the flywheel in cardboard till you get a tight fit. Buy a medium-sized heavy duty plastic tote at your nearest home improvement store and line the bottom with a bit of 1/4" plywood, masonite, or a couple chunks of wall paneling. Wrap the cases in foam paper, crushed manilla paper, or the like, lay in the tote, and pack in the sides. Drill a couple of holes thru the lid & tub lip (if it didn't come with them already), zip-tie the lid on, and do FedEx ground online for under $1/lb.

    I have shipped literally DOZENS of engines, heads, cranks, cases, transmissions and the like over 15 years with ZERO damage issues.

    DEFINITELY NOT USPS for anything worth over $50, and anything that won't fit in a flat-rate box.
     
  12. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I was worried that if I used cardboard on the crank noses it would still have a chance to damage the bearing bosses. I may be over worrying.
     
  13. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Not if you pack it tightly.
     
  14. grandpaul

    grandpaul VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Of course, if you have an old set of bearings, use 'em!
     
  15. RoadScholar

    RoadScholar VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Box within a box. The foam is interesting, but tape and/or cap the threaded end of the crank I any event. I'd suggest separate parcels for the two assemblies, as you may well hit the weight limit before the volume limit.

    The three cranks that I have purchased were shipped a box within a box using packing paper for the crank box and "pop corn" to insulate the crank box from the outer box.

    When I pack orders I try to limit the inertia the parts may gain from movement; I make he assumption that one or more of the shipping service employees is having an off day, or will begin one a few moments before having to deal with the shipping box.
     
  16. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    I’m checking to see if someone close has some bearings. I think that will offer the most protection.
     
  17. Dances with Shrapnel

    Dances with Shrapnel VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Have someone turn up a pair of solid wooden or plastic bearing emulators. That is the correct technical term, right? Just two slugs of +30mm x -72mm x 21mm
     
  18. swooshdave

    swooshdave

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    The one guy in the club with the machine shop is on the other side of the universe from me.

    The worse part is we had six tons of cardboard a couple weeks ago when we filled one of the kid’s room with IKEA. But it all got recycled.

    Not to worry, I got some great ideas from y’all!
     
  19. Mr. Rick

    Mr. Rick VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Our rule of thumb for boxed items by UPS or any other common carrier: Must survive a 4 foot drop with no damage to contents and minimal, if any, damage to the container itself.
    For this kind of weight, box inside box is a good way to go, and I like the grandpaul tote-box concept with plywood a lot. That expanding foam is great if you keep it dense enough.
    And like RoadScholar said, limiting the inertia is a key idea.; it has to be packed tightly.
     
  20. jug

    jug

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Grind the outer and inner races of an old set of bearings (if you got some) so they will slip into the cases and onto the shafts. They are easily removed and will support the crank inside the cases.
    I have a set for shiming the crank in the cases, just slip em on and off, no heat required.
    jug