Many air-cooled engines can work on both adapter rings and stands we sell. Every engine's four bolt pattern from early VW up to 1989 Porsche 911 is the same, however there are some differences in the bellhousings. (See drawing on right) This has not prevented people from installing various engines in various cars and it will not prevent you from making our engine stands work with various motors. With the right mix of parts anything is possible. The key is to understand the differences.

VW and Porsche 356 bellhousings have a starter mounting plane located closer to the engine mounting plane than a 914 for example. Since the starter mounts to the bellhousing and not the engine, the starter gear engagement is determined by the distances shown to the right. Our engine stand takes the guess work out of gear engagement uncertainty because the starter gear and flywheel ring gear are easily viewable. So depending on what engine and flywheel combination you have, most likely there is a starter or spacer that will provide the proper gear engagement. Zalex offers replaceable starter bushing blocks with different sleeve bearing diameters for maximum versatility. Click here for accessories.

For instance a 912 engine can be started on a 356 engine stand if you install a VW 12 Volt starter. A 911 or 912 starter would not mesh correctly when using a 356 engine stand unless a 5 mm spacer is used. That is why we recommend a 911/912/914 adapter ring if you drive a 912. If you drive both a 356 and 912 then buy one stand and make sure you use the starter that provides the correct gear engagement before you start it up.

If you want to test a 6 cylinder 911 engine than you must use a stand that supports the rear engine mounts near the muffler. This is important to support the weight and length of the 911 or 930 motor.

Other key parameters for engine stand cross compatibility are the flywheel ring gear and starter gear diameters. 356 and pre-'67 VW utilize a 109 tooth ring gear. (see chart to the right). 912 and post-'67 VW utilize a 130 tooth ring gear resulting in a larger ring diameter. The dimension between the starter axis and flywheel axis is identical for all VW and pre-'89 Porsche. This means that the starter gear diameter must be different for 911 than early VW. For instance, don't attempt to use a post-'67 starter on a 356 engine. (the gears won't mesh properly).

Call us at the number below if you have questions concerning cross compatibility or if you have discovered another combination that works and we will update this page to save someone else the headache. Recommended Products Links


Adapter Ring-1 with 12.5 mm ID Bushing

Adapter Ring -1 with 10 mm ID Bushing

Adapter Ring -2 No Bushing

VW 36 HP (up to ‘60), 109 tooth flywheel, 180 mm clutch, 6V

VW 1500cc and 1600cc (post ’67), 130 tooth flywheel, 200 mm clutch, 12V

Porsche 911 (up to 1989)

VW 40 HP (’61-’66), 109 tooth flywheel, 180 mm clutch, 6V

  Porsche 912, 914

Porsche 356 (All), 109 tooth flywheel, 180-200 mm clutch, 6V and 12V