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Old 03-18-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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Harbor Freight engine hoist

So the first thing you think about when you hear harbor freight is the word "cheap" .. certainly, there's no doubt there - but I think some things from there are definitely buyers. One of them is the engine hoist and balancer setup. With a coupon, you get one of these hoists for a very good price. Ended up putting it together, and the directions were fairly straight forward for the most part... part quality was decent for the money spent. It probably doesn't have some of the extremely nice additions that some of the high dollar hoists do as far as "bells and whistles", but it does it's job and does it well. had no problems with it, and worked great right out of the box. The welds looked good, the coating was also decent on the metal, and the construction was overall fairly solid. I'd definitely recommend it to other people if you're trying not to spend a messload on one of the hoists.. just make sure you get the 2 ton variant or you're going to have problems getting down into the engine bay. It also folds up real nicely, and that's a plus.


Just figured I'd give you guys a heads up if some of you were on the fence like I was. I'd say this is one of the A+ harbor freight purchases that everyone should have if they work on vehicles in their garage.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Totally agree with you. I bought one of these coming up on two years now, and it's still going strong.

Only complaint is that it has a tough time moving across uneven ground, but really, it's to be expected, and I wish the boom went out farther.

Side note, if you're ever in an Advance Auto Parts, don't buy one of their load levelers, it's really "bendy" if you know what I mean
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

I also bought a thousand pounder from HFT (my place of employment) and i also was surprised by how well it worked. I bought it for next to nothing after my 99.99 coupon and 20% employee discount.

I however didn't like the directions at all. It isn't rocket science to put one together, but i found that for someone with less experiance, they could be a touch hard to follow. Nothing major, just the fact that in the directions they label nuts and bolts, but in the bags there is no labeling what-so-ever.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

i love mine. no problems at all and assembly was easy.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:00 AM   #5
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

I have one as well and the leveler. Overall it's one of the few products that they have that work really really well (including their engine stand). My only complaint are the bolts. They are, at best, grade 5.

I actually snapped one in half at 20 ft lbs
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:20 AM   #6
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

i got mine a few years ago and have used it quite a few times with no issues. its JUST long enough to reach into the engine bay on a 3rd gen with the boom all the way out.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

The 1 ton hoist from HF is too small for these cars, get the 2 ton version for sure
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

I got one of these with the balancer for $150 brand new from HF, I got the gunmetal 2 ton one, for some reason it wasn't orange like the rest of the ones they had. But it works great and has never let me down, it does have a tough time with rough surfaces though, especially driveway bumps.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:14 AM   #9
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebuffalo View Post
I got one of these with the balancer for $150 brand new from HF, I got the gunmetal 2 ton one, for some reason it wasn't orange like the rest of the ones they had. But it works great and has never let me down, it does have a tough time with rough surfaces though, especially driveway bumps.
Mine is also 2-tone. I think it looks nicer that way, actually.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

I used one about 2 years ago and liked it much better than my AC Delco POS. I was using the 2 ton version and it worked great. The AC Delco 2 ton I have does not have the same lifting power as the HF. If I need to buy another one I am buying the orange HF 2 ton.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:27 AM   #11
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87ohcamaro View Post
.....99.99 coupon.....
????? Never seen one like that. I want a coupon like that to get one of their small trailers that just went up by $20!
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailtexas186548 View Post
The 1 ton hoist from HF is too small for these cars, get the 2 ton version for sure
That was the common complaint I read about it, the boom is way to short. I was contemplating getting one b/c there was a coupon for the 1-ton for $99.

One of the magazines (I think Car Craft) did a test on HF's engine stands as to how much they could hold...test was done with a fork lift pressing down on a sbc block bolted to the stands ...and the HF stand was found to be the strongest. I forget the amount of force, it was a lot, but the stand didn't even break, the part that holds the engine just bent. Very impressive.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:50 AM   #13
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

You can find the 99.99 coupon in a bunch of magazines. Pretty much any guy magazine will have coupons in it, but they'll be different in each magazine. Just go to walmart and troll the magazine section and you'll find one.

The gunmetal color is the color pittsburg changed them to, instead of the orange.

And last but not least, the other day, my store manager told me that pittsburg wrenches were now being made the same place as the new chinese craftsman stuff. No idea if that part is true or not, but intresting info for sure
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:52 AM   #14
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Oh, and I never had a problem putting the engine in my car with the 1 ton. the boom is short, but it wasn't too hard to do. I just took the nose and fender off to make room. Did this with a broken hand btw...
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Here's a picture:

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #16
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87ohcamaro View Post
Oh, and I never had a problem putting the engine in my car with the 1 ton. the boom is short, but it wasn't too hard to do. I just took the nose and fender off to make room. Did this with a broken hand btw...
so it clearly is too short if you had to remove the nose and/or fender

for $50 extra I bought some stock and modified mine to be able to pull the engine and trans together without dissasembling the car
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailtexas186548 View Post
so it clearly is too short if you had to remove the nose and/or fender

for $50 extra I bought some stock and modified mine to be able to pull the engine and trans together without dissasembling the car
Like you stated, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can get the engine out of our cars with the nose/bumper installed. The boom is way too short.

When I did my engine pull I already had the bumper removed, so luckily this wasn't a problem for me.

We also used this hoist to remove my friends engine in his Ranger. It BARELY worked.

Just an FYI for those that are thinking about buy the engine hoist.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:04 PM   #18
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

its possible with the 2 ton hoist. ive done it a hand full of times without removing the nose
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

To be clear I'm refering to the one ton hoist - sorry if i did not specify earlier
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:14 PM   #20
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by IROCtheRoad View Post
Like you stated, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can get the engine out of our cars with the nose/bumper installed.....
ABSOLUTELY NO WAY? Really? Then explain what you already quoted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailtexas186548 View Post
for $50 extra I bought some stock and modified mine to be able to pull the engine and trans together without dissasembling the car
So yeah.....It can be done, even with just a lift.


And I have yet to pull a nose on a good 3rd gen yet. Only time I have was when the nose was already smashed & I was pulling the engine. I pulled what was left off the nose off them cut the radiator support open si I didn't even have to lift it up very high either.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:02 PM   #21
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackenedBird View Post
ABSOLUTELY NO WAY? Really? Then explain what you already quoted.



So yeah.....It can be done, even with just a lift.
I think he was refering to the one ton HF hoist specifically, with which there really is no reasonable to remove the engine, unless the car is on jacks and you come from the side and somehow manage to not scratch the car.

Also the mods I made to my hoist are pretty extensive, I only have about 50% of the original hoist left LOL. I've also extended the two long bottom legs to be slightly longer than the hook arm to prevent tipping, It was half done in this pic and could BARELY lift a motor without tipping, I had to stand on the back which is really unsafe so I further modified it. If I had to do it again I'd get the two ton lift

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:12 PM   #22
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

For the money difference, I'd just take off the fender and nose and use the one ton. Its not that big a a deal to remove the nose and fender
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:42 PM   #23
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

They work a lot better if you attach the chain bolt through a link closer to the hook instead of at the end of the chain. I was always hitting the end of the arm on the garage door trying to get it high enough.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:05 PM   #24
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87ohcamaro View Post
For the money difference, I'd just take off the fender and nose and use the one ton. Its not that big a a deal to remove the nose and fender
There's not much of a money difference, really.. for the sake of making things easy and practical - I'd say it's $50 more that is well spent.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:34 AM   #25
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

That is very true. $50 isn't alot of money. But, that same $50 is just about a tank of gas. IMO I'd rather pocket the 50.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #26
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by IROCtheRoad View Post
Like you stated, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can get the engine out of our cars with the nose/bumper installed. The boom is way too short.

When I did my engine pull I already had the bumper removed, so luckily this wasn't a problem for me.

We also used this hoist to remove my friends engine in his Ranger. It BARELY worked.

Just an FYI for those that are thinking about buy the engine hoist.
Go in from the side instead of the front. Plenty of lenght that way.
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Old 03-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #27
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

swivel casters on the baselegs was not a good idea. those should just be wheels that do not swivel. i often thought of fixing mine but never did. had it several years now and its held up fine. only complaint is the caster setup.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #28
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Re: Harbor Freight engine hoist

I've had issues with their hydraulics (on a few different items) bleeding down, I eventually replaced all my hydraulic harbor freight tools for safety reasons, when it came time to get an engine hoist I shopped elsewhere.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:31 PM
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