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Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

  1. #201
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck


    For steering stem bearings, I use: https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...race-remover-p and https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...earing-press-p

    That combo makes the frame side a 15 minute job. I don't have a tool yet for dealing with the lower clamp bearing so I'm open to suggestions there as well. The bearing press works for other things besides steering stem bearings too.

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  2. #202
    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by golden chicken View Post
    No personal experience with any of those jobs on a bike.

    https://www.motionpro.com/c/bearing-tools
    i'm really thinking this one will be worth the price. https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0213
    going to home depot for a threaded rod, washers, nut, and spacers would be somewhat close to this price i bet.

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  3. #203
    Lifer
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurlon View Post
    For steering stem bearings, I use: https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...race-remover-p and https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p...earing-press-p

    That combo makes the frame side a 15 minute job. I don't have a tool yet for dealing with the lower clamp bearing so I'm open to suggestions there as well. The bearing press works for other things besides steering stem bearings too.
    I should have purchased those same tools 40 years ago, but at this point - why bother? I have probably changed 20 sets of swingarm bearings, and the same number of steering stem bearings over my lifetime. Each time, a total PITA, involving much swearing and creativity - but always getting the job done with the tools I had on hand. Removing the lower steering stem cone is always the worst (although I have wrestled with some extremely frustrating swingarm bearings with the inner races frozen to the bolt) -until I realized that just cutting the cage first (and removing it, with all of the rollers), and then using a Dremel to slice a diagonal cut into the race (not all the way through) is often enough to relieve some pressure, and warm the cone enough to tap it off with a long drift.

    You don't know what frustration is until you have installed a new lower cone, and forgotten the seal...

    On topic: Harbor Freight's pneumatic stapler is great for installing seat covers! I have not found a manual stapler yet capable of penetrating the plastic seat bases reliably.

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    Last edited by gregp; 05-11-20 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #204
    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    You don't know what frustration is until you have installed a new lower cone, and forgotten the seal...

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    EX 105 : AMA, ASRA, CCS South East, and WERA
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  5. #205
    Dic on
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    I should have purchased those same tools 40 years ago, but at this point - why bother? I have probably changed 20 sets of swingarm bearings, and the same number of steering stem bearings over my lifetime. Each time, a total PITA, involving much swearing and creativity - but always getting the job done with the tools I had on hand. Removing the lower steering stem cone is always the worst (although I have wrestled with some extremely frustrating swingarm bearings with the inner races frozen to the bolt) -until I realized that just cutting the cage first (and removing it, with all of the rollers), and then using a Dremel to slice a diagonal cut into the race (not all the way through) is often enough to relieve some pressure, and warm the cone enough to tap it off with a long drift.

    You don't know what frustration is until you have installed a new lower cone, and forgotten the seal...

    On topic: Harbor Freight's pneumatic stapler is great for installing seat covers! I have not found a manual stapler yet capable of penetrating the plastic seat bases reliably.

    Lower steering stem race comes off in about 3 seconds with an air chisel.

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  6. #206
    Lifer
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Degsy View Post
    Lower steering stem race comes off in about 3 seconds with an air chisel.
    I only bought one of those maybe 10 years ago (to use in tapping the cup out of a universal joint in an ATV). It is just another tool I should have bought much earlier in my life.

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    Last edited by gregp; 05-12-20 at 12:59 PM.

  7. #207
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    I only bought one of those maybe 10 years ago (to use in tapping the cup out of a universal joint in an ATV). It is just another tool I should have bought much earlier in my life.
    I definitely think that's a good way to go about things. Hurts up front but never again, not to mention you get to help friends out more often.

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  8. #208
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Need a replacement 3/8” socket wrench. HF has several different brands now. What’s good?

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  9. #209
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Need a replacement 3/8” socket wrench. HF has several different brands now. What’s good?
    Ratchet or impact gun? If ratchet, I would recommend a GearWrench ratchet from autozone or similar. I wouldn't trust a Pittsburgh ratchet to take a lot of force. I haven't tried the Icon line yet.

    For HF impact guns I would go with Earthquake XT if possible.

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    Last edited by golden chicken; 05-12-20 at 07:11 PM.
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  10. #210
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    I love my gear wrench ratchets. Get the high tooth count ones. My high-tooth flexy-head is my go-to everyday 3/8 drive now.

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  11. #211
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Wanted to post this up, not HF but definitely "value tool" territory.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I've had these in my daily tool kit for about 6 months now. Super nice set, although not a super high tooth count in the ratcheting mechanism. Anyway, for 50 bucks you can't beat a full set of SAE/Metric gear wrenches.

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    I went to MMI I know what Im doing here chief

  12. #212
    Senior Member jeantarrou's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by gregp View Post
    I only bought one of those maybe 10 years ago (to use in tapping the cup out of a universal joint in an ATV). It is just another tool I should have bought much earlier in my life.
    I'm always looking for a good reason to pick up a new air tool, although I never came up with a good one for a chisel. Besides what has been already mentioned what other uses does it have?

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  13. #213
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    The most powerful air hammer I've met was a Snap-on. Even IR was no match for the Snap-on. I use mine to drive ball joints, split or remove bearing races, separate axles from hubs, and generally anything that could use a little...encouragement.

    I also recommend buying a weak air hammer. Sometimes you just want to buzz something rather than smash it.

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    What's the difference between a bolt and a screw?
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  14. #214
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by golden chicken View Post
    The most powerful air hammer I've met was a Snap-on. Even IR was no match for the Snap-on. I use mine to drive ball joints, split or remove bearing races, separate axles from hubs, and generally anything that could use a little...encouragement..
    Snap On pneumatic tools were made in Natick until 2009. Met a guy who worked there and he was very proud of their reputation as The Best. It was closed and moved to a non-union plant in NC.

    Quote Originally Posted by fiver67 View Post
    //True the writing was on the wall. With my Union protecting the lazy workers and the Management at the Natick, Ma plant protecting their friends. The have been raping Snap-On for years. The one getting the short end of the stick was all of the truly hard working employs that felt an obligation to do good work.

    100 % made in USA is true. All components on the production line are made in America.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 05-13-20 at 10:31 AM.

  15. #215
    Lifer
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Quote Originally Posted by jeantarrou View Post
    I'm always looking for a good reason to pick up a new air tool, although I never came up with a good one for a chisel. Besides what has been already mentioned what other uses does it have?
    Mentioned so far: ATV - restricted access to a u-joint, tapping off a tapered roller bearing cone (steering stem), and tapping out stubborn swingarm bolts. An air chisel is also valuable when working on any (old, rusted, stubborn) automobile exhaust work, and sometimes can be used to separate ball joints.
    It is not so much the "chisel" attachment (they come with several different tips), but the rapid tapping that it provides, although with the right chisel, you could slice a rusted automobile suspension bolt right off.

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    Last edited by gregp; 05-13-20 at 12:49 PM.

  16. #216
    Lifer obsolete's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    I've put one on a rusted bolt on the nut side in combination with penetrating oil just to get some vibration in there and maybe help loosen or get the oil deeper. Dunno if it helps but the outcome was always good.

    Same as everyone else though: ball joints, end links etc. My favorite was for unit bearings on my Jeep axles. Easiest method I found.

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    Last edited by obsolete; 05-13-20 at 12:52 PM.
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  17. #217
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Anyone using their ramps? I just need to load a lawn tractor into the pick-up.

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  18. #218
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Don’t like their ramps much. Tractor Supply has better products/selection.

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  19. #219
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Thx

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  20. #220
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    I have their tri folding ramps.. they are heavy and short. I liked the ones I had from Home Depot better.

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  21. #221
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    i just went on the harbor freight website...didn't even know that they shipped...how long have they been shipping?...i usually just go to the store...this is a game changer

    need some long t-grip allen keys

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  22. #222
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    Bought the 3/8” 90 tooth Icon socket wrench today. $29 after coupon. Longer, lower, and finer teeth than their much cheaper standard handle.

    Asked about warranty requirements and he said, “If you bring it back and we can read the ‘Icon’ we replace it. Forever.”

    https://www.harborfreight.com/38-in-...het-56193.html

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  23. #223
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck


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  24. #224
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck


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  25. #225
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Re: Harbor Freight tools that DON'T suck

    I can confirm that I have a set of the 3-ton stands with a suspect item number. I'll see what HF ends up doing for me.

    Edit: I have the stands with the 61196 item number but mine are labeled as 3-ton, not 6-ton. I'll still take them back and see what's going on. My 3-ton Craftsman stands are a fair bit heaver than the HF ones.

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    Last edited by ZX-12R; 05-20-20 at 10:15 AM.
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