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Harbor Freight Tools A Joke


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I knew better, but, being nearby, inexpensive, and need it now, I went to Harbor and picked up their better ball joint press. Looked pretty and sturdy, however, on the upper ball joint it began to flex out o shape a lil. But I got that one out. On the lower ball with not a whole lot of pressure (using 1/2 drive & both hands to reef on it) it bowed totally out o shape without budging the ball a smidge. So having saved my receipt I took it back. 2nd mistake, I decided to take a fine looking air operated grease gun in exchange. I get home load in a grease cartrige and try to shove the rod into the tube. It don't fit. Come to find out the rubber plunger is larger dia. than the cartridge. I trimmed it down assembled gun & put air to it. It don't work. Noticed air escaping around trigger, tighten it all up, same thing happens. Disassemble trigger & find that the tapped hole is seriously misaligned & threads don't match threads on trigger retaining nut. Really crude manufacturing. Metal threads were still present indside gun. Put it together again pull trigger and ka-pow the trigger & misc. parts eject. Didn't find em all. Lesson learned: Don't buy stuff (made in China especially) just cause its cheap, looks good & is expedient. :oops:

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I've heard a lot of bad stuff about harbor freight tools, especially their ball joint presses. But I've also talked to people who buy all their tools there and claim they're better quality than Craftsman, Mac, etc. I've only used the cheaper ball joint press, but I never bent it out of shape.

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I have the tool. Also got the additional fitting kit. What I found, especially after reading all the bad info, is that you have to work smarter not harder. you can use the press, but you have to also add a little heat, some penetrating lube(PB or Knocker Loose), and also just apply the presure and leave it. you can then come back and use some impact blows on the 'C' and watch it move. It will not come out like taking off a wheel lug nut, but it will work and come off if you just go slow and let the tool do the work. But given that our vehicles are 20+ years old, you have to use multiple techniques at the same time to get the job done. Like Pete said they can be 'hit or miss', because they are not the best iron or steel. This just means you got what you paid for when you paid such a small amount of money for the tool, relative to the better made ones.

 

I just wanted there to be a voice about this who has had good results from the tool, but I need to qualify it with the fact that I knew what I was using and did not try to make it act like the $500 tool when I was using it.

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I snapped a BJ press in half, trying to press in an axle UCA bushing :roll: Took it back and got a new one, borrowed Jerry's fitting kit and finished the job without incident.

 

It works very well on u-joints, though....

 

Jeff

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It works very well on u-joints, though....

 

Jeff

 

x2 I've used it on 6 ujoints so far without issue. I've bought a lot from harbor freight recently and haven't been that disspointed overall. I had a spring loaded center punch fail, after some semi-heavy use. My main gripe is that when ordering online if they are out of stock you don't know it, just doesnt appear on the receit, which is annoying.

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I snapped a BJ press in half, trying to press in an axle UCA bushing :roll: Took it back and got a new one, borrowed Jerry's fitting kit and finished the job without incident.

 

It works very well on u-joints, though....

 

Jeff

 

I haven't actually tried this yet, but for the axle UCA bushings, Jeepco suggested throwing the bushing in the freezer, heat up the housing just a tad, and the bushing will basicaly pop right in.

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yeah, it works......that's what I did for the second bushing :D

 

The problem with the bushings, other than the fact that I should have replaced them BEFORE I put the axle in ;) , is that the mount surfaces aren't exactly parallel. You need one or two offset spacers that come in the accessory kit to make sure you are pressing the new busings in straight. First time I didn't have them, and the bushing didn't go in straight and bound up.....I kept cranking on the press until there was a loud bang, when the press frame snapped in half :oops:

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But I've also talked to people who buy all their tools there and claim they're better quality than Craftsman, Mac, etc.

 

:huh???:

 

That's some funny stuff there! I realize Craftsman may not be the highest quality tools, but to even attempt to compare them or Mac with HF is completely laughable. I think they really need to consider cutting back on the funny smelling cigarettes. :dunce:

 

Willy

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I have had good luck with some of their stuff

-4" grinders

-band saw

-chop saw

-transmission jack

-combo wrench set

-upper end air tools

 

Bad things

-ball joint press

-electric impact wrench

 

Why not start a thread for the good and bad?

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I've got a corded sawzall and 4" angle grinder (Chicago Electric) that have seen ALOT of abuse, and they're still going strong. Bought a C/E right angle drill that worked pretty well, now it throws sparks and is a bit "challenging" to use. For the price I paid, I'm satisfied.....

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Well as I said it was just a lousy piece of equipment made by a guy who may have been having a bad bout of soy sauce diarrhea that day & was more concerned with his A-hole than the hole in the air gun. The ball joint press was just a weak alloy. No cheater bar was used on it.

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air 90* die grinder works good

 

air 3'' cut off tool works great

 

air body saw is great for trimming fenders - and a tip is to use regualr hacksaw blades just cut down to fit into the saw, cheaper and thicker blades.

 

thats basically all the stuff i use regularly that works great every time.

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I have the tool. Also got the additional fitting kit. What I found, especially after reading all the bad info, is that you have to work smarter not harder. you can use the press, but you have to also add a little heat, some penetrating lube(PB or Knocker Loose), and also just apply the presure and leave it. you can then come back and use some impact blows on the 'C' and watch it move. It will not come out like taking off a wheel lug nut, but it will work and come off if you just go slow and let the tool do the work. But given that our vehicles are 20+ years old, you have to use multiple techniques at the same time to get the job done. Like Pete said they can be 'hit or miss', because they are not the best iron or steel. This just means you got what you paid for when you paid such a small amount of money for the tool, relative to the better made ones.

 

I just wanted there to be a voice about this who has had good results from the tool, but I need to qualify it with the fact that I knew what I was using and did not try to make it act like the $500 tool when I was using it.

 

The only problem with this is you are never supposed to heat front end parts.

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  • 13 years later...

Holy Thread Resurrection, Batman! Joe and I will be addressing his rig's recent bouts of death wobble after replacing the Pitman tie rod and the track bar. It looks like the alignment guy saw a worn balljoint, but said the alignment was still in spec. We'll see. Anyway, I have only found a couple threads that mention an adapter specific to the Jeep front axle for pressing the balljoint, but no info on what this adapter is for or what kit it would be in, since it's supposedly not in the basic press kit.

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OTC (7894) Jeep/Dodge Ball Joint Service Adapter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002SRGW0/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_PJPRAAK2V4ME4E66F2ZS

Most of the large sets have them in the kit. 

 

 

Astro Pneumatic Tool 7868 Master Ball Joint Adapter Set https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00061SGPO/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_MJWKR07B6KK68RQ7JJSW?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

 

This is the add on kit I have that also had them in it.

 

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