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Old 05-02-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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Harbor freight?

Has any one bought any accessories for the jeep from harbor freight. If you did, any comments would be helpful.

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Old 05-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Good place for cheap tools that I would use on occasion. Wouldn't buy tools or items that I would need to last long term though.

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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I've been using their tools professionally (because everyone says it cant be done lol) for years now, I've had one torx socket break in those years, and the other day the selector switch on my 1/2" drive ratchet broke, but that was my fault as it was holding the backside of a bolt I was hitting with a 1/2" impact (also harbor freight).

If you take care of your tools and you get a hammer when you need a hammer and dont just use the ratchet in your hand, they will last a long time.

((Mine is the one that says "Big Chinese Tool-Box" in chinese on the lid))


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The trick to buying from Harbor Freight is recognizing that just like TV commercials, most of the crap is crap, if it looks cheap, or feels cheap it probably is cheap and wont last. Their hand tools and the Earthquake impacts are just as good as any tool and better than some, all at a fraction of the price.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #4
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I like and use HFT's 3/8" and 1/2" torque wrenches & their Chicago air tools. I've been using their air tools for 15 years (weekend wrenching) with never a problem. For trail tools, I now carry a set of SAE & metric HFT combination open-end/box-end wrenches but I wouldn't use many of their other tools other than their impact socket sets. Their 3/8" and 1/2" click-style torque wrenches are much better quality than their <$20 price would indicate. I wouldn't use any of their electric products though.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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I have their black recovery hooks. They're rated at 10,000 lbs. and mounted on the front frame rails. I also have a cheap impact wrench from HF that I've been using for about 15 years.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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I've bought off road lights from them and have been very happy! Bought a set of 50 watt KC look alikes and installed 100 watt bulbs and they work great. Cost me about $25.00 for the pair, I did have to add my own wiring, switch, and relay but it saved me alot when the money is tight!
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:44 AM   #8
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They had a 12 ton winch by badlands(?) on sale for 299 at one point. I should have grabbed one. I think they have pretty decent reviews.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
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I bought their on sale, 50.00 electric impact 1/2 " drive, it took the yoke nut off without problems. 240 lb ft is enough for my jobs.
I have complete sets of tools from there, been using them for 5 years now, I broke a few sockets, but That was my fault, brute force on breaker bars with cheater tubes and a 3/8 drive
I was considering the 60.00 winch they sell
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:12 AM   #10
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I have there 12,000 lb winch on my cherokee, works great ,never had an issue with it yet
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:32 AM   #11
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I've used em for years.
Only thing I've broken was a few of the cheapest ratchets.
a wrench is a wrench...a hammer is a hammer...a screw driver is a screwdriver...etc etc

As mentioned above, I'm sure some of their stuff is crap. I havent run accross it yet. two thirds of my shop is Harbor Freight...the other third is either Stanley or Ryobi

Performance exceeds cost on everything I've had....cost/benefit analysis complete.

Neither I, nor my friends who borrow my tools (cuz they dont have any) are brand snobs, so I dont excert any effort to impress folks with how much I spend on tools.

When I need something, I start at Harbor Freight....then Home Depot (most folks know that Ryobi, Rigid, and Milwakee are the same company).

No regrets.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #12
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Like others have said, some things are good and some are bad. Search around before buying if it's a big purchase and you'll probably find your answer.

Some things like their shop press are very much worth their price and have a following:

20 TON Press Brake DIY Builder Kit
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:00 AM   #13
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I won't use anything from HF that puts me in harms way if it breaks. That includes most things where there is pressure involved like spring compressors, gear pullers etc.
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Old 05-03-2013, 10:40 AM   #14
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I bought my cargo carrier for my hitch. Welded and strong construction 45 bucks
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:25 AM   #15
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i've got a lot of HF stuff. we're pretty much on a first name basis by now.

you gotta be careful with anything electronic or plug-in. their Pittsburgh tools are good for the most part, and come with a no question lifetime warranty. I destroy a ratcheting breaker bar every month or so and exchange it accordingly...i wouldn't recommend that particular model.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVtj03 View Post
They had a 12 ton winch by badlands(?) on sale for 299 at one point. I should have grabbed one. I think they have pretty decent reviews.
They're currently that price with a coupon. Well the 12k pound winch, not the 12 ton haha
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #17
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When you have a choice, buy American.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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I misplace so many of my tools like its going out of style (even have a giant rolling tool chest). I picked this habit up when i was little misplacing my dads tools haha.

I have probably 4-5 mixed sets of sockets & wrenches. Seems i lose 10mm, 12mm, 13mm sockets & philips head screwdrivers more than anything. So I have no problem spending less money on these kind of sets
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #19
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I have a little 100 mig that except for a switch has been working fine for 10 or 11 years
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:04 PM   #20
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We have the little 110 welder at work and use it for light duty stuff. It welds great for a flux core but after using it for a while you have to let it cool down. Anyways about 90% of all the trail tools I carry are harbor freight. And I have several of their air tools. No complaints for the price and function of any of it. Go for it!!
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #21
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Their 6" offroad lights are great,55w, metal housing with a heavy glass lense, their even brighter than my buddy's 55w hella's. 6" Off-Road Light System
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #22
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I like HFT in general but after today, I don't like their (800) number customer support department. I was told by the store to call them to get a few individual replacement tools for toolsets I own & it was soon very apparent I was talking to people in India who didn't know a hammer from a socket wrench. They could only help me if I had specific part numbers for each piece I needed. They had no idea for example what a 1/2" drive 13/16" impact socket was which was one of the pieces I needed. I finally hung up out of frustration. I hate outsourced customer support.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:36 AM   #23
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The HF 94564 trailer frame kit is excellent. Most of the HF trailer kits are very light duty, but the 94564 has a 2000-lb. capacity axle with a 5 on 4.5 bolt circle matching the TJ/YJ Wrangler. It makes a great base for a trailer to tow behind your Jeep.



The frame in the photo above has been modified a bit to fit the fiberglass trailer tub kit shown below (the trailer is still a work in progress, haven't painted it yet). The stock assembly of the frame kit is a little different than shown above.



BTW the front rack basket on the trailer is also an HF product, it's their 69858 ATV Cargo Carrier with the parts turned 90 degrees to fit the frame.

And speaking of that cargo carrier, two of them can be assembled to make a really nice roof top cargo rack (ignore the ladder, that's not from HF ):



Lots of HF in the photo below... the frame under the fiberglass Jeep-tub trailer (different trailer but same HF 94564 frame kit as used above), the rack on the front of the trailer and the rack on top of the Jeep...

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Old 05-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
The HF 94564 trailer frame kit is excellent. Most of the HF trailer kits are very light duty, but the 94564 has a 2000-lb. capacity axle with a 5 on 4.5 bolt circle matching the TJ/YJ Wrangler. It makes a great base for a trailer to tow behind your Jeep.
That's good to know; I was thinking of building a trailer to pull behind the TJ with a tent on top, and that looks like it would be a very good start.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:46 AM   #25
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I've had decent results from HF over the years, but I tend to stay away from their electrics (cordless drills, etc.)

Jacks, hand tools, and that kind of tools are generally decent quality. And if I break one, I don't feel too bad about it, just go get another one.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:58 AM   #26
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That's good to know; I was thinking of building a trailer to pull behind the TJ with a tent on top, and that looks like it would be a very good start.
I put a tent on top of this HF frame based trailer..



BTW I've also equipped this frame with an HF tongue jack ($18 on sale), and HF receivers front and rear ($12 each on sale)... the HF receiver in the rear is for a bike rack:



and the receiver in the front is for swapping out couplers - in photo above it's got a ball coupler, below a diy 3-axis coupler.



If you're building a trailer, there's lots of stuff at HF you might want to use .
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #27
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Look at my profile pic. The green Cherokee was rebuilt using only HF tools. Also, I just threw one of the $15 air horns from there in my TJ. It sounds like you're being ambushed by a bunch of clowns (in a good way) and it's supposed to be like 135 db. It may sound a little goofy, but it's louder than an old lady's blouse, and it'll make people stop and look, which is what horns are for anyway. I've broken a couple of their ratchets, but they replace that mess for free... No complaints. They're cheap, and times is tough. I reccomend 'em.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:06 PM   #28
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I have some HFT tools and like someone else said, if it looks cheap and feels cheap, it probably is. I've used all of their torque wrenched, torx sockets, allen sockets and impact sockets without fail. I also carry their english and metric combo wrenches with me and, although lightly used, they too have performed when I needed them. I've used a small (2k lbs)HFT winch to pull a smallish ATV onto a second story storage I built in my garage and it has performed without fail. I cant complain.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:34 PM   #29
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I destroy a ratcheting breaker bar every month or so and exchange it accordingly...i wouldn't recommend that particular model.
I was gonna buy this next time im there but you just made me change my mind
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:03 PM   #30
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Anyone who owns a jeep should go there and buy the 100 dollar transmission jack.
I had no idea how much time effort and cussing it would save me or i would of got one years ago.
stabbing the transfer or transmission is a one person 15 minute job now.

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