I went looking for an Engine Hoist and of course ended up at Harbor Freight and was almost ready to put my money down and take the new hoist home.
Then I got to thinking after the reading of many different things coming out of Harbor Freight, that break or fail easily, I am now asking for imput on local (USA) made engine hoist.
I have one from Harbor Freight and have used it frequently without problems. Of course, anyone with brains enough to work on a Model T would know not to lie underneath anything suspended by any engine hoist.
I have a Harbour Freight engine hoist and couldn't be happier with it. Works every time with no problems.
Don't believe everything you read about Harbour freight tools being all junk. Some of it may be but their engine hoist is a good product.
Its your money to spend but for a Model T shop their presses, hoists and some of the other equipment is fine. Their HVLP spray guns are great for the price. I know of a few professional classic car restorers that use them and their paint jobs are a good or better than anyones.
For the amount of work you will do on a T their tools and equipment will do the work just as well as any other tools you will spend a whole more money for.
They are fine for what they are, I bought mine at Pep Boys 10 years ago, they basically are all the same. My only complaint with most of them are the booms are a little short for some bigger cars (Think big Chryslers of 60's /70's). So for that I visited my local steel warehouse and picked up some box tubing to make a slightly longer boom. But for a T, it is fine.
If your really concerned about what your getting, probably the biggest thing to worry about is the cylinder, you could pick up a spare if it really bothers you.
I got mine several years ago at Sam's Club. It has Good Year's name on it and is well-made. It came with the equalizer, which is very handy. If you added the cost of HF's equalizer to their hoist, it was the same cost.
I have one too, bought it ten years ago, left outside, still works like a charm.
I found a chain hoist at a garage sale about 45 years ago and I have pulled many engines with it including a Cadillac V8. It still works fine. It is very simply made. Just chain and pulleys.
Just my opinion:
Harbor Freight is not a gamble if you take time to read the online product reviews that are on their website before deciding to buy.
I've bought only a few things from Harbor Freight but I haven't been disappointed yet.
Also, many of the items they sell are sold by other retailers - same manufacturers, just different brand names.
I use the Harbor Freight engine hoist too.
It is only 5 years old, but it works well.
I did see on some forum that the hydraulic cylinder was only good for a coupe of uses, but I haven't found that.
I have bought air 1/2 inch impact tools that had no power at all but then I bought another one that I've used several years almost daily with no complaints.
I just bought a 1/2 inch electric impact from them that is super strong.
I have NEVER been able to use a Harbor Freight spray gun. Always ended up with a surface like an orange.
If you're not in a big toot to get a hoist right away, watch the auction ads for one. Why pay retail?
Steve, I just got a HP hoist at a yard sale. Gave 75 for it. Hope I didnt pay to much. Have used it twice in a week. Scott
My HF engine hoist is now 8 years old never had a problem with it they don't sell the the model I got any more it uses air over hydraulic to lift things (it has a hose that you hook up to the air compressor makes the hoist easier to control with one person) but there are a lot of them down here and they all work!
I picked up my 2 ton hoist from a craigslist ad for 75 dollars and it is dang good. American made by a company in South Carolina.
The 1 detail about Harbor freight and similar.
The cylinders are for the most part,non rebuild able. I have 1 of the truck cranes and the jack blew a seal. I took it to a re builder and he tried to do what he could and said don't bring it back.Trouble is it is unique to that application and a replacement jack cant be had. So I have a good boom, with no jack.
The welds held up. He was is 1 of the only folks in this part of the country that still rebuilds jacks and such and he said work is getting scarce. Even the big name company's are getting their stuff from china.
Or ..... if your really frugal, lay a pipe in the rafters, hook a comealong/chain hoist to it, lift the engine, and push the car out from underneath.
Works for me and I don't have to store the engine hoist.
I have the 1 ton hoist from HF and love it. I paid $99 I think last year with a coupon and sale price. I have not seen it that cheap since.
Terry woods above is worth re-reading - especially for us who know better and still lay under a hoist!
I have a Harbor Freight engine hoist and am happy with it. What I like best is that it folds up like the one in Ed's post. I'll bet that most of the hoists you see today come from the same China factory.
I remember back in high school a friend of mine using a chain hoist in the family garage to pull the engine out of a 57 or 8 Chev he had.
A few pulls on the chain hoist and the rafters broke half in to!
Bud you brought back a few memories of being young and dumb in the 60's.
When I built my garage years later I remembered to use some stout rafters in it if I wanted to pull an engine.
They will definitely work for pulling an engine but I never tried it.
I use my HF engine hoist in my farm's shop.
What bothers me is while some preach safety in your model T they also expound the merits of hbft junk!! Is the lifting hoist and rigging sold by hbft tested to a 4 or 5 to one safety factor?????????????????? Some are also quick to bitch about everything that is now wrong with our country but do not hold back at buying chineese crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud.
Well I use,,,,,Hmm, On second thought I think I'll stay out of this one.
I've got two of them. The harbor freight ones work good for me. Be sure you buy the extended warranty on all mechanical stuff they have. It is cheap insurance if anything goes wrong just take it back.
Unfortunately "Chineeese crap" is about all there is nowadays, even good name-brand stuff is made over there. I have a HF engine hoist, and it is actually very well made, good welds, thick tubing (thing weighs a lot!). I would worry most about the hydraulic cylinder, but so far mine has been just fine & I've hoisted lots of things with it, including a cement mixer!
I've had some HF stuff fail right out of the box, but others have been better than the name-brand stuff, like my impact drill. I bought a B & D one, and it failed on the second use, this HF one has been around for a few years now and still seems to be just fine. Used it last week to drill 4 1/2" holes in a concrete pad.
Yes, I would rather buy USA, but until manufacturing returns here in a big way, we almost have no choice.
I asked for imput and I got it. I know what a chain falls is as I have half a one and looking for the other. I even doubled up on rafter, thinking I would use a chain falls. And I put a
cut down phone pole in the center of the garage to support the roof rafter. Pole does not interfere with each Bay.
Some of the Chinese crap is crap and some of it is pretty good.
Some of the stuff from HF is crap and some of it is pretty good.
For around the home, HF stuff is pretty good in most cases.
speaking of B&D - I purchased two 18V cordless drills from them and both failed a few months after the warrantee ran out.
They did not get heavy use - it was just poor design.
John, bought the least expensive one on Amazon. Been working for 4 years
I went on E-Bay and found a few used USA chainfall's and comealong's. All my lifting/rigging is used USA Quality.Bud.
Me too, Bud. I just paid about 20 bucks apiece more for the wheel cylinders for my Willys pickup to get the American made Wagner ones. Somewhere in this country somebody got up and went to work in the USA plant that makes them, stamps them made in USA and ships them off to Carquest. He needs a job worse than some guy in China in my world.
Usually over time is is usually cheaper to go first class in the first place!! Good on ya!!
Here is my take on engine hoists:
It's a very useful tool and you will find many applications for it beyond just removing and installing engines. Recently I helped my neighbor R&R the electric motor on his large air compressor. The compressor was tucked into the back corner of a small room and we reached through the doorway with the hoist arm to lift the 90 lb. motor.
I've had a unit for 20 years or so that has given me good service. My big complaint is that the thing takes up a lot of space in my shop when I'm not using it. The protruding legs are very good at tripping people - myself and others. So unless I have an immediate need for the hoist, I take it apart and stack the individual components against the wall. A pain in the rear.
So now I see the types that fold up for storage. Wow, I think. A great innovation. But upon closer inspection, I realize that the folding units (at least those I've seen) don't have extendable legs for long reaches. Can't tell you how many times I've used my hoist with the legs and arm fully extended for a difficult lift.
Sigh. Guess I'll just keep taking mine apart and leaning the pieces against the wall when I'm not using it.
When storing your engine hoist, make sure the thing is lowered all the way so the shaft won't get corroded or pitted. A corroded shaft will eat a seal in a hurry...especially if the lift is stored outside. Also remember that there is only a little shaft seal holding the load, so DON'T work under an engine when it is hanging from the hoist.
The mention of using the hoist for an air compressor motor reminded me of the most unique (so far) use I've had.
We are in the process (long!) of putting a Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ back in our historic theatre. The blower motor is HUGE and HEAVY. The blower is going in the basement. Fortunately we have a "floor door" down to the dressing rooms for putting wardrobes and other bulky stuff in the dressing rooms. Put my chain fall on the engine hoist, and the motor on the chain (it has a large eye-bolt for this). Was able to roll the hoist over the hole, straddling the sides with the legs. Between the chain fall and the hoist drop, we were able to lower the motor down to the dressing room and onto a moving dolly--Whew! One step done!
I love my little one-ton from H.F. (so far ) Yes the arm could stretch out,but it just makes it for a Model T. Good enough. I use it for bunches of other odds-n-ends too. Really saves my bad back! Sure the piston won't last forever,but drop in a new one and good to go.
I guess I will start using E-bay although I have a phopia (/) about it. Like to see something first hand before I spend good money and actually prefer American made, although my wife is Korean in origin.
I actually like the chainfalls beter and do have
the room in the garage to move chassis around.
I too have a hoist from Harbor for 6 years. An orange one. It has fold up legs which I would highly suggest for room savings. I like it and am glad I bought it.
On an engine hoist such as this, isn't the shaft seal only there to keep the unpressurized oil on top of the piston clean and trapped as a resevoir?
When there is weight on the boom, the oil is trapped between the piston and the base of the cylinder. The piston seal, or the check valve in the pump would be the parts which cause the cylinder to collapse. The shaft seal is not part of the equation since it is not holding back any pressure.
I would look on Craigslist for a used one, a lot of people buy them and use them for a project and soon need the space so will let them go cheap.
Folk's,My only real point was/and is that whatever you use it should have a certified safety factor!!! AS honest as off shore builders are who do you trust with your hand's,feet,or even life?? The post preceeding this say's [will let them go cheap.] If you or anyone else get's hurt,what is cheap??????????? Read what Stan said!!!!!! Bud.
Saw one at the Zephryhill Swap meet Saturday for $100.00
John H. Nichols said: "I know what a chain falls is as I have half a one and looking for the other"
Got a picture of that half a one?
I am sorry, but I would first look for an older (1990 back) made in the USA one that has little use. I try to get all my tools like this for I fell it is the best buy and the best quality. Flea markets, swap meets, auctions or estate sales have good buys. I also hear the safety is first and it is but some of the made in China tools are not that bad just don't try to stretch their limits.
I bought the HF one ton model as well. I checked other stores and honestly, they all looked about the same. It has been a handy tool to have in the garage. We've used it for pulling and installing engines, pulling shallow well pipes, lifting up snowmobiles to work on the tracks, even pulling and installing a lower unit off an I/O boat drive. My only regrets are that I didn't get the 2 ton model with a little longer boom reach.