Firebird Restoration Tools: Harbor Freight vs. the Competition – Pt. 2

Engine Removal Tools

Last week I started a series illustrating how much could be saved buying products from Harbor Freight Tools– as opposed to the competition– for the ’67 Firebird Restoration project. Breaking it down phase by phase, we’re comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Craftsman, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren’t always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. As I suggested last week, I don’t think this compromises the test because we’re only talking about differences in size and shape, not function. It should also be pointed out that not all the listed competitors carry all the tools used in the project.

In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight’s tools used in the vehicle’s disassembly video. This week we’ll be exploring price differences on the engine removal phase:

 

This powerful shop crane delivers the lifting power you need to easily hoist engines and transmissions, move heavy machinery and load equipment. And when you’re done, it just folds vertically up against the wall or in a corner, taking up very little space. Made of heavy-duty steel, Harbor Freight’s rock solid and sturdy shop crane is an invaluable, cost-effective addition to the garage.

  • Sears – Dragway Tools 2-Ton Engine Motor Hoist Cherry Picker Shop Crane Lift – $279.99
  • Northern Tool – Torin Big Red Folding Shop Crane – $279.99
  • Home Depot – N/A
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Shop Crane, 4400 lb. Cap. – $517.50

 

An excellent addition to your home or shop, this all-steel stand employs an “I”-shaped design to keep even complete big block engines from tipping. Heavy-duty casters enable you to move the engine around easily and smoothly, and its four adjustable arms allow you to easily mount the engine. Check out the reviews and see why Harbor Freight Tools customers love this engine stand!
  • Sears – Black Bull 1000 lb. Four Wheel Engine Stand – $69.99
  • Northern Tool – Torin Big Red 1250 lb. Engine Stand – $109.99
  • Home Depot – 750 lb. Engine Stand – $104.16
  • Lowe’s – N/A
  • Grainger – Automotive Engine Stand 750 lb. – $186.25

 

This industrial-quality impact wrench is a must for the home garage or shop. The twin hammer delivers a max torque of 425 ft. lbs. and the impact wrench features a forward/reverse regulator with five speeds, allowing you total control. With a free speed of 6,500 RPM, this impact wrench is a powerhouse for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts!
  • Sears – Eastwood 1/2″ Drive Twin Hammer Air Impact Wrench – $59.99
  • Northern Tool – Wel-Bilt Air Twin Impact Wrench – $79.99
  • Home Depot – PowRyte 1/2″ Heavy Duty Air Impact Wrench – $69.99
  • Lowe’s – Kobalt 1/2″ 500 ft.-lbs. Air Impact Wrench – $79.94
  • Grainger – Chicago Pneumatic Impact Wrench 1/2″ Drive – $334.25

Check out The Video to see the tools in action during the engine removal process!

In the next installment, we’ll take a look at the tools used for stripping and priming the car, and compare them to the competition’s. Until then!

The Many Lives of the Motorcycle Lift

Harbor Freight’s made a decent name for itself for, among other things, its motorcycle and ATV/motorcycle lifts. A quick glance at the customer reviews– not to mention independent bike forums– will show Harley, Goldwing, dirt and Big Dog Chopper (to name a few) wrenchers across the country doling out praise for the garage equipment they’ve come to rely on.

Look deeper, though, and you’ll find ATVs and motorcycles are not the only things Harbor Freight’s motorcycle lifts are being used for…

Recently, on an auto parts forum, a member shared how he used a Central Hydraulics Lightweight Aluminum Motorcycle Lift as a drivetrain jack for his 914.

Coincidentally, on a different site, another guy was asking advice on employing the lift for removing his Porsche 914 engine. But then, as a twist, a very different idea was offered in a product review:

This is about the perfect tool for working on clinical equipment and gurney wheels. It is easy to keep clean which is very important. Safer than makeshift methods using levers, work progresses better and it has paid for itself in time saved.

On Lumberjocks, a woodworkers’ site, a member told of how he bought a table saw, but as his wife needed the garage space for her car, he had to find a mobile base. Due to high costs and lackluster reviews for what was out there, though, he suddenly had a stroke of necessary genius, and…

…instead,  got a Central Hydraulics 1500 lb. Capacity ATV/Motorcycle Lift for the job. More than enough for the task, the lift easily maneuvers the shop equipment into a corner with plenty of room for the Mrs.’ ride.

The ingenuity doesn’t stop there. Another guy used his 1500 lb. lift to spruce up the office:

I bought this to lift and/or move office furniture so I could get carpet tile under the furniture. It worked beautifully and an incredible bargain compared to the alternatives. It allowed me to work by myself, saving me the cost of hiring a grunt. It lately has been used in a garage that I store materials in. Makes a dandy little pallet jack for my homemade pallets. Roll them under the shelving, drop in place, doesn’t take up much room. Someday, I may try it on my bike. A very versatile investment. And unlike the grunt, it’s still with me.

Last (but certainly not least), is the Central Hydraulics High-Position Motorcycle Lift

which not only lifts furniture—it becomes furniture! In fact. TWO product reviewers discovered this to be the case—one using it as an adjustable work welding table and the other, a great portable workbench (“I have a table top that easily clamps to the arms. Extremely stable and very strong”). That’s not to say it doesn’t carry its weight. After a quick review, I found the affordable high-position lift is used for boosting riding mowers and lawn tractors, pressure washers, and snow blowers. And did we mention, it’s great for lifting bikes and ATVs?

“This is a very handy lift,” noted one happy wrencher. “I easily give it 5 stars.”

Whether you own a motorcycle or ATV– or don’t– check out the product reviews and all the great ways you can use an affordable, heavy-duty motorcycle lifts from Harbor Freight.

Seriously, don’t get a grunt.

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Harbor Freight does not endorse any other business or organization or any technique in any customer video or blog post. Always follow all of the instructions and warnings included with our products. Harbor Freight makes no representation or warranty of any kind by including the information on this website.