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There is nothing worse than buying a tool that looks great and fails to perform as it was advertised. I'm starting this new tool sticky to provide a discussion on a specific tool that you may have purchased which failed to complete the job based on its design. This should help others in the future to avoid the same pitfalls that you have experienced. Just as a guideline, if you are using a 12 pound sledge to drive a 1/16" pin punch and the punch fails then it likely should be written off to operator error over tool failure.

So here is a chance to rate a tool that you feel wasn't up to what is appeared to be. Let's try to avoid statements such as "Craftsman is junk and Snap On is always supreme" etc. Some folks may not have the funds to buy the high priced professional tools when they just need something that works good for a home shop environment.
 

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Any auto part's store "house brand" of puller. All I needed to do was pull off a small gear that was bathed in oil its whole life: should have been easy. That little POS tool broke with just hand-ratchet pressure on it. It was a very low-density cast steel inside and the surface was just pounded to make it look solid. Buy a real puller, even if you think it will be 1000x stronger than what you need.

I got that gear off using the steering wheel attachment on my slide hammer: all I did was thread the slide hammer on by hand until it touched the gear shaft and it popped the gear right off: easy, like it should have been!
 

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Harbor Freight impact driver....... the kind you smack with a hammer. I was trying to split the cases on an old motorcycle engine, held together with Phillips head screws. The bits started breaking, and the impact seemed to stop twisting. I exchanged it to finish the job, and used it the other day on something lighter. It's dirt cheap, but may not be heavy enough to finish a job that really needs an impact.
 

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One thing I did like from HF. I bought both sets of taps and dies, metric and SAE, by Pittsburgh Tools. I needed a long hardened 12 mm bolt threaded all the way down. I used the die from my set and anti seize compound and worked at it for about 1 1/2 hours. Even though it squealed and was very difficult to turn I got a nice thread at the end and the die seemed OK, but I haven't tried it on anything else.:rasta:
 

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Went shopping at Home Depot one day, and they had these titanium coated shears on sale for $5. Now, I hate buying cheap "made in China" crap, as these shears were, but how could you go wrong for $5?

So one day, I broke them out to attempt to cut the fittings off an old oil line, as I just wanted to save the fittings... In attempting to cut the oil lines the handles shattered in my hand!

I took 'em back to HD and laid 'em on the return counter. The girl behind the counter looked at all the broken pieces I had brought and asked "You want to return those?" I replied, "Uh.... yeah".
 

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Harbor Freight's engine stands not good.
I have a Harbor Freight 2000# engine stand. Over the years, it has held a few IH 392 CID engines. It currently has a 4BT hanging from it. I really do not trust it.

Double support.JPG

Today I have to scrape off the old oil pan gasket. I am using an engine hoist to take some load off of the HF engine stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a Harbor Freight 2000# engine stand. Over the years, it has held a few IH 392 CID engines. It currently has a 4BT hanging from it. I really do not trust it.

View attachment 13589

Today I have to scrape off the old oil pan gasket. I am using an engine hoist to take some load off of the HF engine stand.
Russ,
Pull off the aluminum adapter plate. Those threads in there are usually marginal because most of the time somebody over torqued them in the past. You are making me very nervous with almost 800 pounds hanging from the adapter threads.
 

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Russ,
Pull off the aluminum adapter plate. Those threads in there are usually marginal because most of the time somebody over torqued them in the past. You are making me very nervous with almost 800 pounds hanging from the adapter threads.
Thanks for the warning - I copied it to my build thread.
 

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I am using an engine hoist to take some load off of the HF engine stand.
That's exactly how mine looked when I was working in it!
 

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If you think thats bad, I've got a 6bt hanging my from my 2k harbor freight engine stand. I had to get some work done on it, so I didn't have much choice. It has held so far, but I am a little nervous about pulling the pin to rotate it. Overall it is working, but I don't really trust it. I am debating trying to either find or build my own engine stand for working on my 4bt.
 

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Russ,
Pull off the aluminum adapter plate. Those threads in there are usually marginal because most of the time somebody over torqued them in the past. You are making me very nervous with almost 800 pounds hanging from the adapter threads.
Marginal threads is correct!

7 16 - 14 thread.JPG
This thread let go at less than 30# of torque.

Too long bolt.JPG
When I removed the transmission, one of the transmission attachment bolts came out with aluminum stuck to the end. It was too long, and was in a blind hole. I suspect that the bolt was forced into the untapped area. I cleaned all of the threaded holes with taps (as pictured). Then rounded up the proper bolts.

Thread file.JPG
The threads looked good, but I cleaned them up with a thread file.

Afrer stripping the thread. I went to town looking for a 7/16"-14 thread repair kit (Helicoil). No luck, so I carefully drilled out the stripped hole and retapped it for a 1/2"-13 bolt. Killed the afternoon.
 

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Craftsman electric impact wrench. I bought it for my dad for Christmas a couple years ago. They rated it for 250ft/lbs of torque. My dad had used it to take off a tire of his friend's SUV...it didn't even take a single lug off.

Though I am really impressed buy the Craftsman SAE tap and die set. I've used it several times to fix busted threads on nuts and bolts. It does what I need it to do.
 

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Harbor Freight's engine stands not good.
I had bought one to put a buddies Mitsubishi 4G block on while I worked on it. That thing was SCARY. A 4G block might weigh 200#'s bare? I didn't leave it for more than 2 minutes, I lifted it back off and put it on my home made diesel stand. Plus I have a gear box on it for easy roll over :grinpimp:

I have an old 2 ton HF hoist that my Father gave me, years ago now. It's pretty good, heaviest I've lifted with it is a dry 7.3L/4r100/np273. It grunted and did alot of groaning, but for a dead lift to roll the truck under, I wasn't complaining. On a smooth floor, it is fairly easy to maneuver with a SBC hanging, even an old 460 BBF once it did pretty nice. I'm not too sure, but I'm pretty sure that the only thing my Dad bought it for many, many years ago was to do a clutch in his '84 IDI 6.9 F250. I remember watching him poke the hoist through the passenger door, and running a chain down through the shifter opening to lower the trans and raise it back up lol. It still holds weight, I would like to pull it apart though and re-pack the cylinder just for safeties sake since it is almost as old as I am :jester:
 

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These aren't a failure, they kick ass. Best $20 ever. I never use my snap on screw driver set anymore. http://www.samsclub.com/sams/screwdriver-set-maxtorque/prod11460173.ip?navAction=
I can honestly say tho, the old man has some snap on screwdrivers that are older than me and still going strong.


i think the only tool that i purchased to do a job that didn't live up to expectations was a set of ratchet hose/pipe cutters. was supposed to cut upto 1.5" od abs/pvc pipe. they were excellent cutting old rubber hoses but when i tried to cut some abs pipe, the thing just shattered. handles broke, ratchet stripped and blade broke. Sent back and got money returned.

Just remembered one other POS tool. Been doing a little work at my sisters house. Due to settlement of the ground in the area (mining area), there are a few cracks in the internal walls of the house. Purchased a brand new angle grinder with variable speed for use with a carbide mortar rake. I used it for 30 mins and the on/off switch stuck on. Took it back, got a replacement and this piece of crap lasted a further 40 mins until the same issue.

On a different note:-

Really as a rule of thumb, i try to steer clear of cheap ass tools unless it's only going to be a one shot deal. But if i plan to use it time and time again, I try to buy new (i trust) or buy used named brands. You have to be careful tho as the chinese/taiwanese have got crafty by purchasing brand names (especially older brands) and try to pass them off as the good old tools.

Put it this way, I just had to clear my uncles woodworking workshop out as he's moved in with us. I found a 1920's vintage black and decker gold drill. I asked him if he purchased it and was told that his dad purchased it before he was born in 1927. Man, this thing is a BEAST and still going strong. compare that to a B&D drill my mother purchased my father years ago and you can see the quality has slipped.

I found this advert when looking it up $53 in 1920's

l-5jz24ly7n0j234.jpg

When i was last in the states, I was given an old Skil wormdrive circular saw that was purchased by my fiance's grandparents. It's about an 8 inch blade in a old steel (i would say doctors style) case. You unclipped the top, split the case and the saw lifts up in the middle. Made them smile when i dug it out, put a new power lead on it and fired it up for the first time in 30 years.
 
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