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comparing two harbor freight engine cranes

PostPosted: February 10th, 2013, 7:50 pm
by grumpyvette
I know several people that have purchased one of the HARBOR FREIGHT ENGINE CRANES
yes this is only my opinion based on using the cranes in their shops.
I don,t think the posted specs POSTED are correct the cranes are significantly different in weight and the ability to lift and reach, neither is near ideal in my opinion, but the larger two ton design is NOTICEABLE larger and easier to use, the picture is also wrong on the smaller crane, I think they just reused the picture of the larger 2 ton crane, the smaller crane makes reaching the engine a challenge and lifting it high enough to clear the radiator or fenders can be a problem, while neither cranes ideal the smaller cranes not nearly as useful as the larger capacity crane, and even that crane is flimsy in my opinion .
Id rate the smaller cranes a barely functional, and at times almost not capable of doing the intended job, and the larger crane as something you can get by with, if you need to, and certainly an improvement over the smaller version, but hardly ideal.


adding a swivel hook makes a crane far more user friendly, as the engine won,t constantly be trying to swing to some less than ideal angle

adding far larger rubber wheels and making the engine crane easier to roll AND adding them to your engine stands for the same reason is a good idea even if its expensive and one more in a near endless list of reasons too own a decent MIG or TIG welder
Image ... p-701.html
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1018 ... -5402.html ... 69445.html
Sale: $179.99

Name Shop Crane, 1 Ton Capacity Foldable
SKU 69445
Brand Central Hydraulics
Capacity 2000
Color Orange & Black
Foldable (y/n) Yes
Material Steel
Telescoping (y/n) No
Maximum height (in.) 50-1/4 in.
Maximum length (in.) 36-1/4 in.; 41 in.; 45-1/2 in.; 50-1/4 in.
Minimum height (in.) 36-1/4 in.
Product Height 55-5/8 in.
Product Length 63-1/4 in.
Product Weight 151.8 lbs.
Product Width 38 in.
Warranty 90 Day ... 69051.html
Sale: $219.99
Name 2 Ton Foldable Shop Crane
SKU 69051
Brand Pittsburgh Automotive
Capacity 4000
Foldable (y/n) Yes
Material Steel
Telescoping (y/n) No
Maximum height (in.) 90-3/4 in.
Maximum length (in.) 63-1/2 in.
Minimum height (in.) 42 in.
Product Height 58-1/2 in.
Product Length 69 in.
Product Weight 151 lb.
Product Width 36 in.
Warranty 90 Day

I purchased my shop crane from NORTHERN TOOL about 25 years ago,
that exact crane is no longer made, as it was heavier and more expensive, it was rated at 3 tons but had a 8000lb ram
but heres a cheaper and lighter weight version thats still in my opinion superior to the two HF engine cranes ... _200305213

using a hook in a motor plate makes it a real P.I.T.A. to line up a set of motor mounts or a transmission while installing the engine compared to the ease with which an engine tilter and swivel make the job

ANOTHER OPTION ... _200305213

Re: comparing two harbor freight engine cranes

PostPosted: July 31st, 2014, 5:22 pm
by grumpyvette
one huge hint at the difference in quality is to compare the WEIGHT oF the cranes ... o-top-link
HF=162.8 lbs.

AC-DELCO 244.5 Lbs. ... &ppt=C0373

now which lift would you rather have support an engine over your head??

with near 82 lbs less steel I think the HF is not the best choice, I know the shop engine crane lift I have used for 30 plus years weights nearly 250 lbs

Re: comparing two harbor freight engine cranes

PostPosted: August 1st, 2014, 4:14 pm
by 87vette81big
Are there any engine lift cranes still made in the USA Grumpy ?
The China stuff is all scary to me.
Its our own recycled scrap metal.
Good way to test is lift a fully dressed Chevy Duramax Diesel engine 4-feet off the ground.
If it can do it with bending or failing its safe.
None are really safety tested in China.

Waterfall Chain hoists stull handy. It can easily pick up a Duramax Diesel engine.

My Old Ram Cherry picker us made in the USA.
About 30 years old now.

Re: comparing two harbor freight engine cranes

PostPosted: August 1st, 2014, 4:33 pm
by grumpyvette
sure there are, some darn good ones too, but youll need to shop carefully and ideally find one used in great condition at a discount, if your buying one, and yes if you can weld they can certainly be fabricated to ideally match your personal requirements


IF you own a welder and can fabricate the options are nearly endless, you could start by salvaging an axle from a travel trailer, mobile home or boat or camper trailer, telescoping 1/4" wall rectangle tube in about 2" x 3" size and a welder and some fabrication skills will get you to a great custom engine crane
Image ... 36397.html ... r-axle.htm ... 46819.html

yes it costs more money but adding 4 of these makes the lift greatly more versatile



heres two pictures of a BLUE BIRD KD1200, American made engine hoist member "gotta56forme" bought used


Re: comparing two harbor freight engine cranes

PostPosted: August 1st, 2014, 4:46 pm
by 87vette81big
China does not hold up at work.
Both Cherry picker Booms and Bases bent.
Diesels too heavy.