Harbor Freight Jack Stands

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Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby N law » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:34 am

I was working on my front driver's side hub on the VX this afternoon and went to put one of the 3 ton HF jack stands under the frame so I could take the tire and wheel off. When I went to let the jack down, the car cam crashing back to the ground. No biggie, the jackstand must have slipped. WRONG! The jack stand collapsed. It was one of the ratcheting types that you just have to pull up and it locks in place. Well there is a shear pin that holds the ratchet cam piece to the handle and it sheared right off. The whole thing is toast, which I could care less about the loss of the tool. It just scared me that the item I was relying on to hold the car up failed!

Luckily they came in pairs and I got the job done. HF wouldn't replace it so I asked that they report it to whoever gives a crap there. I doubt they did. Just thought I'd give a heads up.

I took a picture of the broken part but I haven't gotten it up yet.
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Postby Sohc » Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:07 am

Post a picture. Start a HF tool damage group on facebook. Link HF to it and the story.
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Postby N law » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:46 am

These photos aren't great put you can see where the pin is supposed to go through this piece.

Image

Thats the handle and the cam lock piece that holds the adjustable cradle:

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Supposed to be able to lift it up and drop the cradle back down but not with the pin broken:

Image

Its all supposed to be housed in the base:

Image

I like the idea of making a facebook group... but I paid 12.99 for these stands... I doubt its worth my effort!
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Postby Apeiron » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:24 am

I don't see how that pin shearing should let the car fall, unless the handle was pulled out.
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Postby N law » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:05 am

Put your head down there and I'll show you :shock:

It let the ratchet lock rotate (it bent the base piece too) and it flipped down, letting the cradle fall.
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Postby Apeiron » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:10 am

The pawl will rotate about the axis of the handle, with or without the pin. The pin just makes it rotate with the handle.

Not arguing that it's not a dangerous piece of crap, but there's more to it than just the pin. :shock:
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Postby Trooper King » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:48 am

I hate harbor freight nothing but junk 1 time used tools waste of money and unsafe. :evil:
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Postby Selahdoor » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:08 pm

Apeiron wrote:The pawl will rotate about the axis of the handle, with or without the pin. The pin just makes it rotate with the handle.

Not arguing that it's not a dangerous piece of crap, but there's more to it than just the pin. :shock:


It's simple geometry.

Even without the pin, once that pawl engages in one of the notches in the stem, it should hold there.

I don't see how it could fail, either, unless the entire housing was deformed.


Or the pawl pivot was too far from the stem, in the first place.

Which might explain the sheared pin. If the pawl was too far away, in the first place, then that pin is actually what was holding the car up.

If it were put together correctly in the first place, then all that pin really does, is provides a convenient way to move the pawl. Without the pin, it should still work. But you'd have to reach in there and move the pawl into or out of the notches some other way.
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Postby Hatfield » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:00 pm

This thread reminded me of one I read on IH8MUD. You got lucky, could have been much worse (like this guy)

http://forum.ih8mud.com/ca-socal-80s/30 ... ll-me.html
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Postby Cronk » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:00 pm

:shock:

I had an Autozone one fail the same way. Luckily I wasn't under mine either. Since then, I always try to keep the jack or my spare tire under as a fail safe. Seeing stuff like this sure gives a guy something to think about.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby squatch » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:54 pm

That's some scary stuff right there. Glad you are all right. It's a big reason I use large wood blocks instead of jackstands. If chunks of railroad tie are good enough for bulldozers they should hold my Trooper. I also usually leave a jack under the truck with just a little tension on it. 2 reasons: as a back up to the stands or blocks, and how would someone get a jack under the truck to get me out if it's already on the ground.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby Selahdoor » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:21 pm

squatch wrote:That's some scary stuff right there. Glad you are all right. It's a big reason I use large wood blocks instead of jackstands. If chunks of railroad tie are good enough for bulldozers they should hold my Trooper. I also usually leave a jack under the truck with just a little tension on it. 2 reasons: as a back up to the stands or blocks, and how would someone get a jack under the truck to get me out if it's already on the ground.


Always large chunks of wood, for me, too.

Jack stands are only as safe/reliable as the manufacturing process. And that has gotten cheaper, no matter what the brand is.

Concrete blocks can crumble. A LOT easier than most people think.

Wood is wood. Solid, and stays solid. Also can be used on uneven surfaces.

Use blocks as big as you can find. Check for cracks. Stack them with center of gravity and stability in mind.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby Frank_1175 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:55 pm

Holy @!#@#[email protected]!... It's not a big deal, until.. hm.. you are underneath and you kiss your @$$ goodbye buddy.


Be safe guys, don't end up on 1,000 ways to die tv show.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby lowzone » Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:05 pm

had the same thing sort of happen to me. the pin is sheared and you THINK its locked but its not. mine were sears brand that came with their floor jack (also broke). the pins are crap and when you pick the stands up by the handle the weight of the stand acts like a slide hammer against the pin. eventually they break. Then add 4k lbs of car on it, not being fully locked into position, the stand fails and the weight of the car falling, smashes the base.
if i build it, it will scrape..........or catch on fire
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby thebigbread » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:29 pm

Selador wrote:
squatch wrote:That's some scary stuff right there. Glad you are all right. It's a big reason I use large wood blocks instead of jackstands. If chunks of railroad tie are good enough for bulldozers they should hold my Trooper. I also usually leave a jack under the truck with just a little tension on it. 2 reasons: as a back up to the stands or blocks, and how would someone get a jack under the truck to get me out if it's already on the ground.


Always large chunks of wood, for me, too.

Jack stands are only as safe/reliable as the manufacturing process. And that has gotten cheaper, no matter what the brand is.

Concrete blocks can crumble. A LOT easier than most people think.

Wood is wood. Solid, and stays solid. Also can be used on uneven surfaces.

Use blocks as big as you can find. Check for cracks. Stack them with center of gravity and stability in mind.


my dad got 8 foot lengths of 10x8s, those worked great. used them while rebuilding the hubs and replacing the cv shafts.

if im doing a quick job, ill use jackstands. i got a torin set, 3 ton jackstands and a 3 ton hydraulic jack for $50 at work. i didnt have access to wooden blocks this weekend, but i used them while changing ball joints. i left them on overnight, both of them on one side in case one failed, but i also put the tire on in case they fell. they held the trooper for 24 hours and never fell.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby IsuzuGeek » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:27 pm

That is freakin scary.

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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby wdog118 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:43 am

I was seriously about to go buy some of the HF jackstands... maybe not now?

Wood does sound more reliable. haha
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby Selahdoor » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:42 pm

wdog118 wrote:I was seriously about to go buy some of the HF jackstands... maybe not now?

Wood does sound more reliable. haha


Make sure the wood is reliable. A lot easier done, than with cast metal.

Also, you know those wheel ramps you can drive up on, instead of jacking up the car ? You can make a set of those out of wood, as well. Stack the widest planks you can get ahold of. Cut each one a bit shorter as you add it, to give the 'ramp' to it. Put two short pieces on the top where they will become wheel chocks in front of, and behind the wheel, once it comes to a stop.

Build 4, and you can get the entire car up off the ground.

Be very carful not to build them too high, because they could tip over.

I have seen a permanent setup like this before. They stacked the planks double wide, and longer than the wheelbase of the biggest truck they had. With 'key' layers. Where every other layer, some plank was cut to be fastened across the previous layer, and then filled in between, with shorter planks going the same direction as the previous.

Every layer fastened to the previous with lag bolts.

Ramp only at the back. Chocks only in front of the front tire, and behind the rear tire. (Because of differing wheel bases.)

And they did lay this on concrete.

They could drive any of their vehicles up there, and work on them as if they had them on a lift. No problem with vapors collecting, like you get with a pit.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby anthonytrooper2012 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:08 am

often times i think of buying jacks stands like these to work on my 99. i question there durability and safety.
ill pay a local mech to let me use his lift instead the hell with those jack stands.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby QuantumRift » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:35 pm

Well, as the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for", in most cases. HF Tools are "inexpensive" for a reason. Think about it.

I use NAPA jackstands and another brand name I can't remember now, and I think I have 8 (ratcheting and pin-style). I got them over the years as I collected tools.

As a general rule, even when I am using jack stands, I tend to overthink it and use 4 when 2 would prob do, or use ramps instead if I can. I also, ALSO try to keep my hydraulic jacks or floor jacks under the vehicle as well, if they don't interfere with my work. That way i know that should something fail, I won't be crushed. It's called a backup; and I started doing that when I had 'cheap' jackstands (by 1970's standards, I think they were made in Taiwan or Korea or even Japan). Had one collapse in a similar manner as described in the OP. Now this isn't an indictment on Harbor Freight (I have HF stuff, though I a pretty judicious in what I buy from there) - they certainly don't have the monopoly on cheap(ly) made tools and equipment. It does pay to look at the "Made In _______" label. They get their merchandise pretty much all from from China and no doubt it can severely vary in quality from one factory to the next, from one production run to the next, etc.

I did not see any RECALL issued for Harbor Freight jack stands; however, you MIGHT want to notify the FTC as this could BE an endemic problem with some of their products sold, and a recall might save somebody's life in the long run. There are none noted on their website: http://www.harborfreight.com/recall-safety-information


http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche- ... che-3.html

And here's a posting from somebody who wasn't so lucky when the HF jackstand failed and....well....

http://forum.ih8mud.com/ca-socal-80s/30 ... ost4729153

This was off another forum: "..Harbor Freight's entire inventory is made in China. Extremely stupid to put your life in jeopardy to save a few bucks buying chink stuff made with child labor..." :|

here's a discussion of various types of jack stands: http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/arch ... 74433.html

Bottom line: I buy quality when I want to be sure I don't want it to fail. But as I remarked in another thread, I'm really considering just getting a lift (not from harbor freight!) as I'm just gettin too "old" to crawl around under cars on my back or a creeper.... :wink:
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby WhiteEightBall » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:50 am

noted... won't be using my 3 ton stands with the trooper....
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby Med!c » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:03 am

Good to know! Though I usually keep the jack there too and the jack stands are sort of a back up.

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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby QuantumRift » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:25 pm

Cinder blocks? They are useless. And if you happen to get a block that was made with a dry batch that day, it'll be brittle and fracture, and I would not want to be under something held up by that kind of block or any kind of block.
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby N law » Tue May 19, 2020 6:38 pm

They just recalled some of these! Mine were not in the recall, but I’m going to try my best to return them.

https://www.thedrive.com/news/33572/har ... y-collapse
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Re: Harbor Freight Jack Stands

Postby 93trooperpooper » Tue May 19, 2020 11:08 pm

yup, exact same pin sheared on one of the larger jack stands at work. when i saw that all it was is a shear pin that takes the weight, that is stupid killer design. i used those stands faithfully under various equipment and heavy trucks- wow i could have been killed.
the style with 3 holes and a pin are a little better.... the screw type are best. nothing wrong with wood blocking either.
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