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  1. #1951
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    20 miles west of Atlanta
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    Yanmar 2210BD

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyal View Post
    So my water pump came yesterday. Tonight I had a few minutes to play with it.


    The engine starts and runs fine and it weighs about 25 lbs or so. To use the pump you need to prime it. On the top of the pump is a cap you remove to fill it with water. Filling it with water is not as easy as it seams. Once the water gets to the level of the intake pipe water wants to run down it. The pipe I was using for suction didn't seal perfectly so I had some difficulties that added to the problem. I think a simple check valve at the strainer on the suction pipe would solve the problem (but I'll experiment further tomorrow).

    .
    Do you prime it while it is running or can you fill it and then crank it up? My set up would be semi permament, growing season then stored for the winter. I am thinking mason jar and funnel for priming...your thoughts.
    Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. Yoda

  2. #1952
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    I have a 4x6 trailer that came from Lowes. It's rated for 1740 lbs, the tires are rated for 990lbs each. I have a 250 gallon (so I've been told) water tank that I fill up, my guess it's over 2000lbs with some of that weight on the hitch. I do drive it down the road, usually a mile or so. But it's right at the max weight. Any smaller of a trailer or more weight I think would be too much for it.

    If you didn't mind doing a little work, maybe pick up some tires and wheels from a junk yard and replacing the springs you would be able to do what you want. Since the tank has no flex to it it wouldn't twist the trailer frame.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  3. #1953
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Sonoma County
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by ninefinger View Post
    Do you prime it while it is running or can you fill it and then crank it up? My set up would be semi permament, growing season then stored for the winter. I am thinking mason jar and funnel for priming...your thoughts.
    Good-size bucket, and funnel. And you need a foot valve.

    We use a similar 2-cycle pump for our gold mining suction dredge. Here's a photo. Without a foot valve it is a PIA to prime it for every engine start. Fetch a bucket of water, take off the cap without losing it, prime, likely repeat.

    Comment: everything on the intake side clear down to the stream has to be *absolutely* airtight. A tiny leak there will lose the prime even though you have a foot valve. And the pump's ability to lift from the stream up to the pump level is severely impacted if it can suck the tiniest amount of air. Dribbles on the output side are harmless.

  4. #1954
    Gold Member flyerdan's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    362
    Location
    Salem, OR
    Tractor
    Hyster H50

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Well this is indeed an epic thread. My dad got me started on HF back in the early 80's when their mailers were just 2 or 3 letter sized pages mailed in an envelope with no pictures, just descriptions. Back then they paid the freight on all orders over $50, and some of the stuff that came motor freight had some pretty good shipping costs, even back then. When our Salem store opened in '98, I had a grand opening coupon for 10% off the entire order so I gave it to the owner of our company and about four of us went and got stuff for home and work, including two 60 gallon CH air compressors. Saved about $130 with that. I've had pretty good luck over the years; you can really outfit a home shop with their stuff. The only glaring sucky item that comes to mind was a mail ordered punch and chisel set, which appears to be made out of pot metal. Had to laugh at that, but have gotten pin punch sets and other chisel sets at the store that were good steel.
    I have several combo wrenches that have had to be altered for specific applications; it's a lot easier to put torch and grinder to a HF wrench than it is to a more expensive one.

  5. #1955
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Sonoma County
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by Iplayfarmer View Post
    I don't think those little trailers are built with much of a margin. That's over 1 1/2 tons of water. You may be disappointed with the results.
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyal View Post
    I have a 4x6 trailer that came from Lowes. It's rated for 1740 lbs, the tires are rated for 990lbs each. I have a 250 gallon (so I've been told) water tank.
    Iplayfarmer, that's what I'm afraid of. I was hoping someone would post that this worked for them. I don't think I'll try it unless I read of a positive result.

    Crazyal, I have a similar rig. I usually set it up using a 200 gallon main tank that has a pump to push water up to a 25 gallon tank on top. The upper tank has a high volume sump pump to move 15 gallons into the tree's levee, in less than a minute.

    This works great but it's a nuisance to set up in my utility trailer each time. It would be nice to have a dedicated system.

    Today I watered the 40 new trees using just the lower tank. Its smaller pump takes a couple of minutes per tree.



    Photos of the components. (Everything is 12 volts).

    1 25 gallon tank showing high output from the HF sump pump.

    2 Little HF pump that keeps the 25 gallon tank topped up while I drive to the next tree.

  6. #1956
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by flyerdan View Post
    I have several combo wrenches that have had to be altered for specific applications; it's a lot easier to put torch and grinder to a HF wrench than it is to a more expensive one.
    So true!

    I've had generally good luck, but more than a couple of sucky items. Carpenter's 'flatbar' (flat prybar) that bent easily. In a post just above I noted two half inch ratchets, from the cheap socket set, that stripped within the first few times used. Bungee cords for their Car Canopy that all rotted and fell to the ground in the first year.

    Overall, it's worth it, but you need a sense of humor for when you encounter the occaional pretend tool.

  7. #1957
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by ninefinger View Post
    Do you prime it while it is running or can you fill it and then crank it up? My set up would be semi permament, growing season then stored for the winter. I am thinking mason jar and funnel for priming...your thoughts.
    You have to fill it before starting it. There's a seal that needs water on it or it will burn up. I used a garden hose because I was right next to the house. It looks like it stays at least partly filled.

    I had some time tonight to use it. I have a 250 gallon water tank that I use to water the lawn and fill the pool when it's low. I had about 15' of vac line for a swimming pool that I put threaded fittings on. I did pick up a check valve and put it next to the strainer. I also had an old 2" fire hose that I mated up to the output. The total lift was about 20' and the pump, on about half throttle, filled the tank in about 15 minutes. However it could of done it faster except for the fact that the fire hose had to make two 90 degree bends and wanted to kink. The pump had to overcome the kinks, which it did, to fill the tank. I would say the water pressure was about 50 psi at the output. I think I'll make a section of pvc pipe with two elbows and a threaded fitting on the end so I can just screw the fire hose onto it.

    I used a 1 gallon Hawaiian punch bottle to prime it. It probably took about a quart to fill it, not sure because I didn't worry about spilling water as the fill is in a place where water spilling isn't going to hurt a thing. The pump holds quite a bit of water even with both pipes disconnected so you'll want to drain the water out before winter. I think if you left everything connected up you may not need to prime it. I'm not sure if it's the check valve or not but the pump quickly starts pumping water once started. I didn't need a foot pump but I did fill the suction hose with water.

    Overall I would say this pump is a keeper. It starts on the second pull every time. It's quiet. I pumped over 600 gallons of water and I bet it used about an 1/8 of a gallon of gas. It's light, you can easily carry it by it's handle with one hand and it's got a small footprint. Overall quality it good, not just against other HF tools but against other brands as well. All that remains to be seen is if it last for weeks or years.
    Last edited by crazyal; 08-13-2011 at 01:35 AM.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  8. #1958
    Elite Member Skyco's Avatar
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    SC/NC

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyal View Post
    The engine starts and runs fine and it weighs about 25 lbs or so. To use the pump you need to prime it. On the top of the pump is a cap you remove to fill it with water. Filling it with water is not as easy as it seams. Once the water gets to the level of the intake pipe water wants to run down it. The pipe I was using for suction didn't seal perfectly so I had some difficulties that added to the problem. I think a simple check valve at the strainer on the suction pipe would solve the problem (but I'll experiment further tomorrow).

    snip

    Tomorrow I'll sort out the suction pipe and maybe even get a check valve.

    I have a similar pump I bought at Harbor Freight maybe 5 years ago, made by Robin. It has a rubber flap/check valve in the intake port to prevent the backflow when priming or when shutting down, the loss of prime. Wonder if yours is missing or they screwed up the design?

  9. #1959
    Veteran Member weldingisfun's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    1,580
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    West Bell County, Texas
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4500 4WD w/FEL, and Scotts S2048 lawn tractor

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    I'm thinking of using the little HF 40x48 inch trailer to carry a 275 gallon IBC Tote. (40x48 inches, x 46" tall). I just bought the trailer off Craigslist, $30.

    Loaded weight would be twice the trailer's rated capacity. For watering new trees in the orchard a few times a year I don't need a highway quality safety margin.

    I don't expect to ever license it. (Especially if I abuse it like that. )

    Has anyone done this?
    I did exactly what you are talking about doing. I use mine to haul water to the goat pens. But, I completely rebuilt the trailer. The only things original left on it are the hitch, springs, shackles and wheels.

  10. #1960
    Veteran Member deereman75's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    canada
    Tractor
    1946 cockshutt 60

    Default Re: Harbor Freight Tools that don't suck

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    I'm thinking of using the little HF 40x48 inch trailer to carry a 275 gallon IBC Tote. (40x48 inches, x 46" tall). I just bought the trailer off Craigslist, $30.

    Loaded weight would be twice the trailer's rated capacity. For watering new trees in the orchard a few times a year I don't need a highway quality safety margin.

    I don't expect to ever license it. (Especially if I abuse it like that. )

    Has anyone done this?
    If you have a welder, just beef up the frame with some angle iron, if you dont, get one and do the same.
    Never carry gasoline in your car trunk. If you do, atleast use some sort of container.
    -red green

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