Category: Automotive

9000-Lb. Capacity Hitch Receiver for Winch

08/24/10 | by theprofessor [mail] | Categories: Uncategorized, MoHo/RV, Automotive


Hitch Receiver for Winch
Hitch Receiver with Winch Mounted
Item: 9000-Lb. Capacity Hitch Receiver for Winch
Item number: 66409
Retail price: $39.99
Frequent sale price: n/a
Target price: undetermined but under $30
Item Link

We haven't actually evaluated this product yet, we haven't even determined a reasonable target price, but it's so cool that we just had to post our preliminary observations sight-unseen. (Hum, there seems to be some type of contradiction with "unseen observations" ;).) Maybe we don't get out enough, but we haven't seen this product before despite the fact it's an obvious 'invention' for everyone who has a Class III receiver hitch and wants to winch occasionally. It avoids the potential problems associated with permanently mounting a winch on your vehicle, such as exposing it to the elements and to thieves or perhaps just to hecklers laughing at the undersized winch on your Jeep Wrangler (You might expect a real man's winch on a Jeep, but I copped out and thus far only have a rather anemic 3000-lb. winch for it -- somewhat embarrassing for a Jeep enthusiast.) How much to I like it? Well, it's the first product to receive two pictures in one review.

This hot little item allows anyone with a 2" receiver tube (e.g., Class III receiver) mounted on their vehicle to have a fully capable winch with up to 9,000-lb capacity. Even those more subtle, classier road vehicles can now do some serious winching when called upon without complicated, unsightly mounting brackets. Wow, that's impressive. I can imagine someone's Buick pulling themselves out of a ditch on a cold winter morning after sliding off a slippery curve. No more waiting for the auto club; it's self-extraction time for those luxury sedans.

Of course we do have our 12-volt electric portable winch that mounts on our hitch ball for temporary use, but this winch mount hosts our 3000-lb remote-controlled winch which is not only more powerful but much faster in actually winching. And it's so much Jeepier. It evens give one a reason for a second Class III receiver tube mounted to the FRONT of your vehicle. (Hey, that's really "Jeeping it up.") Combined with a 6,000- or 9,000-lb capacity winch, it's much more capable than anything you could mount on a hitch ball.

A new winter accessory for those BMW owners always in a hurry? (Every notice how many seem to run red lights? They MUST be in a hurry!) Add one of these babies with a good-sized winch to your trunk for winter ballast and for self-extraction when needed. This makes a rather cheap accessory by BMW standards and could stimulate lots of conversation at the office parties during the winter holidays. Now you have a way to more subtly bring up the topic of your expensive car without directly flaunting the fact that you drive a Bimmer: "Yes, the roads were very slippery today. I had to winch myself out twice during the drive in to work." :P You might want to add an inexpensive tool bag to stow a tow strap for extracting your office-mates on the drive home after the party. (Hey, why not save some money on the bag? Even those with luxury sedans can have cash-flow problems.) And if you're looking for another icebreaker for the ladies, imagine yourself being able to extract some distressed lady after she's driven her car into a ditch.

Bottom line: Excuse me for cheating but I wanted to post the product somewhere where I will frequently see it, ever watching for it to hit that undetermined low target price so I can finally buy-it-and-try-it. And sharing (my discovery) is usually good too.


5-Piece Auto Trim and Molding Tool Set

08/22/10 | by theprofessor [mail] | Categories: Hot Buys, Automotive


Auto Trim Tool Set
Item: 5-Piece Auto Trim and Molding Tool Set
Item number: 67021
Retail price: $7.99
Frequent sale price: $4.99
Best price: $3.99 (with coupon)
Target price: $4.99
Item Link

I have to admit that nobody around here at Harbor Freight Reviews even knows how to use this set properly, let along what most of these different tools are specifically used for. So why would we review this automobile trim and panel removal tool set? Easy, we can give you the perspective of someone who would never invest in this sort of tool unless the price is very, very cheap, and then we might buy-it-to-try-it as we do many other small tools from time-to-time.

I hate the press-on plastic screws that are used to hold interior automobile panels and trim. I invariably break some screws or rip up some interior panels anytime I try to work inside my vehicles. Whether it's routing a wire or replacing a defective power-window switch, I just make a muck of it every time, leaving the job looking like my vehicle has been vandalized. Enter this 5-piece tool kit for removing interior auto panels and trim professionally. It's designed specifically for this type of work, replacing the old-standby screwdriver as a pry bar.

The wide flat pieces squeeze behind the interior panels and trim to gently remove the item while distributing the pressure over a wide area or at just the right point. The tools don't make one an instant auto-interior professional, but they do go a long way in doing the job right.

For those of you staring at our thumbnail picture of the kit, here's what the various tools are listed as:

  1. wide edge remover,
  2. narrow edge remover,
  3. pull-type remover,
  4. handle remover, and
  5. upholstery clip remover.

Does that help? Not enough for us around here, but it does give us some ideas about how to use these specific tools. Each item in this set is designed to help keep your vehicle's interior looking OEM-fresh and unscathed after simple repairs.

For us this is a typical buy-it-to-try-it item and a great investment the first time we used it -- another great example of how Harbor Freight makes available some specialized tools at a price that is worth a try to see if you can figure out how to use them. We can't comment on how well this auto trim set holds up to professional use, although the plastic tools seem to be of substantial quality; do any professionals really expect to get by with a $4.99 tool set for regular professional use?

So far we're up to using a couple of tools from this set, but the set has been a great investment for us. Not trashing up the interior panel when we had to repair a defective rear latch assembly in our Ford van was worth the small investment the first time we used it. Each time since then (e.g., routing some wires through interior door panels) has been a bonus.

Bottom line: A very inexpensive tool set for removing auto trim, molding, and interior panels. It's well worth our target price the first time it saves your interior during a simple repair.

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This review and discussion forum was created for those of us who love Harbor Freight(tm). It's well known to those who frequent the store that the prices are always cycling up and down, and most of us usually accept it as a personal challenge to get the lowest price possible. It's also well appreciated that some products at Harbor Freight are good, even very good, but that many others are also substandard, yes, even junk. This review and discussion forum is dedicated to the savvy Harbor Freight shopper and is intended to provide some guidance to the best and the worse buys. Similar products from other retailers will also be reviewed from time-to-time. Please be advised that everyone's experience is unique, and what works well (or doesn't work at all) for the reviewers here may or may not suit your personal needs. With this caveat and with notification that Harbor Freight Reviews assumes no liability for the accuracy of information provided here for educational purposes, enjoy the forum and good 'sa(i)ling' at Harbor Freight!


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