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Best 'cheap' cherry picker / engine hoist? ...Now with Pictures!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by grimjaw, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    I am looking for the best of the El Cheapo cherry pickers. I would like to stay well south of $250 but if there is a major difference will go $300.

    I have looked at Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, Sears, Tractor Supply and such. The problem is they all look the same. I have heard too many horror story of these breaking. I just want to find one that was not a pile of Chinese beer cans last week.

    Thanks for your input.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  2. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Some I have seen are shorter than others. I would make sure I got a taller one.
     
  3. 76zimmer

    76zimmer Flyin Rat Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I seen one at Sams Club the other day for about 180$. I didn't check it out real good but it looked good on the shelf, had a Goodyear sticker on it, so it must be the best.:rolleyes:
     
  4. big dan

    big dan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Ive got a friend that is building one.:o

    personally there are some tools that I dont feel comfortable going cheap on, which is why I dont have them:D . cheery pickers and engine stands are two of them. I dont want a good expensive motor hanging from a something that might drop it. and like said go with a tall one too. It makes things much easier when you dont have to take the tires off and set the axle on the ground or remove the front clip so the engine will clear the radiator support.
     
  5. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    I was thinking of a Gantry Crane. I have 10 foot ceilings and just 15 foot of with to work with. Trouble is they are silly expensive.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  6. uao85

    uao85 1/2 ton status

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    maybe a large A-frame with a chain hoist or a cable come-along attached to it. I have used a friends a-frame before and it was a snap to use, but the only thing I would have changed was to put some heavy duty casters on it that are lockable so you can move it around while using it. Yeah gantry crane would be sweet too, but then you need the structural integrity to support it.

    Remington
     
  7. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

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    I bought one from a local auto parts store that was allied brand. Looks just like the Harbor freight stuff. Only gripe is the hydraulic pump is a little slow to fill (have to wait on the upstroke) but so far it has done 2 engine swaps plus moved a couple of tranny's and axles in and out of the pickup and pulled up a neigbors tree stump (don't ask).
     
  8. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    there is about 4 companies that build them, you dont want to waste your money on a top of the line unit, you're gonna use once a year, or less... omega makes good ones, they make their own...

    personally, i wouldnt pay more than 120 bucks for one, because i could build one, electric over hydraulic for a few hundred, and just press a switch up and down, which gives you more control over placement when you dont have to man a bar to pump the cylinder...
     
  9. Jason4x4

    Jason4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I am using the one from sam's club, I have done at least a dozen engine swaps with it in the last year, I have had no problems, plus it is a fold up one.
     
  10. mo

    mo 1/2 ton status

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    i got the one from from pep girls, pretty cheap, and the casters piss me off every now and then, but it has come through plenty of times so far with no signs of trouble. i think i paid under 150.
     
  11. jones

    jones 1/2 ton status

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    the best hoist you could get is... one from someone who has no room to keep it so they let you borrow/store it indefinitely:D that's how i got mine.but seriously,they all perform the same function in general,and most have the same basic design.so,IMO,whichever one you choose will get the job done.if you're running any lift thogh,I'd consider an overhead hoist if that's an option for you.
     
  12. mechted

    mechted 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I got a foldable from Kragen for like 140 with a cheapo 750 lbs engine stand

    the engine stand was a total POS and I gave it to someone with a V6 i had sitting on it... it looked like it might fall over at any moment

    the hoist is great, never had an issue with it, used it for swapping a 6.2/400 combo as one unit (~1200 lbs!) with no issues, and moving a bunch of axles around. very nice tool to have around when you feel like lifting a D60/14bolt by yourself.

    GET A FOLDABLE ONE, your garage will thank you.
     
  13. merace19

    merace19 1/2 ton status

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    The one at sams has the adjustable engine angle plate. The harbor freight one does not. Sams was cheaper too.
     
  14. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    look before buying!..

    I'd be leery of any online "deals" or ones from catalog sales places..some are very cheesy,can barely lift a small block with a tranny attached without nearly folding in two..I've seen some "pep boys" ones that look scary..some of the fold up ones too,some are stamped sheet metal,not structural tubing!..

    I have 2 engine hoists,one is a "Carolina" brand "Shop Hand 4000"--has a 2 ton capacity,and is ruggedly built,its rectangular tubing is about 1/4" thick..it has lifted the entire front or rear of my truck 2' off the ground before no sweat!..I bought it from a tool rental place brand new for 200 bucks years ago--many others here bought the same brand from "wagon peddlers" who sold them out of the back of a van,along with floor jacks,jack stands,hydraulic presses,etc..

    About 2 years ago my brother in law had an engine hoist given to him when a friend moved away..since he has trouble changing a tailight bulb,he offered it to me.:D ...it too is pretty rugged,but not as tall as the other one I just described..its all rusty,but still works OK..ram leaks a bit,I have to fill it every time I go to use it--which isn't that often lately..been selling vehicles instead of putting more engines in them lately..getting to old and fragile to be doing that kind of work much now..:(

    But one thing I have I like using even better is a crude "gantry crane" that originally was a childs swingset made from schedule 40 2-1/2" pipe that was in a city playground!..it was 40' long,and I just hapened to see the DPW workers cutting it up with torches as I drove by!:eek1: --I asked if they would be willing to give it to me,and they were glad to load it on my truck with a loader--I went to the package store nearby and bought them a 6 pack for their trouble...:D (and they drank it right there!:eek1: )..

    I cut it down to be 12' wide,and added a hand cranked boat winch to it with pulleys,and have used it to yank beds and cabs off chassis,pull engines,and load heavy things in my truck...it has wheels I added,but I need to put something better than lawnmower wheels on it!..I use that thing more than both my engine "cranes" by far..

    A "crane" that bolts to the truck's bed can be used to pull motors,and is VERY handy for loading and unloading your truck..in fact,I'm tempted to use the "boom" off the rusty hoist and make a swivel base for it,and use it on my truck--better than letting it rust more sitting!..

    I have such a crane on the old bed from my 74 K20,its now sitting on a trailer made from the chassis of a '62 GMC 2wd..but I found having it mounted on the truck a much better setup..and I miss it..I made money with that thing,delivering parts for junkyards,and taking scrap metal other guys couldn't load in their trucks without it!..:crazy:
     
  15. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    mine is from harbor freight. got me by with no problems, at all. only used a handful of times, but it lifts and holds a 350 with manifolds and accessories, easily. i can't say weather it would hold up to an engine swap every weekend, but for my needs, it gets the job done. lifts high enough to clear rad support, too.
     
  16. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    This is my current short list. Since I am not able to 'lay hands on' these I am looking at the weights. The heavier one SHOULD have more steel in it. I was really beginning to like the Larin with Air, but the Northern Tool one has almost 100lbs on it.


    What do you think?




    Goodyear Racing 2-Ton Heavy Duty Shop Crane
    Sam’s Club $176.88

    Weight Not Listed

    [​IMG]







    Larin PHH-2 Air Powered Hydrualic Engine Hoist
    Tractor Supply $249.00 or Amazon $299.99

    Shipping Weight: 143.00 pounds

    [​IMG]





    Northern Industrial Tools 2-Ton Foldable Engine Hoist w/Free Load Leveler
    Northern Tool $199.99

    Ship Wt. 278.0 lbs

    [​IMG]
     
  17. vortec

    vortec 1/2 ton status

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    that bottom one is very similar to mine. i don't remember the weight on mine, but it came in 2 or 3 boxes, and i was very glad. unloading the whole thing at once, from my pickup, would have been a real hassle.
     
  18. Dyno_Ron

    Dyno_Ron Registered Member

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    "Cheap"

    Be careful what you ask for - safety is more important than cheap. Here is a picture I saw awhile back - not mine, but I keep it to remind myself when trying to shave a few dollars to not go too far.

    I do not remember the exact scenario the person used the hoist in, but it was typical use with either a small block or big block which weight way way under the 3000# - 1.5 ton pin hole used.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I read that thread at some point. That was one of the El Cheapo specials from Pep Boys as I recall. :(

    I've got the HF fold up hoist and it weighs well over 200 lbs. I don't think it'll bend any time soon. :cool1:
     
  20. Confedneck79K30

    Confedneck79K30 3/4 ton status

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    you want to try and find one with the ram as far away from the pivot as possible, iirc, the larin with the air over hydraulic will be the easiest to use
     

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