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Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) #579143
01/02/15 8:50 pm
01/02/15 8:50 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Picked up a HF flyer today.
Noticed that they have a sale (in my locality at least)on January 9/10/11th.
I noticed the following three items which I consider excellent value and a reasonable quality for us home mechanics. These are:
a) Motorcycle lift # 68892 or 69904 for $295.76. Get your bike to a reasonable height to work on it.
b) 1/2" Electric Impact wrench (mains electricity) #68099 or 45252 or 69606 or 61173 for $39.99. Great for undoing crank and clutch nuts etc.
c) Set of 4 15' Ratcheting tie downs # 90984 or 60405 or 61524 or 62322 for $7.99. I use them for tying down bikes to my trailer.
Hope this info helps somebody.

Last edited by Tridentman; 01/02/15 8:51 pm.
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Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579156
01/02/15 10:11 pm
01/02/15 10:11 pm
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
kyrbz Offline
BritBike Forum member
kyrbz  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
Harbor Freight has some stuff that is good and stuff thats not so good. The Garage Journal forum has a thread dedicated to sorting out the good from the bad. The motorcycle lift is pretty highly rated for the money. The biggest complaint I remember seeing about the lift is some people thought the front wheel vise is not very good and they often replace it with a better one. For 300.00 you could put a better vise on it and still be in it for about half the price of other inexpensive lifts.

Nothing against HF (I have my fair share of HF stuff), but if you happen to be on the Harbor Freight mailing list, you might get a chuckle out of this Mad magazine spoof......

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

BZ

Last edited by kyrbz; 01/02/15 10:25 pm.

BZ
58' Panther M75
http://bzisettas.blogspot.com/
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579158
01/02/15 10:23 pm
01/02/15 10:23 pm
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 441
Smackinthemiddle, NJ
rocketscientist Offline
BritBike Forum member
rocketscientist  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 441
Smackinthemiddle, NJ
Love the Ad!

Seriously: I buy quite alot of "disposable tools" from there. Chip brushes, welding rod containers, 4 1/2 Angle grinder (when at $9.99), digital vernier calipers that the kids destroy anyway.

I PAY for LOTS of stuff out of pocket for my students to use, as I have no budget to spend on tools. I also buy 1/4 / 3/8" drive ratchet sets to give out to kids who score the best grades on the mid term exams (1 per class). Now realize; these kids have ZERO tools at home, so a HF socket set is a big step up.

HF has its place. Yes, I have the red bike lift too; $299 I think. works, but yes; wheel clamp sucks. Oh yeah, gotta love the free flashlite and tape measure at each visit

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: kyrbz] #579169
01/02/15 11:06 pm
01/02/15 11:06 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,217
Vermont
Jon W. Whitley Online content

BritBike Forum member
Jon W. Whitley  Online Content

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,217
Vermont
Laser guided paint brush..ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha


Wow, that ad is hilarious :bigt


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579170
01/02/15 11:14 pm
01/02/15 11:14 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Great spoof ad--I got a real laugh out of that!
Agree completely--some of their stuff is crap---I bought some files once and I wouldn't use them to file chocolate.
However some of their stuff is perfectly adequate for "our" use---that is--we are not using things like a lift as a dealers service department would.
For example--I can justify to myself paying $300 for a lift----I could not justify spending $1200.
So HF is probably the only way I could get a ready made lift---and it works fine for me. Actually I don't have a problem with the front wheel clamp. Sure it could be improved but in my usage it is adequate---I use it in conjunction with ratchet ties.
The three items I have listed are things I have bought from there and found extremely useful and good value for money.
Incidentally--of course no connection with HF except as a generally satisfied customer.
HTH

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579173
01/03/15 12:18 am
01/03/15 12:18 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,553
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Offline
BritBike Forum member
Mark Z  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,553
Owego, NY, USA
LMAO! I cut my teeth on Mad Magazine, when it was still as caustic as National Lampoon. Glad to see they're still at it!

Here are two other useful and decent-enough quality items I bought from Harbor Freight - One is a leak-down tester, for about $30. The other has nothing to do with motorcycles; it's called "Multi-purpose Oscillating Tool". This thing is kind of hard to describe; you really have to see it, but you can do things like precise plunge cuts (in wood) in places where you can't fit any other kind of saw. I've used it a few times already (really!).






Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579331
01/04/15 12:22 am
01/04/15 12:22 am
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,198
Gnashville
DavidP Offline

BritBike Forum member
DavidP  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,198
Gnashville
Yeah, I have a few things from Hardly Great. That $40 impact driver works well enough if you only need it occasionally.
Their sale flyers have replaced the JC Whitney catalog as my preferred bathroom literature, I have a flashlight in every room, and I'll never need to buy another tape measure as long as they stay open. laugh


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V yet to be named
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: rocketscientist] #579338
01/04/15 1:14 am
01/04/15 1:14 am
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
kyrbz Offline
BritBike Forum member
kyrbz  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
Originally Posted by rocketscientist
Love the Ad!

Seriously: I buy quite alot of "disposable tools" from there. Chip brushes, welding rod containers, 4 1/2 Angle grinder (when at $9.99), digital vernier calipers that the kids destroy anyway.

HF has its place. Yes, I have the red bike lift too; $299 I think. works, but yes; wheel clamp sucks. Oh yeah, gotta love the free flashlite and tape measure at each visit


My typical HF purchases are things like latex gloves, shop rags, chip brushes, paint strainers, etc...... I would also agree that cheap tools have there place. I have HF sockets and wrenches that I don't blink an eye about abusing or modifying. I actually think their sockets and wrenches are pretty darn good for the money. I'd be willing to bet their swivel head ratchets come out of the exact same factory that makes the Gear Wrench version, and I really like the fine tooth composite ratchets for assembling a freshly painted restoration. Much less chance of chipping paint than a metal ratchet. A couple of other items that I think are pretty well made and a good value:

44" 13 drawer tool chest - great box for the money
20 ton shop press - again good press for the money

I typically stay away from most of their electric and air tools. I do have a few and found that Murphy's law usually applies. When I don't purchase a warranty, the tool breaks right when it's out of warranty. Buying the extended warranty seems to keep the tool from breaking. Not quite sure how that works?

BZ





BZ
58' Panther M75
http://bzisettas.blogspot.com/
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579357
01/04/15 8:39 am
01/04/15 8:39 am
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
A
AngloBike Offline
BritBike Forum member
AngloBike  Offline
BritBike Forum member
A

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,686
UK Berks
We don't have HF in the uk but the same argument applies to cheap tools that I buy from Lidl or Aldi which are German owned supermarkets here in the UK. "Value" is the best description of these stores products but I have loads of home use tools and they are fine for the limited use.

They all have three year guarantees as the TUV spec means they must pass certain standards, although the belt sander I have is awkward to get belts for.

Only yesterday I was using an air hammer to chip concrete in my lounge as a hammer Nd chisel was too much hard work. I bought the unit 2 years ago, for about £15 and this was the first time that I used it but it must have saved an entire afternoon's work with a hammer

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579364
01/04/15 9:19 am
01/04/15 9:19 am
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,962
Central Virginia
Lannis Offline

Life member
Lannis  Offline

Life member

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,962
Central Virginia
I just don't go into Harbor Fright any more.

I suppose that buying disposable supplies and stuff is OK, but when I'm in there, I'm always tempted to buy some more expensive thing that LOOKS like it ought to work, but which (under the thick slick coat of red paint), is made of the cheapest pot metal and worst welds that some Chinese slave laborer can produce.

And every one of them has been a mistake. So no more HF for me, just out of principle.

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Lannis] #579405
01/04/15 2:20 pm
01/04/15 2:20 pm
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,754
gastonia nc
R
raf940 Offline
BritBike Forum member
raf940  Offline
BritBike Forum member
R

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,754
gastonia nc
bought one of their red utility trailers several years back and put plywood floor and sides on it..has hauled my bikes pretty well including the 500lb honda cruiser thing but the tires are not all that great and i would not take it on long trip on interstate at high speeds...bought one of their yellow air tanks and threads where valve goes in were cut with carving knife and seeped constantly so 1/2 stick JB weld later they are sealed...


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579417
01/04/15 3:19 pm
01/04/15 3:19 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Magnetoman Offline

BritBike Forum member
Magnetoman  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
However some of their stuff is perfectly adequate for "our" use---that is--we are not using things like a lift as a dealers service department would.
For my entire professional life I've used the highest quality tools and instruments available. Almost every time I needed something to perform a non-critical function and I cheaped out with something merely adequate I regretted it. A strip chart recorder back in the old analog days immediately comes to mind. All it had to do was provide a record of water temperature in a closed circuit system so I would know if, say, somewhere in the middle of the previous night the temperature had risen by 10 or 15 (or whatever) degrees. The specs weren't critical at all so I bought a cheap recorder instead of the Hewlett-Packard I should have bought. It was nothing but a headache.

Not surprisingly these nothing-but-the-best experiences informed my real life, so clearly I shouldn't have any Harbor Freight tools in my garage. Indeed, that would be the case if life were black & white instead of grey. TM has eloquently spoken of the merits of HF motorcycle lifts, one of which I also have. If I were in a professional shop where bikes had to go up and down for service all day I would hate it, but for my use I love it.

A year ago I needed to remove a fastener that my 300 ft.-lb. impact driver wouldn't budge. I could have spent $500+ to buy a high quality 700 ft.-lb. unit for this one-time use, after which it would sit on the shelf for years until I again might need it for some similar use. Instead, HF to the rescue for less than $100. It might fail after being used for a month in a professional shop, but that's irrelevant for what it will be called on to do in my garage.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579536
01/05/15 1:45 pm
01/05/15 1:45 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Like raf940 I also have one of their trailers--in my case the 1195 lb folding trailer which I got in one of their sales for $249.
I bolted two pieces of plywood to it so that it still folds. It tends to spend the winter--folded--in my garage and the summer hauling bikes.
I am very pleased with it--I have had one, two and three bikes on it and also a sidecar outfit.
No problems.
And the tires seem OK to me--certainly to the extent that in upstate NY from where I was returning having bought a T100C from a barn---I was in a hurry and got a radar ticket for speeding at 75 mph!
Such is life!

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579613
01/05/15 10:41 pm
01/05/15 10:41 pm
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 415
new mexico
C
craigw Offline
BritBike Forum member
craigw  Offline
BritBike Forum member
C

Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 415
new mexico
I have one of their lifts and have had no problems with it. It is one of those things (like welders)that after you have it you wonder how you managed without it.
There are other things at HF that are useful. This item (99629) is obviously mismarked. It is not a adjustable 3 jaw oil filter wrench. It is really a chronometric ring remover, which it does fairly well. Wrap a little tape around the ring and use this to twist them right off. I have actually considered buying a second one to hold the instrument body for the ones that are really stuck.

[Linked Image]


Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579630
01/06/15 1:25 am
01/06/15 1:25 am
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 228
Hailey,Id.
B
bsawood Offline

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bsawood  Offline

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B

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 228
Hailey,Id.
I have been building cabinets and furniture most of my life and use a lot of bar clamps. the black anodized clamps with the blue handles HF sells, I like better than than any I've used for any price. The pads never pull off and the ratchets never slip. Their squeeze grip clamps are junk.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579637
01/06/15 2:14 am
01/06/15 2:14 am
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,261
arkansas
L
leon bee Offline
BritBike Forum member
leon bee  Offline
BritBike Forum member
L

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,261
arkansas
I always wonder if our brothers in China have to build stuff using that crap, or if maybe they can get imported tools from India, Taiwan, or maybe even Japan.

I bought a breaker bar Saturday at the local auto parts, looked at the label, "made in Taiwan". Oh, man, the good stuff I thought. If I wanted a USA wrench I'd have to drive 30 or 40 miles.

I went into a Harbor freight a couple times, got kinda depressed.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579669
01/06/15 12:19 pm
01/06/15 12:19 pm
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 101
NY
S
sciadventurer Offline
BritBike Forum member
sciadventurer  Offline
BritBike Forum member
S

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 101
NY
One has to be a discerning shopper to purchase from HF. Their low prices can lead to imprudent purchases. I think that HF has however helped improve my restoration skills since even some of their cheap, practically disposable items have helped me with one-time fixes. I too have an HF lift. It is my second unit and not as well made and rugged as my first, but good enough to keep me comfortably and safely working.

On the subject of safety, I never would have thought of purchasing an electric winch until I started trailering bikes back and forth to the Catskills alone. Finding a helper or spotter (usually my wife) didn't always work out, so I bought a small HF winch, on sale of course, and rigged it to be slotted and removable from the trailer. I can now safely load a bike alone by winching it up the ramp. This is not a promo, but HF has a winch available for $50 this month. Iím thinking about buying one for my riding buddy and brother-in-law who has a heart condition.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: sciadventurer] #579674
01/06/15 1:51 pm
01/06/15 1:51 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Magnetoman Offline

BritBike Forum member
Magnetoman  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Originally Posted by sciadventurer
Finding a helper or spotter (usually my wife) didn't always work out, so I bought a small HF winch, on sale of course, and rigged it to be slotted and removable from the trailer. I can now safely load a bike alone by winching it up the ramp.
I did the same thing for the same reason. Warn seems to be the quality brand of winch, but one of theirs with a 1000 lb. rating goes for $300 and 2500 lbs. for $350. I bought a 3500 lb. HF on sale and with a 20% coupon for ~$120 out the door and rigged it to be quickly installed on either my pickup or trailer. I gambled that its quality was good enough to survive being used only a few times a year to lift ~200 lb. loads (i.e. pulling ~500 lb. max. up a ramp). Since the price difference wasn't large I went with 3500 lbs. to have plenty of excess capacity in case I ever needed to pull a car onto the trailer (I also bought a HF snatch block that doubles that capacity or, for my purposes if I were dealing with a car, cuts the strain on the motor by half).

I simply wouldn't have spent the ~$400 required to buy a Warn for such infrequent use so buying one from HF for 1/3 that didn't cost them a sale. But, it sure is convenient to have. Instead of requiring two strong people (plus me...) to get a bike into the back of my pickup, I slowly and safely walk up the ramp alongside the bike while the winch does all the heavy lifting.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579706
01/06/15 5:35 pm
01/06/15 5:35 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Hmmmmn!---have to think about buying one of those winches.
My trailer is quite low down and when I have it hitched to my car I put the car suspension to the highest level and this raises the front of the trailer thus lowering the back of the trailer.
I then can normally push the bike up the ramp into the chock for the front wheel.
I also sometimes drive the bike up the ramp while walking alongside the bike and then pulling in the clutch and killing the engine when the front wheel enters the wheel chock.
I always use this method when loading my sidecar outfit onto the trailer.
But a winch?---hmmmmn---food for thought--------
Thanks for triggering the thought process.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579712
01/06/15 6:47 pm
01/06/15 6:47 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Magnetoman Offline

BritBike Forum member
Magnetoman  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
Hmmmmn!---have to think about buying one of those winches.
My trailer also is low enough that I've never used the winch to load motorcycles on it. The only reason I adapted it to the trailer is so would be ready, just-in-case... Having said that, had I had it when I bought my mill a few years ago it would have come in very handy for dragging it onto the trailer (instead of a lot of time and energy spent with a come-along).

My pickup is a different story. Even with its two 6-foot ramps (made by the same commie rat bastards as my winch, motorcycle lift, etc.) linked together with car stands supporting the middle the slope is too much for me to push a bike up unassisted. In the old days I would have ridden up, but that only works for bikes that work. Also, a risk/benefit analysis informed by a few more decades of experience than I had in the old days made me decide spending ~$100 on a winch was a wiser approach to the problem of loading bikes.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579721
01/06/15 7:57 pm
01/06/15 7:57 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Actually I don't ride bikes up the ramp onto my trailer.
I start the bike, put it into first gear, then get off the bike while holding both bars and then walk the bike up the ramp, controlling the bike with throttle (very little) and clutch.
As I get to the back of the trailer I keep walking onto the trailer bed and continue until the front wheel is in the wheel chock.
This works for a working bike and my outfit.
For a non working bike I currently rely on just brute force to push the bike up the ramp.
However as anno domini continues to rush on I think a winch would be a safer and more predictable method.
Only problem is location of the winch as I have a trailer box mounted on the hitch triangle of the trailer.
More hmmmmmnnnnns!

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579725
01/06/15 8:56 pm
01/06/15 8:56 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Magnetoman Offline

BritBike Forum member
Magnetoman  Offline

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 4,737
U.S.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
I start the bike, put it into first gear, then get off the bike while holding both bars and then walk the bike up the ramp, controlling the bike with throttle (very little) and clutch.
The following is more of a do as I say, not as I do, comment. All I'll say is if you tripped or slipped and your hand came off the clutch you could find yourself under 400 lbs. and a rotating sprocket pretending to be a meat slicer.

All of us, including me, have to consider that our reflexes, strength, and agility may not be exactly those of the 18-year olds that are how we think of ourselves.

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579738
01/06/15 10:02 pm
01/06/15 10:02 pm
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
kyrbz Offline
BritBike Forum member
kyrbz  Offline
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 76
Midwest, United States
I previously said I try to stay away from HF electrical tools. I forgot I have one of those HF electric winches. Use it for getting none running cars in and out of my ramped basement garage, getting them onto trailers, and various other things. I've had it for years, maybe use once every couple months. Knock on wood, never had a problem with it.

[Linked Image]
Pulling my Isetta chassis out of the Bat-Cave.


[Linked Image]
This is my modified HF shop press. I put an hydraulic air jack on it, and made a beefier cross bar with interchangeable anvils.

BZ


Last edited by kyrbz; 01/06/15 10:15 pm.

BZ
58' Panther M75
http://bzisettas.blogspot.com/
Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579745
01/06/15 10:51 pm
01/06/15 10:51 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
Tridentman Offline OP

BritBike Forum member
Tridentman  Offline OP

BritBike Forum member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,511
New Jersey USA
MMan--you are absolutely correct----hence my comment about anno domini.
On a lighter note---must remember that I am 19 years old now!

Re: Harbor Freight (US Readers Only) [Re: Tridentman] #579817
01/07/15 5:12 pm
01/07/15 5:12 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,147
Lucan ON Canada
J
jfligg Offline
BritBike Forum member
jfligg  Offline
BritBike Forum member
J

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,147
Lucan ON Canada
Hello Guys
I get their coupons emailed to me. When my wife has goes to Port Huron shopping I'll get her to stop in and pick things up for me. Twice now she has been charged more than the coupon price for things. She always pays the extra, no wanting to disappoint me. The last time I called customer service to complain. I called three times with no resolution. Really poor customer service. Not happy. Jeff

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