Harbor Freight Model 90154
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  1. #1
    Senior Member srs713's Avatar
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    First off, ergonomics:
    If I have to assemble another one of these I'm gonna use a set of 5' long saw horses and a shop stool with casters. Getting up & down from the floor is getting to be a pain at my age. Just lay out the front cross channels and bungee them in place. Then bolt the other parts on to them per the pictures in the book.



    General notes & observations:



    All the kit hardware is metric. If you want to use eye bolts in place of any of the bolts holding the frame together, either find M10 eye bolts, or buy nuts for the 3/8" eye bolts.



    Definitely replace the 4 casters. The ones in the kit are a joke! I've seen stronger wheels on an office chair.







    I don't care how hard you torque the bolts, the frames are gonna flex out of square until you install either a wood deck or some diagonal bracing on this thing.







    Notes on building:



    When the instructions say lay the frame halves on the floor next to each other to bolt them together, don't. Set the front half on top of the rear half, line up the hinges & bolt 'em. Then bungee cord them so its easier to stand it up.



    Even better, if you are building it on saw horses, just bolt the hinge halves together. Then build the rear frame on top of the front frame. Being careful with the orientation of the parts of course.



    Once the front & rear frames are assembled and the caster legs are in place, ignore the instructions about opening the trailer out flat. Everything else (except the wood deck) can be more easily installed in the upright storage position. Especially the wiring. Running the wires with the trailer folded insures that you have enough slack.



    You need to have bearing grease. The instruction manual states that you should thoroughly clean the bearings and related parts before installation "even if they are new or appear clean." Then pack the bearings with fresh grease.



    Use the bearing grease on the frame parts that fold.







    My progress so far: [4 hours]



    I spent about half an hour wrenching on the first day (Sunday) until I found the bad part. Got that resolved on Monday.



    The second day of working on it (Friday) from about 5pm till 8:30pm I got the frame together, the coupler on, the axle & fenders on. Only mechanical work left is bearings & wheels. After that it's wiring.



    Here's some more pix:















    Edit Sept. 3, '12

    Some notes on wiring:




    I noticed there are no holes for the tail light wires to go through the frame. I think running the wires under the frame would risk catching them on something if the frame drags over anything. I'm going to drill a hole for the wires right next to the mounting bracket. I will then use silicone caulking as a quick grommet so the wires don't chafe in the hole (also keeps the bare metal from rusting). I'm thinking of caulking the wires at each of the clips as well to keep them from shifting/chafing and eventually shorting to the frame.



    While bolting the frame together I saw why many people have problems with the lights at first. The frame parts are heavily powder coated, If you don't take the powder coating off so there is bare metal contact between parts of the frame, you don't have a complete ground path for the lights. The only options are to wait for the hardware to wear through to bare metal, or run a ground wire. I'm using a ground wire.









    Stephen S.

    '07 TW200:

    15/50 sprockets, O-ring chain, D2Moto foot pegs

    tweaked carb (127.5 jet, 0.019 needle shim, idle screw @2.25),

    Rubbermaid "Action Packer" on homemade brackets

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Hi Stephen,



    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with this trailer. You've got some good observations and tips that will help any of us picking up one of these trailers.



    Sounds like you were able to get the defective part replaced quickly. I was worried that a problem like that would take weeks to get a replacement part.



    Brian

  3. #3
    Senior Member srs713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    Hi Stephen,



    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with this trailer. You've got some good observations and tips that will help any of us picking up one of these trailers.



    Sounds like you were able to get the defective part replaced quickly. I was worried that a problem like that would take weeks to get a replacement part.



    Brian


    I went to HF that Monday. As I was talking with them about the options of either ordering a new part or bringing in the whole kit or just the one part an swapping it, one employee remembered they had a kit with a missing part already in the back. Fortunately the part I needed was still there. They let me have the part, no trade in required.
    Stephen S.

    '07 TW200:

    15/50 sprockets, O-ring chain, D2Moto foot pegs

    tweaked carb (127.5 jet, 0.019 needle shim, idle screw @2.25),

    Rubbermaid "Action Packer" on homemade brackets

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    SRS-713, as with Brian's comments, I say Thanks.... Someone else will surely profit from your willingness to take the time to share your insights. As I shop at Harbor Freight as well, I want to remind folks that when you go there, you are looking to save (lots of) money. As well, we have all heard, "time is money" and "you get what you pay for". My impression with Chinese manufacturing is that, 'they make the product' it is the consumers responsibility to make the product meet their expectations. I am of the opinion that in the USA and Japan, manufactures likely test every 10 units (wild guess). In China, manufactures test every 100 units (wild guess).



    Folks, you pay for their time, or be prepared to use yours. Sometimes I need to save money and am willing to take the gamble. In my opinion, Harbor Freight offers us that option, and for this I am a happy consumer (with choices). Thanks again SRS............ Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  6. #5
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    ^ Exactly. When I got stuck down south and had to sell the pickup, a $250 trailer from HF was about half of what it would of cost to rent a U-haul trailer to get the bike home. I'd rather have an American made trailer, but HF does fill a niche.



    And thanks for the write-up.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  7. #6
    Senior Member PalmStateCrawler's Avatar
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    The coupler on mine does not want to retract as it should. I have to push it back manually to get it on the ball but I have to yank it hard a couple of times to get it off. I'm thinking that I should probably return it before too much time has passed.
    '13 690 Enduro R too many frickin farkles...
    '07 KLX250 farkled (wife's bike)
    '86 BW80 farkled to size
    '10 TW200 you will be missed

  8. #7
    Senior Member srs713's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PalmStateCrawler View Post
    The coupler on mine does not want to retract as it should. I have to push it back manually to get it on the ball but I have to yank it hard a couple of times to get it off. I'm thinking that I should probably return it before too much time has passed.


    Taking a quick look at the coupler, I notice it is dry. No lube between moving parts. When I get the bearing grease, this is one of the places I'm going to use it.



    The manual also says to grease up the hitch ball & coupler cup so the hitch turns smoothly while towing.



    Without having actually attached this trailer to the car, the instructions for adjusting the coupler are "clear as mud." All the other couplers I've used had a nut on top that you tightened once the trailer was on the ball. This one the nut is on the bottom. I guess I'll figure that out when the time comes.



    After next payday I'll have $$ to get the plywood & bolts for the deck, and to tag the trailer.
    Stephen S.

    '07 TW200:

    15/50 sprockets, O-ring chain, D2Moto foot pegs

    tweaked carb (127.5 jet, 0.019 needle shim, idle screw @2.25),

    Rubbermaid "Action Packer" on homemade brackets

  9. #8
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    The nut on the bottom of the coupler is all I'm familiar with. Like you said, a bit of grease and you probably already know this, but don't tighten the nut too tight. Once I get mine tight (no play) I back it off a little (1/2 to 1 turn). Hopefully that's good advice. I've done that with all my trailers, no problems whatsoever.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  10. #9
    Senior Member srs713's Avatar
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    Just spent a relaxed 1.5 hrs. running wires, and 0.5 hr. messing with a hub. [Total Hours 6.0]



    The wiring instructions in the manual are borderline vague. I ended up running the wires totally different and adding ground wires.



    I divided the left & right wire sets immediately at the hitch. Including ground wires.

    I didn't rely on the trailer body at all for electrical connection.



    (I didn't have enough black so I used blue on one side.)







    Wires come up to the pivot point for the front then head aft toward the bed hinge.

    A short pair of wires spliced in to feed the forward-side marker light.

    And the wires coming back up from the hinge to the tail light.







    A little tricky at the bed hinge. I used the included metal clips and zip-ties.

    The wires will droop down when the bed is unfolded.

    I'll be adding 1/4" dia. wire loom to help protect them.







    Drilled holes and used silicone caulk for the tail light wires.

    I'll be going over the whole installation with liquid tape and the silicone before I take the trailer on the road.









    One minor disappointment with the wheels.



    The grease zerks are cheap, brass, and easy to break. I'm going to have to buy a new pair.

    The zerk came apart when I yanked on the grease gun to remove it.



    Only things left for road ready status are to get both hubs on (and greased), install the wheels, then get a tag.



    Once it's rolling I'll get the deck, eye-bolts, and wheel chock.



    Stephen S.

    '07 TW200:

    15/50 sprockets, O-ring chain, D2Moto foot pegs

    tweaked carb (127.5 jet, 0.019 needle shim, idle screw @2.25),

    Rubbermaid "Action Packer" on homemade brackets

  11. #10
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had to hard wire my lights too. Those metal wire clips were born to rust. I‘m trying to think of an inexpensive way to replace them.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

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