Can't leave well enough alone #3: Harbor Freight Dust Collector - Impeller Upgrade

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Blog entry by WorksInTheory posted 03-19-2018 05:40 AM 1920 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: 2nd Hack to Delta Cruzer Miter Saw - the Shadow Line Part 3 of Can't leave well enough alone series no next part

I don’t know why I decided to do an impeller upgrade on my Harbor Freight dust collector as it was performing adequately especial since I went with a set up that had it doing a very short run. However of course I couldn’t leace well enough alone and I had read that if I could get the Rikon impeller replacement then it’s a 15 min job to pull the old one out and drop the new one right in.

Right – think again. First it took about 2 months to get the impeller since it was stocked out and also the price was twice what it used to be. Second I could not get the original impeller off. I bought gear pullers to do the job but it ended up breaking off the lip of the hub where the gear arms would hook into. It seemed the impeller was really stuck on pretty bad. Then in frustration to just get the impeller off since i was at a point of no return, I tried many ways and all were pretty destructive – old impeller is done for. Finally what I had to do was drill some holes just outside the middle to hook the gear puller arms through. The originally impeller is actually pretty solid and sturdy. Then I had to still really torque down on the gear puller nut and just crank it until it really forced everything out.

Then the new impellor didn’t just drop in – it had to be pounded in. 5 hours later I atleast was able to get back to an operational dust collcector albeit with a lot of scars and dents in the impeller housing.

I haven’t tested it yet to see if it performs better. Not sure it will be meaningful difference but oh well it’s done and tinkered with.

2 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4798 posts in 2791 days

#1 posted 03-19-2018 12:32 PM

Please do some tests and let us know how much of an improvement you get in CFM or static pressure.

It would be interesting to understand the ROI (Return On Investment) for all the work and money that you put into doing the upgrade.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2289 days

#2 posted 03-19-2018 12:33 PM

Pounding on the shaft isn’t good for the bearings. Just throwing that out there.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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