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Old 11-06-2020, 09:34 PM
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Default Rebuilding hydraulic cylinders

I have to rebuild the leaking cylinder in my ironworker, a 6” bore x 18” as well as two on my tractor that are 3 and 4” x 36” or so. I have the seals for the tractor cylinders, but need to disassemble the ironworker cylinder and go get seals.

I have rebuild a handful of cylinders in the past with fairly decent results. The only issues are the mess of oil and getting the rods out of the cylinders.
What are some techniques for doing this hat can minimize the mess and control the rod removal? Just looking for a better method than what I have used in the past.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:10 PM
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Shop I’m at now, we bolt cylinders to a heavy bench and pull the rod out with the overhead crane, after everything is apart of course.


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Old 11-06-2020, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
I have to rebuild the leaking cylinder in my ironworker, a 6” bore x 18” as well as two on my tractor that are 3 and 4” x 36” or so. I have the seals for the tractor cylinders, but need to disassemble the ironworker cylinder and go get seals.

I have rebuild a handful of cylinders in the past with fairly decent results. The only issues are the mess of oil and getting the rods out of the cylinders.
What are some techniques for doing this hat can minimize the mess and control the rod removal? Just looking for a better method than what I have used in the past.
I would suggest using a hand hydraulic pump and hooking it up to the bottom of the cylinder and pump it out by hand.
I have done it with a cylinder water filled, and used water in a cheap grease gun to pump it out. Also you can fill with water and use oil and a porta power pump to push it the last 3 inches out the top. Takes less time to cleanup that little pint or quart of oil. If you are cleaning and honing the bore, the water is nothing to worry about and it mops up easier than oil.

Air pressure works to blow them out sometimes, except as a projectile the piston and ram are not very aerodynamic
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:45 PM
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In my shop, we have pipe vices set up to hold the cylinders horizontal. We will pull the rod out and back in to expel as much oil as possible out the ports. Have the ports facing down, or attach a hose to them to direct oil to buckets. You could maybe use air to cycle the rod in and out. Do Not use Air to push the rod out when you have the head ready to come out. It will become a dangerous projectile.

If needed, to pull the rod out, we will use a fork lift to pull it. You could probably use a porta power, or come a long to help pull it out in a controlled fashion.

Have lots of oil dri on hand to soak up spilled oil.

Hopes this helps. Having heavy work benches helps. Maybe you can some how tie the base end to one wall, and a come a long or winch and use that to pull the rod out. Usually if the seals are leaking, they are wore out enough that the rods pulls easy. Installing might be another story. Be sure to check for any burrs that can cut the seals going back together and keep it clean.


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Old 11-07-2020, 12:21 AM
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Pretty much what the others have said. Unless you're really set up for it there's no way around the mess; you just have to deal with it. While hydraulics aren't our main business I have worked on quite a few cylinders. We have a fairly long bench and it's often sufficient to anchor one end of the cylinder and use a chain come-along to pull the rod out. I would think it would need to be a pretty good sized cylinder to require more force than that...
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Old 11-07-2020, 08:47 AM
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I generally try to do them outside over my gravel driveway,
that way the spilled oil becomes dust control...

I don't envy you for the project. Cylinders suck.
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
...I don't envy you for the project. Cylinders suck...
Like a lot of other projects, the level of "suck" depends a lot on how well set up you are to tackle the job. If it's a one-off back yard job it can be a real pain in the ass but if you've got a bench and a few of the proper tools it becomes routine. Working on the "right" cylinders can be pretty lucrative too. If you're tackling one of the cheap Chinese farm type cylinders it's often just as cheap to replace as to rebuild but, around here at least, the hydraulic shops make damn good money rebuilding bigger, more specialized cylinders...
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Old 11-07-2020, 12:38 PM
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Okay, that gave me what I needed. I have a long piece of 3x12 tube that will go under my forklift mast. I will just weld a padeye to hold one end of the cylinger then lift out the rod. That gets the mess outside, i can get the hoses into a bucket as well.

I appreciate the insights.
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Old 11-07-2020, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post
Like a lot of other projects, the level of "suck" depends a lot on how well set up you are to tackle the job. If it's a one-off back yard job it can be a real pain in the ass but if you've got a bench and a few of the proper tools it becomes routine. Working on the "right" cylinders can be pretty lucrative too. If you're tackling one of the cheap Chinese farm type cylinders it's often just as cheap to replace as to rebuild but, around here at least, the hydraulic shops make damn good money rebuilding bigger, more specialized cylinders...

True statement. Those bigger cylinders are what is putting food on the table and a roof over my head these days!



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Old 11-07-2020, 04:36 PM
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Like a lot of other projects, the level of "suck" depends a lot on how well set up you are to tackle the job. If it's a one-off back yard job it can be a real pain in the ass...
Welcome to my life...
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