Hydraulic jack not lifting like it once did....

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  #1  
Old 12-08-11, 02:42 PM
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Hydraulic jack not lifting like it once did....

I bought a floor jack from Sears about 12 years ago. I noticed over the past year the pump action isn't working anywhere like it used to.

I can put it under the car and pump and pump it it takes FOREVER to lift the car. It's like there's no "fluid pressure" any more. When I pump it, it doesn't really "catch" until the end of the travel, and therefore barely lifts the car with each pump of the handel.

Is this jack shot, or can it be repaired?
 
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Old 12-08-11, 02:57 PM
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The seals and/or piston and/or cylinder is probably shot. It could also just be low on oil...did you notice any weepage or leaks?

Unless it was one of the heavy duty expensive ones...might not be worth rebuilding. Check the Sears site for a parts kit, if they don't list one you'd have to check around at a hydraulic repair shop and see what they say.

Is this a real floor jack or a bottle jack?
 
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Old 12-08-11, 05:11 PM
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The fluid level is the first thing I'd check.
 
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Old 12-09-11, 07:18 AM
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Vic,

It's a real floor jack. I don't recall ever seeing any oil around the jack.

marksr, I'll give that a try. To be honest, I've never checked the fluid level or filled it. Hopefully that's all it is.

If adding oil doesn't fix it, can either of you recommend a good brand of floor jacks? Does Northern Tool sell decent ones?

Thanks,

Andy
 
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Old 12-09-11, 09:54 AM
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Your comment that it works at the end of the stroke makes me think it's low fluid. If that's not the problem it's probably worn piston rings. Most hydraulic cylinders have O ring seals on the piston. Many will also have a backer ring on the pressure side. I don't know much about floor jacks but I think there is probably a check valve on the pressure side of the piston. If that is leaking by it could also be the cause.

Unless you're really jonesing for a reason to buy a new jack, take it apart and replace the software.
 
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Old 12-09-11, 10:16 AM
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HF's floor jacks are decent. I have one that I bought from them about 25 yrs ago and it still works fine...... but I wouldn't give up on your jack just yet
 
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Old 12-09-11, 04:20 PM
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Who is HF? I picked up some hydraulic oil today at Sears and will see if that fixes the problem this weekend. I'll post again to let everyone know.

Thanks,

Andy
 
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Old 12-10-11, 05:10 AM
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HF - harbor freight, I reread your post and for some reason while I read Norther Tool, my brain thought harbor freight I bought my son a NT floor jack but it got stolen the first year he had it so I don't know how well they hold up long term.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 06:32 AM
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$100 says its low on oil.
 
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Old 12-12-11, 01:00 PM
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I drained the old fluid best I could, put in some new, and BAM! It's
like new. Thanks for the help on this one. I never saw any fluid leaking, so I thought it was something else. Only downside is I can't justify a new "toy" lol

Andy
 
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Old 12-12-11, 01:10 PM
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Well, I think every time you extend the cylinder...a film of oil is on the piston. Then some of it is lost when you retract.

Could also be like brake fluid...eventually it kinda gets "worn out" with air and such in it...and replacement does wonders.

Glad you got it fixed....
 
 

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