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How to Rebuild a Hydraulic Cylinder

It happened: Your hydraulic cylinder failed and now you’re wondering how to rebuild it, how much it’ll cost, and what’s needed to get the job done. Maybe it’s a significant leak that’s caused it to fail or it’s just old. Whatever the case, rebuilding a hydraulic cylinder isn’t impossible and can even be cost effective.

How to Rebuild a Hydraulic Cylinder

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  • Tools Required
    1. a. Seal Replacement Kit
    2. b. Rubber Mallet
    3. c. Screwdriver
    4. d. Spanner Wrench
    5. e. Allen Wrenches
    6. f. Punch
    7. g. Pliers
    8. h. Emery Cloth
    9. i. Torque Wrench
  • 2. Rebuilding a Wire Ring Hydraulic Cylinder
  • Wire Ring Hydraulic Cylinder
    1. a. Remove cylinder from machinery
    2. b. Remove wire ring
    3. c. Using the rubber mallet, push head into tube until tube groove is exposed, allowing for the internal ring to be removed
    4. d. Straighten out plastic ring and insert into the tube groove, feathered side in, until the ring fits into the groove
      1. (try again if not fully in the groove)
    5. e. Draw out the rod to pull the head from the tube
      1. (if there’s resistance, push back in and ensure the ring is set in the groove properly)
    6. f. Remove the removal ring and then the locknut, piston, and head.
      1. From this point, remove seals and replace using the seal kit
      2. Inspect inside the rod and other parts for scratches and smooth with the cloth
      3. Replace the piston and locknut if necessary
  • 3. Rebuilding a Threaded Hydraulic Cylinder
  • Hydraulic Cylinders
    1. a. Loosen screw and the end cap
    2. b. Remove the piston, rod, and gland
    3. c. Slide the assembly & end cap off
    4. d. Inspect and replace the seals as necessary
      1. Replace damaged parts as needed
    5. e. Once the seals and interior of the tube are lubed with hydraulic oil, the gland assembly can be replaced.
    6. f. Use loctite anti-seize before adding the end cap and tightening the cylinder