Shop lift cylinder repair

Stopping a leak on a hydraulic cylinder on my car lift.

I noticed oil building up around the base of one of the posts of my two post lift. After inspection I found the oil was leaking form the vent on the lift cylinder.

I tried to find a seal kit but I was unsure of the dimensions of the cylinder so I decided to turn it over to professionals.

First I had to remove the cylinder. I ran the lift all the way to the top and let it lock in place. I then lowered the cylinders letting them disengage from the chains. Once all the way down, I removed the chain drive wheel from the cylinder. It just slips on. I unscrewed the U bracket that secures the cylinder to the post.

I then used a pry bar to lift the cylinder off the base pin using an old jeep bearing as a fulcrum. I then used two pry bars to lift the cylinder off its locating pin.

I then turned it around so I could get to the hose and unscrewed the coupling. I used an old oil jug to catch the fluid. The oil in the cylinder drained very slowly so I left it in the bucket overnight.

The next day, I made the trip to Soddy Daisy to visit H&H Hydraulics. Tammy had reassured me that they do these repairs all the time. Two guys quickly retrieved my cylinder from the trunk of my car and set it in queue while I filled out the intake paperwork.

A few days later, Tammy called to let me know it was ready. When I picked it up, the same two guys loaded it while I paid for the repair.

To reinstall, I carefully dset teh cylinder over the mounting pin. I was much easier to handle with out oil all over it. I spun it around and reconnected the hose. I then positioned it properly and attached the U bracket. I then set the chain drive wheel in place. I ran the lift up and let it catch the chains.

The new cylinder was a little jumpy on its first pass up. However, after a few cycles to get the air out the lift worked smoothly again.

I then pushed my Jeep in place and made a test lift. It went up evenly and smoothly with no leaks.

While the cylinder was out I made o modification to the chain drive wheels. They had developed a squeak after ten year of operation. They is a bronze bushing on a steel axle but had no grease fitting.

I drilled a small hole in the axle shaft and then made an intersecting hole near the center of the shaft. I then tapped the end of the axle and installed grease fitting. Now I can add grease to the bearing from time to time.