Hydraulic cylinder seals are commonly damaged in a variety of ways. The most common cause is a mechanical failure, such as over-torquing or sudden load changes. Other causes include contamination and wear caused by oil and grease, water, and other fluids. Damage to the seal can lead to leakage, which can be extremely costly to repair.
Step 1: Order a new set of seals for your hydraulic cylinder
To repair the cylinder, you will need a new set of seals. You can either buy new seals directly from your cylinder manufacturer or you can get the required seal part number and buy them from a local hardware store.
Step 2: Preparation work before you disassemble the cylinder
Before disassembling the hydraulic cylinder, it’s important to clean it and remove all dirt, grease, oil, and other contaminants. You do not want these contaminants to get inside the cylinder or the hydraulic system. You need to do the disassembly work in a clean workspace. If you are in the field, you can put down a clean tarpaulin and do the repair on this.
Step 3: Disassemble the hydraulic cylinder step by step
It can be hard to know where to start when disassembling a hydraulic cylinder. First, you need to remove the cylinder stopping ring. Remove the stopping ring to expose the hydraulic piston This is where the cylinder assembly comes apart. Remove the piston, This is attached to the end of the cylinder and has a locking pin on it. Using a small screwdriver, push in on this locking pin to release it from its place inside the shaft.
Step 4: Check for any internal damages.
After removing the cylinder rod, it’s important to make sure the area around the rod and the inner surface of the cylinder tube is free of any scratches, pitting, or other damage. take a look at the rod seals to see if they are worn unevenly; this could indicate the piston rod is bent or there is excessive side loading on the rod. If you discover any internal damages, you will want to replace the affected parts or order a new cylinder if multiple components are damaged.
Step 5: replace the seals.
Remove the seals from the cylinder rod, and use a clean cloth to clean the cylinder rod and inner surface of the cylinder tube. You need to be certain that any buildup of debris or lacquer is completely removed. Use an air gun to blow any small contaminants out of the cylinder tubing. Next, using your fingers, lubricate the seals and install them in the correct positions. Lubricate the interior of the cylinder tube with hydraulic fluid and reinstall the piston rod and other cylinder components.
Step 6: Test the cylinder.
it is important to first test the cylinder to verify the leak has been fixed. To do this, turn on the equipment and let it run for a few minutes. If you notice any leaks, something was not repaired correctly. So, you will need to disassemble the cylinder again and verify the seals are in the proper locations. Also, recheck for any distortions or excessive wear on the inside of the gland that may mean that this needs to be replaced too
Final Thoughts on Seal Replacement
Replacing seals on a hydraulic cylinder is not difficult when you know what you are doing. However, leaky seals could be a sign of a bigger problem. So, you will want to troubleshoot what went wrong and determine if there are issues with the hydraulic system that also need to be addressed.