Fixing a leaky floor jack?

Discussion in 'The Tool Box' started by Patrick Morris, May 23, 2019.


  1. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    My Craftsman 1.5 ton floor jack seems to work okay, but it oozes oil every time I use it. Does anyone know Craftsman jacks and if this is an easy fix? is there just an o-ring in there that needs replacing? Such a shame to have an otherwise nice jack like that dribbles oil everywhere and needs frequent re-filings.

    I imagine if I got that u-joint turner thingy out of the way and then removed the little bolt there, the horse shoe shaped piece would come off and I got maybe pull out a shaft and see what kind of seal has gone bad. Does this seem like a good approach to everyone? Anyone?

    Jack_leak.jpg

    Jack_leak_detail.jpg
     
  2. breadman bill

    breadman bill Binder Driver

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    Look on YouTube
     
  3. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks. I watched few vids there recently. Haven't found one with this exact problem.

    But you have inspired me to keep looking. :)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  4. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    If you have a part number, use it in an internet search for a schematic of the unit. If you find one, it should show the seals and maybe the part numbers too. There's a Sears Parts site; is bookmarked on my computer, but the system just got busy downloading now, so is slow searching ...ask later, if it's needed.
    Another good resource is Ohio Hydraulic Service, which has information about lots of makes/'brands' and can be Emailed with pictures to identify, if it isn't listed already.
    Another good one (with some references at the bottom) is Otto Service, Hydraulic Jack home page
    Here's a third site; looks less dedicated to floor jacks than the other: Gustin Hydraulics.
    One more to add to the list: Lazzar's Floor Jack etc.

    If it were mine, I'd probably remove the handle assembly, then the keeper, and unscrew the valve stem to see what's inside, first tipping it so the valve is higher than the rest. Nitrile "O" rings are easy to find replacements for, assuming that's the problem. A Quad ring might be better.
    Good luck​
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  5. walkersscout

    walkersscout High Wheeler

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    Should just be an oring and a wiper in there. As I recall that is just a threaded stem that rides on a ball, should just be able to unscrew it.
     
  6. George Womack

    George Womack Y-Block King

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    Sounds like a plan to me; that's what I would do. Just yesterday I fixed a similar floor jack that had a stuck piston. Took it apart, freed the piston, and now it's working again.
    I once had an engine hoist with a leak, and went to a big hydraulics shop in Houston to look for a replacement seal. They were unable to help me. I ended up making a new seal from a piece of 5/16" fuel hose. The hoist is still working 20 years later.


    .
     
  7. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks all. This is very encouraging. I'll get to work on it this weekend.

    And Dana: I have seen Lazzar's Floor Jacks selling seal kits on eBay. And based on Otto's "Inside a Bottle Jack" animation, my leaking 'turner thingy' is the release valve. So it makes sense I guess that it doesn't leak all the time (and there is never a giant puddle left behind. It must only leak when the release is opened to drop the arm down. And therefore, the leaking might be minimized if I remember to close off the release immediately after each time I drop the arm.

    But I'll go ahead and remove that pump handle assembly and see what's what.
     
  8. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Okay, so mine is a Sears/Craftsman #50240. Lazzar's does sell the whole release valve assy and a seal kit. But judging by the pics there, that one o-ring is the culprit. I could just buy the seal kit and have it sent my way. I do know of one industrial HW shop in town that likely carries an o-ring of the correct size, but their hours are limited. I only have Saturday mornings to shop there. Then again, there is a hydraulic-hose specialty shop in my area. that's much closer to where I work and they do sell lots of parts, retail.

    Lazzar's page: https://www.hcrcnow.com/shop/seal-kits/product/8185

    Their handy how-to-ID pic:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Before reassembling, I'd polish the valve rod, maybe treating it with phosphoric acid first, then check inside the hole for corrosion of the shaft walls where the seal rides. Those walls can be polished, and because the valve uses a ball rather than a tapered screw, the area above the threads can be greased with the thickest material you have when assembling, to keep water from getting below and around the seal area.
    I have at least three large ones I've picked up in the last few years that need service; sure is easier and cleaner
    to 'work on' yours online than to get around to doing my own!
    Thanks for the thread.​
     
  10. Greg R

    Greg R Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    My 30 ton shop press had a similar leak at the release valve almost just like yours in the picture. It only leaked when idle or backed off a bit. It was a nuisance for sure and started about 2 years or so after I bought it. Long story short it was made in China, as most hydraulics are now off shore made regardless of brand. I mic'd the stem and the o ring groove was too deep for the o ring's spec groove dimension. I called the vendor I bought it from about this QC problem. They could not help as the supplier for this particular catalog listing of press had changed. With different part numbers too, you might say other than soft parts, my press is an orphan already. I tried various o rings, metric or standard, and the groove's width limited me to the particular size it came with. I took some "heavy" Teflon tape and wrapped the groove's bottom a couple of wraps; then formed it in to a concave form with some drill rod. I added enough to make the o ring firm in the groove and had resistance when putting the release valve back into it's bore. That was 5 years ago and it has not leaked since and the release valve still turns nice and easy.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
    TorqueMonster1 likes this.
  11. Darrel

    Darrel Y-Block King

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    There are some good rebuild how to threads on garage journal.
     
  12. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks again guys. Okay, so this was actually super easy to remove. Maybe it's hard to tell, maybe it's not, but that o-ring seems pretty worse for wear. Flattened on the outer edges and a bit rough in texture as well.

    The guy I got this jack from told me that it actually started leaking not too long after he bought it. Maybe within a year or two of him purchasing it. And he's not a pro mechanic, just a gear head like the most of the rest of us. So he didn't use this jack daily or even weekly. And I seem to recall him telling me that he tried to get Sears to fix it under warranty. But that was a no-go. Gone are the days when Sears/Craftsman stood by their products, huh?

    So this has me wondering if maybe some polishing would be in order. I'm trying to figure out how I can do that without contaminating the internals. I have some great tools for polishing this kind of thing; just don't know yet. The surface this o-ring rides on is way down, just above where the threaded section starts obviously. I could maybe cram something down in there among the threads to keep FOD at a minimum. It would have to be something that can't come apart or leave any fragments behind though.

    Jack_leak_release_valve.jpg
     
  13. walkersscout

    walkersscout High Wheeler

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    Id try just putting a new oring on it first. It is a fair bit more work to get it apart enough to flush it out.
     
  14. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Yeah. I might go o-ring shopping tomorrow. Whatever I get, I'll buy at least two-plus to of, partly to cover my tail end in cause I have some breakage trying to install it. If it seals well at first but doesn't end up lasting too long, then I'll know I need to take extra measures. I'd just as soon not have to drain this thing and put a bunch of work into the project.

    BTW, did I mention that I have two floor jacks and they're both on the fritz? Hah. This is my old one. An ATD 2-ton that I bought almost 30 years ago. Finally stopped pumping up in the last couple of years. Doesn't leak. Just won't rise. I don't know if the pump stopped working or if the release valve is stuck open. But this one's more obscure. In fact, according to Lazzar's the rebuild kits are out of production. So it's lower priority.

    IMG_1261.JPG
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  15. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Can you look inside the hole to see the condition of the hole's walls? ​

    If it has a ball bearing at the bottom of the hole to seal the lower port, there should be a side port just above that and below the O-ring area. You could probably use a length of waxed cotton string crammed into the area above the ball and side port to protect the area below. It will form an impermeable plug so the hole can later be blown out with air, then quickly rinsed with solvent if needed, before the plug is pulled out with a long needle-nosed pliers or a hooked rod.

    1). If the wall is reasonably smooth: polish with a steel or plastic ( a bit flexible, so conforms better) rod with very fine sandpaper taped/wound around it so it stays, the rod spun by a drill.

    2). If very rough, clean the walls well, apply some two-part epoxy to them, forming a thin smooth layer. A waxed metal (drill bit shank, wood, or plastic) rod just a few thousandths under the ideal hole diameter can then be inserted (and left till hard) to be sure the hole is smooth and concentric. After epoxy hardens, remove rod, clean flash out with a drill bit, blow any remaining debris out and remove the plug, reassemble valve stem, and post the results here!
     
  16. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Thanks. Today I'll have to tip the jack a bit to drain out some oil. Right now the oil level in the release channel rises just above where the o-ring seals.

    I have some good cleaning tools for this sort of thing: these RamRodz cleaning swabs. Basically they're industrial duty Q-tips in a variety of sizes. The kit comes with little plastic chucks so you can spin them from a drill. And they can be coated with various grades of polishing compounds too. If it comes down to this.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    No, open the valve a bit, pull the lifting arm up a few inches and put something under it, like a wooden block or a stuffed-in rag (e.g.old T-shirt?). That will pull in the fluid and keep it out of the way.
     
  18. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Actually it was on a wooden block about 4" high or more. And the valve was completely removed of course. Still had oil in the way. So I tipped the whole jack and began working the lifter arm to pump out a bit of oil. That's when I remembered, "don't forget about the ball bearing!" Hmm where is it. Gee, seems to have gone missing already. LOL I didn't see it come out, but if it was there (of course it was in there) then it's at the bottom of my old-oil receptacle. Or it bounced out and rolled down the driveway.

    So I did what any idiot would do: I quickly ordered the rebuild kit! From Lazzar's. It has an assortment of bearings plus the o-ring I need. Wow, this project got a little expensive all of a sudden.

    And it wasn't until after I ordered the kit that I realized I could just use my magnet-on-a-stick to fish around for the bearing down in the oil. So there was need to make a huge mess anyway. Oh well. At least it's a three day weekend to look forward to otherwise. It's not like I need the jack soon for anything.
     
  19. Dana Strong

    Dana Strong Dreams of Cub Cadets

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    Well, if everything worked perfectly with no surprises, life would be boring...​
     
  20. Patrick Morris

    Patrick Morris Lives in an IH Dealership

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    Yep. BTW, that magnet fished the BB out of the container of black muck in about five seconds. I guess I could cancel that order. Probably still time for me to ask them to put it on hold for now. I will run out to the stores and see if I can find that o-ring at Ace HW.
     

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