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OT - Hydraulic ram leaking


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My trusty old IH rough terrain forklift (was a combined project with Manitou so some are badged IH and some Manitou) is leaking hydraulic oil from the single stage and single action main mast ram and also the double action tilt rams. The leak from the tilt rams is minor and I can put up with for a bit longer but the mast is now leaking enough that I have a small bucket hanging underneath to catch the oil so it is not all over my yard, it has gotten progressively worse over my 10 years of ownership. It lifts 2 ton easily and does not creep under load so with my very limited knowledge it could be just a case of replacing the scraper seal? I really can't be without it for more than a couple of weeks.

I have never stripped a ram before but am assuming I should follow the general procedure below. Any tips would be much appreciated

- Lower carriage fully to push as much oil as possible back to tank

- Remove ram from machine

- Unscrew end cap which may need a big pair of stilsons or try and make something up to fit?

- Pull out ram and inspect seals and then replace what is needed

 

Buying a seal kit off the shelf seems very unlikely so how do I go about measuring and buying replacements? The ram is in good condition as it is always closed up when parked so is not exposed to the elements if left out overnight

 

Rusty.thumb.jpg.beef8027b5d6cd70214c1a2c12bb1433.jpg

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I'd loosen the cap before removing it just because it's held in place.

When I did the single acting ram seals on my 4 post I used Ipswich Hydraulics for the seals, but now I would use Agri-hire - Mervyn is a hydraulics wiz.

There is also FW Stennett not far from you, they have a lot of Ag based stock and are also very knowledgeable

Also Impact Handling in Claydon - fork lift specialists

I've had 2 of those machines and wish I'd kept the full free lift one..........

Steve

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Replacing the seals etc isn't that hard - but there is some skill in getting it back together without damaging any of them!  Also, when you remove the cylinders, you're bound to find one of the pipes perished or a fitting which breaks when you try to unscrew it.

Like Steve, I just don't think it's worth the effort considering what the mobile repairers charge.  Fine as a project for yourself - but if you need it, having it out of action for a morning with someone who can fix all the other problems they might encounter is the better option IMHO.

I replaced the seals on my forklift - and they leaked just as badly afterwards!  I swore, next time, I'd get a grown-up to do it!

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i've resealed rams before and some were easy jus o rings and others were a pig
as mentioned either get a local mobile hydraulic guy in or take ram off and send into a ram refurb company

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I did the dipper arm ram on my mini digger. Took the ram apart and took it to the local bearing/engineering suppliers who ordered me in the correct seals.  It wasn’t a hard job, biggest problem was cracking the nut on the ram itself. It took a blow torch and a 3/4 breaker bar with a tube on it.

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17 hours ago, L19MUD said:

- Remove ram from machine

- Unscrew end cap which may need a big pair of stilsons or try and make something up to fit?

I'd do those two the other way around. May not matter for smaller rams but I helped a mate remove one of the main lift rams on his 24t Komatsu (5t Komatsu was at it's limit lowering it down onto the steel trestles). They left the ram attached at the base of the cab and I asked why because I was assuming Duncan was going to take the ram back with him.

He said they'd once made a jig in the workshop for undoing the end caps on the big rams bit it was enormous, had to be bolted to the concrete floor and several tonnes of ballast added to it and still struggled sometimes. They learnt it was far easier to leave it attached to a 24t counterbalance than faff with it in the workshop.

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Thanks all. I think my plan of action will be to take the carriage off the forklift and then disconnect the top end of the ram, lower it down onto a trestle and unscrew the end cap. This then hopefully removes the unknown part of the job and I can then decide where to take it to have the seals swapped over which saves me trying to get hold of the correct seals.

I am good mates with a local plant hire company so will see who they use or failing that will take a mortgage out and got to Stennetts as per Steve B, I can hear Derrick sucking in through his teeth ready to quote the job now 🙂

 

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11 minutes ago, L19MUD said:

 will take a mortgage out and got to Stennetts as per Steve B, I can hear Derrick sucking in through his teeth ready to quote the job now 🙂

 

:hysterical:

It's worse if Stephen gets involved and they don't agree... That said it will be done perfectly.

Impact were able to source genuine mast ram seals for a 5 ton Clark (American) mid-70's lift which was the last FLT ram I did. 

Agri-hire is my go to now for such stuff 

Steve 

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Well the forklift has decided it wants new tyres as part of this maintenance program. This is what greeted me yesterday. One tyre appears to have burst and the other is not far behind it, thought they were looking a bit delicate the other day when I was moving soil in the bucket

rusty-2.thumb.jpg.0862eb3a272f346b936c74f27e6fe017.jpgrusty-1.thumb.jpg.9f9a1d55841412686733fb449f6c9d20.jpg

 

 

 

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I'd second the comment about getting a grown up to do the work.  I just had a young fella (who appeared quite knowledgeable and came with all the right gear) do some serious damage to my lovely Fiat 880DT tractor, while helping install a front end loader.  To be fair, it might still work out cheaper than having a grown-up do the work but weeks of stress and hydraulic oil all over my driveway doesn't make life nicer.  

Having said that, your plan sounds good, especially if you are prepared to give up if you can't unscrew that cap...

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18 hours ago, deep said:

 to my lovely Fiat 880DT tractor

Picture please! I love the look of those Fiats.

I had a 450DT which gives me nightmares just thinking about it, nice to drive when it was working but was a poor starter when cold, ate starter motors which were a pig to remove and the electrics were a constant source of issues too. It was parked up for years in favour of the two much more reliable MF135's before I sold it.

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5 hours ago, L19MUD said:

Picture please! I love the look of those Fiats.

I had a 450DT which gives me nightmares just thinking about it, nice to drive when it was working but was a poor starter when cold, ate starter motors which were a pig to remove and the electrics were a constant source of issues too. It was parked up for years in favour of the two much more reliable MF135's before I sold it.

Happy to oblige!  I'll sneak my Series 3 into both pics and my Freelander 2 into one of them.  The Fiat starts very easily, hot or cold, and has virtually no electrics to worry about.  It would have been bulletproof if we hadn't tampered with it and, hopefully, it will be back there again soon.  It is a very heavy duty machine which is only being called on to do light duties...

IMG_9169.jpeg

IMG_9193.jpeg

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Nothing much to add other than to warm around the collar with bottles/blowtorch to soften any loctite that may be on there. 

 

I would probably crack the main collar and take the whole thing to a hydraulics place. Most seals can be gotten online from the likes of Kramp etc if you do want to have a go yourself.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thought I would share a bit of an update on this in case of interest to anyone. Heavier machines bring about different challenges to some of the Land Rover fun we have.

I kicked off by sorting out the tyres. I was lucky to find someone in Norfolk (3 hour round trip) with some decent tyres that fitted but only 20% tread which is fine for my hard yard. Best bit is they were free! My favoured approach now to getting the beads broken without specialist tools is to use 2 sections of 2inch angle that are also 2 inch long. Tap one edge into the gap between the rim and the bead with a lump hammer to wedge it and then use the big 14lb sledge hammer to force them downwards. Using both bits of angle and working backwards and forwards over an 18inch section of tyre is enough to free the bead off. Hard work but can usually get them off in 10-15 mins like this depending on how stuck they are. Forgot to get a during picture unfortunately

Tyres off I cleaned up and painted the inside of the rims and then fitted the new to me tyres. No major challenges other than the fact they are heavy lumps to manoeuvre. Prob 50-60kg a tyre

 

The new tyres are much better condition with no cracking in the sidewalls

 

fl5.thumb.jpg.36d8c8a9c233b101fbcecbef41711507.jpgfl1.thumb.jpg.6bf431745c2f585ffc8ad17707b0e446.jpg

 

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With the tyres fitted I set about getting the two tilt rams off and the main mast ram. The main mast ram has a pin in the top which was well soaked with hydraulic oil and tapped out easily, at the bottom it slots into place which prevents it from being folded down. This presented a bit of a problem as it is easily 100kg and needed to be lifted directly up for 3 inches before being lowered. We used a noose strap on the digger and carefully got this out

Both tilt rams unscrewed easily from the mast and one (which was under the valve block) was easily removed by tapping out the pin with a lump hammer. I was not so lucky on the other side. There is no grease nipple of these and very little movement in use so whilst the pin was free in the clevis it was very stuck in the ram itself. 14lb sledge hammer, heating, quenching, 10 ton puller all totally failed. 

Ended up cutting it out with a grinder. It took 20 ton in the press with some heat to shift it so I had no chance with it on the machine

fl4.thumb.jpg.97f437d02113330e5d2e98e61f4f1bc3.jpgfl3.thumb.jpg.946b861bd24578fb06e794d4e2981972.jpgfl2.thumb.jpg.73a5979a81a99107c6f31e90d2bc240a.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for sharing that.  Was wondering how best to make a tool like your first one and that design looks very strong and straightforward.  The quote I got to replace two seals made me think it's worth having a go myself - but absolutely don't want to wreck anything!

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I will admit that the next stage after this was loading them on a trailer and dropping them off to Stennet's (Local hydraulics place) for them to reseal. I tried to find the right seals and failed so this seemed the best approach

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7 minutes ago, L19MUD said:

Rams have been resealed at a cost of £460 which feels like rather a lot......

Wow, that does feel like a lot, hindsight is always good, if they had priced the job before hand I would have been asking them for a seal kit and had a go myself

However it's fixed now, so just need to make it earn its keep

Regards Stephen

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Just now, Stellaghost said:

Wow, that does feel like a lot, hindsight is always good, if they had priced the job before hand I would have been asking them for a seal kit and had a go myself

However it's fixed now, so just need to make it earn its keep

Regards Stephen

I asked for an estimate but they were having none of it as did not know what seals were in it. Local firm and they know me so trusted them to not rob me.....

 

In other great news one of the front tyres has gone down so that may need a new tube

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1 minute ago, L19MUD said:

I asked for an estimate but they were having none of it as did not know what seals were in it. 

That may be so, but most rams are standard sizes and you would have the size of the pistons, surely they could have quoted for top notch and middle of the road seal kits

Regards Stephen

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2 hours ago, steve b said:

Ouch...

Did you try Agri-hire for the seals first? 

Steve

No as when I picked up the pupe from Ben Few (JT Few tippers) he said Stennets always do thier odd stuff and have been fine on price. 

 

Will do next time!

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