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floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Posted by plaidthumb (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 3, 05 at 9:56

I thought it was the fill plug leaking. Got to cleaning it up and really looking at it, and it's leaking around the rod that pumps it up. It will lift a short way, then start leaking around the rod. I got my money's worth out of it ($29.95 20+ yrs. ago), just don't want to spend limited budget on replacement if it can be fixed. Here's a couple pictures:
[URL=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack5.jpg][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack5.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack4.jpg][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack4.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Any ideas on a fix? There is no o-ring on this rod, and I can't figure out how it was ever sealed in the first place.

Thanks for any help you can supply


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Let's try the pics again...
[URL=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack4.jpg][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack4.jpg[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack4.jpg][IMG]http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack4.jpg[/IMG][/URL]


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Well, hayell--guess I can't post pictures in this forum? I can in some of the others I use on this site... oh, well.

Maybe my explaination is enough you can see what I'm talking about...


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Plaidthumb, I think ya need to change your name to Allthumbs. LOL

Anyway, for anyone wanting to see his pics, just copy each of these links, then paste them one at a time in your browser address bar, then click GO. They will be there. (quick workaround)

GG

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack4.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack4.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/jack4.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b277/otisjr/buggy/th_jack4.jpg


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

You could replace the ram seal, but since it is only a 29.95 jack, the question is can you get the parts for it, and would it be worth all the trouble to replace it? Sometimes they can be a booger to work on.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I agree with Snuffy. That jack cost you a whole $1.50 per year. There are some good deals on floor jacks nowadays, mostly Chinese, but they work OK for the average "shade tree mechanic".
Mike


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Gooseberry--you're pretty close to the truth there...but I do what I can and try to improve.

Yeah, I know I can't gripe about the longevity for the price--it just irks me to throw something out that should be repairable. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without", ya know? Just don't like being part of the "throw it out" group--seems wasteful.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

PT,

I'm sure you were just missing a key procedure to post your pics, I'm not sure what it was. I had a few minutes then to play, so I did what I could to help ya, without going into too much effort to get them to open in the post. Sometimes not too easy to figure out why these computery things seem to fight you, especially when it should be easy.

You said there was no O-ring on the rod. Did you look in the bore to see if one was fitted to an internal groove or grooves? I'm not sure what else to check right now.

GG


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I had an old floor jack that was leaking similar to yours about 2 years ago. I don't know if it will work for you but I put some power steering (stop leak type) fluid in it and it is still working to this day. A cheap fix for a little longer life and worth a shot before it hits the dumpster......


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

If there's no o ring on the rod there must be one in the bore, maybe get it out with a dentist type hook. Steve


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Ae you sure you want to do the work to repair it? My hydraulic components are under pressure, you could hurt yourself. Bottles are cheap now adays, but considering the cost of your jack in the first place I doubt it is worth it. There is a point of diminishing returns, where your time and effort are greater then the what you saved in time lost, and possible injury. There are enough important things around the house to fix, and more expensive items then a cheap disposable product which you got your moneys worth. For about $45-55 you can get a nice 3 ton floor jack these days at Sams, etc.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

You can post pics but you need to use HTML, not UBB.

The jack will either have an O-ring or a cup seal on the pump piston. If it's an O-ring I'd go ahead and replace it. If it's a cup seal it might not be worth the effort to locate a replacement. This is an old, cheap jack. A Walker or Watco would be worth a full rebuild--not this.

Don't worry about working on the jack. Other than the springs, nothing is under pressure in there. They're also hard to screw up unless you damage something or use the wrong part.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Or to phrase it a little more clearly, if there's not o-ring on the piston, it would either have a cup seal or an o-ring in the cylinder as the other guys said.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Oh, for Pete's sake--quit harping about a 20 year old jack, AND GO OUT AND BUY A NEW ONE!
Even tight ol' Rusty Jones went out and bought a new hwavy duty one for his motor home! When ya really need that jack, its best to have one that will work, rather than something ya think ya fixed, not work when ya need it!
Geez--$29.95 ! How long ago? That long?-----------


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

years of tight finances stick with you, ya know?


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I don't think tight finances should be an issue with this jack. Pride, and the ability to make something work again as it should, would be more the case here. I don't care if the original price was only 30 bucks, if it can be repaired for just the cost of a 50 cent O-ring, and it works well for you, it doesn't make much sense to spend money on something new, and toss out the old. Even if it can't be repaired, the knowledge gained from at least trying to fix it, is worth something.

Many times, I will get more enjoyment from rescueing something, someone was getting ready to toss out, and repairing it, than buying new. Just an example, an auto battery charger got tossed by the neighbor when he was getting ready to move. He said it kept cutting off and was junk. I brought it home, replaced the cord, and now I have a good charger. I didn't have tight finances, I just knew it was a decent charger, and should work again if I took the time to troubleshoot it. I enjoyed finding the problem and making it work again. My cost for this charger was only my time and the price of a cord. If it stopped working again for any reason, I would still try to fix it before tossing it and buying another.

GG


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

GG Well said, I'd be in the same boat. Steve


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

goose made a good point.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

What Goose says is only partly correct. Sure there is knowledge gained, experience, and pleasure in fixing something. But the item has to be worth your time/labour. Are you worth $.25/hour for your time. It will take you a day or more to hunt down the part, longer to perhaps order it (these are usually made in China). Even more expensive jacks (I bought one for $450) had no replacement parts (so I returned it). It was considered a throw away not worth the stores effort to deal with parts, and your here we are worrying about a $20-30 item. It would be more logical to just buy another hydraulic bottle (on sale if lucky) which are as little as $10-15 for something around 2 tons capability. Then again, that might require modification, so it's back to what is your time worth. I would rather spend my time learning/gaining experience and pleasure doing a major repair on my house/car/riding lawnmowever...things costing thousands of $$. This is where you can win when it comes to "tight finances". What's next, collecting pop bottles to pay for this repair? This is turning into a issue of priorities, and having the sense to know where to appropriate your time/effort/finances. I expect this from a 10 year old who has the time, and who sees $25 for a new jack as a lot of money.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Hi Van Camper,

Try and relate your point to something you do just for fun. If you go out fishing each and every Saturday, do you go out there for a hobby and something to do, or to feed your family. I'm sure if you take the value of your time, a boat, motor and fuel, perhaps a vehicle and trailer to travel to the lake, plus your fishing license, your cost of the fish will very likely be a lot more than what you can get from the market. If it's a hobby, then you likely wouldn't care about the cost of the fish you catch.

So why not consider that most of the guys who use this forum have hobbies that deal with tools. It's just another outlet for blowing off the daily hassles, as well as getting help for a problem, or just learning new things. If I considered the time I spend reading about other's problems and opinions, and offering my opinions or knowledge in these forums, and related that to money, I'd really be in the hole. It's just one way I relax, even though I get no monetary value out of it.

GG


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

The only way I would throw that jack away is if I couldn't find the o-ring to replace the one that is leaking. You know darned well there is one on that piston. You just have to find it. If there is hydraulics there are o-rings.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Van Camper,
I disagree 100%. For some of us, satisfaction comes from the challenge of fixing/salvaging things. It has little to do with economics.

I spent hours and hours machining a couple small motor bearings for my 30 year old clock radio. I could have replaced it for about $1 at any garage sale. Repairing things get much more fun when you have to make your own parts!!

Given a choice of recreational activities, building, restoring, fixing, engineering, improvising, is right at the top.

I applaud the OP.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

All those posts...

and not one mention that a floor jack under a vehicle that isn't 100% might be potentially unsafe, even a killer?


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Every jack under a vehicle can be a potential killer. That's why you use jackstands so you don't have a single point of failure.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

yeah--use jackstands; plus if you've pulled the tire/wheel off, slide it under the vehicle if it's not in the way...I'm just tight, not totally stupid...

Gooseberry, you bring up a great point! I am by no means a natcheral at mechanical stuff, and frequently get stymied on things that many consider basic. Time spent trying to repair is time spent learning. I lose more than I win, but I've learned from each attempt. And it's surprising when that knowledge learned can come in handy.

I do this stuff in my spare time instead of watching the boob-tube. At one point in life, I thought I had more money than time, and did the "throwaway" lifestyle--then we had kids (doctors said we couldn't, so we gave up trying--surprise!!), then my wife was diagnosed with MS, and things changed dramatically. Now time spent messing with little things is more satisfying than just throwing $$ at things$$...and it allows me to spend time with the kids, who thankfully seem to have more mechanical instinct than I do.

thanks to all who responded. I'll go into it a bit deeper and see if I can figure it out.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

You really don't have anything to lose trying to fix it since it is already broken, give it a shot. But I would still get a new one just to have "just in case."


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I enjoy fishing, and do it more then 95% of the population. I agree if it is a hobby and enjoy it, why not pursue it, but replacing a oil seal is not a hobby while mechanical repairs is....so to me it makes sense to work on cars, boats, where there is a pay off (and challenge). I do a lot of automobile work also, and own 3 heavy duty jacks. Believe me, most of them are designed as throw aways,even when they cost several hundred dollars. I am trying to make a point here.....good luck finding the parts, and also playing around hydraulics is not smart. Yourtalking about chinese made parts, your unlikely going to get the exact part to certain specs, and anything else could cause failure thus damaging the car. It is just one thing you need to let go, and go fix the bathroom faucet, build a stereo receiver, rather then mess with a lot of hours searching down a part for a $20 item that is 30 yrs old. Unless it is a brand name jack (strongarm, etc), good luck getting parts. I see nothing wrong with saving a buck, that is why I repair my own cars, do renovations, etc. But I see most people as being too busy in their life, with more important repairs needing to be done then a $20 hydraulic bottle needing repairs.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Man, who took a leak in your cornflakes? First, since there's no o-ring on the piston there has to be one in the cylinder. Unless they were making cheap jacks pretty differently back then, it won't be any kind of fancy oil seal.

An o-ring of the right dimension that can stand up to jack fluid can be found at any hydraulic or power transmission supply place. I could get one a mile from here (for a few cents) and the repair would probably take half an hour at most. Probably a lot less. At least to me, if I had some free time over the weekend it would be worth saving $25. Even if it's not worth the money what's wrong with someone wanting to do it?

Second, this isn't a safety issue if it's just the pump that's leaking. All the force of supporting the car is taken by the check valve(s). If it doesn't slowly lower the car on it's own, everything on the expensive end should be OK.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Okay, I finally broke down and bought a new jack. Lowe's had a Kolbalt 3-ton w/2 jackstands for $88. 5-inch removable saddle, long body, heavy-duty all the way around--no stamped steel. Chinese,of course, but aren't they all? I could only come up with one jack made in America, and it's priced out of my range. This one was more than I wanted to spend, but I didn't want one of those little mini-saddles. I couldn't find much between the two sizes, and value/price ratio seemed to be the best on this one. It's big enough to use on my pickup, and will be useful for pulling a VW engine.
I'm going to keep trying to figure out the old one--just on principle.

Thanks for all your input. Ya'll always keep things lively...


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

My new Roush Racing speedy lift floor jack has failed after just six months. It was 70 dollars. Does anyone know how I can fix it? It is leaking at the piston when it tries to lift.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Manoman- I sure understand the pride of fixing it yourself. I think there's some karma in keeping them alive. I have a salvaged 6x48" belt sander that was going to be thrown out at a friend's work- I put in a new shaft and bearings and have used it for years.

I also like buying old hand tools at flea markets- I look at the wear on the thing and wonder who used them, what did they make with it, how long was it in use? Then I think- there's no reason that 30 year old piece of metal should wear out for another 30 years. Plus- I'm gonna save myself some money. Refurbished a couple of hand planes from the 70's myself as well and every time I use them I get a kick out of it.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I agree with those who fix things - this is rewarding psychologically....we throw away far too much.
And there is far too much fretting and worrying on the "safety front"....this is not good..
Our local hardware stores have a good selection of O-rings; a but a ram seal - that is another story - finding parts is a royal PITA !


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I agree. Repairing things is very rewarding. I have 30 year old clock radio and the little motor bearings were worn out. It took me the better part of an afternoon to machined some new ones out of brass.

It's going strong.

It could have been replaced for about $20. (cheaper at garage sales).


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I have, reposing in my driveway, 2 Hein Werner floor jacks. Both leak, neither one works, although the smaller one did work for a while. today, i debated hauling them to the scrap yard, but decided to hold off for a while.
On the other hand, my old green Craftsman floor jack is still working great! Cost $95 about 25 or 30 years ago. And, made in USA!


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

And, after all of the preceding--if anybody lives near Pittsburgh, PA., north, come on over and i'll GIVE you 2 Hein-werner floor jacks!! they both need seals, but i hate to junk them, if somebody can use them.
Rustyj


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Hey guys Hydraulics don't last forever. All it takes is the introduction of air into the system and it is compromised because air compresses and fluids don't.

I reached this forum because I have the same problem with my six year old floor jack. It worked great last year but the last few times I used it it was not as responsive and it made air noise when letting it back down.
Yesterday I tried it and nothing.

O-rings leak, maybe not much but they do and when the jack is not used they leak more next time because they get dry. When they leak they leak both ways, meaning they leak some fluid out and some air back in.
I believe I screwed up trying to move my jack on a hand truck with the handle end down. That let all the air in the reservoir float to the cylinder and get trapped. When I tried to top off the fluid it appeared to be full but only because the air trapped in the cylinder was displacing.

Here is how I fixed it. Removed the jack handle assemble. It also traps the pump plunger so now I can pull it out. Remove and set aside the plunger. Tip the jack up on end and drain the fluid. Had to open and close the stop valve while draining. Wow, very little fluid in the jack and it is dark gray. Set the jack back down and stuck a small plastic funnel in the plunger hole and poured new clean hydraulic fluid in the funnel. The reservoir is air locked at this point so I filled the funnel about 3/4 full. Grabbed the jack head and pulled it up so it would suck the new fluid into the jack. Pushed down so I would push the fluid back into the funnel. Wow that dirty fluid coming back into the clean in the funnel looks like a mushroom cloud. Kept repeating this about 10 times and then drained the fluid again. Repeated this procedure twice. Now the final fill. I set the reservoir end of the jack on a scrap 2x4 so it is a little higher than the rest of the hydraulic system (air rises).
Do the funnel fill thing again. Pay attention to the look on the fluid in the funnel and the sounds when forcing the fluid back into the funnel. When you see and heard very little air remove the funnel and put the plunger back in. Some fluid should spill out when you insert the plunger rod. If it does you know the jack is full. Wipe up the spillage and reassemble the jack. Wow, the gallon of hydraulic fluid was about $8 and the replacement for my jack would have been about $90 with tax. This took about an hour. Tried it on the Chevy Avalanche a few minutes ago and she works like new again.

Pete


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I just happened on to this site looking for parts for a Craftsman Floor Jack. I agree with the others that say why not fix it even if it takes time, what person has more money than time??? LOL I purchased a 1.5 ton floor jack from Sears, it started leaking last spring, I brought it back to the store and they told me they were disposable, what a joke. I spent 150.00 for it, 2 years ago, and now they tell me I cannot get parts...... aggravating!!! Like most they just pump maybe on stroke and then fail. I filled up the res, that did not help. I am wondering if anyone knows where to find parts for Craftsman jacks. If anyone wnat to know what jack I bought, they are advertising a 4000# jack right now that looks just like mine. I would appreciate any help with this!!!


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I would just by some hyd jack fluid and refill it. To do this you will have to bleed all the air out that you pumped in as the fluid leaked out. A real pain. the o-ring gets flat and allows fluid to slip by under pressure. Yes you can fix it if you can find the thin o-rings and maybe telfon retainers. Temp. setting idle, and time works against us with occassionally used tools and equipment.

I gotten floor jacks from the curb and serviced them and they usually work providing I get all the air out of the system.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

One place i worked, the owner was a bit on the "tight" side! One of our big floor jacks would gradually leak out most of the fluid, so, instead of having new seals put in it, we'd have to refill it many times! I never liked it, as it was really big and hard to move around.
Any way, there were several gypsy jack seal replacers that came around every time they needed money for booze, and he'd hire them to install "new" seals in the jack! I looked in the tool box they carried and saw a bunch of old used seals, and a bottle of brake fluid, in the box.
Now, our boss was the type who knew everything, so you couldn't tell him those guys were cheating him. He'd give them fifty dollars or so, and they'd leave. The jack would work great for several months, then start leaking again! And, the jack fluid smelled of brake fluid, more than hydraulic jack fluid! I finally flat-out refused to use it, and it sat in a back corner until i quit there several years later.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

If the hydraulic fluid is turning black as mentioned in one of the above posts, I would suspect the rubber seals are decomposing and need replacing.

Using the wrong fluid such as brake fluid may contribute to the premature failure of seals. I know a local farmer who dumps various chemicals he feels will stop the water from freezing up in his farm tractor hydraulics rather than rebuild the cylinders and fill with the correct fluid.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Many of you posted about the Craftsman 4000 lb (50239) aluminum floorjack either leaking or inoperative. I am also in that group as well. Last week I ordered seals for it from a seal manufacturer - they have to MAKE the seals for me. I'll repost with the results after the fix is made so others can fix their jack as well.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

Hydralic cylinders have teflon seals and o-rings that seal in the housing. Usually have a spanner nut ato the top of the cylinder you unscrew to dissemble the cylinder push rod. There no reason you can't reseal it other than if you can't find the right size telfon seals and o-rings. Again the age of the jack most likely the seals become harden and alow fluid to seep pass. any type of additive the will cause the seals to soften and swell up may revive the old jack.

If and when you do get it resealed now you have to bleed all the air out. which is pretty hard and takes awhile. If the pump rod is pitted form years of contamited fluid it still may leak.

If you want something to last for even then you have to have a routine maintenance schedule. On the jack this would be a good cleaning every couple of months, greasing the pivot points and changing the hydraulic fluid every other year. I agree don't ever trust a hydraulic jack when going under a car ALWAYS have a backup incase the jack suddenly falls, Yes this can happen when there is air in the system or an o-ring failure. Ususlly the hydraulic system will give you warning signs. like lost of fluid, jacking but, the push rod don't work right, or jacking something heavy and it bleeds down on you are all signs of potenial failure.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

I am still looking for detailed information on HOW to stop the leak at the top of the pump cylinder. What is the mechanism that holds the seal / o-ring in place? I see no visible nuts or snap ring, it just looks like a shiny metal seat that the cylinder goes through, and not even a notch to spin it out like it is a nut. Mine is an 80 lb, 2 ton steel jack that is worth the 50 seal, and ANY amount of labor to bring it back to life.


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RE: floor jack leaking--can it be fixed?

And some of us complain frequently that some things can no longer be repaired - throw it away and buy another. So what about a $100 VCR recorder and player that goes bad and must be replaced? My wife is on her third one and has years old tapes that are valuable to her. It is something that cannot be repaired or too costly to be repaired. This topic follows the same lines as needing a repair that can probably be done by yourself ($15) or calling in a repairman ($125). And instead of learning how to repair it yourself, you are still ignorant.
Go for it plaidthumb.


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