Hydraulic cylinders are critical to the operation of a bucket loader; therefore, you have no option but to maintain hydraulic cylinders to ensure optimal functioning of hydraulic-based equipment. However, if you consider the fact that 25% of all machines fail because of design issues, there is the possibility that your hydraulic cylinder will fail at some point. Notably, it is recommended that you seek hydraulic cylinder honing services when your bucket loader experiences hydraulic cylinder issues. However, repair costs can be quite high.

If the hydraulic cylinder issue is something you can take care of at your home garage — such as seal replacement — then you should consider handling it to save cost. This article highlights basic hydraulic cylinder repair tips that can be done in a home garage.

Use a Parts Layout

When repairing a cylinder, the chances are that you will have to take apart the different parts to get to the route of the problem. You might have an idea on how to go about the repairs, but if you have not done it consistently over time, you might get stuck while putting the parts back together. For instance, if you are doing seal replacement, the piston rod, retaining bolt, spring, and bearings need dismantling. If you don't know where each part goes, it might take a lot of time to put everything back together. Before you begin the disassembly, ensure that you have a parts diagram to guide you. 

Avoid Dropping Parts 

Once you have all parts disassembled, it is critical to place them where there is minimal movement. Most importantly, you should avoid dropping hydraulic cylinder parts on the floor at all costs. It is especially critical when pulling the piston rod from the cylinder. For example, if you lose your grip and drop the hydraulic cylinder rod to the floor, its oily surface will pick up dust. When you insert it back into the cylinder, dust particles will compromise the integrity of the fine threads in the cylinder. Therefore, keep hydraulic cylinder parts on a stable and clean surface to avoid costly damages.

Clean the Grooves 

Irrespective of whether you are replacing a cracked seal or merely looking for possible wear and tear, cleaning seal the grooves is essential. If you are doing seal replacement, it will make no sense to place a new seal in a dirty groove and expect the equipment to work optimally. After disassembling the hydraulic cylinder, take time and clean every single part before replacement. Cleaning ensures that springs, bearing, seals, and piston rod go into the cylinder free of impurities or contaminants.