Adding oil to bottle jacks

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by desdawg, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I have some bottle jacks that have leaked oil. Where do I add oil? The bypass valve that lets the jack lower doesn't seem like the correct place to add any oil but I don't see any other plug that I can remove. I have never tried to work on one before.
     
  2. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    The good old Made in USA hydraulic jacks like Walker and Blackhawk had a "real"
    filler plug that was threaded on the body of the jack. The Red Chinese jacks all seem to have a rubber plug in the same place. Just carefully pop it out with a screwdriver and make sure it doesn't fly across the room to oblivion. They may be making some so cheap that they don't even have that arrangement, but I haven't run across one yet myself.

    To fill a hydraulic jack, place the jack on the level, ram retracted and remove the filler plug. The fluid level should be even with the bottom of the filler hole.
    (in other words, add fluid 'til it starts running out of the filler hole.)
     

  3. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    If it doesn't have a plug in it, maybe you can take the valve out, and sit it in a bucket of oil upright, and pull the ram up and down a couple of times to burp out any air, and then screw the valve back in while the jack is still under the surface of the oil in the bucket.
     
  4. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. The jack does have the rubber plug which has gotten beat up a bit. That is where the oil leaked out when the jack tipped over in the back of the truck. I wonder if there are replacements available anywhere on the planet?
     
  5. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    You might try www.harborfreight.com for replacement plugs. They sell a bunch of the el-cheapo red chinese hydraulic jacks. They have product manuals online for most of the stuff they sell. Find a similar jack, see if you can download the manual, find the part number and give them a call.

    From what I've seen (although I haven't done a scientific study), it looks to me like the filler holes are all the same diameter on all the cheap jacks.

    Were I you, and I found they were available, I would order several. Surely they can't cost much.
     
  6. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    use a tap and thread the bugger to take a screw, then you wont have the problem with the rubber plug..... Ive got a jack with a rubber plug that is pushing 35 years old, made in the uSA but its orange, and a 2 ton. My 5 ton has a screw in it.

    William
     
  7. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    I thought of that but there may be some problems. First, there has to be enough metal (thickness) to thread, then there has to be tap clearance. Might take a bottoming tap to get the job done. Not everybody has an assortment of those. Then you have to have a suitable plug. Probably something in 1/8 inch
    NPT will be the smallest that's "universally" available. Then you get back to the first problem and thread pitch versus the metal thickness. The jacks I have that have a "real plug" have a boss welded to the reservoir and that is threaded.
     
  8. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    I will check Harbor Freight. That is where these came from. They are 20 ton jacks and supposed to be rebuildable. I didn't realize they sold parts. It gets so hot here in AZ in the summertime that anything rubber dries out and cracks after a couple of years if it isn't stored in a cooled building. Life in the desert.........
     
  9. paden

    paden Guest

    Just fill the hole with silicon caulking or gasket maker. You will be able to pull it out in the future if more oil is needed. Much simpler than tapping or buying more plugs.
     
  10. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    Now that I can do. I like simple!
     
  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    If the silicone doesnt work, try that epoxy putty they have on counter in every auto parts store, also sold at WallyWorld. If you have to add oil again, can drill it out easily. Its good for some things and not good for others despite label claims. Great for plugging small holes. I used it to plug injector holes on old Volvo engine when converted to carb. It held and still doesnt leak. I also used it to temp repair a freeze plug with pinhole leak. Wire brushed the plug bright and shiny and filled the cavity with the putty. Held for long time until I got around to replacing the plug.

    Another alternative is ShooGoo. Dont know how resistant to oil it is, but when I bought my pressure canner some years ago it had a rubber safety plug that leaked enough that pressure couldnt build. Didnt want to wait around to order one, so filled hole with shoogoo and let it cure for day or two. Made a very tough plug that stood canner pressure and never gave another problem. I tried shoogoo cause I had that around and didnt have epoxy around at the time.
     
  12. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    To keep rubber from drying out coat it every few months with glycerin.
    A pharmacist told me that decades ago when I was purchasing new syringe rubbers for a livestock vaccine gun. Sure enough, I never had to replace them again. You get small bottles of glycerin at a drug store.