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How to Disassemble, Rebuild or Repair Hydraulic Cylinders and FAQS

Updated on March 23, 2016
Randy Godwin profile image

Randy has years of experience dealing with all sorts of hydraulic repairs around the farm and on many types of industrial equipment.

Source

Whether you are a small farmer, or have a large ranchette, you probably own a tractor or some other type of equipment which utilizes a hydraulic cylinder for some function or another.

Most modern tractors, including backhoes and front end loaders, use these simple devices for the power steering and lift systems.

These same types of hydraulic cylinders are used extensively on many types of combines and cultivation equipment, as well as more and more types of machinery.

Eventually the seals will start to leak oil a little but there comes a time when the amount spent on hydraulic oil makes it imperative to rebuild the cylinder.

This article takes you through the steps needed to break down the cylinder and replace the o-rings and other seals on the piston and gland. Although not a difficult procedure, it is very important to take your time with the process.

Hydraulic System Repairs

Leaking seal in end cap (gland) of hydraulic cylinder
Leaking seal in end cap (gland) of hydraulic cylinder | Source
This piston rod has a pressure release valve in the piston retaining bolt.
This piston rod has a pressure release valve in the piston retaining bolt. | Source
Never use heat on a pressure relief valve piston retaining bolt as you will ruin the spring.  Use an impact wrench instead to remove the assembly.
Never use heat on a pressure relief valve piston retaining bolt as you will ruin the spring. Use an impact wrench instead to remove the assembly. | Source

Before You Begin

There are so many different types of hydraulic cylinders manufactured for all kinds of functions and machines that you should try to locate the correct repair or rebuild kit before starting your dis-assembly. The parts numbers are usually stamped into the end cap or on the outside of the cylinder.

If your particular cylinder is a major make, such as a Case, John Deere, or other well-known brand, simply go to the local dealer and buy or order the kit you need.

You may also get a printout of the parts diagram which may prove very helpful in the rebuilding process, or in some cases you may find a print-out online instead.

You may have to order the parts on the internet, but as long as you have the part numbers this should be no problem. It is always best to have the parts when the process begins to ensure the new and old parts are the same size and type.

When the cylinder is used for raising or lowering heavy objects or for other weight-bearing purposes, always brace or otherwise support the weight with jacks or blocks to prevent injury to yourself or the equipment.

Some of these pieces are quite heavy and unwieldy, so be aware of the danger of crushing fingers or hands during the repairs.

Breaking the Hydraulic Cylinder Down

The hydraulic cylinder being rebuilt in this article is one of a pair used for raising the bucket on the front end loader of a Case 580C backhoe. I have already rebuilt several of the other cylinders on the backhoe part of the machine. Each cylinder, or set of cylinders, has a different gland and seal kit.

I do not have all of the correct wrenches for each gland so I make my own. Eventually I will have a wrench for each cylinder, or so I hope. The glands have four holes used for unscrewing them from the cylinder.

The tool I constructed here uses two prongs of spring steel cut from a spring tooth out of a peanut combine. Soft steel may work, but not on a large cylinder. Measure the distance between two of the opposite holes and place the two prongs the same distance.

A cutting torch and welder are the best tools a small farm or homeowner’s shop can possess. Blow the holes through, insert the prongs and weld tight. Works well and costs very little, not too pretty though.

For those who lack access to metalworking tools I've provided an ad for a couple of gland removal tools on this page. I personally vouch for their quality and ease of use.

Gland Removal Tools

OTC (1266) Adjustable Gland Nut Wrench
OTC (1266) Adjustable Gland Nut Wrench

For 2 to 6 inch diameter hydraulic cylinders.

 

Step-by-Step

  1. Before doing anything, be sure all pressure is released from the cylinder. Loosen or remove the hydraulic lines on each end of the cylinder as this will allow all pressure to escape. You may be able to unscrew the gland without removing either end of the cylinder assembly from its end connections.
  2. In this case, I needed the room, so I pulled the pin from the piston rod end. Using the new tool, the gland is unscrewed from the hydraulic cylinder. In some cases a slight tap or bump with a hammer may be applied to the tool to break the gland loose. Once loosened, the gland should unscrew easily and pull away from the hydraulic cylinder if there is room on the piston rod.
  3. With the gland removed, pull the piston rod from the cylinder. Large hydraulic cylinders may have to be supported to keep them straight while removing the piston rod. A winch is sometimes used for large cylinders but is not required in most cases.
  4. Try to keep the piston rod from falling into the dirt or against other metal objects when it pulls out of the cylinder. Protect all parts, such as the fine threads inside of the cylinder from any damage, this is a very important and potentially costly precaution. Do not hurry!
  5. When the piston rod is free put the rod end back into its pin connection and unscrew the retaining bolt which holds the piston to the rod. In extreme cases, this bolt may have to be heated if a thread locking substance has been used in a prior rebuilding process. Try not to heat the piston any more than necessary and this should work well. Place the parts in order and take a photo or two for later reference if needed.

As always, whenever handling heavy parts or dealing with hydraulic repairs, be very careful to avoid injury, not only yourself, but to the very expensive cylinder and piston assemblies. Always take it slow and careful during the entire hydraulic cylinder rebuild process.

Loosen hydraulic lines before beginning to release pressure and easier removal of piston rod
Loosen hydraulic lines before beginning to release pressure and easier removal of piston rod | Source
Disconnect yoke
Disconnect yoke | Source
Brace or rest on wooden block
Brace or rest on wooden block | Source
Constructing the gland removal tool
Constructing the gland removal tool | Source
Finished tool
Finished tool | Source
Tool used to unscrew gland from hydraulic cylinder
Tool used to unscrew gland from hydraulic cylinder | Source
Gland removed from hydraulic cylinder
Gland removed from hydraulic cylinder | Source

Reassembly and Finishing Up

Most hydraulic cylinder rebuild kits will furnish a diagram for correct installation purposes so look this over well before replacing the o-rings and seals in the gland and piston.

All will be slightly different from each other so you will have to identify each new seal and o-ring. Some of these seals are very thin and may be damaged if not installed evenly.

In some cases, the old seal may be used as an aid to reinstalling the new piece. Be careful to put these in very evenly or they may be damaged in the process.

Examine each o-ring in each groove and remove and install these one at a time to keep from getting confused as to correct placement. Clean each groove and seat carefully before replacing with the new part.

Reverse the process when reassembling the piston to the rod using a thread locking adhesive when replacing the piston rod bolt. Oil all parts well and use a piece of wood on the rod end if needed when tapping the piston back into the cylinder

Do not use a thread locking substance on the gland threads when screwing the gland back into the cylinder. Replace the hydraulic lines and test for leaks around the new seal. Follow the same basic procedure for most cylinder types. Good luck and be careful at all times!

Installing the New Seal Kit

Piston to rod bolt loosened while still attached to mount
Piston to rod bolt loosened while still attached to mount | Source
Piston and gland after removal from piston rod
Piston and gland after removal from piston rod | Source
Hydraulic cylinder Rebuild kit
Hydraulic cylinder Rebuild kit | Source
Old seal used to drive in new one.
Old seal used to drive in new one. | Source
O-rings and new gaskets removed and grooves cleaned prior to installing new seals in piston.
O-rings and new gaskets removed and grooves cleaned prior to installing new seals in piston. | Source
Rebuilt gland and piston ready for reassembly
Rebuilt gland and piston ready for reassembly | Source
Wood post used as brace for tightening piston bolt
Wood post used as brace for tightening piston bolt | Source
Bolt torqued after applying thread lock substance
Bolt torqued after applying thread lock substance | Source
Rebuilt hydraulic cylinder installed back on the Case Backhoe.
Rebuilt hydraulic cylinder installed back on the Case Backhoe. | Source

Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the questions and answers in the comments below for problems you may encounter which haven't been addressed in the above article. Or, feel free to give your own input or suggestions if you've run into any problems or solutions yourself.

Hopefully, your experience will aid others in their own repairs and also help save a few bucks for the working man. Any advice or corrections will be appreciated.

Comments

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    • Artemus Gordon profile image

      Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

      Nice instruction here. I have a Ford tractor that continually gives me fits on its hydraulic lines.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I can identify Artemus. Our tractors, mostly John Deere, have hydraulic leaks as a matter of course. Thanks for reading!

      Randy

    • Richard Drips 6 years ago

      Good info thank you.

      In regards to hydraulics, when it gets really hard to disconnect the tubes from the ports, is that because the hydraulics are "old" or more likely because the pressure hasn't been taken out of the tubes?

      Richard

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It can be both, Richard. Always relieve the pressure before working on any hydraulic system. Old connections are sometimes difficult to detach anyway. Thanks!

    • raw-Case-580B-CK 6 years ago

      My old case has 3 or 4 bad seals that I have to fix. Thank you for all the info!!! Never having done a seal on a cylinder before, your pics and set by step info really gave me the confidence to do the job. It cost me $500 for somebody to come out replace one seal the last time.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      This is great, raw-case! You certainly saved a bundle then. I'm glad you found the article helpful and tackled the job. Thanks for your great comments and good luck on future repairs.

      Randy

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Good article Randy. I have experience with hydraulics on bulldozers, shock absorber rebuilds and car and truck hoists up to 100 tonne.

      Safety is the big issue around tractors and heavy machinery. Some of the hydraulic pressures experienced with bulldozers when logging are high enough to do serious injury.

      Car hoists work really hard in a busy workshop, and they sometimes fail at the top with a vehicle on them. If it is a mechanical failure such as a seized ram, it can be hell to get it down again. Best to service at the slightest sign of oil weeping.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Earnest! I don't have any experience with car hoists, but every tractor we have, and most of our farming equipment, uses hydraulic cylinders of some sort. It seems like I am always repairing a cylinder or ordering kits.

      Wonderful things though!

      Thanks for taking a look!

      Randy

    • Blane 6 years ago

      Great reading. I have a steering cylinder leaking on my JD 2350. this one does not look like it has a screw in end cap. How do I get it apart. I have managed to pop out the first dust seal.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Blane! I am unfamiliar with your particular steering cylinder so I cannot give you much help there. Some hydraulic cylinders use snap rings or some other such retaining devices.

      Simply get the model number and contact a John Deere dealer for a complete breakdown of the cylinder parts to find out what type you have. It may be possible to find a diagram online.

      You will need to get the new seal kit anyway and a parts dealer will usually print out a copy of the parts diagram for you. I am repairing a similar steering cylinder for a Case backhoe and it has a different retaining gland too. Sorry I cannot help and good luck on your repairs.

      Randy

    • case 580 b 6 years ago

      any tricks for loosening a frozen gland?? I have an adjustable spanner witch i broke. Tried heat and a pipe wrench with a cheater, no luck.. I am thinking of welding right to the gland. any tips would be appreciated.. and awesome tutorial thanks. I am actually doing the same cylinder but on the left side of a case 580b. need this fixed and the local jack man wants $200 bucks if i bring him the cylinder.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @case 580 b-where did you apply the heat and how hot did you allow the gland to get? Welding directly to the gland should be a last resort but it can be done!

      Unless the gland threads were coated with thread lock it should not be difficult to break loose. Heat usually allows the thread lock substance to give way!

    • case 580 b 6 years ago

      I just heated it with a small plumbers butane tank. I heated the cylinder itself around the gland trying to stay away from the front. I do have torches but didn't want to burn up the o-ring. Is that all i would hurt by going red hot on the cylinder?? I need to make your spanner as it would be a little more heavy than my set up. However I did torque it pretty hard and now I am using a 24" pipe wrench with a 3' cheater bar. If more heat is OK i will try that but i don't have any nice plate stock here to make that tool so i need to find some.

      Thanks,

      Steve.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      The less heat needed the better of course, but you will have to heat it up pretty well! Probably not red hot, though! The O-rings will be replaced as well as the other meltable parts! No worries there!

      It's best to heat the thread area all around the cylinder while someone puts a lot of pressure on the wrench or tool!

      The gland should turn before the heated area gets too hot!

      If this fails you may have to give in and take it to a repair service! Sorry, never ran into this problem on my Case hydraulic cylinder rebuilds! Good luck and thanks for reading!

      Randy

    • case 580 b 6 years ago

      Randy, Thanks so much I appreciate all your help. I am going to make the tool and try heating with the torches. I will let you know how I make out.

      Thanks again,

      Steve.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Please do let me know the results, case 580B!

      Thanks

      Randy

    • Jim 6 years ago

      I have an old cylinder off a set of cultivators, there is a warning label on the cylinder that it contains a built in restrictor valve and not to repair it just purchase a new one. Have you ever heard of this? I can not find a brand name or serial number on the cylinder and the company that make the culitvators has long been out of business.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I've never run into this type of hydraulic cylinder, Jim! I have rebuilt some with restriction valves before but haven't heard of the throw away type.

      Myself, I would take it apart anyway just to find out how it worked, but I would not advise you to do so. Some cylinders may be dangerous to disassemble unless you are very familiar with the process.

      I am wondering what function the hydraulic cylinder performed as I am a farmer myself. A replacement cylinder may be found on the Amazon ads on this page or through one of my favorite low price farm equipment repair companies-AgriSupply Corporation.

      Sorry I cannot be of further service to you!

      Thanks for reading and the question!

      Randy

    • zizu 6 years ago

      very nice.. but only disassembly is given.. what about repair (honing and fabrication) and assembly

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Reverse the process, zizu. This article is not intended for repairs to the cylinder. It is only for replacing the seals in the gland and piston.

    • Fred 5 years ago

      Randy,

      I have taken a cylinder apart and rebuilt it, replacing all seals and O-rings. Putting the cylinder back together was no problem but I am at a loss as to how to reinsert the lock ring. The Cylinder head is not threaded.

      The lock is a piece of square spring steel about eight inches long that slides through a small slot in the Cylinder case and into a slot in the cylinder head just below the edge of the cylinder case. To remove it you rotate the cylinder head till the end of the lock ring stock appears in the small slot in the cylinder body. Keeping the end of the lock coming up out of the slot you continue to rotate the cylinder head till the other end of the lock ring comes to the opening at which time the small hook on the end of the lock ring comes out of a notch in the cylinder head and the lock ring stock can be removed.

      My question is how do you reinstall it? Do you hook the end of the lock into the slot in the cylinder and rotate the head to pull the ring into the slot in the opposite direction from the way it came out?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Fred-I have only had experience with one of these type gland locking devices, and to be honest with you, I do not remember how I managed to reinsert the pseudo-snap ring device.

      I think I had a helper lightly tap on the gland itself while I fed the retainer ring into the slot. I"m sorry I cannot give you better info on this type of lock ring

      retainer, but I have little experience with them.

      If you manage to get it reinserted, please come back and relate your experience. Others will surely appreciate your rebuild info on this type of hydraulic cylinder repairs.

      Randy Godwin

    • Paddy o 5 years ago

      I have a case 580k and am doing the large dipper piston on the backhoe end. I cannot get the piston to budge i had a come along on it yet it won't move out of the cylinder. It feels like it may be hydraulic pressure i have removed the hoses but it still wont pop any advice? Now I'm wondering if it will go back in if I ever get it out! ugh!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Paddy! I had the same problem with the cylinder on my 580C. Since the piston rod is so long it tends to sag downwards when you try and pull it out.

      This will cause the piston to bind inside the cylinder. I used a come-a-long on this one too but you must be sure it is pulling out very straight. You may have to give it a few licks with a heavy hammer when you get tension on the rod to get it moving.

      It will slide back in easier that it came out, at least mine did. Good luck!

      Randy Godwin

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      No problem,Paddy! It may be necessary to drive the piston back into the cylinder a short distance to get it out of the bind before getting it straight enough to start the extraction process again.

      Thanks for visiting and for the question. Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

      Randy

    • Paddy o 5 years ago

      success! but now I am having trouble with the bolt 2-3/16"! I'm sure it has locktight. I got the socket at sears $31 3/4 drive and a 4' pipe,bent the handle on the breaker and not a twitch from the bolt. should I heat the head of the bolt? there's not much else I could do. Thanks again

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, heat the bolt head and it will come right off. I always try to keep the heat isolated to the bolt head as much as possible.

      The only time heat is not acceptable for loosing the retaining bolt is when a pressure relief valve is used. The cylinders which move the backhoe side to side usually have these pressure relief valves.

      The cylinder you are repairing now does not have this feature. Check back if you have any more concerns.

      Randy

    • Paddy O 5 years ago

      Hey Randy , thanks for all the help. I still can't get that bolt to budge. I heated it with acetylene torch and still no luck I wonder if I heated it too much?broke the handle on a 18" pipe wrench right in half this thing does not want to let go haven't moved it at all! Any advice?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Paddy-I've always been able to get the bolt broke loose by heating it red hot before trying to turn it. I don't know, unless you wish to try a machine shop. Sorry, I haven't run into this problem before. Be sure you get it hot enough!

      Randy

    • Paddy O 5 years ago

      OK thanks Randy, I'll give it another try today. Did you try turning it while it was red ? I am worried that the metal might twist when it is that hot, what about the piston would heating that up hurt it ?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, turn it while it is red hot, Paddy! The first time I ran into this problem I was leery of getting the bolt too hot, like yourself.

      I took the piston rod to a John Deere dealer nearby and they placed it in a vise and attempted to loosen the bolt with an impact wrench with no success.

      After heating the bolt red hot they immediately used the impact wrench to easily loosen the bolt. Since that first time running into the problem, I learned to heat the bolt red hot before using a 3/4 drive socket and pull handle with a long pipe as a lever to loosen the bolt after heating.

      I hope this works for you in this situation too!

      Randy

    • Paddy o 5 years ago

      Randy, finally got it! Took the piston to machine shop and he referred me to the local towing co. Shop. A buddy of his just got a new 3/4 drive air impact gun from snap on took the bolt out in 5 seconds w/out heat or anything ,amazing . I could have saved my whole weekend . Cylinder is reassembled and back to work digging full steam thanks for the help buddy.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great news, Paddy! Your retaining nut must have been really torqued on tight for it to be so difficult to remove. Most are not so much trouble. Glad you got it back together and working well. Thanks for stopping by and reading my article and for your questions and comments.

      Randy

    • Tom Foolry 5 years ago

      Thanks for the instructions! I had absolutely no idea where to start with my hydraulic cylinder repair, so this article really helped me out a ton!

    • Shoe Box 5 years ago

      Great step by step instruction! Us Marines here on Camp Pendleton need all the help we can get hah! So for that we thank you.

      -Combat Logistics Battalion 15-

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Tom, glad to be of service and I do appreciate your nice feedback on my article.

      Randy Godwin

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Shoe Box-And I thank you in return for your service and for your nice comments here. I'm always pleased someone can use my articles to help them with their repairs.

      Good luck to all of you guys at Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and please ask if I may be of any assistance to you.

      Randy Godwin

    • RONALD 5 years ago

      Case 580C Frt. Bucket Tilt Cyl.-The Gland won`t break loose. I borrowed the spanner wrench and afraid it might break! I have used 2` cheater on breaker bar to no avail.

      My next step will be applying heat to the O.D. of the cyl. end.

      How much heat should I apply? I have elec. heat gun,propane torch and acetylene. I`d prefer not to burn the paint off.

      Thanks, Ronald

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Ronald-application of heat is okay as long as you do not apply enough to warp the cylinder. I have used a torch soaringly to remove a stubborn gland.

      Try applying heat while someone keeps steady pressure on a long "cheater bar" lever at the same time. Someone probably used the thread locking substance on these threads.

      I hope this helps you with your problem.

      Randy Godwin

    • Ronald 5 years ago

      Randy, I want to thank you for your advice. I tried the elec. heat gun to no avail.Next I used the propane torch, still couldn`t break the gland loose. Finally I got a four foot cheater bar.With a little more propane heat and the 4 footer it finally broke loose! And most of the paint survived! This was accomplished without an assistant.

      The rest of the rebuild went smooth, I`m back to digging!

      Best Regards,

      Ronald

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Good to hear, Ronald! It's amazing what a little heat in the right spot will do sometimes. Usually the retaining bolt will be have to be heated instead of the gland, but as you probably know, nothing ever seems to work out exactly as expected. LOL!

      Glad to hear you're back diggin' again! Thanks for your question and for coming back and letting me know how things worked out.

      Randy

    • dobbinite 5 years ago

      Randy, Glad I found your instructions, going to give it a try next week. I have a 1976 Case 580 service manual and your description is much easier to follow than the Case manual. I found the torque specs for the piston bolts along with a cylinder parts breakout drawing that I scanned into jpg files. Being new to hubpages I haven't figured out how to upload these files without making a new Hub page.

      Dobbs

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Dobbs! I tried to make the step-by-step photos as I was going along--tough to do without getting hydraulic oil all over the camera--to aid in understanding the process and parts identification.

      Welcome to HubPages and be sure and check out the Learning Center for detailed info on uploading images and other essential facets of the site.

      Thanks for your time and comments.

      Randy

    • dobbinite 5 years ago

      Just reporting back that we fixed the backhoe Dipper cylinder without a problem last Saturday in about 3 hours after we spent about 2 hours making the gland wrench from spare metal. We can use it again. We had to use a 10ft cheater on the 1" breaker bar to loosen that big nut on the piston. It worked, no heat needed. Thanks for the great instructions.

      Dobbs

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Dobbs, I'm glad you found my article useful and can use the gland wrench again. I make my own, especially if there are more than one size cylinder on the machine.

      Good luck with future repairs and feel free to stop in again with any pertinent comments. Thanks again for your time.

      Randy

    • Thedooryder 5 years ago

      Thanks Randy , Saved me a lot of time and money not taking it to the local hydraulic shop!!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad to be of assistance, Thedooryder! Thanks for you comments and for reading!

      Randy

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      Great Hub Randy, full of step by step info, just the way I like it. The only work I've done with Hydraulics is the plow pistons on my old truck, same operation, just on a smaller scale. Voted up and useful

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Thanks Eddie! Yep, basically the same repair procedure. thanks for your comments and time.

      Randy

    • JT 4 years ago

      is there a way to tell which seal kit to buy on the loader cylinders all i have is the following info

      Model 580 CK

      Number 8655254

      J.I. Case Company

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello JT! You must use the part number on the cylinder to get the right seal kit unless you wish to wait until you remove it from the cylinder first before personally going to the Case dealer or ordering it over the phone.

      Sometimes several different cylinders are used on the same machine. I hope this info helps you, but if not, feel free to ask me for more info.

      Randy

    • JT 4 years ago

      Well I haven't been able to find a part number on the cylinder but I will keep looking. Thanks for the info.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, JT! You may simply have to measure the dimensions of the cylinder to get the correct seal seal kit. Using a micrometer, measure the diameter of the piston rod and the inside of the cylinder when you get it apart.

      If there is a Case dealership and parts supplier nearby they can assist you in getting the correct seal kit for your particular hydraulic cylinder. or, you may find the correct kit online. I hope you find what you are looking for!

      Randy

    • RCR 4 years ago

      I am having a problem unscrewing the gland on a 1978 Case 450 blade angle cylinder. I want to make sure it is a right hand thread. Please advise and thanks,

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi RCR. I've yet to see a left handed thread while rebuilding a cylinder. They sometimes are difficult to unscew so don't give up. A little heat may be required to loosen it.

      Randy

    • dobbinite 4 years ago

      We did two cylinders and had no problems opening the gland. The 3rd one will not come loose. We broke the gland wrench twice and had to fix that. Looks like someone put a couple of spot welds on the gland to cylinder many years ago. That is a dirty trick. We keep trying because the leak is getting worse.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      dobbinite--Can you grind off the old weld with a hand grinder? This should work if you can't break the gland loose any other way. Good luck!

      Randy

    • rcr 4 years ago

      I wanted to thankyou for answering my post so quickly. Turns out, that heat was needed and a bigger wrench. The gland is free. Thanks again for having this site!

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad you finally got the gland broke free, rcr. And also pleased to help. Thanks for the question and the comments.

      Randy

    • Jack 4 years ago

      I have a John Deere Model 51 Backhoe attachment on a JD 1010 Tractor.

      How do I get rod and piston out of the Boom cylinder? There is a retaining nut which I have removed, but I can't see how to get the rest apart. There must be another form of Gland retainer that I am not familiar with... Any help is greatly appreciated

    • Randy Godwin profile image
      Author

      Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Not sure I understand your question clearly, Jack. Have you unscrewed --or otherwise detached-- the gland from the cylinder and simply cannot get the piston and rod removed from the cylinder itself? Or have you not managed to remove the gland. More info might help me suggest a solution to your problem.

    • dobbinite 4 years ago

      Include a photo

    • John R 3 years ago

      Randy, I have unscrewed the gland from the cylinder along with disconnecting both hoses from the dipper on my Case 580B. We can't seem to budge the piston out of the cylinder. There seems to still be hydraulic pressure holing it in place. We have even put a chain around it and pulled with another tractor and it did not even budge. I have called a couple of places and the all seem to be at a lost as well. We are kinda stuck here.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi John, the only time I've had any problem removing the piston from the cylinder was when it was slightly out of alignment with the cylinder. It is very important to keep the piston rod very straight while attempting to remove it from the cylinder. You may have push it back in in order to straighten it out enough to remove it. This is the only advice I can give you, John. Hope this helps! Please let me know how it worked out,

      Randy

    • John R 3 years ago

      Randy, Good news we finally managed to get that dipper piston out. We put all the hydraulic hoses back in and left the gland unscrewed. We used the backhoe itself to drive the dipper out by replacing the hydraulic oil and started her up again and pull on the dipper lever until the piston shot out like a cannon literally. LOL!!! All is well though. Thank you again for your advice.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm so pleased you got the piston out, John. I started to suggest that very thing if you didn't succeed trying my suggestion. I always try to have the piston rod extended all the way out before unscrewing the gland. This saves having to pull it out very far after the gland is removed. I suppose I need to add this tip to my article. :)

      Hope you have success with the new seal kit. Drop by again if there's any other problems I can help you with.

      --RG

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I don't understand your problem, Paul. When you say "tapped it flush to the rod" do you mean you can't get the gland to slide on the piston rod? A bit more info might assist me in helping you solve the problem.

      Randy

    • paul 3 years ago

      Correct, I cant get the gland down the piston rod, what is the best way without damaging anything

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Use a block of wood to protect the threads and try bumping it on with a hammer. Once it gets past the seal it should slide easily if it is lubricated a bit.

    • mark 3 years ago

      hi randy im not sure what way the taper goes on the poly seal inside the gland . its on a 580b thank you

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      @Mark--The taper--if I'm understanding your question correctly--goes towards the cylinder. Hope this helps.

      RG

    • Will 3 years ago

      I have a John deere 740 loader. The main ram has a gland with a "rod bearing". It is very hard stuff. I got the old one out by breaking it. How do I put the new one in?

    • Will 3 years ago

      Figured out how to insert the rod bearing. Use a hose clamp and lap the bearing over and squeeze until small enough to insert.

    • Alan 3 years ago

      Hi Randy. I'm in the process of replacing several seals on a 580C Case backhoe. Right now Im trying to get the replacement Rod seal into the gland, of the loader tilt ram, it just seems impossible, the new seal is the same size as the one removed, but I cannot figure a way to refit the new one without damaging the seal! (Its an aftermarket seal kit by Bulldog) any ideas?? Thanks Alan

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Alan, sorry to be so tardy in responding to you but I've been in an accident which has disrupted my routine somewhat. :) I'm a bit confused by your problem as I've never had any problem with this particular seal.

      Perhaps I'm not understanding your difficulties installing the new seal? A bit more info may help. Thanks!

      Randy

    • jeff 2 years ago

      does anybody know how to fix a stabilizer arm on a 310 backhoe i have a backhoe that when it sits not running the arm settles to the ground

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello Jeff, the stabilizer valve, or either the cylinder itself, is obviously leaking down when the backhoe is not running. You should be able to see if the cylinder is leaking and if so, it is in need of replacing the seals. If it is the valve then I can't help you with this problem.

      RG

    • donald mcmanaway 2 years ago

      i have a steering cylinder on a foton 404 can not get seal in cylinder rarrel

    • Stufffman 2 years ago

      Hi Randy

      I just wanted to know if you have any more postings on repairs you have done on your case 580 b?

      I need to rebuild the motor on it G188 motor

      Or on the valves that control the hoe (hopefully the o rings in there)

      Thank you,Joe in Pa

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Joe, I only have one other article on this site and you may find it here :

      https://axleaddict.com/commercial-vehicles/How-To-...

      Thanks for reading. :)

      Randy

    • eddie roberson 2 years ago

      that was a nice thing you done for folks, saved lots of money for people, kinda surprised some still like me love to get dirty oily. have you ever run into left handed threads on end of piston. run in to one after a dozen or so can't get off starting to wonder. THANKS..

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      No left-handed threads for me yet, Eddie. Not saying there aren't any, but I haven't run into any so far. Have you tried some heat?

      Randy

    • dobbinite 2 years ago

      Look for spot welds that someone put on there when they were too lazy to fix it right. You might grind them off if you find them. Found one on one of my stabilizer cyls. Dirty trick. Dobbs.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      You're right, Dobbinite! I've come across this myself a time or two. :)

      Randy

    • Steve b 2 years ago

      1982 military , left cylinder aftr it was unbolted there was 3 part lock ring surrounds the shaft how we can remove it and reinstall thank you so much

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hey Steve, I'm not familiar with a 3 part lock ring unless it uses a thin key inserted into a slot and curved into the cylinder. I detest those kind of key locks. I'm away on vacation with a bad computer so I'm sorry to be so late in responding to your question. I hope you've found the solution by now. :)

      __RG

    • Victor 2 years ago

      Hi Randy, I'v read your entire hub looking for help with my problem. I'm replacing the seals in the top crowd cylinder on a John Deere backhoe. I've removed the lock-nut and the retaining ring. The rod can easily be pulled out until the piston reaches the retaining ring groove in the cylinder and that is as far as I can get it to move. I've tried extreme force - a 6000 lb. wench. I chained the cylinder to my SUV, then chained the rod to my 4-wheeler --- drug the SUV right out of the shop. Tried whacking it with a hammer while applying pressure. Tried wiggling it up and down and side to side while pulling. No luck. I'm out of ideas. Can you help?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      The only time I have had any problem removing the piston from the cylinder was when the rod wasn't straight and caused the piston to bind. Like you, I tried all sorts of things to pull it out, but until I lined it up straight it refused to move.

      This may not be the same problem you've experienced Victor, but is the only thing that comes to mind at the moment. Are you sure the piston or cylinder isn't warped and causing the problem?

      Randy

    • Victor 2 years ago

      Thanks for your fast response Randy. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner - worked on the cylinder all day. It turned out that the problem was that I got too aggressive with the "extreme force" -- you were right, it was just a little out of line and when it got to the ring groove, all of that pressure I put on it caused a very small ridge to form. There was no pulling it out past that ridge so I very carefully ground it down with a dremel, then it came out easily. Now there is a new (to me) problem: had to heat the bolt to get it to break loose. The trouble is, now that it is started, it won't come on out. I've broken all of my tools trying to get it to back out of there. I've twisted the ends off of two 3/4 inch Snap-On break-over bars. It seems that the farther the bolt comes out, the tighter it gets! I also broke an eight inch bench vice right in half - cheater pipes bring a LOT of force to the job. Have you ever had this problem before? Any ideas? By the way Randy, thank you for maintaining this hub for all of us amateurs out here.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry you are having so much trouble rebuilding your cylinder, Victor. I should emphasize keeping the piston rod as straight as possible when removing it from the cylinder, especially when it has a retaining ring of some sort. Usually the gland is threaded and a retaining ring is not required.

      It isn't uncommon for the piston bolt to require heat to remove it because of the thread locking substance used for safety, but I've never encountered a problem with removing it after being heated and broken loose. At this point you can often remove it by hand.

      I'm sorry to say I have no clue why the bolt will not come out. This is a new one on me. I'd be very appreciative if you'd let me know if and when you get it free. Others may benefit from your experience. Again, I apologize for my ignorance about this problem. I too am an amateur at some things. :)

      Thanks for your time and input on this page.

      Randy

    • Victor 2 years ago

      I think the plan for now is to try to get some penetrating oil into the threads. I'm sure I will eventually get this cylinder rebuilt and working again. I'll keep you posted on my attempts and let you know how it turns out. Do you know if it is possible for the thread locker to re-set after applying heat to get it to turn loose? I'm not comfortable having to keep applying so much heat. Also, I'm running out of tools... :)

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm still puzzled by your dilemma, Victor! Unless the bolt was cross threaded during the assembly process, it shouldn't be hard to unscrew. And no, the thread-loc should have been destroyed during the heating process. I always heat the bolt red hot if I encounter one that's reluctant to turn with regular tools.

      Sometimes an impact wrench is needed along with the heat, but normally when the bolt moves a bit it comes off rather easily. Obviously, this not the case here. :(

      Randy

    • Victor 2 years ago

      While the bolt head was red hot I used a 3/4 inch impact wrench with 185 psi - no joy. I've been wondering if I should have let the bolt cool down, after it broke loose, before trying to take it on out? It does act like the threads are crossed, but I can't imagine how it could have been put all the way in, and seated, with crossed threads. I plan to give the penetrating oil a good chance to work. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out. Do you think the threads could have crossed when it broke loose?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      I don't think the threads crossed when it broke loose, Victor. But then, I've never heard of a bolt being so hard to remove either. It may help to cool the bolt down a bit, I sure hope so. Please do let me know if you find out the problem. :)

    • MOSTAFA 2 years ago

      good night

      i want to ask you about a big cylinder of big truck

      we have more problems while we want to diassemle or remote nut

      what about this plaese

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry Mostafa, can you be more specific about your problem?

    • mostafa 2 years ago

      good randy

      when we want to diassemble the nut of piston for a big cylinder is very difficult to turn it.we need to maximum torque ,but we haven't any systemss,

      can you help me to found a system for seel

      we have money to buy it

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Mustafa--You may have to heat the nut to remove it from the piston rod. I've often had to use heat in this instance.

    • Ron 2 years ago

      You don't show how to replace the piston seals. They don't seem to stretch any and I don't want to break the new seal. It doesn't look like the piston separates so you can install them without stretching them. Can you give any help?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Hi Ron,

      The seals will stretch enough to go over the piston even though they seem too small. I've never broke one yet. :)

      RG

    • Ron 2 years ago

      Hi Randy, it is the black one in the middle of the piston and will not stretch. Both the new and the old are the same. I have not removed the old one because I will just put it back togather with it not replaced if I have too. The other 2 are split rings. It reminds me of a wear ring- not a seal, but usually a wear ring is split. It looks like the one in your picture. So I will try again tomorrow.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Ron--I've been away from home for 3 months and cannot inspect the middle piston seal to see how it was replaced. I do remember there was at least one seal composed of rubber with another hinged composite seal covering it. I'll be back home Sunday and can tell you for sure if you haven't figured it out by then.

      Randy

    • Mike from Cle 2 years ago

      Randy, very useful information. Tractor: CASE 480E, backhoe, rear stabilizer. Question, what is the torque value for the bolt that holds the piston to the cylinder's rod assembly. The bolt is grade 8, 1" in diameter and has 1" 1/2" bolt head. According to a bolt chart, the bolt is rated for 1,000 foot pounds, seems excessive. I don't know what torque value the rod assembly thread's are rated for. I would hate to pull the threads out of the rod. The rod assembly diameter is 1" 3/4", cylinder part number is G102294.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Mike, I don't have the torque specs for this bolt either. The bolt chart specs does sound excessive to me also. Most of the time I use thread lock and tighten it well with a cheater bar and did so on the same cylinder on my backhoe. I've had no trouble with the retaining bolts yet.

      Sorry I don't have the specs you need.

      Randy

    • Mike from Cle 23 months ago

      Randy, another question for my 480E. Have you ever purged the hydraulic fluid system? I notice the hydraulic fluid looks like coffee with creamer in it. I found glumps of frozen water inside the tractor’s cylinders when I pulled them apart. I thought perhaps I can bleed the contaminated fluid as if I was bleeding air out of an automobile hydraulic brake system, i.e. just crack the hydraulic fitting at the cylinder and let the fluid pour out until it gets clear, of course refilling the reservoir with new fluid. What do you think?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes Mike, the system needs to be purged ever so often depending on how much the machine is used. Normally the heat from the oil would evaporate any moisture getting into the system if the machine is operated frequently, but mine sits idle for long periods of time and tended to retain the moisture until it needed to be replaced.

      Too much moisture will cause the seals to wear out and leak much faster than clean hydraulic oil. I suggest letting the oil get hot before draining it or much of the gunk will remain in the system. I really do not know the most effective manner in which to remove the oil from your machine as I don't have reference to the drain plug.

      Thanks for the question, Mike. :)

    • Mike from Cle 23 months ago

      Randy, thanks for the advice on the fluid. Any suggestions on repacking the swing hydraulic cylinders? I don't know how to remove the pin that connects the rod assembly end to the boom. Also in the CASE illustrated parts book there is a spring and pin located behind the bolt that holds the piston to the rod assembly. Should I be careful not to over tighten the nut thus damaging the spring/pin when I reinstall the piston to the rod assembly?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Glad to help out , Mike! I've rebuilt the swing cylinders also and the spring is a pressure release mechanism which prevents the cylinders from over extending the boom.

      Yes, be careful when you remove it so as not to damage the spring assembly. This is one of the cylinders which you shouldn't get the piston rod retaining nut too hot in the removal process as it will ruin the tension on the spring. I had to take it to a friend's welding shop because he had a very strong impact wrench to remove the nut without heat.

      I don't believe you can over tighten the nut in the assembly process but be sure to use thread-loc of some sort as on all of the piston rod threads.

      About removing the pin on the rod assembly, mine was simply a pin with the locking clip on the top side for each cylinder. When the clip was removed the pin fell out the bottom. Not sure if yours is the same. Feel free to ask for more info if you need it. Thanks for the question and good luck with the repairs. :)

      Randy

    • Mike from Cle 23 months ago

      Randy, thanks for the advice on the swing cylinder on my CASE 480E. I removed the cylinder to the backhoe boom pin by removing a six inch bolt from the bottom of the pin. A local heavy equipment shop used a 1” impact wrench and removed the piston retaining bolt, no heat necessary just one big impact wrench. I repacked the gland seals but ran into a problem with the piston, the middle piston seal. After getting the piston seal over the lip of the piston and into the middle of the piston, I noticed the seal stretched and is sagging around the piston instead of being snug. No problems with the piston’s backup ring. The seal is yellow and seems to be made from a plastic material. Other smaller cylinders I repacked had a fel-pro like gasket material for the piston seal with a innerlock which allowed it to expanded and slip over the lip of the piston than compressed back. . Do you think the piston seal will shrink to the normal size when installed?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Hello again, Mike. I've run into the loose piston seal problem before but it didn't seem to affect the rebuild at all. Not saying this will happen in your case for sure as it is only my experience.

      Some of the rebuild kits have changed to better materials than what was originally used so this may be the case with different seals. Thanks for stopping in again and feel free to comment again, Mike. :)

      Randy

    • Bigc 17 months ago

      I'm working on a John Deere backhoe c10d lift cylinder and it my first job to rebuild it and i ran into a problem the seal gland just seems to spin but does not come off and now i spent three hours trying to get it off if any ideas much help would be great thanks

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 17 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Bigc, I've never ran into this problem before. Did the gland seem to unscrew at all, by this I mean could you see any of the threads as you attempted to turn the gland?

      Randy

    • Patrick 16 months ago

      This article just helped me a lit rebuilding a cylinder on a piece of heavy aircraft equipment, thank you for sharing your knowledge

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 16 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Pleased to have been of service, Patrick. :) This is the second time someone from an aircraft repair place has contacted me. Thanks for reading and let me know if I can be of further assistance. :)

    • Mark 15 months ago

      Hello Randy, have ever had to use a ring compressor to re-install seals/O-rings to avoid damage? Having some issues with a boom cyl. on a bobcat.

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      No Mark, can't say I have. Usually the seals install easily unless the cylinder is warped out of shape.

      Randy

    • John 2 months ago

      Got gland nut loose but all it does is spin. How does it come out?

    • Randy Godwin profile image
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      Randy Godwin 2 months ago from Southern Georgia

      John, are you referring to the piston itself, or the gland?

    • john 2 months ago

      The gland has to come out before the piston right?

      I can't get any of it out. I think it is a cylinder off a wagner loader.

    • Randy Godwin 2 months ago

      John, sorry to be so long in responding to you but I'm vacation in the mountains. Did you extend the piston rod to its full length before loosening the gland, or is the rod extended to the bottom of the cylinder?

      This makes a big difference as an extended piston rod will often bind the piston in the cylinder and makes it very difficult to remove in some cases. You may try a come-along--a ratcheting cable--to help remove the piston and rod, just be sure the rod is pulling evenly and not at an angle.

      Hope this helps but if not, I'll be checking in at least once a day on all of my repair articles till I get back home.

      Randy

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