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How much to reseal some cylinders?

Welder Dave

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Oct 11, 2014
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13,225
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Canada
Industrial hyd. cylinders are a different animal than general purpose or AG type cylinders. Cylinders on a full size backhoe could cost a couple thousand bucks each depending which cylinder it is. I was shocked when I heard a new bucket cylinder for my 931B is probably in the $2500cad. range or more.
 

suladas

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Jun 30, 2016
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If you can pull the rods go to Sterling Hydraulics and they can change the seals and retorque the nut/bolt for the piston. As long as you're OK with not having a warranty if it leaks after you put it back together yourself I think they would do it. They did for me on my 4 in 1 bucket cylinders. About $93 each for seals and an hour labour each to replace them. They said the rods looked good. The labour was just for replacing the seals with no polishing. The reason I had them done was because they were leaking out the gland losing oil and dirt falls on them fairly often.

Also wondering how you made out on your Western Star dump truck?

If i'm going to go that far I might as well do it all myself, changing the seals was easy i'm more concerned about pulling the rod out/back in.

It's still sitting in my yard. I bought the international and using that. I am trying to sell it as-is and if it doesn't sell soon it's going to the auction cause i'm tired of looking at it.
 

suladas

Senior Member
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Jun 30, 2016
Messages
1,731
Location
Canada
Industrial hyd. cylinders are a different animal than general purpose or AG type cylinders. Cylinders on a full size backhoe could cost a couple thousand bucks each depending which cylinder it is. I was shocked when I heard a new bucket cylinder for my 931B is probably in the $2500cad. range or more.
Probably way more. Arm cylinder for 75 hp skidsteer was $2k at dealer and it's a tiny cylinder.
 

Tyler d4c

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Mar 2, 2016
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1,943
Location
Salix Pa
At the cat dealer I worked all cylinders had to be removed and taken to the RA shop witch was basically a component shop and re sealed because they wanted them honed. More then once I seen them take way more time getting a pin out them it would have taken be to unbolt the head and have new seals in it and back together. Assuming it didn't have any scaring or other issues. But 3200 to do 2 backhoe cylinders again assuming all that was needed was a seal kit seems a bit steep to me.
 

Welder Dave

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If i'm going to go that far I might as well do it all myself, changing the seals was easy i'm more concerned about pulling the rod out/back in.

It's still sitting in my yard. I bought the international and using that. I am trying to sell it as-is and if it doesn't sell soon it's going to the auction cause i'm tired of looking at it.
The hardest part is loosening the piston nut or bolt and properly torquing it. It's worth having done if they only charge an hour or hour and a half to do all the seals.

Did the shop that took your engine apart go through with their threats of taking you to court? I still think you should have paid the $25 to file a suit against them. They shouldn't have taken your truck apart without your approval.
 

aighead

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Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
2,679
Location
Dayton, OH
Well, we took the 2 cylinders off last night. We were kind of poking along and bs'ing but it took around 4 hours and I've never been so greasy. The best lesson I learned was good blocking to keep cylinders from just dropping. Knocking the pins out was pretty easy (he did most of the hammering). We only had to fight the upper cylinder a bit to get it out. I'm much less apprehensive should I ever want to change hoe buckets now.
 

Willie B

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Jan 2, 2016
Messages
4,121
Location
Mount Tabor VT
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Electrician
Mostly I've done them myself, only take them to a hydraulic shop if I can't handle it. Biggest challenge is dismantling without a proper fixture. A real shop will have equipment to turn big high torque nuts & tricky gland plugs. My Case backhoes have only two holes in the face of the gland, uses a special spanner. First boom cylinder we did, it was a homemade spanner with a ten foot handle. Took me & Seth all day to free it. We had to use heat, a smoky, messy process. These have about a 6" long fine thread. We got it out a way & it had red Loctite. Miserable job. Different backhoe, same boom cylinder, I believe it had been shot. Looked like a bullet dented the barrel of the cylinder. I took it to a faraway hydraulic shop. they built a new barrel & piston, cost $1300.
Another cylinder, stabilizer cylinder in this case, we rattled on the piston bolt with a 1" impact wrench an hour, couldn't make it budge. I took it to the same hydraulic shop. They had a hydraulic "wrench". Broke three Chinese sockets before explaining the old owner took much of his tooling with him.
Hydraulic shop in Eastern New York State, I called the Case dealer in Western New Hampshire, 100 miles away. The service manager said "Get it here by 4:00, we'll do it today. I rolled in about 4:06, 5:55 I was on my way home with a rebuilt cylinder with a wet coat of paint. If I recall it cost about $250. for them to seal it. I had bought the seal kit from them earlier.
 

aighead

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Apr 25, 2019
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Dayton, OH
The only real struggle we had, that my guy commented on, was how tight the hydraulic lines were. We opened 4 of them, I think, and he said all were way tighter than they needed to be. I know the couple times I've replaced hoses I made them as tight as I could. He said that was unnecessary, hand-tight, then a little more.
 

Welder Dave

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Someone mentioned on here that once a fitting has been overly tightened it may have to be tightened that tight again so it doesn't leak. I think the flare gets slightly deformed.
 

aighead

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Apr 25, 2019
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Dayton, OH
So...

I continue to wait. His responsiveness has dropped off. I've sent him a couple texts and he replies but I'm starting to get nervous about getting my hoe back in action. The last communication we had was him saying he wanted to call me to describe the trouble he's had, but that hasn't happened yet. This is a shame, he seems like a good guy and knowledgeable but I'm now starting to get tired of waiting on him. Theoretically, I have his address, should I need it. I hope I don't. It'll be 2 weeks that he's had the cylinders, tomorrow, and I need to get some stuff done.

He was pretty excited to get this job started and made it sound like it'd be done in a few days. He also claimed he had some much bigger jobs lined up but would work my cylinders in (not to mention a claim of family in the hospital getting brain surgery). Not sure what is true and what isn't.

He has not been paid a dime, yet.

Again, I'm learning lessons.
 

1693TA

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Farmington IL
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Wow; never expected to read any of this. I would put a call in and state you need to get the machine back in action and if he's not got the cylinders opened up, offer to take them someplace else. Express the critical need without anger, or arrogance/belligerence. Just kind of force the issue for an accurate update or status.
 

Vetech63

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Aug 10, 2016
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6,541
Location
Oklahoma
So...

I continue to wait. His responsiveness has dropped off. I've sent him a couple texts and he replies but I'm starting to get nervous about getting my hoe back in action. The last communication we had was him saying he wanted to call me to describe the trouble he's had, but that hasn't happened yet. This is a shame, he seems like a good guy and knowledgeable but I'm now starting to get tired of waiting on him. Theoretically, I have his address, should I need it. I hope I don't. It'll be 2 weeks that he's had the cylinders, tomorrow, and I need to get some stuff done.

He was pretty excited to get this job started and made it sound like it'd be done in a few days. He also claimed he had some much bigger jobs lined up but would work my cylinders in (not to mention a claim of family in the hospital getting brain surgery). Not sure what is true and what isn't.

He has not been paid a dime, yet.

Again, I'm learning lessons.
YIKES!!!! I believe I would get those cylinders picked up soon. Do you have a local dealer that can do the reseal? Hell, ANY dealer can reseal those if you supply the seal kits.
 

Willie B

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Mount Tabor VT
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I've found hydraulic rebuilder companies are BUSY. Winter is when contractors take care of issues that can wait. Less proactive owners wait for summer, combined with the work load of a machine that unexpectedly breaks, their work load rises sharply!
Cassella is the big trash hauler over a large region in several states. They also have a big earthmoving operation in VT. They have a hydraulic shop also. They are the only hydraulic shop in this area. The shop was run my identical twins. They have been notoriously slow to do work for low volume customers.
One brother went on his own. A few weeks after he left Cassella, I needed a new barrel for a cylinder. I approached him about it & was disappointed to see a build up of work waiting for his attention. I left it with him, & called after a few weeks. He gave promises, but didn't keep them. I called weekly a few more weeks. Finally he told me he was buried in work. A BIG limestone operation wanted him 4 days a week & were pressuring him for 5.

Other hydraulic shops gave similar answers.

I needed a machinist, I could disassemble & reassemble. I spoke to a few machine shops. Most were weeks or months out.

I tracked down a NOS replacement in California. $2800. plus shipping, plus tax. I bought it & it arrived defective. It was a problem I could resolve, but I felt the price too steep for a defective part. It was take it or leave it. They did have two more they would send. I asked for a photo & the others were the same as the first. I sent it back.

Seth went back on the computer searched for component parts for this cylinder. This time he got a hit 70 miles from home. New barrel, and a packing kit were under $400. including shipping & tax.

I fear you need to become a mechanic to reseal your cylinders.
 

aighead

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Your comments are my concerns Willie. IF he's telling the truth I could understand being busy and he mentioned some clients that, again, if true could keep him quite busy. I'm really ok with that but if that's the case he left me with different expectations... I'll give him a call and get an update. I've got to figure, if nothing else, he wants paid.
 

Welder Dave

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It almost sounds like the guy hasn't done many cylinders like your's before and it's not going as easy as he thought. I like the idea of saying you have a job that needs to be done by such and such a time in order to gently push him to give your job more priority. If he can't give you a reasonable time, pick them up and go somewhere else.
 

OzDozer

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Semi-Retired ..
Too many people over-estimate their ability to complete repair jobs, and too many take on more work than they can complete within a satisfactory time frame. I know I've been guilty of this, and I'm no orphan.

It's time to call him and cordially express your dissatisfaction with his performance, and set a firm date for return of the completed job - and notification that if the new deadline isn't met, you will take back control of the job and hand it to someone else, or finish it yourself.
 

Willie B

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Mount Tabor VT
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One man shops are usually using homemade tools. Efficient hydraulic cylinder work requires good tooling to do it efficiently. A simple repack needs a hydraulic power to disassemble & reassemble. I was in one shop where it was all built in the shop by one man. He had overhead crane to move the biggest ones, a hydraulic table where he secured the cylinder, & a set of shop made spanners to dismantle the many varieties of cylinders. A hydraulic pusher hung from a track & he used it to push on the spud wrench or spanner. He had a hydraulic puller to pull pistons when they were stubborn. He even had a rig 24' tall to pull pistons from telescopic dump truck cylinders.

A man in a garage can reseal smaller cylinders, but it gets difficult when a stubborn one is encountered.

Bigger shops seem few & far between. They prioritize their regular customers. You with one backhoe likely won't get attention until all the customers who bring cylinders regularly are served, maybe never.
 

fast_st

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Mass
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New cylinder barrels are honed and the surface is not rough. Don't confuse engine cylinder honing with hydraulics as they are similar, but much different. Many cylinder barrels are 'lapped" after honing to yield both a proper dimension and a surface finish in microinches.
I'm not a professional, more of a hack :) Had to rebuild scratched brake accumulators on a 644e loader, dealer only sells new ones and seals, no rebuilding. I used a 180 grit engine hone to remove all the scratches then realized this is an o-ring not a chrome piston ring. I wrapped the engine hone with scotch pad and had a diesel fuel wash every few minutes and kept going till no more anything came out in the rinse. been running 7 years now. Also had to make my own recharge tool
 
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