Author Topic: Shop Crane Leaks Down  (Read 1569 times)

Jim Herrud

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Shop Crane Leaks Down
« on: March 20, 2019, 01:01:01 AM »
I was walking through Harbor Freight long ago and discovered a 2-Ton folding shop crane on deep discount. I wasn't in need of a crane at that time, but I was surprised with the beefy construction and decent weld quality. I normally limit my H.F. tool-buying to technology in the "crowbar" category, but in a weak moment, I bought it and squirreled it away.

Now that I've got a need, it is set-up and in use, but I may have discovered why it was such a screaming deal. The hydraulic ram slowly leaks down. By slow, I mean, with my 289 on the boom, it drops about 1"/min. With only the boom weight, it sinks about 0.25"/min. This makes for anxious moments while installing and removing the engine in my nicely-painted bay. I've been moving the engine in and out repeatedly in order to resolve my Mustang's bent-frame issues and also am trying to fit several custom items. It would help if I could lock the ram and have it stay in place like my 1982-vintage Sears floor jack. If it's feasible, it would also be a bonus if I could get a finer adjustment on the pressure release (boom lowering control).

I tried bleeding the system. I didn't think that would help and it didn't, but the manual had the procedure, so what the heck. Any suggestions to resolve this? Would it make sense to take the Chinese "Pittsburgh"-brand 8-Ton ram to a local hydraulics shop for a valve job, or is that just throwing good money after bad on a low-quality tool? If I get a new ram, any suggestions for brands or sources for a good-quality replacement? The frame works great if I could get a decent ram in it.

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Bob Gaines

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Re: Shop Crane Leaks Down
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 01:46:24 AM »
I was walking through Harbor Freight long ago and discovered a 2-Ton folding shop crane on deep discount. I wasn't in need of a crane at that time, but I was surprised with the beefy construction and decent weld quality. I normally limit my H.F. tool-buying to technology in the "crowbar" category, but in a weak moment, I bought it and squirreled it away.

Now that I've got a need, it is set-up and in use, but I may have discovered why it was such a screaming deal. The hydraulic ram slowly leaks down. By slow, I mean, with my 289 on the boom, it drops about 1"/min. With only the boom weight, it sinks about 0.25"/min. This makes for anxious moments while installing and removing the engine in my nicely-painted bay. I've been moving the engine in and out repeatedly in order to resolve my Mustang's bent-frame issues and also am trying to fit several custom items. It would help if I could lock the ram and have it stay in place like my 1982-vintage Sears floor jack. If it's feasible, it would also be a bonus if I could get a finer adjustment on the pressure release (boom lowering control).

I tried bleeding the system. I didn't think that would help and it didn't, but the manual had the procedure, so what the heck. Any suggestions to resolve this? Would it make sense to take the Chinese "Pittsburgh"-brand 8-Ton ram to a local hydraulics shop for a valve job, or is that just throwing good money after bad on a low-quality tool? If I get a new ram, any suggestions for brands or sources for a good-quality replacement? The frame works great if I could get a decent ram in it.


I have a fixed harbor freight lift (25yrs) and a collapsible comparable lift (15yrs) that now after 25 years (fixed) leaks down but maybe only a inch every half hour if pumped up. That is still plenty of time to do what I have to do. It also leaks hydraulic fluid from the seal too. I need to replace it but I always seem to find something else to do . I don't think it is worth the money to fix the jack portion that leaks in todays world of parts and labor rates although I have never gone to the trouble of checking. I know harbor freight sells replacement which I will probably buy when it gets worse. They are cheap and you get ones that last forever and some that last 20 some years of use like mine and others that only last to just past the warranty period.  Sorry to hear you are having the problem . I suppose your choices are- get the replacement jack portion from harbor freight and roll the dice or buy a new /used name brand version for a lot more money. I bet you can't find a replacement name brand type jack portion to replace yours for less then it would cost to buy a brand new complete one from HF including a extended warranty. It happens . It is $hitty . Don't dwell on it and move on. Best of luck on the next one what ever you decide.
Bob Gaines,Shelby Enthusiast, Shelby Collector , Shelby Concours judge SAAC,MCA,Mid America Shelby

roddster

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Re: Shop Crane Leaks Down
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 10:16:49 AM »
  I built one years ago copying the dimentions from the Harbor Freight type.  Best of all, you can buy a replacement lift cylinder from H/F too.  Don't forget your 20% off coupon.

kjspeed

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Re: Shop Crane Leaks Down
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 10:36:25 AM »
My brother-in-law owns a hydraulic repair shop. I've stopped asking him about repairing relatively inexpensive hydraulic rams because it's never cost-effective. You could buy several replacement rams from H/F with your 20% off coupon for the time and cost of repairing one correctly. Otherwise, you could rig something up that would "lock" the arm in position - just be sure to over-engineer it so there is zero chance of mishaps.
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gt350hr

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Re: Shop Crane Leaks Down
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 12:07:35 PM »
Marvel Mystery oi , it fixes everything LOL. Seriously , I have friends that have added a "small" amount of it to a hydraulic jack and the leakdown stopped.  What the heck at this point you have nothing to lose. New rams are cheaper than having one rebuilt for sure
  Randy
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CSX 4133

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Re: Shop Crane Leaks Down
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 01:13:14 PM »

It might be that the check balls in the system could be sticking or the seats have a nick or piece of dirt in them holding the reservoir check ball open. In either case, as was mentioned, a new ram is relatively inexpensive assuming the frame is worthy.