One Hydraulic Troubleshooting Tool You Can’t Do Without

heatgunThis question from one of our members is relevant to all hydraulic machine owners and users:

“What is the most effective and efficient method to diagnose internal leakage on mobile construction equipment; e.g Backhoe or Skid Steer Loader — WITHOUT the aid of diagnostic tools, such as pressure gauges and flow meters.”

It’s not a bad question. But upon deeper analysis it smacks of ‘silver-bullet’ seeking. The revealing phrases are “most effective and efficient method” and “without the aid of… pressure gauges and flow meters”.

It’s human nature to seek maximum gain from minimum effort. Even if it’s not realistic.… continue reading »

One Hydraulic Filter Location That Must Be Avoided

Cracked pump housing -- installer FORGOT to connect the case drain line!

My previous blog-post featured this picture of a cracked, piston-pump housing. One of our members made the comment that for this to happen, the pump’s rotating group would have to have failed and come apart in a spectacular way. Not so. And based on my long experience in the hydraulics repair biz, such an event being the cause of a cracked housing is a rare occurrence indeed.

Furthermore, a cracked pump or motor housing due to a restricted (or blocked) case-drain line is far more common than you might think. Of course, if you forget to connect the drain line in the first place, you effectively turn the pump or motor housing into a pressure vessel–something it’s not intended to be.… continue reading »

How To NOT Destroy a New Hydraulic Component

IMG_3216A checklist is a simple ‘tool’ that serves a very important function: to INFORM and REMIND. In so doing, mistakes or omissions resulting from ignorance and/or memory lapse — and which can easily result in the rapid destruction of a hydraulic component — can be prevented.

For example, here’s an instructive story sent to me by Hydraulics Pro Club member Rich Catalo:

“We deal with a very large dock and dredge company. They have many pieces of hydraulic equipment from different manufacturers.

The last call I received was over a tech that removed a hydraulic cylinder that was in need of a reseal.continue reading »