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Thread: Is my bottle jack dead?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Is my bottle jack dead?

    I bought a 2 ton bottle jack from HF 12 years ago and used it for 3 years to put my small sailboat trailer on stands over the winter. Then I sold the boat and the jack just sat on a shelf.
    Last year I bought another boat and used the jack again. Today I noticed it was leaking oil when I released the pressure. I am going to guess it was used maybe 20 times, which doesn't seem like much.

    So, is it dead? Can it be used while leaking? Can it be refilled? Can a seal be fixed?
    They don't even have one this small anymore, but a 4 ton is $15.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    From HF? I'll bet it's dead. Ya gets what ya pays for.

  3. #3
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    The seals are probably dried out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    Don't take the bleed screw all the way out, thinking to refill it there. There should be another screw on it for adding oil. You may have just backed the release screw out too far, causing it to leak. It might still raise something, but make leak down. For $15, I wouldn't bother with it.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    I bought a 2 ton bottle jack from HF 12 years ago and used it for 3 years to put my small sailboat trailer on stands over the winter. Then I sold the boat and the jack just sat on a shelf.
    Last year I bought another boat and used the jack again. Today I noticed it was leaking oil when I released the pressure. I am going to guess it was used maybe 20 times, which doesn't seem like much.

    So, is it dead? Can it be used while leaking? Can it be refilled? Can a seal be fixed?
    They don't even have one this small anymore, but a 4 ton is $15.
    They do tend to leak when they get old. The screw you tighten to allow it to jack if you remove that you can fill it there with jack oil. It won't be a permanent fix and don't depend on it anymore like it was new. It can leak out at any time and let down what you are using it on. They can be restored however that's a lot of work so it would be easier to just replace the jack.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    From HF? I'll bet it's dead. Ya gets what ya pays for.
    Itís 15 years old and likely has been sitting in a garage the whole time. Seals go bad whether itís from HF or name brand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    NW Indiana
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    If I have any questions about If a jack is ok, it is either fixed or tossed. To me it is a safety issue and will not use a marginal jack.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    The quickest way to screw up a bottle jack is to take the release valve all the way out, and try to fill it there. There is a port for filling:
    https://www.wikihow.com/Add-Oil-to-a-Hydraulic-Jack I have a bunch of 20 ton bottle jacks, and when they go bad, they leak down holding a load before they start losing oil. I've never bothered to try to rebuild one, as even the 20 tons are cheap these days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Where does it leak? A rebuild kit is going to cost around $30 or more. It may be a welded cylinder which can not be resealed. If it is just the pump that should be cheap enough to get that one seal.
    Bil lD.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    It’s 15 years old and likely has been sitting in a garage the whole time. Seals go bad whether it’s from HF or name brand.
    I have a couple of 25+ year old mid-priced jacks & neither of them leak. They go many years between use.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    From HF? I'll bet it's dead. Ya gets what ya pays for.
    Yep. $1.33 per year ain't bad.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
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    If it's not leaking around the ram then the only other place they sometimes leak is the piston on the pump. Most have a nut that can be tightened on the pump piston that tightens down on the packing. Tom is correct that there should be a plug on the side of the body for adding fluid. The screw/plug you tighten and loosen will have a spring and check ball behind it. You have nothing to lose by trying to fix it.

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