Monday, July 31, 2017

The Mechanically Inept Is Still Working on the Rebuild of a Hyd. Cylinder

OK, once I verified the size and ordered a rebuild kit I thought I was done messing with this hydraulic cylinder until the USPS delivers my parts.

I was wrong.

After shining a headlamp down into the cylinder and seeing stuff I didn’t much like, I checked in with The Brother, the real mechanic in the family. When he finally stopped laughing at my misguided efforts, he advised that before I start messing around with the rebuild kit I better take a Scotch-bright to the inside of the cylinder to clean it up as best I can.

And here I was thinking that I could take a break while those neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night people did their thing (OK, full disclosure here, they may be pretty good about delivering mail in bad weather, but what stops our local Post Office in its tracks is anything that smacks of decent customer service. The very thought of it horrifies them!!)

So instead of moving on to less stressful things, I found myself still standing there at the bench confronted with the scattered bits (My bench looked a whole lot like a big-city emergency room floor at the end of a long Saturday night.) that once used to be my hydraulic cylinder; my expensive hydraulic cylinder. 

Since I can only get in through one end of this cylinder in order to 'Scotch-pad' it, I went and fetched a short length of pipe from the scrap bin, then had second thoughts about the advisability of banging around inside what is supposed to be a highly polished and flaw-free bore with something as hard as a metal pipe, so I put the pipe away and found a wooden stick in another scrap pile.

Going my brother one better, (because - well - that's in the how to be a brother rule book.) I decided to swab out the cylinder with a rag soaked in mineral spirits first, just in case there were any little bits of hard particles lurking inside that might score the bore in combination with a Scotch-bright.

I don’t know for a fact that it actually did any good, but seeing the gunk that came out made me feel better anyway.

Now it was time for the Scotch-bright

Although it wasn’t an exact match, all that stroking and turning and stroking reminded me of a favorite teenage-boy activity, probably because my arm soon got tired in pretty much the same way.

While that memory was entertaining, I realized cleaning up the bore like this was going to take forever,

so I came up with an alternative solution.

Once the exposed screw-head was chucked into my drill things went much faster.

While I never did make the ring in the bore where the outer O-ring of the gland rests disappear completely, it did get a whole lot smoother and I figured that was good enough since that O-ring is not where the leak was anyway. (It was leaking where the shaft comes through the gland.)

So with one final swipe of a clean rag down the bore, I sealed up the end

And was finally able to set all the bits aside

to wait for the new parts to arrive. Which probably won’t be long since within an hour of placing my order with Circle G Tractor Parts they had pulled my order, packaged it up, got it out the door and emailed me a tracking number.


  1. Your post office customer service or lack thereof reminded me of my small town fiasco called the USPS. When I was wheeling and dealing sports memorabilia for a living, I bought a college football program below market value. With some better photos of it and a rewritten sales ad I could get almost all or pretty close to the full value of the program and make a profit.

    It was shipped between two pieces of cardboard for protection against any idiots. It was also shipped in the Postal Services Priority Mail with the words "DO NOT BEND" stamped multiple times on both sides of the USPS Priority then cardboard envelope.

    When something doesn't bend because it's between two pieces of cardboard, you just have to try harder .... so they did and bent that $650 program right down the center. If they didn't bend it how else would it fit in the largest mailbox you could buy where they could slide a 24" box with ease and had plenty of room for their 8-1/2" x 11" envelope.

    When it took the bend program and tried to explain what had happen and why I was pissed ... they looked at me as if I had just driven in from Mars.

    I won't say a lot about your teenage activity except the joke on the aircraft carrier was about the guy that got caught and went to captain's mast. He told the skipper of the ship, "It's mine and I'll stroke it as fast as I want" ... the skipper replied ... "that's fine, you get 3 days in the brig with bread and water".

    1. I just send a DVD of wedding photos to my sisters in a priority mail envelope and when it arrived the contents had magically been transformed into a handful of circle-segments, and every time I order a half-dozen or so puzzles, enough for free shipping, the shipping box has arrived with big dents and crushed corners, fortunately the USPS has never managed to actually damage any of the puzzles.

  2. Make a couple of corrections to that post ... change "stroke it" to "wash it" and ... "When it took" to "When I took" .... thanks

    1. If you know of a way for me to actually edit incoming comments I'll be glad to make the changes, but at this time I don't know how. . .
      Oh, and the shipping wars get even worse as you'll see in the next post.