Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded

   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded #1  


Silver Member
Jan 22, 2022
ford 3000 and MF35

I'm new to hydraulic cylinder repair, and was wondering if I could have some advice on the cylinders I have and how to go about repairs. I bought a second hand loader recently and am making repairs as I fit it to my Massey 35.

Photo one shows the cylinder. There's weld on both ends and the only removable part I can see is an internal spring clip, which appears to retain the end seal. This clip has a 1/2" (12mm) gap, as seen in photo two, but no "eyes" to apply pliers to. I'm guessing that this clip retains the seal at that end. My question is, how do I open this cylinder? Does it involve removing that clip? If so, how to do that?

Thanks in advance.


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   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded #2  
Get a punch and hammer and push the gland (piece that holds the seals) in. This will expose the clip that you can then use a pick to pull it out. Once the clip is out, you can pull the rod out. It may put a little bit of a fight as it looks like it hasn't come apart in a long time.

The gland has a chamfer or a tapper that pushes and locks the clip in place as the cylinder works.
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded #3  
Seem to me first hing is to remove clip.... Need a pointy or blade to insert betweeen clip and housing at the gap and try to get clip to bend in and release from its groove.... Once clip is out more secret may be revealed..
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded
  • Thread Starter
Thanks WranglerX and ptsg. I was wondering if I needed that clip out and with you both thinking so, I'll go to it.
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded
  • Thread Starter
Clip removed - there was a hole in the outer surface through which a pin could drive it from it's groove.
I then used the momentum of the shaft to pull the gland out.
Now I can see inside the bore, there's a light gritty rust covering a substantial area inside. That would explain the scraping feeling I was getting when operating the cylinder dry.
Does that rust matter to the function of the cylinder, given this is a single action cylinder and there's nothing moving/sealing across that bore surface?
And is honing the bore to clean it up so the rust doesn't contaminate the fluid a good idea?
Thanks for your thoughts.
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded #6  
Being a single acting cylinder, it should be ok to have some pitting. Trying to clean the rust out is definitely a good a idea. You don't want any of that stuff coming loose and contaminate the fluid. It's the end of the world on that tractor but if you can avoid it, the better.

I've used a long rod with just a wire wheel at the end, powered by a cordless drill for similar purposes before. Ideally you want a size slightly bigger than the bore so it kinda preloads itself.
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded #7  
I used to clean hydraulic cylinder bores up with a strip of 320 grit wetordry sandpaper wound around the end of a 5/8 dowel rod. A coping saw cut into the end of the dowel rod held the sandpaper into the cut and I wound a half dozen or more wraps - enough so it would clean up the bore and not come loose. Spin slowly with a power drill. Lube with diesel or light hydraulic fluid. Finish with 600 grit.

It's not uncommon for the hydraulic piston to have all the grooves and O ring surfaces. Packed hard with a combination of rust and fine oily dust.

Polish the rod as good as you can and it may surprise you by how well a new seal will work for you - especially on a single-acting cylinder. BTW, I changed my old JD model 46 loader from single to double acting found it to be worth doing.

Please be careful with the cylinder body in the vise. I'm sure you know this but for those that don't, but If the cylinder gets ovaled, it's ruined.
   / Hydraulic cylinder repair, welded
  • Thread Starter
Thanks rScotty and ptsg. I like both of your clean up ideas and tips. I'll see what I can find or put together to clean it out and will let you know what the end result is.