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Fix Your Floor Jack

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DIY: Floor Jack O-ring Rebuild

MVS Contributor CN90 — author of well over a dozen DIYs in the Volvo Repair Database — writes another outstanding DIY, this time for floor jacks… specifically, fixing leaks on them. Generally speaking, if a floor jack fails and it’s not an internal or external leak, it’s a structural failure and you’d want to send it to floor jack heaven rather than risk a limb using it under a two-ton car or SUV.

CN90:

Some Background Info

  • My local tire shop uses Snap-on floor jack ($500-$600/each), and even with Snap-on and the amount of cars they jack per day, the shop owner tells me the jack usually lasts one year, then it won’t lift the vehicle (INTERNAL leak). But he never has an EXTERNAL leak from Snap-on. The shop owner usually buys another cylinder (“hydraulic ram”)for $250.
    If you have this problem: you can still rebuild it using appropriate kits/O-rings, search youtube for DIYs for INTERNAL leak.
  • My problem with Harbor Freight 2-ton jack is the opposite: it always lifts the car but oil starts leaking after 6-12 months. I have tossed a few of these cheap jacks over the years. This is jack #4 during the last 10 years. Sears, Torin are not better since they come from the same factory.
    Reading review online tells me that the EXTERNAL leak has to do with O-ring and nothing to do with the price of the jack, whether it is HF Pittsburgh, Sears, Torin, or Lincoln etc.
  • I don’t want to dump more stuff in the landfill if I don’t have to. So I decide to tackle this project. I am glad I did this rebuild: less waste in the landfill sites!

Parts and Tools

  • O-ring set from HF: $5
  • Hydraulic Oil: $5
  • Adjustable wrench, screwdriver, snap-ring pliers.


Another MVS Contributor comments:

Nice write up. My harbor freight jack is holding up well but I did throw a sears jack a few years ago that I bet I could have saved.

DIY: Floor Jack O-ring Rebuild

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