How to refill a leaking Sam's club "Michelin" floor jack



Way back when, in one or more newsgroups, I suggested the blue 3.5 ton
quick rise jack as sold by Sam's Club, to those who were looking for a
cheap, functional, and strong floor jack for home use. I wanted to
offer some tips I recently discovered when confronted with the problem
of fixing or replacing mine due to low fluid level. It should be
noted that I didn't "fix" it per se, but gave it a longer life. The
seals, even if available, wouldn't be worth spending money on when
this jack only leaks fluid a couple drops per year.

Here's a pic I found so you know which jack I'm talking about:
http://www.supermotors.net/getfile/310400/fullsize/P1010044.JPG

Having topped off hydraulic jacks and other types of chambers before,
this one turned out to be a bit more diffcult to fill than in past
experiences.

The symptom was that the jack would 'quick rise' OK, but after about
8" of loaded lifting, the functional stroke of the handle would start
decreasing, and by the time it was near fully lifted, there would
hardly be any stroke left.

Here's how to refill it (there may be easier ways but I couldn't get
it to work any other way):

1) Locate the magnetic parts bin and remove it from the jack frame.
This will uncover the three threaded plugs that are used to adjust or
service the jack. Look for the one "by itself"... IOW, two will be
close together, and the third one will be spaced apart from them.
Aquire at least one pint of new hydraulic jack oil. Don safety
apparel and position the jack over some rags or something very
absorbant. With the jack pad down and the handle valve released,
unscrew this plug, accurately counting the turns until it is
completely unthreaded. Do this slowly as fluid will come out under
slight pressure; it will make a mess. If you pulled out the correct
plug, it will have a small tip on the end of it that engages with a
spring inside the plug hole. Be sure to remember the number of
turns. Mine was threaded about 6.5 turns.

2) Kneel on the jack frame or otherwise keep it from lifting off the
ground, then grab the lift pad/saddle with one hand while holding the
oil bottle in the other hand. Keep in mind that as you lift the pad
through it's arc, there are braces going through complex motions, so
keep your fingers clear of this potentially pinchy situation. To
avoid moving parts, you can grab only the pad and lift up this way,
since it is made to stay in place (unlike with most jack saddles that
are designed to interchange easily).

3) Very slowly lift the pad while drizzling oil into the plug hole.
As you lift the pad/arm, the fluid level will lower in this hole. If
you hear an "air sucking" noise, you went too fast and/or didn't add
enough oil. Slower is better here.

4) Once you reach the top of the arm's range, you can push it slightly
further and it will go into the "service lock" position. This will
hold it up while you complete step 4. Now reinstall the plug
temporarily, atleast a few turns to make sure it doesn't leak.

5) "Unlock" the arm and let it fall to the bottom under it's own
weight and return spring pressure. Tighten the handle valve. Put
pressure on the pad with one hand so the quick lift feature doesn't
engage, and pump the jack up as high as it will go before the stroke
becomes less than 100% effective.

6) Postured as you were in step 2, grab the pad with one hand and keep
it in this position. Now open the handle valve with the other hand
and lower the handle to the floor if it isn't there already. Remove
the plug again while still holding the pad at this height. Repeat
steps 3 through 6 until you find that the jack exhibits 100% strokes
all the way up to full loaded position. This took me more steps than
I cared to count, but probably because of all the trial and error. I
would think you vould get it done in about 10 steps. It might take
1/2 hour at worst.

I think the internal quick rise feature is why A) there are 3 service
plugs and B) a standard reservoir fill and bleed wouldn't work for
me. HTH.

Toyota MDT in MO

.



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