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Hydraulic Cylinder Repair

Specializing in hydraulic repair, Yates' is prepared to handle your hydraulic cylinder repair 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Keep your equipment powering forward with our industry-leading hydraulic cylinder repair services

Whether you’re working with an inefficient cylinder or recently experienced a catastrophic failure, find the solutions you need at Yates. We can diagnose, repair and test all sizes and applications of hydraulic systems to keep you at the forefront of your industry.

In addition to cylinder repairs we also offer expert hydraulic cylinder rebuild services and replacement hydraulic cylinders.

Signs Your Cylinder Requires Repair Services

There are a number of safety and efficiency concerns related to a damaged hydraulic cylinder. Compare these signs and symptoms of a damaged hydraulic system to see if you need our hydraulic cylinder repair services for your equipment:

  • Compromised cylinder mountings
  • Leaking hydraulic fluid
  • Cracked piston, barrel or other components

Cylinder mounts need to be secure to prevent the pressure of your hydraulic system from separating the cylinder from your equipment. A leaking line or cylinder is typically caused by a broken seal or compromised fitting. Finally, cracks, rust or other structural damage to your cylinder need to be repaired immediately to prevent sudden failure.

Not all cylinder issues offer warning signs. Sudden failure requires emergency repair services. Our team of skilled technicians can rapidly respond to your emergency situation to minimize downtime and prevent further damage to your industrial equipment.

hydraulic cylinder repair

Contact Yates Cylinders

Fill out the form below to contact our hydraulic cylinder repair experts. A Yates Cylinders associate will contact you within one business day.

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How Do You Tell If a Hydraulic Cylinder Is Leaking?

hydraulic cylinder rebuildThe best way to confirm if your machine leaks is to clean the cylinder with soap and water and inspect for anything abnormal. You want to check for external damage to the barrel or rod, which could be impacting the cylinder barrel. Another sign of a hydraulic oil leak is a crack around the clevis area. If you notice any external damage, further investigation is warranted. To do a more thorough inspection, it is best to have a professional remove the cylinder from its housing. A technician can inspect and measure all diameters to ensure they are properly aligned.

What Are the Causes of Leaking Hydraulic Cylinders?

Often referred to as a cylinder bypass, various factors may cause a leaking hydraulic cylinder. These reasons include:

  • Worn or outdated hydraulic cylinder piston seals.
  • Internal damage to cylinder components, including the seals, piston or barrel.
  • Piston nut loosening or dirty hydraulic oil.
  • Metal particles seeping into the cylinder’s internal components.

A leaking hydraulic cylinder can also be caused by a bulging barrel in the machine’s center, causing uneven distribution. This situation causes the oil to travel around the piston and fail to hold the load the stroke requires.

Can You Stop a Leaking Hydraulic Cylinder?

The best way to stop a hydraulic cylinder from leaking is to have a technician perform a seal replacement. However, a seal replacement is only an option if all other parts of the cylinder are in good working condition. Technicians can use OEM or aftermarket seals, which can be sourced from a variety of wholesalers. Generally, a technician will need to remove the cylinder from the housing, strip its mechanisms, clean the components and measure all parts so it can be rebuilt.

As a leading manufacturer of hydraulic cylinders, we understand and repair all makes and models of cylinders for a variety of industries. Don’t let a specialized cylinder type prevent you from enjoying affordable and timely repairs. Our expert team can troubleshoot any issue, offer a failure analysis report and provide expedited repair services. If you can’t wait for a rebuild service or need extensive repairs and replacement parts, a new cylinder or replacement hydraulic cylinder may be an affordable option.

How Do You Remove a Damaged Hydraulic Cylinder?

Safety is the primary consideration when removing a damaged hydraulic cylinder. First, you need to examine the unit and take note of all components. Understanding the hydraulic system and if there are any stored energy sources present is vital to preventing injury. Stored energy sources may be from accumulators or a heavy load on the cylinder.

Second, the unit must be isolated and adequately classified, so it is not mixed up with other machines nearby. Once you have tagged the device and verified there is no stored energy source, remove both ends that attach the cylinder to the hydraulic unit. Before you complete this step, ensure the cylinder is not pressurized. Check the clevis pins and see if they can be moved. If the pins are too tight to move, a heavy load may still be acting on the cylinder. You will need the assistance of an engineering specialist to remove the clevis pins if they are too tight to remove manually.

Lastly, make sure you have the proper cleaning equipment to complete the removal. Removing a cylinder from its housing can be a messy job and oil spills are common. Plug the hydraulic hoses and ports to limit the risk of an oil spill. The cylinder can be removed from the housing once the ends and pins have been removed and stored.

How Do You Disassemble a Hydraulic Cylinder?

Disassembling a cylinder is a complex process and is best left to a professional with specialized hydraulics experience. However, it is important to understand the steps involved if you regularly work with cylinders. First, you need to identify the cylinder type. Some cylinders are small and can be removed and disassembled without specialized tools. Most cylinders, however, are large enough to require specialized equipment to separate the cylinder from the boom assembly. The piston nut also needs to be removed with controlled hydraulic pressure to ensure the safety of everyone on site.

You must make sure you have the proper equipment to hold the cylinder barrel securely. Tools are also required to retain the glands to the cylinder barrel during the process. Sometimes glands are welded to the cylinder and need to be removed with heavy-duty equipment. If the gland is welded to the cylinder, the unit may be unable to be repaired economically.  If the glands are not fused to the unit, you can remove them with a wrench or socket set.

After the gland is removed, the rod needs to be fortified by a specific bench clamp to remove other components safely. The main element that should be removed at this time is the piston nut. Extra care must be taken to ensure no part of the cylinder is damaged during the removal process.

Tips on How To Repair a Hydraulic Cylinder

While you may think that hydraulic cylinder repair is an easy task, but as with many projects, it can quickly become complicated when you don’t have the right preparation, expertise, or tools. At Yates Cylinders, we understand that desperate times call for desperate measures, so we want to provide guidance for our customers who want to try and address issues themselves before calling in the professionals.

The following instructions should get your hydraulic cylinder back into production. By performing these suggested steps, you should be able to stop a leaking cylinder. If not, remember that we are committed to serving you with 24/7 emergency service at all our locations.


The proper preparation can set you up for an easier and quicker hydraulic cylinder rebuild. First, clean the unit. Once the cylinder is clean, disconnect the hoses and plug both the ports and hoses securely. Now you can remove and clean the unit. Drain the hydraulic fluid by opening the cylinder ports.
Once you have drained the hydraulic fluid, you should identify the type of cylinder. The most common ones are either wire ring or threaded head cylinders. Now you can assemble your tools to disassemble, repair, and reassemble the cylinder. You will need one or more of the following:

  • Cleaning rags
  • Compressed air
  • Emery cloth
  • Pliers
  • Petroleum-based solvent
  • Proper seal kit
  • Punch
  • Rubber mallet
  • Screwdriver
  • Torque wrench

Repairing a Wire Ring Cylinder

You’ll need to disassemble the wire ring cylinder by retracting the rod assembly ad removing the external steel wire ring. Remove accumulated dirt or oil from around the cylinder head. Using your mallet or punch, push the head into the cylinder tube until you can see the internal groove and reach the internal wire ring. Using the plastic removal ring from the seal kit, insert it into the internal groove with the feathered end pointed toward the tube.

Hold one end of the ring tightly in the groove with a screwdriver while inserting the other end into the groove. Both tips should snap in fully and securely before attempting to remove the rod to prevent them from being caught between the head and tube. You should now be able to extend the rod to pull the head from the tube.

Take out the removal ring as well as the locknut, piston, and head. Clean with the solvent, then closely inspect the parts for damage like the presence of burrs, scratches, or scuffs. Polish and smooth as needed. Now you can access the seals for replacement.

Repairing a Threaded Head Cylinder

Begin your threaded head cylinder disassembly by loosening the set screw and the end cap and removing the piston, rod, and gland assemblies. Loosen the lock nut to remove the piston from the rod assembly. Once the piston is out of the way, remove the seals and clean parts with the solvent. Inspect the cylinder tube, rod, and piston for damage and polish where necessary.

Replace seals and reinstall the rod, then secure the piston to the rod with the lock nut. Lubricate the seals and inside the tube with hydraulic oil, then install the piston, gland, end cap, and rod. You can use Loctite anti-seize on the threads before replacing the cylinder end-cap. Finally, tighten the cylinder and set the screw to the appropriate torque.

After Cylinder Repair

After the repair, you should be able to diagnose the cause of the issue by examining the type of damage. This step is critical to keep from repeating the rebuild and repair process. Our experienced technicians can help you to identify signs of problems and address the source of the problem.

Types of Cylinders We Repair

Tie-Rod Units Cylinders

Tie-rod cylinders are among the most common cylinders in the U.S. They are held together by several threaded tie bolts that secure two end caps to the unit’s barrel. The bolts also secure the baseplate and the head to the cylinder tube. Tie-rod cylinders typically come equipped with seals to prevent leakage. These units come in both small-bore and large-bore iterations. Small-bore units have four rods, while larger units can have 20 or more rods. Yates performs hydraulic cylinder replacement on both small and large bore tie rod cylinders. These units are relatively easy to disassemble for service, repair or customization.

Welded Cylinders

Welded cylinders come with the end caps welded to the machine’s barrel. Other components, including the mounts, are welded to the lid. While these designs are sturdy and dependable, they are not easy to disassemble and repair. If your welded cylinder needs to be repaired, you may need to purchase a new unit. Yates can help you decided the best course of action for your welded hydraulic cylinder rebuild process.

Mill-Duty Cylinders

Mill-duty cylinders are used in a variety of heavy-duty applications, including construction, manufacturing and aeronautics. Mill-duty units are equipped with sturdy wall tubing, chrome-plated rods and high-load pistons to accommodate heavy loads. While these units are built to last harsh environments, they need to be repaired on occasion. Yates performs hydraulic cylinder replacement services on mill-duty cylinders of all sizes.

Single-Acting Hydraulic Cylinders

Single-acting cylinders are used in applications that require a push or pull force. Therefore, the unit’s hydraulic fluid only works on one side of the piston rod. The other force is typically produced by the weight of the load and pulls the cylinder in the opposite direction.  Many businesses use single-acting cylinders because of the simplistic design. Maintenance is a simple task and Yates can repair and replace most single-acting cylinders quickly and efficiently.

Double-Acting Hydraulic Cylinders

Construction companies commonly utilize double hydraulic cylinders because they are easier to control than single-acting units. A large amount of pressurized fluid moves consistently across the length of the piston, allowing the operator to achieve the desired motion quickly. Yates performs hydraulic cylinder repair and replacement services on double-acting units.

Custom Cylinders

Yates employs a team of engineers and designers who are experienced in rebuilding and repairing custom hydraulic cylinders. Whether you have a custom hydraulic cylinder or a pneumatic cylinder, we can help you. We service a variety of cylinders including single-acting, double-acting, mill-duty, small-bore and more.

Our Engineering Expertise

Our hydraulic cylinder rebuild and repair services harness the latest CAD technology to provide sophisticated answers to your hydraulic questions or issues. A custom system requires custom solutions, so our engineering team can design the exact replacement part you need. Our in-house fabrication team will create the custom components necessary to keep your facility operational with minimal downtime.

A critical component of our engineering services is our testing process. We use test stands with up to 10,000 PSI capabilities and load cells that can operate with up to 250,000 pounds of force. We also use cycle testing to ensure any new or rebuilt components are ready for the demands of your company.

Machining New Components

As part of our full-service cylinder repair services, we offer a range of custom components and machining capabilities. We have the expertise to create components up to 27 feet long and 65 inches in diameter. We can repair and rebuild even the most expansive hydraulic systems. Here are some of the equipment our machining department uses to meet your needs:

  • CNC machines
  • OD grinders
  • Radial arm drills
  • Boring mills
  • Manual lathes

If you don’t need a custom component for your hydraulic repairs, we’ll search our large inventory of parts and equipment for an off-the-shelf replacement. Installing finished goods in your hydraulic system reduces the cost and time of a cylinder repair service.

Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild

Contact us today to learn more about our expert repair services. No need to continue to battle with a leaking, inefficient cylinder, when you can update your equipment and keep your company operating efficiently with emergency repairs and preventative maintenance from Yates Cylinders.

Emergency Line:
(800) 340-6024
Yates Michigan:
(586) 778-7680
Yates Alabama:
(256) 351-8081
Yates Georgia:
(678) 355-2240
Yates Ohio:
(513) 217-6777