Any updates on lift cylinder repair? - Team Camaro Tech
Convertibles Convertible Q&A's

 2Likes
  • 2 Post By DElsner
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 19, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

I have not found anything on repairing convertible top cylinders after about 2014 by searching the site. If you have had any success in replacing or repairing the rod seal, I'd love to hear about it.

I have removed the snap ring but nothing further as of yet. I can't see how a 3/8 ID o-ring that was mentioned in the sticky on this topic could ever be slipped over the big eye at the top of the rod!

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 19, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

OK, I have gone through what I think is a successful replacement of the shaft seals on my original 1969 power top cylinders. What I found was very different from what was discussed by MARTINSR, RSSSfanatic, Vintage 68 and chops in 2012-2013.

The "seal" immediately below the internal snap ring has nothing to do with sealing the system. It is a "wiper" that keeps dust and other crud from getting down into the real seal area of the cylinder. So, it is more of a "packing gland" as was mentioned, but it does not in any way provide the seal which prevents leaks.

The real seal is a standard O-ring farther down inside the head of the cylinder, but it is much larger than the 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD one stated in the post by chops.

I have taken many pictures of the repair process, which I will soon organize into a new series of posts on this topic. If the moderators and others like what they see, perhaps it could be incorporated into the existing "sticky" on the power top motor and lift cylinders. By the way, the entire repair cost me under two bucks.

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 19, 06:28 PM
Moderator
Kevin
 
KevinW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Millstone, NJ
Posts: 11,077
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DElsner View Post
OK, I have gone through what I think is a successful replacement of the shaft seals on my original 1969 power top cylinders. What I found was very different from what was discussed by MARTINSR, RSSSfanatic, Vintage 68 and chops in 2012-2013.

The "seal" immediately below the internal snap ring has nothing to do with sealing the system. It is a "wiper" that keeps dust and other crud from getting down into the real seal area of the cylinder. So, it is more of a "packing gland" as was mentioned, but it does not in any way provide the seal which prevents leaks.

The real seal is a standard O-ring farther down inside the head of the cylinder, but it is much larger than the 3/8" ID and 1/2" OD one stated in the post by chops.

I have taken many pictures of the repair process, which I will soon organize into a new series of posts on this topic. If the moderators and others like what they see, perhaps it could be incorporated into the existing "sticky" on the power top motor and lift cylinders. By the way, the entire repair cost me under two bucks.
Duke, I would be glad to make this a sticky! I have many used sets of rams and would love to fix them! Just let me know if you need help posting the thread.

Kevin


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
KevinW is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

Thanks Kevin, I'm about to start posting photos and comments. I'll just do it in this thread for now.

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

I recently rebuilt my convertible top motor and pump, thanks to the great advice posted by members on this site. That came out great, and with brand new power top hoses, I proceed to install my 50 year old power top cylinders. After a lengthy bleeding process, I connected the shafts to the convertible top mechanism and pressed the switch to watch it all work for the first time since 1989.

Of course, the top cylinders leaked at the top seal. Thirty years of sitting in storage was probably a bit hard on them. I've always been an "explorer" of mechanical assemblies, and firm believer in keeping things cheap, if possible. New top cylinders were not in my budget for this year, so I decided to operate and see if I could fix it myself.

What I found was not as discussed in the great "sticky" on convertible pumps and cylinders on this site, so I decided to write up my adventure for the sake of others with leaking cylinders. That's enough of an introduction (I did a lot of writing in my years of employment, so I can easily get too wordy - sorry!). The next post will start a series on replacing the top shaft seal of a lift cylinder.

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

Replacing the upper seal on a power top hydraulic cylinder can be done without disconnecting the power top hoses. In fact, the process I used actually utilizes the fluid pressure of the system to help with the disassembly.

If your old, original hoses they may be brittle and at risk of breaking during this operation. I had just replaced mine, so they were able to withstand a bit of manipulation.

Remove the big quarter brace and the closest metal spring clips that hold down the hoses. Disconnect the cylinder at the top mechanism and at the pivot point inside the quarter. You can then work the cylinder downward and forward out of the quarter. I did most of the rest of the work with the cylinder in a plastic container to avoid any spilling or leaking of the ATF onto the floor or rug.

The internal snap ring at the top of the cylinder is a tough one to get out. Clean this area very well before trying anything. Once the snap ring is out, if it needs to be replaced because of a bit of mangling during removal, it can be worked off of the shaft up where the shaft is machined into the attachment eye.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	brace and clip.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	148.0 KB
ID:	229413   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN2156.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	406.6 KB
ID:	229415  

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

Wrap a thick towel or plastic bag over the top of the cylinder (to protect your interior from a possible gush of ATF) and operate the power top pump for a few short strokes up and down. Finish on a down stroke but leave several inches of the shaft out of the cylinder.

If all goes well the pressure of the down strokes will actually push up the various parts that were held in by the snap ring. Even if you can only get the top part a little bit out of the head of the cylinder, it can then be extracted by gently prying it up with a small screwdriver or a tool like a dental pick. It is very important to not deform the metal of that top part that was under the snap ring. If the parts won’t come out with the pump pressure, then I don’t have any good advice on removing the top piece… just try to get it out without destroying it.

The parts under the snap ring are shown in this photo. The top one is a metal shield that fits over a fiber-like ring. The assembly of these two serves as a “wiper” to clean dust and debris off of the shaft before it can get down into the seal area. The next part is a very thin metal washer, then a small plastic washer, and finally the O-ring that does the sealing (or leaking). The thin washer and the plastic washer come out easily (they slid out when I turned over the cylinder). A small, hooked and pointed tool will help pull the O-ring out of the seat deep in the assembly.

Just cut the old O-ring off of the shaft. Clean the metal shield, metal washer and plastic washer in place on the shaft the best that you can. I dressed the surfaces of the metal parts with fine emery cloth to make sure the reassembly process would go smoothly. Then clean the groove for the snap ring and the seating area for the new O-ring.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	exploded named 2.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	430.4 KB
ID:	229417   Click image for larger version

Name:	O ring seat.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	407.6 KB
ID:	229419  

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
Team Member
Duke
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Posts: 304
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

I took the O-ring to the nearest hardware store and matched it up to a few new ones. For my situation the right O-ring was a 11/16 by ½ with a 3/32 thickness. I bought a few extras, anticipating the difficulty of the next step- stretching it over the top of the shaft and the rest of the other parts without destroying it.

I checked for sharp spots or burs on the top of the shaft, then used a little light oil to lubricate the O-ring. With care, it stretched over the shaft, and then I used small screwdrivers to work it over the other parts on the shaft.

The next step is to use a small, blunt-tipped tool (I used the butt-end of a little drill bit) to force the O-ring fully into the seat in the head of the cylinder.

Slide the rest of the parts back into place. Clean the snap ring and dress its top and bottom surfaces with emery cloth to make sure it would go in as easily as possible. It is a tight fit, you have to compress it to the point of binding on the shaft and then tap it in enough get one end to catch, then tap in the rest of it. Check to make sure it is well seated, as the “eyes” of the snap ring are very close to the shaft, and if improperly seated they could scar the shaft in operation.

Test the assembly for a few up and down cycles without it attached to the top mechanism, and look for leaks. The first one I repaired still seeped a little, and based on my success with the second one, I opened it up again and made sure to seat the O-ring better… that took care of the problem. After I put the cylinders back in place and ran them up and down under load a few times, there was no sign of any leakage at the top seals. I can’t assure how long this will last, but it sure seems to have worked.

My total investment for this repair was $1.30 (if you don't count the two extra O-rings I bought for "insurance". Certainly worth a shot if you have leaking cylinders.

Good luck!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	O ring inserted.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	366.0 KB
ID:	229425   Click image for larger version

Name:	snap ring.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	429.7 KB
ID:	229427  
bsharp2 and bondora68 like this.

1969 RS Convert ON THE ROAD AT LAST!
DElsner is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 19, 01:33 PM
Moderator
Kevin
 
KevinW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Millstone, NJ
Posts: 11,077
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

Fantastic posts Duke! Thanks

Will have to try this on my rams

Kevin


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
KevinW is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Oct 10th, 19, 11:10 AM
Gold Lifetime Member
Tony
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Mobile AL
Posts: 1,643
Re: Any updates on lift cylinder repair?

This is good stuff!

Tony
Follow my current Camaro project builds...
1967 Coupe (Sold)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1968 Convertible

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

1969 Convertible
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
bondora68 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome