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  1. #1
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Philadelphia
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    John Deere 855

    Default Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    I recently purchased a deere 855 with a model 52 front end loader. One bucket cylinder is leaking, and while I can easily buy and install new seals, I believe the source of the damage may be some small rust spots on the cylinder rod. I'd hate to install $100 in new seals (JD pricing... maybe I can find them cheaper at a hydraulics shop?), only to damage the new end seal when the less than stellar rod runs thru it.

    I took some steel wool to the rod, and it definitely knocked these spots down some, but did not eliminate them. I tried a wire wheel on an angle grinder, and it had not affect. I hesitate to try anything more agressive than this, although I might try some silicon carbide paper by hand, if that's advisable.

    JD no longer makes the cylinder, so my choices are either find a used one (not likely), somehow refurbish the one I have, or retrofit some other cylinder onto the loader. I would really like to refurbish what I have, so what's the best way to make that happen? I'm not stranger to electrolysis, which might get rid of those rust spots with the least amount of collateral damage, but are there hydraulic shops which specifically do this type of cylinder repair / replacement?

    Sure would be nice if someone found commercial equivalents to these Deere parts, since they can no longer be had thru your Deere dealer.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    4,226
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    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterDeere View Post
    I recently purchased a deere 855 with a model 52 front end loader. One bucket cylinder is leaking, and while I can easily buy and install new seals, I believe the source of the damage may be some small rust spots on the cylinder rod. I'd hate to install $100 in new seals (JD pricing... maybe I can find them cheaper at a hydraulics shop?), only to damage the new end seal when the less than stellar rod runs thru it.

    I took some steel wool to the rod, and it definitely knocked these spots down some, but did not eliminate them. I tried a wire wheel on an angle grinder, and it had not affect. I hesitate to try anything more agressive than this, although I might try some silicon carbide paper by hand, if that's advisable.

    JD no longer makes the cylinder, so my choices are either find a used one (not likely), somehow refurbish the one I have, or retrofit some other cylinder onto the loader. I would really like to refurbish what I have, so what's the best way to make that happen? I'm not stranger to electrolysis, which might get rid of those rust spots with the least amount of collateral damage, but are there hydraulic shops which specifically do this type of cylinder repair / replacement?

    Sure would be nice if someone found commercial equivalents to these Deere parts, since they can no longer be had thru your Deere dealer.
    Probably, but only you know where you are located in this huge world we live in. Your info isn't filled out.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  3. #3
    bcp
    bcp is offline
    Elite Member
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    Jul 2009
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    3,465
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    SW WA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    (Fully equipped) hydraulic shops can replace rods.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2003
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    819
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    GA, TN
    Tractor
    Kubota L4330HST

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    My local hydraulic repair shop just refurbed both of my bucket cylinders. Didn't have any piston/rod problems, but one of the cylinder bores was scored, so they honed it out. I'm sure they have methods to refurb pistons also. They only charged $230 to completely rebuild both of mine, including the hone job.

  5. #5
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    Philadelphia
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    Cool. Thanks, guys! What about losing fluid when you disconnect the cylinders? I also need to replace a leaking quick-disconnect fitting on the tractor (which feeds the loader), so it's not as simple as just disconnecting the loader from the tractor, in my case.

  6. #6
    Super Member tcreeley's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    US: North of Mason Dixon line
    Tractor
    TBN casualty

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    Coat the cleaned are with something to eat the rust like battery acid- Just do the section that is rusty- then rinse heavily with water and smooth it up with very very fine emery - cheap way- or replace piston shaft.
    Right wing conservatives make lousy compost too!

  7. #7
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Philadelphia
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    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    I used to restore a lot of vintage woodworking machinery, and frequently used electrolysis on the parts. Basically, fill a Rubbermaid trash can with water and washing soda (or any electrolyte), throw a scrap of rebar and the part to be cleaned in the tank, and connect a battery charger between them (cathode to the good part). Cook two to five days, and your part is rust free, with no abrasives (and thus no damage) necessary.

    I only hesitate with these cylinder rods, because I don't know if they have some type of plating that could be lifted in the process. Are these rods typically plated?

  8. #8
    Silver Member WinterDeere's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
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    145
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    Philadelphia
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    I used to restore a lot of vintage woodworking machinery, and frequently used electrolysis on the parts. Basically, fill a Rubbermaid trash can with water and washing soda (or any electrolyte), throw a scrap of rebar and the part to be cleaned in the tank, and connect a battery charger between them (cathode to the good part). Cook two to five days, and your part is rust free, with no abrasives (and thus no damage) necessary.

    I only hesitate with these cylinder rods, because I don't know if they have some type of plating that could be lifted in the process. Are these rods typically plated?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2003
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    GA, TN
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    Kubota L4330HST

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    Quote Originally Posted by WinterDeere View Post
    What about losing fluid when you disconnect the cylinders?
    I couldn't see anyway to remove the cylinders without losing the fluid inside. Just disconnect the loader quick connects, then the fittings at the cylinder, using a catch can for the cylinder fluid. Of course, when you remove the cylinder pins, be prepared for the cylinder to compress or expand and have the catch can ready at whichever end!

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Albany OR
    Tractor
    Case 580B, Long 460, Allis-Chalmers 160

    Default Re: Hydraulic cylinder rod reconditioning?

    Cylinder rods are typically hard-chromed - acid bath or electrolysis will damage/remove the plating. If we knew where you were (hint hint) someone could probably direct you to a re-chrome place. You could then dis-assemble your cylinder and send/take just the rod to said place and (depending on where you are, hint hint) it would probably cost you around $100 more or less to get the rod stripped and re-chromed.

    If there are any actual DINGS in the rod, it would cost more to build up weld, re-grind and re-chrome... Steve

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