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Thread: Air jack issue

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Default Air jack issue

    I have a set of three JLS air jacks on my radical (2 on the front and 1 on the back). The front left jack has been sticky ever since I got the car. Once I pressurize the system I have to go to the left side and pull up on the car to get it to go up. Then today when I was jacking up the car I heard a noise and that jack won't lift the car at all. When I depressurizes the system the left jack would not retract and I had to use quite a bit of force to get it to retract. I then repress irised the system and used a manual jack to raise the left side of the car. The jack extended and supported the car and then retracted normally. Then I tried raising the car again and it still would not lift the car.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Can I get the jack rebuilt? Or do I need to replace it?

    Thanks for the help.

    Charley

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    I've never had a system like this, but is there a lockout mechanism that might be getting stuck? Or is it just pressurized air that keeps it raised?

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ucfbrett View Post
    I've never had a system like this, but is there a lockout mechanism that might be getting stuck? Or is it just pressurized air that keeps it raised?
    It is just pressurized air that keeps the car up.

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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyH View Post
    It is just pressurized air that keeps the car up.
    I thought it was the low-pressure outside of the jack that lifts it up...?
    To the right of The Sheriff. Isn't everyone?

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    AJax are extremely simple. Its a tube with a piston held at two ends floating in the tube and a rretraction spring. The Ajax might be bent and or the seals are gone. You need to take the Ajax off the car and take it apart and see what is broken. If it has a brand on it you may be able to get Orings if not then to a hydralic shop perhaps and try to match them. I have two sets of them in my garage and run them on my vette because I am lazy.
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    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    I knew FatBillyBob would chime in with a good answer. He might be the only other guy here running air jacks other than Charlie.
    To the right of The Sheriff. Isn't everyone?

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    Faster than Oli jimt's Avatar
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    WD-40 then oil down the shaft. Still no work, punt and get it serviced.
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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I thought it was the low-pressure outside of the jack that lifts it up...?
    I guess it is one of those glass half full things. The pressure differential is what does it.
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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    AJax are extremely simple. Its a tube with a piston held at two ends floating in the tube and a rretraction spring. The Ajax might be bent and or the seals are gone. You need to take the Ajax off the car and take it apart and see what is broken. If it has a brand on it you may be able to get Orings if not then to a hydralic shop perhaps and try to match them. I have two sets of them in my garage and run them on my vette because I am lazy.
    Thanks Carl. I am thinking it must be a blown seal. I will find out when I get it out. One of the great things about the radical is 99% of the parts are really easy to get to.... Unfortunately this is one of the 1% parts. It is a royal pain to get to. Figures.

    Charley

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimt View Post
    WD-40 then oil down the shaft. Still no work, punt and get it serviced.
    Thanks Jim. I tried a graphite spray that is for these jacks... Didn't help... Time to punt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I knew FatBillyBob would chime in with a good answer. He might be the only other guy here running air jacks other than Charlie.
    I knew Oli would chime in with a totally useless response . . .

    BTW, this is a useless response too, but I think it is cool that anybody here uses air-jacks . . .
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    Senior Member Johnny_Se7en's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharleyH View Post
    Thanks Carl. I am thinking it must be a blown seal. I will find out when I get it out. One of the great things about the radical is 99% of the parts are really easy to get to.... Unfortunately this is one of the 1% parts. It is a royal pain to get to. Figures.

    Charley
    I'm no expert , but I am good at finding stuff.

    XRP, inc The Xtreme in Racecar Plumbing
    If nothing happens and there is no one around why did it not happen?

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard EVO View Post
    I knew Oli would chime in with a totally useless response . . .

    BTW, this is a useless response too, but I think it is cool that anybody here uses air-jacks . . .
    The air jacks have been great. They make inspecting the car between sessions really easy. The car only has about 2" of ground clearance so normal jacks just won't work.

    Charley

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_Se7en View Post
    I'm no expert , but I am good at finding stuff.

    XRP, inc The Xtreme in Racecar Plumbing
    Thanks. Yes XRP is the US importer of these air jacks. I am planning on calling them on Monday. They are fairly close to my work so I am hoping they can help me out.

    Charley

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    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Well I finally got the air jack out of the car and disassembled..... I have seen seals do strange things before, but this is a first.




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    Super Lube 100cSt 100% Silicone Oil 4 oz. Bottle [56104] : The O-Ring Store - O-Rings, Seals, and Kits, We make getting O-Rings easy!

    Super Lube® 21010 Synthetic Grease 1/2oz Tube [21010] : The O-Ring Store - O-Rings, Seals, and Kits, We make getting O-Rings easy!

    I'm not sure as to the proper protocol but I lube orings with grease then put a few squirts of the oil in the tube and seal it up. I generally service the jacks annually. I think a big contributor to failure is using wet shop air when cars are in shops. If nitrogen tanks are strictly used the life goes way up.
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    Senior Member Gian's Avatar
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    I would also inspect the bore for scratches and deformities. O rings have the most failures for improper installation. Next would be from machining or abuse (scratches).
    Looks like that O ring caught an edge and rolled.
    That's not a Typo, I just can't spell no so well.

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    Administrator ucfbrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gian View Post
    I would also inspect the bore for scratches and deformities. O rings have the most failures for improper installation. Next would be from machining or abuse (scratches).
    Looks like that O ring caught an edge and rolled.
    Now there's a useful response.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Super Lube 100cSt 100% Silicone Oil 4 oz. Bottle [56104] : The O-Ring Store - O-Rings, Seals, and Kits, We make getting O-Rings easy!

    Super Lube® 21010 Synthetic Grease 1/2oz Tube [21010] : The O-Ring Store - O-Rings, Seals, and Kits, We make getting O-Rings easy!

    I'm not sure as to the proper protocol but I lube orings with grease then put a few squirts of the oil in the tube and seal it up. I generally service the jacks annually. I think a big contributor to failure is using wet shop air when cars are in shops. If nitrogen tanks are strictly used the life goes way up.
    I think you are right about the periodic maintenance.... This cylinder was dragging when I purchased the car, and then it finally failed. The cylinder was very dry and I think lube would have prevented this. Do you take the air line off to lube the cylinder? That appears to be the only way to do it without total disassembly.

    I only use nitrogen... But I don't know if the last owner used only nitrogen...

    Charley
    Last edited by CharleyH; 08-24-2014 at 07:28 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member CharleyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gian View Post
    I would also inspect the bore for scratches and deformities. O rings have the most failures for improper installation. Next would be from machining or abuse (scratches).
    Looks like that O ring caught an edge and rolled.
    The cylinder appears to be in good condition.... Just very dry.
    Last edited by CharleyH; 08-24-2014 at 07:29 PM.

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