A floor jack is a vital piece of garage equipment, but with use, it can become dirty and worn down and eventually refuses to work at all. This tool can be damaged simply by exposure to weather, dust and dirt, but rebuilding a jack is much more difficult. Cheaper floor jacks can be more costly to repair and rebuild than their original purchase price, and even more expensive jacks can cost a good percentage of their price to rebuild. Expect to spend around $100 at least for the rebuild. However, you will not need to pay for labor, as you can easily rebuild a floor jack on your own. Follow these few simple steps to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Step 1 - Find the Parts
Before you begin to rebuild your jack, you will need to locate the parts that have been damaged. You may be lucky and have a supplier that can supply you with parts that match your jack, but you will more likely have to make do with pieces that match the dimensions of your parts. The more questions you ask about the replacement parts, the more chance you will have of finding some that will serve your needs. You should also purchase a kit of rebuild pieces, which will be the biggest cost you will have to cover.
Step 2 - Assemble the Running Gear
The first step to rebuilding your floor jack is to restore the running gear. Add lubrication grease to all running parts, and then push the Pitman pin into the handle. Insert the reverse switch and the spring into the larger runner. Add the climbing pin to the runner, and then install the cross pins onto the climbing pins. These should then be put into the small runner, depressing any springs with the head of the screwdriver. Place the hex pieces together, and then install the shear bolt as the last piece.
Step 3 - Add the Seal
Once you have installed all the pieces from the running gear, take the cylinder of the jack, and lift away the O ring seal at the end. This part is frequently damaged, and is perhaps the most difficult part to replace, as it is very thin and brittle, and can easily be broken. Some experts recommend welding your seal to the cylinder casing in order to avoid breaking, although this will prevent future rebuilds.
Step 4 - Install the Rest
Put the handlebar into the handle socket and install its pin. Add the clevis to the clevis bolt, and then place the running gear back onto the bar. Add the foot piece, and then place the cotter pin on this, the longer edge of the foot should face forward, along with the jack.
Step 5 - Finishing
Once you have all the separate parts installed, join them together using the bolts supplied in your rebuild kit and screwing them down tightly using your screwdriver. Add lubrication along all the moving parts, and you should be able to use your floor jack as though it were brand new.