The oil inside the hydraulic cylinders on a tractor is kept under an immense amount of pressure, so it's inevitable that its hydraulic seals will deteriorate. When your hydraulic seals begin to fail, you'll start to leak hydraulic oil from the cylinder. While the hydraulics on your tractor will continue working with a minor leak, the leak will continue to worsen.

You run the risk of causing damage to the components inside your hydraulic cylinder if the oil levels run too low, so it's important to replace the damaged hydraulic seals with new ones as soon as possible. Replacing the seals is also a great chance to inspect the hydraulic cylinder for damage, since you'll need to fully disassemble it. If you want to replace your hydraulic seals on your own, here's how you do it.

1. Remove the End Cap

The first step is to remove the hydraulic cylinder cap. You'll either need to unscrew a bolt on the cap itself in order to remove it or turn the cap in order to loosen a locking ring. Remove the cap and set it aside.

2. Remove the Seal Gland Along With the Rod and Piston Assembly

Once the cap is off, remove the seal gland, rod and piston from inside the hydraulic cylinder. You may have to tap the hydraulic cylinder lightly with a rubber mallet while pulling at the seal gland in order to remove it, as it often becomes wedged in the cylinder. Be careful when removing the rod and piston, as you don't want to damage the rod by accidentally dropping it or scraping it against the metal of your tractor.

3. Inspect the Hydraulic Cylinder for Damage

Once the rod is out, you'll need to inspect it for damage. When you have a leaky hydraulic cylinder, the rod sometimes becomes bent. This occurs when too much hydraulic oil has leaked out of the cylinder, causing the rod to bear weight instead of the oil. If the rod is bent, you'll need to take it to a hydraulic cylinder repair shop so it can be straightened in a presser.

At this time, you should also check the inside of your hydraulic cylinder for pitting or scratches. The high-pressure hydraulic oil inside the cylinder often slowly erodes the metal. Any visible signs of damage indicate you should take your cylinder to a hydraulic cylinder repair shop and have the interior honed down in order to smooth it out – if you don't correct the damage, your seals may wear out faster and you may experience poor performance from your hydraulics.

4. Remove the Piston From the Rod

Next, you'll need to remove the piston from the rod by unscrewing the lock nut. The lock nut has thread sealant applied to it, so it can be very difficult to unscrew – you'll need a long wrench capable of providing a lot of torque. Once the lock nut is off, remove the piston from the rod.

5. Oil Everything Liberally and Replace the Hydraulic Seals

You'll need to apply oil to the rod, piston and seal gland at this point – aerosol grease applied liberally to everything works best. You'll need to replace the seals in both the seal gland and the piston. Remove seals one at a time, clean the groove and replace them with their equivalent from your hydraulic seal kit.

6. Re-Assemble Your Hydraulic Cylinder

Put the rod back inside the cylinder and slide the piston onto the rod. Apply thread sealant to the lock nut and fully tighten it in order to attach the piston to the rod. Slide the seal gland back into its place and replace the cylinder's end cap. Tighten the end cap with either the locking screw or by screwing into place, making sure it's very tightly sealed to the cylinder – you don't want the end cap to fail while you're using your tractor. After you've replaced the end cap, your cylinder has been rebuilt and its leaking hydraulic seals have been fixed.

While many tractor owners reseal their own hydraulic cylinders, it's a very complicated and messy operation that requires special tools. If you don't want to reseal your cylinder by yourself or if you notice damage to the rod of cylinder while you're resealing it, take your cylinder to a hydraulic cylinder repair shop. Resealing a cylinder is a quick and easy job for an experienced mechanic, and they have all the necessary tools on hand – you won't have to pay much money to restore your hydraulic seals to a brand new condition.

Get in touch with a company like HyVal Industries Inc for more information.