problem with power tailgate-any experience with hydraulics?
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Thread: problem with power tailgate-any experience with hydraulics?

  1. #1
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    problem with power tailgate-any experience with hydraulics?

    Actually, I just need someone to tell me if I'm thinking along the right lines:

    here's the thing:
    i got a power tailgate on a work truck.
    It has this cylinder which I'm guessing is a fluid reservoir, and on top of the cylinder there is a breather with a simple foam filter.

    Mind you I don't use the tailgate that often. I'd guess once every 2-3 days.

    Anyways, after the MONTH of rain we had, one of these days at first I noticed a small leak of the fluid from that cylinder thingy(breether).

    At first I panicked and thought my tailgate is f$%#'ed, put it away and didn't use it at all, in fear of burning out the motor, pump or something. I figured I'll get it checked out.

    But Sunday was so nice, I figured I'll check it out myself.
    So I did and I noticed couple of things:
    1.the fluid that came out, only did at the very end of lowering cycle, and it was very foamy and milky-suggesting water presence.
    2.After lifting and lowering about half-dozen times it stopped leaking alltogether.
    So I figured that over the rainy days a bunch of water got mixed with the fluid, due to shitty placement of the breather, causing the foaming, therefor increased volume, therefor leakage.

    I'll still get the fluid changed, but is this a correct conclusion?
    THe gate seems to be working fine, no more foaming and leakage today.

    Does hydraulic fluid foam up like that if it's mixed with water???

  2. #2
    Registered User Array cyclestarter's Avatar
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    hydrolic fluid mixed with water will have a milky look to it, and loose its pressure value.

    I'd say your diagnosis is accurate.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    I've read in the ole' internet that apparently foaming happens when air gets introduced into the fluid usually by a pinhole in the line or worn seal or something like that...

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    Ridin hard n dirty Array Mr.Sushi ya ha's Avatar
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    the fluid that came out, only did at the very end of lowering cycle, and it was very foamy and milky-suggesting water presence.
    2.After lifting and lowering about half-dozen times it stopped leaking alltogether.
    Your right...depending where the ram is at the cycle there has to be room for the ros to displace the fluid..if in the down position everything is in...and fluid if spewing when it never did before...there is something taking up room in the system weather its air or water....by cycling it a few times you restored the proper level...
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  5. #5
    It's healing time Array Tinman's Avatar
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    Bernie (PRSMechanic) is our hydraulic specialist having opened his own hyd shop recently in Kelowna. Give him a PM.

  6. #6
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    thanks! appreciate the help.

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    Chronic Array PRSmechanic's Avatar
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    The gate will work with water, but not for long!
    Empty that tank, and clean or flush it out. I would take the line off the cylinder and try and drain that as well.
    Run it a few times, and then change the tank once more.
    Problem is, the cylinder is pooched, and that's where the oil is coming from.
    And they don't heal themselves, so fix it or wait for it to die.
    Also, foam filters to keep water out is 1938 technology. If it was plumbed back to the resevoir, or at least plumbed away from the rain, it might last longer.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRSmechanic View Post
    The gate will work with water, but not for long!
    Empty that tank, and clean or flush it out. I would take the line off the cylinder and try and drain that as well.
    Run it a few times, and then change the tank once more.
    Problem is, the cylinder is pooched, and that's where the oil is coming from.
    And they don't heal themselves, so fix it or wait for it to die.
    Also, foam filters to keep water out is 1938 technology. If it was plumbed back to the resevoir, or at least plumbed away from the rain, it might last longer.
    Lazy will cost you more.
    I know! I looked at it, thought 'man, that's kinda hoaky...'

    I'm thinking of moving that filter up about 8-10 inches. that way it won't get all the road water...
    what do you mean by 'cylinder is pooched' if I get rid of water, it should be ok, no?
    or is there a bigger problem (other than placement of the breather) that I'm unaware of?

  9. #9
    Chronic Array PRSmechanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester666 View Post
    I know! I looked at it, thought 'man, that's kinda hoaky...'

    I'm thinking of moving that filter up about 8-10 inches. that way it won't get all the road water...
    what do you mean by 'cylinder is pooched' if I get rid of water, it should be ok, no?
    or is there a bigger problem (other than placement of the breather) that I'm unaware of?

    the only way oil gets to that side of a single acting cylinder is if it passes by the piston. that side sees a little lubricating oil, not enough oil to make water into a milkshake. unless it's passing 1000psi or whatever....
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  10. #10
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRSmechanic View Post
    the only way oil gets to that side of a single acting cylinder is if it passes by the piston. that side sees a little lubricating oil, not enough oil to make water into a milkshake. unless it's passing 1000psi or whatever....
    does it make any difference at all that my lift has 2 rams, one on each side?
    shit, I'll see if I can get the brand name off of it and some other info.
    I couldn't see any such thing there on the weekend..

    It seems to be working very well now,though..

  11. #11
    Registered User Array Jonny rebar's Avatar
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    When I read this post in the open forum, you couldn't see the whole title so I thought it was about power rangers. What a dissapointment you know.

  12. #12
    Chronic Array PRSmechanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny rebar View Post
    When I read this post in the open forum, you couldn't see the whole title so I thought it was about power rangers. What a dissapointment you know.

    Jonny, if his power ranger was oozing milky fluid, I wouldn't help him
    chicken strips are a sign of intelligence
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  13. #13
    Chronic Array PRSmechanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester666 View Post
    does it make any difference at all that my lift has 2 rams, one on each side?
    shit, I'll see if I can get the brand name off of it and some other info.
    I couldn't see any such thing there on the weekend..

    It seems to be working very well now,though..

    I would still flush the oil. Those cylinders are probably cheap.
    If it works well, do the flush, squirt some oil in the non-powered end, and get back to work!
    chicken strips are a sign of intelligence
    unless you're at the track ;)

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  14. #14
    Registered User Array Jester666's Avatar
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    done!
    Got the mechanic to check everything out and looks like I panicked for nothing!
    thanks for your help.

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