Hydraulic cylinder seals fail for a number of reasons, from just being worn out to bad specs and misuse. Regular leakage can be caused by a range of issues, the most common of which on new cylinders is incorrect fitting of the hydraulic seals.

An unfortunately common mistake when ordering hydraulic seal kits for replacing seals is using measurements from the old seals. There are a number of reasons why this is not the way to go.

1 Hydraulic seals sometimes shrink, swell and/or wear down during use. All these things affect seal dimensions. To ensure you order the correct ones, measure all seal grooves with a vernier caliper and provide the experts at R & N Hydraulics with this information. This includes width, depth and diameter of the grooves in the piston and rod gland.

2 Sometimes incorrect seals were installed previously. Don’t use measurements from old seals for anything more than a very rough estimate of sizes, material and design type. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer to make sure you order the correct hydraulic seal kit.

3 In addition, the hydraulic cylinder seals you order must meet the pressure and temperature requirements of the application. And the seal material must be compatible with the type of hydraulic oil being used, and any other chemicals that the seals may be exposed to during use.

4 The task of replacing seals in itself shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should only be done by trained personnel with adequate equipment — perhaps most importantly, correctly-sized seals. Failure to adhere to this advice could result in injury and even death.

5 Manufacturers often provide a print-out of the parts diagram, which will provide all the correct measurements needed. Sometimes these are available online. As long as you have the correct parts numbers, you’re ready to proceed. It’s always best to have the parts before you begin to make sure there are no surprises.

We know all about these common pitfalls, and we’ll guide you through the ordering process. Call us at 501-847-2816, or use this form to get started.