I got sidetracked on a project a couple months ago. It was taken on as a result of pity I felt towards perfectly good piece of equipment. I have access to a scrap metal pile and the other day as I peered into the kingdom of metal awaiting reincarnation I spotted an old floor jack. The jack was a typical 3300 lbs capacity automotive floor type, nothing special and certainly not really worth anything however it seemed a shame to throw out something that, with a bit of love, could be given a 2nd chance on life.
So I dragged it out from the middle of the pile and was lucky enough to find the handle that belonged to it. Upon close inspection it appeared that the hydraulic portion wasn’t working however the frame looked straight and all the components looked to be in decent shape.
So I decided to see if I could breathe some life into it before I sent it to rehab. I topped the ram up with fresh hydraulic fluid, bled out the pump, slid it under a car and was able to extend the ram to full height no apparent issues. There were no obvious signs of leaks so I was a bit puzzled as to where all the fluid had previously disappeared to. Perhaps someone left the bleed screw loosened off at some point in time. Anyway…the jack appeared to want to remain in service so I figured a complete tear down, inspection, and rebuild was in order.
So the surgery began with a full disassembly. All the pump seals were inspected and determined to still be in a useable state. The ram piston was polished and all hydraulic internals were cleaned. The idea was to rebuild the jack completely custom with the challenge of putting no money into it. Any part, or supply, that was needed would have to either be build from scratch or be something that I already own.
With the workhorse portion of the jack verified to be good it was then a matter of cleaning, prepping, finishing, and reassembling the complete unit. So over the past couple months when I had time in between my in between projects (yes that’s 2 in betweens) I sandblasted, polished, and powder coated the jack using a combination of Safety Orange and Flat Black powder coating. All the small hardware including the ram powder was all polished.
The caster axles were pressed in and peened into place so they required drilling for removal. A new set of axles were machined out of a couple of 10mm bolts I had laying around. The jack handle grip was in poor shape and had the end torn off so I decided to machine an aluminum one and polish it in order to help tie that color scheme together.
So in the end I was able to save the poor fella and give him a new outlook on life. I think he was happy with the restoration as I was too. For having come right in on budget without spending a cent the jack received a custom touch and best of all continues to be functional.