Depending on the type of machinery you operate, there may be one or more than one hydraulic cylinder that you will need to replace at any one time. In a manufacturing setting, for example, there are many automated arms operating with the use of a hydraulic cylinders. Hiring a professional to replace these cylinders can be very costly. If you would like to save your plant some money, you can replace the cylinders yourself. After you have ordered and received the correct cylinders and accompanying parts, you will need to locate all of the connections for the cylinders so that you can remove the faulty ones and replace them with the new ones. Here is how you can go about locating those connections.

Look for Any Electrical Connections

The power on this equipment should be turned off before you get started on any hydraulic cylinder repair or replacement. Look for any cables, cords or wires that connect the cylinder to the rest of the machinery. These usually run along the outside of the working "arm" of the equipment and are very noticeable. Find their insertion or connecting point and carefully detach them before moving on the next step.

Look for the Joints

The joints are the places where the cylinder is connected to an arm of the machine. Usually a large bolt goes through the center of this joint and through the center of a eye hook on the end of a cylinder. Locking the large bolt in place, you might have a couple of cotter's pins, which look like large hairpins, or a couple of very tight nuts. A plumber's wrench can help remove the nuts, while the cotter's pins you might have to cut and/or pull free from the small holes in the ends of the bolt. Doing either of these loosening tasks will free the end of the hydraulic cylinder from the work arm.

Look for the Hydraulic Pressure Connections

Every hydraulic cylinder in machinery is connected to an air pressure valve and hose. Most of the time, these pressure hoses are easy to spot because they connect directly to the cylinder and are in plain view. At other times, the hoses might be threaded down inside the main block of the machinery. After you have freed the cylinder from the working arm/joint, you should be able to locate the very end of the hose. Follow that with your fingers and hands to where you feel the hose connect to another length of hose or a pipe. These sections should unscrew from each other. (If you cannot see this or reach it, you might have to take more of the machine's arm apart to get to it.) Now you are ready to reverse the steps in order to install the new cylinder. Contact a company like Bayou City Hydraulics for more information or assistance.