Replacing The O-Ring In A Pallet Jack

If you have just purchased a pallet jack to use around your warehouse to help with the lifting of larger, bulky items, you will most likely enjoy the time-saving benefit it provides. In time, you may experience a situation where the front portion of your pallet jack does not lift. This is usually due to a deteriorated O-ring. Here are some of the signs this is indeed the problem and some instructions to follow in replacing the O-ring so your pallet jack does not leave you with too much downtime.

Understanding How The O-Ring Helps

A pallet jack has a hydraulic system which is filled with fluid to make the lift go up and down when activated. The O-ring is a part that seals the fluid inside the valve cartridge. If this ring deteriorates, the fluid will start to leak out of the equipment. Air will make its way inside, stopping the mechanisms from working altogether.

Look at the bottom of the hydraulic system to see if there is any liquid on the unit. It may leak out at a slow rate, making it difficult to notice unless you do a complete inspection. If you see moisture, you will want to replace the lost fluid and replace the O-ring so this fluid is resealed inside the system.

Preparing To Replace

Have a friend help you lift the pallet jack onto four stands. It should be placed so each fork is held in place by two stands, one at each end of each of the metal forks. The pallet jack will be upright, but lifted several feet so you can get underneath to take a closer look. Drain all the fluid from the machine by removing the screw that holds the cover over the reservoir. Place a container underneath to collect the fluid. Pump the pallet jack handle to help push the liquid out of the unit. Put the screw back in place.

There is a lever on the right side of the unit that helps to lower the jack fork down. This needs to be unsecured by tapping the pin holding the lever into place with a hammer. Pull the lever after the pin is released. This will expose the valve cartridge. Use a set of pliers to remove the cover.

Put In The New Part

An O-ring can be purchased from a hardware store.  For more info, bring the make and model of your pallet jack with you so you get the proper part. After the cover to the valve cartridge is off, the old O-ring can be removed by hand from the end of the cartridge. Wipe the area where it was seated to remove any excess liquid that was leaking out of the machine. Slip a new O-ring into the groove and put the cartridge cover back on. Push the lowering level back in and push the pin back into place to secure it. You can now fill the pallet jack back up with hydraulic fluid to see if the pallet jack works properly again.