How to refill a leaking Sam's club "Michelin" floor jack

Way back when, in one or more newsgroups, I suggested the blue 3.5 ton
quick rise jack as sold by Sam's Club, to those who were looking for a
cheap, functional, and strong floor jack for home use. I wanted to
offer some tips I recently discovered when confronted with the problem
of fixing or replacing mine due to low fluid level. It should be
noted that I didn't "fix" it per se, but gave it a longer life. The
seals, even if available, wouldn't be worth spending money on when
this jack only leaks fluid a couple drops per year.
Here's a pic I found so you know which jack I'm talking about:
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Having topped off hydraulic jacks and other types of chambers before,
this one turned out to be a bit more diffcult to fill than in past
The symptom was that the jack would 'quick rise' OK, but after about
8" of loaded lifting, the functional stroke of the handle would start
decreasing, and by the time it was near fully lifted, there would
hardly be any stroke left.
Here's how to refill it (there may be easier ways but I couldn't get
it to work any other way):
1) Locate the magnetic parts bin and remove it from the jack frame.
This will uncover the three threaded plugs that are used to adjust or
service the jack. Look for the one "by itself"... IOW, two will be
close together, and the third one will be spaced apart from them.
Aquire at least one pint of new hydraulic jack oil. Don safety
apparel and position the jack over some rags or something very
absorbant. With the jack pad down and the handle valve released,
unscrew this plug, accurately counting the turns until it is
completely unthreaded. Do this slowly as fluid will come out under
slight pressure; it will make a mess. If you pulled out the correct
plug, it will have a small tip on the end of it that engages with a
spring inside the plug hole. Be sure to remember the number of
turns. Mine was threaded about 6.5 turns.
2) Kneel on the jack frame or otherwise keep it from lifting off the
ground, then grab the lift pad/saddle with one hand while holding the
oil bottle in the other hand. Keep in mind that as you lift the pad
through it's arc, there are braces going through complex motions, so
keep your fingers clear of this potentially pinchy situation. To
avoid moving parts, you can grab only the pad and lift up this way,
since it is made to stay in place (unlike with most jack saddles that
are designed to interchange easily).
3) Very slowly lift the pad while drizzling oil into the plug hole.
As you lift the pad/arm, the fluid level will lower in this hole. If
you hear an "air sucking" noise, you went too fast and/or didn't add
enough oil. Slower is better here.
4) Once you reach the top of the arm's range, you can push it slightly
further and it will go into the "service lock" position. This will
hold it up while you complete step 4. Now reinstall the plug
temporarily, atleast a few turns to make sure it doesn't leak.
5) "Unlock" the arm and let it fall to the bottom under it's own
weight and return spring pressure. Tighten the handle valve. Put
pressure on the pad with one hand so the quick lift feature doesn't
engage, and pump the jack up as high as it will go before the stroke
becomes less than 100% effective.
6) Postured as you were in step 2, grab the pad with one hand and keep
it in this position. Now open the handle valve with the other hand
and lower the handle to the floor if it isn't there already. Remove
the plug again while still holding the pad at this height. Repeat
steps 3 through 6 until you find that the jack exhibits 100% strokes
all the way up to full loaded position. This took me more steps than
I cared to count, but probably because of all the trial and error. I
would think you vould get it done in about 10 steps. It might take
1/2 hour at worst.
I think the internal quick rise feature is why A) there are 3 service
plugs and B) a standard reservoir fill and bleed wouldn't work for
me. HTH.
Toyota MDT in MO
Reply to
Or you can just pop the rubber plug at the top of the cylinder (visible with the magnetic tray removed), and add oil. I do it al the time until I rebuild it with new seals.
Reply to
I did this with mine and it worked fine for an hour or so, then the plug popped out. It did it twice. Why is this happening? Thank you! Jorge
Reply to
Blocked/dirty/damaged (or in our case, improperly assembled after rebuild) check valve.
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Reply to
Most likely you overfilled it. If the ram is extended much when you filled it you can put in more then there is room to hold when it's retracted. When the ram was pushed all the way back in the extra oil was forced out the filler hole.
Reply to
>>>Ashton Crusher
I just used my Michelin jack, and extended it all the way to it's limit and now it won't lift any weight at all. Had to borrow a jack to get car off j ack stands. It does go up, but as soon as it hits the cars frame, it just s its there, won't lift weight. Is this a case of needing fluid? I've seen no leaks. I've never added fluid or changed the fluid in the 10 or so years I 've had this jack.
Reply to
In article , wrote:
I hate to tell you this, but those things are not really worth fixing. You can see a teardown of a similar model on youtube. Everything is just swaged together, it's not designed to be repaired.
There's a reason why a proper jack with a chromed piston is more money. --scott
Reply to
Scott Dorsey
Thank you for this old thread. Its 2017 -Definitely helped revive my 15 yea r old jack. Same here the fill and bleed method did nothing. That far screw you explained definitely did the job. Just like new. No seal leaks just ne eded that fill and adjustment in the right spot you pointed out. Again, ver y helpful.
Reply to
Replacement parts for this jack can be found at Lazzar's Floor Jack: HCRCno
Someone said these jacks are not worth fixing, but my math says they are. I 've had my jack for almost 20 years and just recently had the first problem with it ever... The universal joint that opens and closes the lift valve b roke. About $125 for a new jack vs. $26.35 for a Universal joint kit and ab out the same for a seal kit.
Reply to
Yes, popping off the rubber plug on the top (middle) of the cylinder is a better approach.
TRY THIS: give the jack 1 or 2 compression pumps, so it is raised about an inch or two from the bottom. Pop off the rubber plug and fill the master cylinder until it is full. Then place paper towels or a rag underneath the hydraulic cylinder. Twist the jack handle counter clockwise and release the pressure. You should see an outflow of air bubbles and excess oil. When it stops, reinstall the rubber plug (if ANY airspace remains, refill the oil level first).
This is a cheaper alternative to replacing the seal kit.
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