Important Elements in the Hydraulic Cylinder Repair Process

The hydraulic cylinder is an important and integral component in construction equipment, manufacturing plant systems and other general industrial machines. Therefore, it is critical to promote the optimal function of the module in your commercial or industrial setup. The failure of the hydraulic cylinder will compromise the operation of your equipment, resulting in significant losses. On the other hand, most hydraulic cylinder malfunctions are relatively easy to identify with basic understanding of the pertinent machine. Here are the primary components that you should inspect in the hydraulic cylinder after disassembly.


The piston in a hydraulic cylinder is designed and built to create separate pressure zones in the hydraulic barrel. When you disassemble the cylinder, you should examine this component first for damage. If its fit against the internal surfaces of the cylinder is not perfect, the fluid pressure in the system will not be transmitted efficiently.

Generally, the piston is fabricated with some grooves that allow this fit to be ideal. If the edges of the piston in your machinery are eroded, missing or distorted, you have found the source of the malfunction or failure. You can resolve the problem by replacing the piston component. However, it is prudent to replace the entire cylinder because the damage could be caused by frictional forces between the piston and barrel.

Piston Rod

The piston rod will affect the function of the hydraulic system because it is directly attached to the piston. In most equipment, this component is made from cold rolled steel and plated with hard chrome. Therefore, it is not prone to distortion or sudden breakage during operation. On the other hand, small cracks in the piston rod will result in poor performance and eventual failure.

You should check for damage using a dye penetrant, particularly in the areas where the rod's cross-section changes. If there are problems, it is prudent to engage professional repair or replace the rod. You should also test the straightness of the piston rod. If the chrome is polished on a single side and dull on the other, the rod is probably bent. Usually, this problem can be resolved with a press. Finally, consider re-chroming the rod if the surface has scratches, pits and scored marks.


The barrel of the hydraulic cylinder is exposed to constant heavy usage, so the internal surfaces will wear out with time. You should examine this component for signs of pitting and scoring since the damage will affect functionality. If this is the problem, engage a technician for honing to restore uniformity or replace the barrel.

For more information and tips, contact a local hydraulic cylinder repair company.