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Old 06-22-2016, 01:16 AM
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Cherry picker

I just completed my shop after moving across the state. My shop in Seattle had a traveling overhead hoist that I put in but the shop I built here won't support a traveling crane so I bought a 2 ton cherry picker from Harbor Freight. I bought the 2 ton hoping it will last longer than the 1 ton I could have gotten away with using. It only took an hour and a half to set up and it is more than big enough to handle pulling engines. I am just a little concerned about the ram and pump because the rod is not highly polished like most of the hydraulic equipment that I have worked on and there have been problems with the rams leaking. I can repair the ram if need be, including polishing the ram so I figured for under $200 and the price of a reseal kit it would be worthwhile. I am impressed with the amount of metal in the construction and the powder coat finish. Metric 4.5 bolts (grade 2) are used throughout but there are only two bolts that actually take a direct load and the rest just locate parts that transfer loads under compression. I can always replace bolts with stronger ones if the need arises.
It looks like it will serve me for years to come.

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Old 06-22-2016, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTech View Post
I just completed my shop after moving across the state. My shop in Seattle had a traveling overhead hoist that I put in but the shop I built here won't support a traveling crane so I bought a 2 ton cherry picker from Harbor Freight. I bought the 2 ton hoping it will last longer than the 1 ton I could have gotten away with using. It only took an hour and a half to set up and it is more than big enough to handle pulling engines. I am just a little concerned about the ram and pump because the rod is not highly polished like most of the hydraulic equipment that I have worked on and there have been problems with the rams leaking. I can repair the ram if need be, including polishing the ram so I figured for under $200 and the price of a reseal kit it would be worthwhile. I am impressed with the amount of metal in the construction and the powder coat finish. Metric 4.5 bolts (grade 2) are used throughout but there are only two bolts that actually take a direct load and the rest just locate parts that transfer loads under compression. I can always replace bolts with stronger ones if the need arises.
It looks like it will serve me for years to come.
the assembly manual actually shows sizes.. many are 14 and 16mm.

at least with 16MM one can use 5/8.. with 14 you might be able to use 9/16..

since you are new to the northwest. i don't know if its still there.. but up in bellingham was probably the best hardware store i have been in. hardware sales..

you will want to NOT leave your picker outside with the jack on it.. as it seems that HF has only 8 ton flat bottom jacks currently on their site. i don't know if they have any of the proper cherry picker eye bottom jacks in stores still.. if you pull the top bolt out of the rod.. you can completely retract the rod/piston and keep the rod nice and rust free.. the pump should also be left down.. so its fully inserted in the bore..

i wish cap plug company would create a rod shield for these.. to keep the rain out of the top rod seal..

i have a lessor HF picker.. man is it different when the bolts thru the wheels are greased.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:20 AM
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I wouldn't have any problem getting fasteners of any kind here - by the way I am just about as far from Bellingham as a person living in Washington state can be. The cherry picker will be stored in the shop - that's why I got the folding unit. In my experience rod shields keep rain off the rod but not moisture from humidity. I've been around hydraulic equipment most of my life.
I'm in the middle of farm country and I have two fastener distributors within two miles of me plus three hardware stores that have very complete nut and bolt inventory.
I know that a 9/16" inch bolt will replace the 14mm ones but that is an odd size. The two fastener places carry them in fine and coarse thread but the hardware stores don't carry them. About the only place that size is used is puller screws - That is how I know they carry them. I had to replace a puller screw and then counter-bore the end to accept a ball and the interchangeable nose pieces. The nose pieces push against the ball for a friction free turn under pressure.
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Old 06-22-2016, 02:57 AM
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I wouldn't consider the 1 Ton pickers... I pull boat V8's with iron water cooled exhaust manifolds on them at full arm extension and that is a strain even on the 2 Ton pickers... the end of the first arm tends to bend down/open... And Made in China stuff is lucky to even achieve its rated strength... Unlike USA made which usually allows like 30% overload...

I would just drill the holes out for 5/8" or 3/4" Grade 5 or 8 bolts if concerned about their strength...

Local farm supply stores have the bolts and for cheap... often merely priced by the pound... and Grade 5 or better... no Grade 2...

They also have all 100% stainless steel hose clamps made for totally under water well use... and often lower priced than auto store hose clamps with plated common steel straps and ordinary steel screws all of which rust...

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Old 06-22-2016, 02:02 PM
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I've had a Chinesium cherry picker for 20 years now (it pre-dates Harbor Freight). No issues whatsoever. The only problem I've had is when I loaned it to a friend who promptly lost the rubber plug for the oil fill hole on the ram. Couldn't easily find a correct replacement, so that provided a great excuse to change out the ram for one of the air-over-hydraulic rams from HF. That was a fantastic upgrade. No complaints at all.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:58 PM
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No problems with mine until my son loaned it to a chump friend of his who let my picker sit out in the rain.
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:14 AM
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the ram on that picker

oldtech, if u on the side about the ram may not hold up.. i highly suggest going back to h/f and getting the air over hyd ram. i think it's rated 4 ton..maybe.. my ram with south and for 20 bucks more i got the air/hyd one.. what a great investment.. hook up your compressor to it and just hit a handy valve attached to it and it's going up.. no more pumping..pumping a hundred times. it pulses not just wip up in the air.. like the manual pump but finger operated... i'd buy another if needed..
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:35 AM
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I got a 2-ton HF unit. It must have been a mix-n-match special. I had to toss the legs up onto the Bridgeport to open the lock pin holes. I also machined up spacers so the ram would stay central.

I was shy a couple of bolts and Ace had those. The wall thickness on the extension tube is .125", would have liked it to be .187", I may make a new one. My last swap, I had to really hang it out quite a bit.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:33 AM
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I'll second the air over hyd ram, one of the best things I ever did to spoil myself!
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:50 AM
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i loaned my cherry picker to friend... who loaned it to his friend.. it was a 2 or 3 day loan... that was 2 weeks ago.. last night i think i found it in a picture online..



and no.. i don't know that guy... and if i was bent over.. you could not see the cherry picker.
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Old 06-23-2016, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynep712 View Post
i loaned my cherry picker to friend... who loaned it to his friend.. it was a 2 or 3 day loan... that was 2 weeks ago.. last night i think i found it in a picture online..
Lucky you... I'm still looking for the vacuum cleaner my tenants loaned to Arab friends 40 years ago...

Oh well, gives a good excuse to replace that little 1 Ton picker with a 2 Ton one...

I'm only 68, so still young and healthy enough I don't mind manually cranking my picker... My back will prolly finish going out before my arms...
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:46 PM
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The reason the rod is not polished is because the chrome plating was never done to keep the cost down. I have a 2 ton also and I keep the cylinder in the compressed position when not in use to keep the rod from rusting. Works so far after 4 years. I don't loan tools.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:59 PM
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The reason the rod is not polished is because the chrome plating was never done to keep the cost down. I have a 2 ton also and I keep the cylinder in the compressed position when not in use to keep the rod from rusting. Works so far after 4 years. I don't loan tools.
It doesn't have to be chromed to have a decent finish on it. I could take it apart and chuck it in my lathe and do a decent polish on it.
Having lubed it before I put any load on it the seals seem to be holding. If I ever have to repair it I will have it chromed and modify the seals for Polypack seals. They seal better than O-rings or W seals with less rod pressure, keeping wear to a minimum.
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:53 AM
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The ram on my HF unit is very clean and has a nice surface finish. The ram is expendable, replacements are pretty inexpensive. Not worth the time and effort to open it to replace the seals.

Nice to loan out the cherry picker sometimes, gives me more space in the garage when I'm working. Mine was out for a month, friend was using it at his shop.
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Old 07-04-2016, 06:46 AM
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when I rebuilt the rams on my frame machine I learned a few things.
1) The top seal is only a dust and dirt seal and has nothing to do with anything else
2) a rusty ram rod will only wear out the top seal (dirt seal) as long as its inside and don't allow water in there it'll work fine being rusty
3) The bottom seal does all the work and the ram rod just holds it there the seal rubs against the cylinder not the rod so a rusty cylinder would be a big problem, a rusty rod would not
4)if it leaks out the top seal its its only because the bottom seal is bad and fluid is getting by it. the top seal holds no pressure at all. (like a dust boot on a wheel bearing)
Basicly, a rusty ram rod isn't a problem unless its outside and water is getting in, rusting the cylinder which in turn wears out the bottom seal.
I've only rebuilt 5 rams and they all still work but I'm no expert, just sharing what I've learned, If I'm wrong on any of this let us know.
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