flexi New Reader
10/21/13 7:26 p.m.

I have an HF cherry picker that I tried out today. Bought it a while back with a GRM/HF coupon . It was time to use it. The picker sags over a time, especially under load. Is this defective?

I used it to lift up a head+manifold off my miata. (Mistake - but subject of another thread, perhaps.) Are the rams repairable? Or time for another one?

Due to an embarrassing mistake on my part, it is time to pull the whole engine and put in another one. So I need to trust the hoist...

moparman76_69 Dork
10/21/13 7:33 p.m.

Make sure the cylinder is full of oil and the valve is tight.

flexi New Reader
10/21/13 7:42 p.m.

In reply to moparman76_69: The valve used for lowering the hoist, is that the one you mean? That was tight - but I'll check it again. What do you use for the hydraulic fluid?

moparman76_69 Dork
10/21/13 7:48 p.m.

Jack oil


logdog GRM+ Memberand Dork
10/21/13 7:55 p.m.

How long does it take to sag?

flexi New Reader
10/21/13 7:58 p.m.

In reply to logdog:

About 2-3 minutes, which is short enough time that I have to worry about it, especially if I'm alone.

fujioko Reader
10/21/13 8:02 p.m.

Mine will bleed down overnight with an engine on it. With no load it will take a week or two to bleed down. I figured it is pretty good for a HF hoist.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
10/21/13 8:05 p.m.

My son lifted his tonka truck with it about a month ago - still up in the air.

More seriously, I've had an engine hanging for well over a week without any movement....

flexi New Reader
10/21/13 8:13 p.m.

Even overnight under load would be good. I thought it odd that I needed to pump it a lot when lifting the head. It kept on slowly moving downward. Later, I was surprised when I heard a clank and saw the hoist hit the ground. Fortunately, I had already placed the head and manifolds on my makeshift operating table. Hopefully filling the ram with hydraulic fluid and tightening the valve will fix it.

ShadowSix HalfDork
10/21/13 8:18 p.m.

Yeah, we've had V6/auto trans combos in the air for extended periods of time (more than a day) with our HF picker. I assume yours has no obvious leaks?

flexi New Reader
10/21/13 8:28 p.m.

I looked for a trickle, or weeping, but didn't see anything.

Travis_K UltraDork
10/21/13 8:30 p.m.

Mine is an older one, and I have left weight on it for days and it doesn't move.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
10/21/13 9:43 p.m.

2-3 minutes: Defective. 2-3 hours: Borderline. 2-3 days, yeah, that's about normal. They sell just the ram for about sixty bucks or so if you didn't get the extended warranty.

novaderrik PowerDork
10/21/13 10:27 p.m.

if it can't hold 50 pounds of head and intake manifold, then something's definitely not right..

my 11 year old 2 ton cheapy picker will hold the front end of a car off the ground over night. i did, however, weld a bolt across the release screw as a handle to give me more leverage to tighten and loosen it by hand because it used to sag a bit over time..

try bleeding the ram- tighten the release screw with a pliers... then grab the boom and lift it all the way up thru it's travel.. i've had to do this with mine a few times when i tried to use it after it's not been used for a while.

JamesMcD HalfDork
10/21/13 10:54 p.m.

I have the Advance Auto Parts one which I believe is the same thing painted a different color. I have also left engines hanging on it for extended periods of time with no movement.

Gasoline SuperDork
10/22/13 7:50 a.m.

I have a couple of HF pickers. One has been patiently hanging a 455 Buick at exactly the same height for 6 years.

Tyler H
Tyler H GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/22/13 2:54 p.m.

Yeah, mine hoisted an MR2 chassis off the drivetrain package for several days. No sag.

Something is defective.

Leafy New Reader
10/22/13 3:38 p.m.

I have the pepboys 2 ton one, which was cheaper than the HF 1 ton one after coupon. And its definitely different. It'll hold the miata engine + tranny for a week without sagging at all. I'd try and see if you can return the HF one either to be replaced or a refund.

bgkast GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/22/13 4:09 p.m.

mine only holds for a few hours.

Wally MegaDork
10/22/13 4:43 p.m.

Can those rams be bleed? I have a Sears jack that needs to be bleed if it sits too long. It's easy enough todo a rubber plug gets pulled out, pump the handle for a minute and pop the plug back in.

Carro Atrezzi
Carro Atrezzi HalfDork
10/22/13 7:11 p.m.

If hydraulic cylinders didn't leak down overnight, this would never have happened.


flexi New Reader
10/22/13 7:42 p.m.

I just tested the jack again. It dropped about a foot in 3 hours, with only 30 lbs on it. The valve was tightened as best I could, given the crummy handle. I'll try to bleed it. Nah, first I'll check for oil. Maybe it wasn't filled to begin with.

Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
10/22/13 8:07 p.m.

That's pretty fast. Almost to the point of being unusable.

Usually low oil just means it won't go up all the way.

If it's leaking down, it's bad seals or a bad valve. There is an internal leak somewhere. You can probably replace the seals if you can find them. Try a hydraulic shop.

novaderrik PowerDork
10/22/13 8:26 p.m.
flexi wrote: I just tested the jack again. It dropped about a foot in 3 hours, with only 30 lbs on it. The valve was tightened as best I could, given the crummy handle. I'll try to bleed it. Nah, first I'll check for oil. Maybe it wasn't filled to begin with.

use a pliers to tighten the release valve...

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