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Old 09-13-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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Question Bottle Jacks

Can a bottle jack be easily overhauled?

Are bottle jacks supposed to lower themselves all the way down when the valve is opened?
I know creeper jacks do, but my only bottle jack has to be forcibly pushed down by me after I remove it from it's assigned chore. I take the removable handle and lay it over the saddle and then lay my weight into it. It is a PITA.
Of course I cannot remove it without using another jack to raise the unit enough to pull it out.
I use a light weight cheap creeper (floor) jack for this final removal.
The bottle of course retreats to the place the unit above drops but is still stuck under that height.

I am going to buy a new bottle jack or two, prob from Harbor Freight. Anyone had problems with their jacks? or any bottle jacks?

attaching this link to Harbor's Bottle Jack instructions and exploded view. I took it from the web and have not gone to Harbor yet to purchase.

<http://images.harborfreight.com/manuals/66000-66999/66450.pdf>


thanks in advance
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
Can a bottle jack be easily overhauled?

Are bottle jacks supposed to lower themselves all the way down when the valve is opened?
I know creeper jacks do, but my only bottle jack has to be forcibly pushed down by me after I remove it from it's assigned chore. I take the removable handle and lay it over the saddle and then lay my weight into it. It is a PITA.
Of course I cannot remove it without using another jack to raise the unit enough to pull it out.
I use a light weight cheap creeper (floor) jack for this final removal.
The bottle of course retreats to the place the unit above drops but is still stuck under that height.

I am going to buy a new bottle jack or two, prob from Harbor Freight. Anyone had problems with their jacks? or any bottle jacks?

attaching this link to Harbor's Bottle Jack instructions and exploded view. I took it from the web and have not gone to Harbor yet to purchase.

<http://images.harborfreight.com/manuals/66000-66999/66450.pdf>


thanks in advance
I bought a 12 ton bottle jack at Tractor Supply for $29. It works perfect for my Airstream. It has a threaded adjuster at the top where I place the jack under the trailer, turn the screw to raise the height and then use the handle to lift the trailer. When I let it down, I just unscrew the top a bit and it gives it room to pull out. All bottle jacks that I have owned need to be force down to the fully closed position because there is not sufficient weight to do it by itself. Creepers have long arms and some weight that assists it back to the closed position. Hope this helps.

Tharon
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
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Probably has air in it. Should be a way to bleed it off.
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
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I don`t know of any bottle jack that will compress all the way by itself,but you shouldn`t have to stand on it. It should only require a little pressure to push it down.
I don`t think they are worth rebuilding. Dave
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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I agree with Dave, at the low price they charge, I wouldn't even bother putting in new seals if they leak - not much else you can do with them anyway!

They don't generally retract fully - if they don't a gentle push will get them all the way back in.

Brian
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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I've never seen any light duty bottle jacks which are self retracting. I have seen some REALLY big (like for huge trucks) shop bottles with spring assist for lowering.

If you are just "cracking" the release valve, it will be hard to compress. Try openiing the valve another 1/2 - 3/4 of a turn after the load lowers to the floor and I think you'll find it much easier to compress.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:06 AM   #7
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My old bottle jack just leaked fluid all over the place, even though I did an annual service on it not long ago. I'm going to stop carrying this heavy, annoying thing, especially after recently changing a flat very satisfactorily with leveling blocks. And if the going gets tough, there's always AAA. -- John
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:20 AM   #8
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About a month ago, while changing some tires on my trailer I found an old bottle jack on my work bench that had been there unused since we moved here (we've lived in this house 11 years), and it would not go up or down.

It was sufficent weight to keep the garbage can from turing over in the wind until the truck came to collect it.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #9
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Talking about bottle jacks......I used one in a very interesting way a few months ago. Over time, one section of our cement walkway settled causing about a 1" drop. I dug under the seam and placed a bottle jack under the low side and very carefully jacked the 3' by 4' piece of cement up. Next I enclosed the bottle jack with a bag of quick dry ready mix. Next, I covered the hole with some dirt and some sod. True, my bottle jack is gone forever, but this was a great fix for a few bucks.
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