Flea Market Floor Jack Won't Go Up or Down

I bought one of these Torin floor jacks used for $2 at a local flea market a couple months ago. I figured if it didn’t work, I could recoup my investment at the local metal recycler. … seriously, this thing is really heavy, I think I’d make a bit of a profit at the recyler … lol … anyway, it doesn’t work. Moving the handle won’t make it go up. I don’t know if it will go down, b/c it won’t go up. So far I’ve spent about 5 minutes prodding and rotating the various appendages and gizmos in various ways, no go. I thought I’d ask here before starting the serious detective work. This thing, it’s being so obstinate I’m thinking I might just take the whole mess apart down to the last screw just to show it who’s boss!! Any ideas how to diagnose the problem and get it working again?


First off, does it have any oil in it ?
Secondly, taking it apart would be the repair method and replace a few o-rings in there.

I couldn’t figure out where the oil fill port is located. But I agree, that’s something I definitely need to do. This jack isn’t configured like the one I usually use. The handle on this jack has a square recess on the end which fits a corresponding square bolt-like gadget on the top of the pump. Apparently you twist the handle and it twists that square thing, which turns a couple of interconnected sprockets, and that’s the method I think how you release it to let it down, after it is already raised. But I don’t think that square thing is where the oil fill port is.

would you trust your life with this jack, even though you would use jack stands?

Not yet.

Most people do not trust their life with jack, tht are still alive and my friends. There may be a rubber plug on the side where you can fill it with the proper oil. Car ramps and jack stands are your friends.

Too bad you don’t live near me… you could double your money… I’d give you four bucks for it… {:smiley:

Call Torin customer service at the number in this link.
Full disclosure is at your discretion.

The oil fill port on most jacks is located near where the handle pivots. Usually there’s a screw plug. In other cases the handle must be removed and the handle plunger pulled out with oil then being poured into the plunger hole.

Odds are some oil will cure it; either permanently or temporarily. For 2 bucks it’s worth messing with. Even if you have to reseal it you can probably match all of the O-rings in there for a few bucks also.

The oil plug may look like a bump. When you poke it with a screwdriver it will be soft because it’s rubber. You can pry it out. If it isn’t like that, you will find it eventually.

ATF works pretty good in jacks but they also make a product called “Jack Oil”…You may have to cycle the jack several times to bleed the air out. Check the fluid level again…Leaky jacks can be resealed…

I’ve not been very happy with my Torin red jack from Sam’s club. It leaks down. I always use jack stands anyway. If I think of it on Monday, I’ll try to find that plug for you. My Torin motorcycle jack from Northern Tool has been OK. Of course there is little wear on the seals since it has “catches” to hold the bike up once you let it down against the catches

My old floor jack requires about 4 ounces of jack oil each year. When it won’t go above half way up I finally refill it. I don’t plan to fix the leak, I bought it used in the '80s.

No solution yet, but a bit of progress to report. I’ve taken the whole thing apart down to the last bolt, nut, and one-way ball/spring valve. The problem is, by all appearances there’s nothing wrong. All the O-rings, fine. The main cup at the end of the ram-piston that jacks the car up, fine. In fact it looks like this jack was seldom used. I’d be surprised if it has been used to jack up a car more than a dozen or so times. Inside, the parts show very little wear.

The hydraulic unit, pretty simple design. Pushing on a small diameter piston causes fluid to move through one-way check valve to a big diameter (ram) piston, which moves with the corresponding mechanical advantage. Configured as a big double walled cylinder which screws onto a cubical base. The inside cylinder contains the ram piston. The space between the inside and outside cylinder seems to be for supplying clean air into and out of the end of the interior piston, as it moves in and out. To prevent air-locking I presume.

The base has four holes for the four functions. (1) the small diameter piston; (2) the one-way check valve; (3) the valve which allows it come back down; (4) a valve which sets the maximum force beyond which it won’t jack any more.

Nothing appears stuck. The input piston moves freely in its bore. The ram piston moves freely in its bore. I have two working theories

Theory 1. Some part is missing or some important port was clogged.

Theory 2. The maximum force valve isn’t working for some reason.

Trying to come up with a plan for what to do next. Any ideas appreciated.

It could be that the one way check valve is stuck open or has a rough seat. The up down valve pin is too short and doesn’t reach the seat.

Check valve and parts associated w/it looked ok. Spring was pushing on the ball pretty good. Hard to say for certain whether it is sealing 100% b/c the sealing surface is down inside, at the bottom of a long narrow hole. The ball looked good, like new. No distortion or cracks in the ball.

One thing I noticed, one ball that came out of the input piston port that didn’t have an associated spring with it. Two balls came out of that port, but only one spring. Maybe the problem is just a missing spring between the two balls? I found this diagram below, not my jack but hydraulic bottle jacks in general.


Search for “For the IDIOTS Who Already Messed With The Check Valves”