Forklift parts: Overhaul kits for Hydraulic Cylinders

Reading time: 5 min 27 sec.


If you own or operate a hydraulic forklift, then you know the importance of keeping your cylinders functioning correctly. A hydraulic cylinder overhaul kit is an essential part of any preventative maintenance plan for your forklift and can help keep your machine running smoothly for years to come. Here at Lift Parts Warehouse, we offer a wide variety of hydraulic cylinder overhaul kits to meet your needs. Let us help you choose the right forklift parts for your toyota, Clark or other machine model and get you back up and running in no time!

Table of contents

  1. Forklift hydraulic system
  2. How many cylinders use a forklift?
    1. Lift Cylinder
    2. Tilt cylinder
    3. Power steering cylinder
  3. Do your forklift hydraulic cylinders not function properly?
    1. Look for fluid leaks
    2. Check your hydraulic oil level
    3. Check the color of the hydraulic oil
  4. Can the forklift hydraulic cylinders be repaired?
  5. Overhaul kits for the lift and tilt cylinders for forklifts
    1. Lift Cylinder O/H Kit For Toyota: 04654-U1010-71
    2. Lift cylinder O/H kit for CLARK: 1813014
  6. Takeaways

Forklift hydraulic system

The forklift hydraulic system is actually composed of three subsystems. First, the pump unit compresses the oil in the tank and pressurizes it to 1500 - 2000 psi. Second, a forklift's fluid reservoir stores excess oil in case of leaks or when the forks are not in use. Thirdly, a circuit directs all power from hydraulics to lift trucks' components such as forks, mast, and engine. Hydraulic cylinders, also known as hydraulic pumps, distribute pressure throughout the forklift's four corner wheels.

The word 'Hydraulic' comes from Greek Hydra, meaning water snake that defends itself by creating a sudden increase in water pressure out of its tube-like mouth, thus forcing predators to retreat or killing them. Like water, hydraulic fluid (a mixture of oil and water) is incompressible but can be pressurized to 2000 psi.

During the forklift's operation, there is a chance that the Hydraulic system will leak or may get contaminated with chemicals or dust particles. For this reason, it is necessary to monitor fluid levels and power pressure.

forklift hydraulic cylinders
Forklift Hydraulic Cylinders types

How many cylinders use a forklift?

The lift cylinder and the tilt cylinder are the two most common cylinders used on a forklift, but there is also a power steering cylinder.

Lift Cylinder

The cylinder that drives the mast and forks upward is housed in the forklift's frame; it is called the lift cylinder. It consists of a single-acting hydraulic cylinder, and only works one way, vertically. During operation, the forklift lift cylinder may fail due to leaks in hydraulic systems.

Tilt cylinder

A forklift tilt cylinder is a double-acting hydraulic cylinder that may be used to tilt forward or reverse; it prevents the upright from bending to one side as the forklift is in use. Once the lift truck's forks are loaded, they can tilt through control valves. The desired angle of forklifts depends on several factors such as load center, load weight, and driver comfort. A forklift has both left and right tilt cylinders that, like the forklift lift cylinder, are used to move the carriage. The main distinction is that the tilt cylinders regulate the carriage's tilt and fork angle versus ground.

Power steering cylinder

The power steering cylinder is a double-acting cylinder that has the ability to apply equal force in two directions. This is required when turning the forklift's wheels in two directions, such as left or right.

The location of this hydraulic cylinder depends on what kind of forklift you have. In internal combustion forklifts, the power steering components are driven by the same pump that drives the other hydraulic elements. On the other hand, the power steering hydraulic components in electric forklifts are driven by a separate pump.

Do your forklift hydraulic cylinders not function properly?

One of the most critical situations caused by a malfunctioning forklift lift cylinder is load drift, while for the tilt cylinder is an uncontrollable movement. But what could be the problem?

Look for fluid leaks

Leaks in the hydraulic system can be dangerous and lead to failure, and this is why pressure and fluid levels need to be monitored regularly. Unusual wear, such as wet spots on clothing or evidence of leaking fluid around cylinders, should also be checked, and you should report it immediately. The most common sign is oil in the cylinders, other components close to them, or on the ground.

Forklift hydraulic cylinder leaking
Forklift hydraulic cylinder that presents a leaking

Check your hydraulic oil level

The hydraulic system on a forklift needs to have the correct amount of oil. If there is not enough oil, then air will enter into the system, leading to failure. However, if there is too much oil, it may cause leakage and contaminate other components such as fuel filters. The right amount of oil is when the container indicates half level.

Check the color of the hydraulic oil

Contamination of hydraulic fluid with dust or dirt can have a negative impact on forklift performance. Depending on the color of the hydraulic fluid, you will be able to tell if there was significant contamination or wear. If the color appears wrong, then it's time for a deeper inspection.

Keep in mind that the hydraulic system is a closed circuit, and this means that any particles introduced into the oil will remain unless removed by an external force such as a filter. If you notice particles floating in your oil during the inspection, then it's time to change the oil filter.

Can the forklift hydraulic cylinders be repaired?

If you notice any problem with the hydraulics, don't try to fix it yourself unless you have the knowledge and the required tools because you can get seriously injured. The safest way is to contact a professional company/technician to fix the hydraulic cylinders safely and effectively.

The following video shows How to repair the hydraulic lift cylinder of a Toyota forklift:

Whatever your decision, you must make sure to have the seal kit and other forklift parts that you will replace during the overhaul on these hydraulic cylinders.

Overhaul kits for the lift and tilt cylinders for forklifts

Another common mistake when fixing the forklift hydraulic cylinders is buying poor-quality forklift parts. It does not make sense at all since you have to do it again in a short period. Also, instead of saving money, it may even significantly increase your costs in the long run. There are two main reasons for that:

1) High-quality kits of overhauls ensure smooth work for many years, but their price is higher than overpriced cheap kits with bad quality.

2) Poor quality hydraulic pumps damage valves on the bottom part of the cylinder resulting in an increasing number of malfunctions which are usually more difficult to fix.

Lift Cylinder O/H Kit For Toyota: 04654-U1010-71

Lift Cylinder O/H Kit For Toyota: 04654-U1010-71
Lift Cylinder O/H Kit for Toyota: 04654-U1010-71

This is a lift cylinder o/h kit for TOYOTA forklifts of various models such as 6FGCU15. This high-quality lift cylinder overhaul kit contains 9 seals, and it can be used with TOYOTA forklift engines, including 4Y, 1DZ, or electric. If you want to know more information about this kit, click here or feel free to contact us.

Check also: Forklift tilt Cylinder O/H Kit for Toyota: 04655-U1010-71

Lift cylinder O/H kit for CLARK: 1813014

Lift Cylinder O/H Kit For Toyota: 04654-U1010-71
Lift cylinder O/H kit for Clark: 1813014

Forklift parts like the Clark lift cylinder O/H kit 1813014 help keep forklifts running at peak performance. This seal kit is compatible with TCM, NISSAN, and other forklift brands.

Check also:Forklift Tilt Cylinder O/H Kit for Clark: 1813029


Doing a simple inspection every six months or even better once in a while will provide an opportunity to reduce unnecessary costs by preventing severe damages to forklift parts like lift truck engines, transmissions, axles, etc. In case you need seal kits for forklift hydraulic cylinders, don´t take any risks and contact Lift Parts warehouse. Remember, Protecting your investment is the first step towards a successful forklift operation!