Hydraulic press worth it?

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Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Tuga2112 » Fri 18.10.2019, 22:24

Ive been thinking about adding a hydralic press to my "toolbox" for a while, although i am not decided on the investment, i wanted to get some opinions from the peeps on the forum on the topic.

firstly, i want to point out the reasons that keep me from being sure i "need" (dont we all) an hydraulic
1 - i see it as a rarely used tool, as far as im aware, we can use it for wheelbearings and bushings. which is a pretty limited divercity of uses for a tool, not to mention both jobs rarely need doing
2 - its a rather bulky tool and in my case, for the time being i would have to assemble it and dismantle it on a "per use" basis
3 - price... i mean.. theres a lot of tools out there within the same budget. probably theres something more usefull and less bulky that would be a better use of the money.

Id like to know what other uses are there for an hydralic press?
is 10ton enough for 90% of the scenarios ?
is there any advantages of bench vs floor except the size ?
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Saltire » Fri 18.10.2019, 22:52

Joao, FWIW I had this discussion with myself a few months ago. As you know, it’s impossible to have too many tools, but in this case, before I bought, I went round to a few “proper” local motor engineers and asked what they’d charge me to press in bearings, bushes, etc. And I came to the conclusion that I’d save money over a 5 year period just by popping things up to the little man in the next village and slipping him a fiver as and when I needed to. So I didn’t buy.

Since then, I’ve used him on one occasion - when I did my suspension & brake refurb last year. I dumped them with him, said “no rush”,and he fitted them in as and when. IIRC, the whole lot (all bushes and bearings) cost me about £40, compared with the £200-£300 that a proper shop press would have cost me. Given that I’m unlikely to refurbish again for 4-5 years, I’m happy with that.

Instead, I’m going to spend the money on a decent scissor lift, which I’ll use a LOT more :twisted:
Jonathan

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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Simon_P » Sat 19.10.2019, 00:17

As Jonathan says.

I have a cheap 10 Ton press...
Most of the time the thing you want to press is in an awkward chunk of metal that doesn't fit the press easily (an elan hub carrier - how are you going to mount it with the hub in the bearing?), then you need a round piece of metal the right size to press on, then you need a collection of blocks and packing pieces to press onto. Now you have it all balanced and start applying the pressure, and more, and more, but the bearing won't shift the whole thing is loaded up, ...and more pressure, still nothing, more pressure surely it cant take any more! then brown trouser time - BANG! it shifts a couple of mil, the pressure is off and the whole lot crashes to the floor while you wonder if you/it/the surroundings are in one piece. Reassembly is the reverse but with different bits in the way and the potential to bugger up your new bearing.

Your local garage/farmer has one big enough and strong enough that bits don't get in the way and it pushes bearings out like extruding cheese.
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby lotusrepair » Sat 19.10.2019, 03:23

The good - you have it when you need it. You can control when you do work because you have the tool.

The bad -- it takes up room. It can be dangerous if you do not setup correctly and parts go flying into you and cars. You did it wrong and broke the part. Friends will get you to help them use it.

With a large car collection it is only used a few times a year but it is there when I need it.

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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Rambo » Sat 19.10.2019, 07:46

I would say don't waste your time and money. Get someone else to do it on an "as needs" basis, which shouldn't be that often

There must be lots of other nice shiny tools you need in your toolbox before a 10 ton press :wink:
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby HJ2 » Sat 19.10.2019, 09:58

I have a 20T (made in China) shop press. :bananasex:
(basically a hydraulic jack in a standing steel frame)

I bought it when my friendly garage, who i used to pay 20 Euro if i needed some work done, ruined my expensive M100 wheelbearing...
Then i swore that this would never happen again and i spent 300 Euro on a press. I used it once in the 5 years after that :lol:
No need to say that I would not buy it again, it will probably be handy when i will change all the bushings somewhere next year.

The scissors lift however is used every week!
Go for it! :-D
(when you press through :roll: and decide to buy a press, don't go for 10t, but at least 20t It will give you more control, thus it will be safer to use and the result will be better or at least the same but with less effort and risk :poke:
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby robertverhey » Sat 19.10.2019, 10:15

Depends on your circumstances. I have a 20T press and it gets occasional use for the extended family’s fleet of Audis and Golfs. Early Audi A3s and Golf 4s have quite an appetite for front control arm bushes. It was also very useful during my ‘67 Elan SE restoration for bearings and suspension bushes.

I’d say it’s well and truly paid for itself. Bearings And bushes are quite cheap to buy, even for exotics and enthusiast cars. And being DIY, you know it’s going to be done with care and if something goes BANG, you only have yourself to blame.

As an aside I try to avoid any situations where a workshop needs to do a job that involves jacking up the car. And that includes tyre shops, I take the wheels off at home first. Otherwise I just know that pongeron’s gonna cop it.

Yes I agree go 20T. Some of those bearings are very reluctant to shift.
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Tuga2112 » Sat 19.10.2019, 11:30

Thanks for the input guys.

my scenario is that i've been doing all the maintenance work on 11 cars (10 different models) . and for some bizarre reason out of the last 4 MOTs 3 of them needed new bearings somewhere. i also intend to do replace the full bushing set in one of the cars over the next year.

my local garage has been doing all the bearing swaps for the past 4 years. and i have been happy with the 5-10 quid they ask me for it, but in the most recent MOT. i had to replace a bearing that my local garage fitted 4 months ago. aparnetly they forced into the hub the bearing i gave them. even tho i was supplied the wrong bearing. so this bearing was damaged in the process and needed to be removed by the local bearing specialist workshop (i guess 20ton wasnt enough to remove it even tho was enough to force it in)

its god to know before i go forward that 10T is not enough. that makes me less likely to go forward with the investment considering 20T will be a bigger hit on the budget.
I also agree a scisor lift is a tool that will be a lot more usefull than a press.
My the problem with the scisor Lift is the fact you need a garage to host it and i dont have one, i do however have a workshop with enough room for most jobs that can be done out of the car.

Simon_P wrote:Most of the time the thing you want to press is in an awkward chunk of metal that doesn't fit the press easily ... then you need a round piece of metal the right size to press on, then you need ... more pressure surely it cant take any more! then brown trouser time - BANG! it shifts a couple of mil, the pressure is off and the whole lot crashes to the floor while you wonder if you/it/the surroundings are in one piece.


As Simon say, theres a certain skill you need to gain in order to use them as well, and the appropriate "helper tools" (which sometimes you need to fabricate) are also needed. even tho i was aware of this, but its good to be reminded if that.

The argument "its there, so you can get the job done yourself without relying on others" is one that resonates with me more than would for most people. like some of you (HJ2) I have had experiences with garages in the past that made me more confident about my own competence than the garage. the best way i can describe it is that "No one will ever care about my car more than myself", i know will put the extra time required to get something done properly, even if that requires my car to be jacked up in the driveway for 3 weeks waiting for a delivery from America because while working on one thing i damaged something in the process that "can go back in, but really shouldn't" .

Chris
lotusrepair wrote:With a large car collection it is only used a few times a year but it is there when I need it.

what would you consider a "large" collection?

At the moment im inclined to not proceed with this idea. mostly because of my expectation of rarely making use of a press. no one has mentioned any other uses for one that i have not considered yet, that has always been the biggest "con" in my list, and from the discussion so far. it still seems that its a tool with very little gain for the space it takes in a workshop when your main focus is automotive repair/maintenance
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
94 Celica GT4 (Import)
94 4Runner
98 Celica SR

too many projects. not enough sunny days :(
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby Simon_P » Sat 19.10.2019, 12:39

Hi Tuga,

Don't get me wrong having a press is useful I wouldn't do without mine I have several cars to maintain and I use it for all sorts of other things (you can add straightening things to your list of uses) the point I was trying to get across is that it isn't all plain sailing buy a press and your problems will be solved look at a hub carrier - How are you going to press the bearing out and it is completely useless for removing M100 or any other flanged suspension bushes, for pressing them there is always a clearance issue with some part of the wishbone and a piece of studding and a couple of nuts will achieve the same result (see Dapinkys write-up)
10t or 20t really isn't the issue you aren't going to use that much force both will do the job, just DIY presses aren't really big or sturdy enough and there is always something in the way.
On cost vs use it is hard to justify, but convenience is worth a lot of time if you have the space.
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Re: Hydraulic press worth it?

Postby dapinky » Sat 19.10.2019, 17:36

:agree: with most/all of the above.

I am the proud owner of a 'small' bench mounted press which was used twice in the past 5 years - and not at all in the past 4!

So much, that the hydraulics rusted solid.......... (but it's now in a nice warm, dry garage!).......

....okay, the 'hydraulics' are a simple bottle jack that I can replace for about £20 - but you know how it is....... I'll get round to it "one day" and then never use it, or I'll need it, and can't wait so will get the job done elsewhere.

I prefer to do things myself, as time is freely available, and I can give a job as much care as possible - and at whatever time of the evening I need it done. I paid less than a hundred quid for it (I think it was actually nearer £60) but wouldn't get another if/when the frame breaks! - mainly because it's 'only' a few bits of steel angle/channel welded together witha bottle jack on springs and will always be repairable.

For the front wheel bearings (the job I bought it for!) I ended up making a wooden jig to hold the hub - basically propping it up on bits of 2"x1" so the face was flat, and packing it out underneath with more wood until the metal was supported, and the bearing could be pushed out. It only had a 6T jack, but did the job fine (I will be replacing with a 10T though).
Dave

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