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Friday, March 15, 2019

Hydraulic Hose Repairs use these 7 characters before you buy replacement Hydraulic Hose & Fittings

Having completed over 50,000 High Pressure Hydraulic Hose Repairs, please read on to find out how you can get your self out of trouble and back working with minimal cost and time lost.

The Story is nearly always the same.
 The phone call from the stressed customer is nearly always the same,

I had just one
  • more load to take to the land fill site or
  • more meter of trench to back fill or
  • more driveway to blast clean or 
  • car or boat to rinse off... and I was done!
"But then I noticed Oil or Water leaking and pooling on the ground, or worst yet hot Oil was spraying and making a mess of my engine bay or even worse yet pouring on to my customer's newly cured concrete driveway and freshly painted house wall !?

Sometimes the hydraulic hose leak is small and the oil seeps into the ground unnoticed until your machine starts to shudder and loose power or just stops, moving, digging or grinding altogether.
What The ! you think to yourself !?!

Repairs to Excavator with a Pulverizer,
(a concrete crushing attachment) on a demolition site.

Having completed over 50,000 High Pressure Hydraulic Hose Repairs, please read on to find out how you can get your self out of trouble and back working with minimal cost and time lost.
There are a couple of ways to do this.   
The best and safest way is to call us at Mobile Hose Fixers & Hydraulics 
(07) 5571 6155 

Need Hydraulic Hose Repairs click here

However, having a mobile High Pressure Hydraulic Hose Repairs technician visit you is not always possible, practical or economical.  

The quickest and most cost effective way to repair or replace a hydraulic hose will require you to have some mechanical knowledge and aptitude and to be capable of safely finding and removing the damaged or leaking Hydraulic Hose. 

You will also have invested in some minor insurance such as a handful of D.I.Y reusable fittings , Hydraulic Hose and some tools such as spanners or wrenches and preferably (but not essential) a  vise / vice mounted to a solid bench or other heavy object. 

If you want some Guidance and insight on how you can manufacture new high pressure hydraulic hose assemblies with basic tools and without expensive equipment? 
Then watch this informative 12 minute video to get an idea what is required to complete a Do It Yourself D.I.Y Hydraulic Hose Repair Assembly using Reusable Field Fit Hydraulic Hose Fittings.

Click here to watch our 12 minute D.I.Y hose assembly Video.

Typical Field Fit Reusable, a Hydraulic Hose Repair fitting used for Hydraulic Hose Repairs and Do It Yourself  DIY hose Assemblies. These two (2) piece fittings screw onto the hose in a certain sequence and once assembled are rated to work safely up to the full pressure rating of the hose. 

If this type of repair seems interesting and challenging and within your technical and physical capabilities, you can visit this web store and select and purchase the parts required.

Click here to Buy Field Fit Reusable Hydraulic Hose Fittings 

For Crimp / Swage on Hydraulic Hose Fittings click here

For 1/4" 2 Wire 5800 PSI rated hydraulic hose

For 3/8" 2 Wire 4800 PSI rated hydraulic hose

For 1/2" 2 wire 4000 PSI rated hydraulic hose

For a complete store overview and everything hydraulic, including, hose, fittings, valves, motors and cylinders. But first please read below to fully familiarize your self and or refresh your memory on the process and parts required. 
If you get stuck or need assistance use the contact us page to phone us or send a message.  

 Click here to contact us

 To Browse our store Click here

The 7 Secret Letters to Better Hydraulic Hose Repairs 

When you contact us we will ask you a few important questions based on the Acronym S.T.A.M.P.E.D and then, based on your answers, formulate the best, quickest and most economical solution for you. 
Our solutions or options may include.
  • Sending one of our Mobile Service Technicians out to do the job for you.
  •  Arrange for you bring the hose or even the entire machine to our Gold Coast service center.
  • Us packing and sending you the parts or the completed hose assembly you need along with instructions to Do It Yourself (DIY).
S.T.A.M.P.E.D stands for 

  • S = Size 
  • T = Temperature
  • A = Application
  • M = Media
  • P = Pressure
  • E = Ends
  • D = Delivery 

S = Size
The size or more importantly the Hose Inside Diameter. 
Generally you will need to replace the original hose with one of the same inside diameter. On long runs of pressure wash hose for example we may recommend the next larger size available to maintain original design flow and pressure drop. 

Three (3 ) Hose Samples each with a different inside diameter
From top to bottom 1/4" (6.5 mm) 1/2" 12.7 mm and 1" (25.4 mm) 

 T = Temperature,
For most Australian operating conditions it is sun and heat rather than cold that causes damage and deterioration in hydraulic hoses. 
The operating temperature is important in selecting suitable materials of Construction. Normal hydraulic hose will typically run around 60 to 75 degrees Celsius, transmission and power steering hoses may operate up to and around 120 degrees Celsius
Truck air brake compressor hoses may reach 150 degrees Celsius or more 

Four (4) Hose samples with their Maximum Continuous Working Temperature
From Top to Bottom, Synthetic Fiber Reinforced Nylon 70 C°,
Steel Reinforced Synthetic Rubber 120 C°,
Steel Reinforced High Temp Synthetic Rubber 160 C°
 Stainless Steel Reinforced (PTFE ) Teflon 260 C°. 

A = Application
How, Where and How often is the hose being used. 
Will it be exposed to the elements, sun, Heat, Wind, Rain, Snow and Ice. 
Abrasive environments such as those found Earth moving equipment, 
Aggressive chemicals, not just those found in paint or industrial chemical factories,
Believe it or not the salt in sea / ocean water can be classified as an aggressive chemical environment because salt when mixed with water and the oxygen in air can deteriorate most materials quite quickly.     

Sea Lift, This Machine Drives down a boat ramp and into the sea and positions itself under large twin hulled boats, it then raises up levels out and brings the boat up onto the shore for repairs and maintenance, it may do this task multiple times a day. 

M = Media,
What type of fluid is going to be flowing through your high pressure Hydraulic Hose? Water, Oil, Gas, Chemicals with what PH Acid or Basic?

P = Pressure
The normal Operating Pressure is very important in ensuring the correct hose is selected for strength and durability. 
Generally we work with an industry recommended Burst to Working Pressure safety factor of 4 to 1. For example a 1/4 inch inside diameter 2 wire braided hose will have a working pressure of 5600 PSI (380 Bar) and have a Minimum Burst Pressure of 22,400 PSI (1520 Bar)

4 Hose Samples with different materials of construction & Working Pressure Ratings. From Right to Left (small to large).

3/8" bore hose Synthetic Fiber reinforced hose SAE 100R6 pressure 34 BAR (500 PSI)

1/2" bore hose with 1 layer of braided steel wire SAE 100R1, working pressure 136 BAR (2000 PSI)

1/2" bore hose with 2 layers braided steel wire SAE 100R2, working pressure 275 BAR (4040 PSI)

3/4" bore hose 4 layers spiral wound steel wire SAE 100R15 ,working pressure 400 BAR (6000 PSI)

E = Ends,
What connections are on each end of the hose. This is Very Important and can vary quite a lot depending on intended application, working environment, how it is positioned and sometimes more importantly on the machine's country of manufacturer or intended country of origin.

Six 1/4" Hose Fittings from Left to Right

14 mm Metric Male,

 9/16" JIC Male,

 1/4" BSPT Male,

1/4" BSPP Female Straight,

1/4" BSPP Female 45° Elbow,

 1/4" BSPP Female 90° Elbow.      

D = Delivery,
How are you or we going to get your hydraulic hose repaired and leak sorted, and what tests and or special safety procedures will we or you carry out before, during and after final installation and commissioning for example ?
  •  Do we come to you?
  •  will you take the hose off and bring to us? 
  • Will you or can you bring the whole machine to us? or 
  • Will we assemble and pack and send the parts to you ready to assemble and install?   
Need Hydraulic Hose Repairs click here

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Why correctly Matching Power Speed and Pump Flow is so important in Hydraulic Lift Systems

The Original title of this blog was 
Warning How Not to Lift a 4200 Kg Forklift Vertically 6 m in 8.5 seconds.

That's moving 4.2 tons at a velocity of 70 cm per second or 2 feet 3-3/4 inches per second straight up.

Just before Christmas 2018, we were called out to investigate and make emergency repairs to a hydraulic goods lift. The 47 KW (60 HP) 2800 RPM high-quality Italian made Elmo electric drive motor designed to operate fully submerged in oil had failed. 

The Motor 
The electric motor rewind shop the motor was sent to told us that it was a catastrophic failure and it was not repairable. They also commented that they had not seen such an unusual motor failure before. The Failure looked like a high amp weld or spark had jumped across the motor casing and into the rotor housing and in the process had burned out a piece of the rotor.  
Further investigations in the new year revealed that a new motor was not available in the country. (Australia). And that a replacement motor would cost Au $13,000 and would take 6 weeks to get here. 

The Pump
The hydraulic pump installed was a beautifully designed high flow Italian S M screw pump and was sized to flow up to 660 Liters of oil per minute at 2800 RPM at a maximum pressure of 40 Bar (590 PSI)

Beautiful Internals of the 660 lt/min hydraulic screw pump.
this pump is for sale contact us below. 

  • A German-made high-quality flow control valve manufactured by Blain Hydraulics.
  •  Click here to see the quality and versatility of this awesome valve 
  • A 2" shut of valve with a built-in emergency lowering valve 
  • A set of large bore hydraulic hoses 
  • A huge gear flow divider 
  • A pair of identical three (3) stage telescopic cylinders.
  • And an oversized 800-liter hydraulic tank. 

The Dramas and the Stresses
I will go into the details at a later date but for all you fluid power engineers and hydraulics specialists out there, our quick fix to get the customer's equipment going again caused us major grief, stress, and embarrassment because..... we assumed that the people who had installed the hydraulic system including the pump and drive motor (and had also inspected it for many years) knew what they were doing !! 
And as our client kept repeating SH*@$#@T the lift has worked without drama for many years!!    

The exposed well of Hydraulic Goods lift with Twin 3 stage Telescopic Cylinders
and Gear Flow Divider between them 

The Quick Fix?

Our quick fix was to rotate the pump through 90 degrees mount it to a new fabricated  support frame and drive it using a new readily available 45 KW air cooled motor using extended drive shaft and solid couplings. So to clarify the Pump is still submerged below tank oil level but the drive motor is dry and out of the oil and is mounted above the tank and is driving the pump with an extension shaft.  

It took us about 4 days to source new motor, frame materials and then fabricate the frame, mount motor and pump, machine up extension shaft and then organise an electrician.

Commissioning Dramas  All went well until commissioning and testing of the new system. The new motor was struggling to power the pump and was just managing to raise the lift frame empty it was also drawing massive amounts of current (the Maximum rated continuous current  of the new motor was 76 Amps and was drawing up to 170 Amps) this high amps was even there after switching from Star to Delta so much so that is was going out on overload. This was quite strange because the old Elmo Motor and the new motor where quite well matched in Power Current draw and RPM. 
The motor was close to overheating and the oil was getting very warm, so a lot of energy was going somewhere??? 

Trouble Shooting
So without thinking it through quite thoroughly enough we thought "something must be wrong with the flow control valve or there is something stuck in it restricting flow" So we bypassed the valve and ran the motor and pump on recirculate, all ran well and with only 30 amps drawn so just to make sure we ran the system for 30 minutes with minimal temperature increases. So I thought It must be valve.

The Valve 
We thought about bypassing the valve and raising the lift with the pump only but thought better not as there was no real way of controlling the flow and speed without a lot of additional hoses and valves and too much risk.

So out the valve came and it was dismantled to pieces,  Did we find anything stuck inside ? No not really, there was some wear and tear from age and contaminated oil ( the entire Blain EV100 valve is made from Aluminium) and a few tired and slack O rings (actually lots of tired and slack O rings) but nothing that indicated a blockage, perhaps we thought the tired O rings where preventing the valve from working correctly so we replaced all that we could reassembled and set up all the default settings and the same thing, High amps, heat and eventual over load.  

I called the electrician he checked and double checked everything and declared all was good something was overloading the motor, we checked the extention shaft and couplings and bearings in motor and pump all OK. 

The Right Way to check a Hydraulic system design.  

1. Get a pressure gauge and measure the pressure required to raise the lift empty and with forklift loaded on, so I modified a large elbow fitting after the Blain Control valve and drilled and tapped a hole for a standard test port. And then measured the pressures. 
31 bar to raise lift empty, 57 bar to raise lift and forklift.  

The above is done in trouble shooting mode, if designing from scratch you would have to calculate frame weight, payload weights, cylinder bore / rod diameters, pressure requirements and speed requirements and also allow for efficiency losses which can be as high as 40%  to 50% in some instances.

2. Check Pump Specifications as supplied by the manufacturer.
The pump was a Settima SMIT GR70 660 Lt 
according to the specifications this pump at 2800 RPM could pump 660 litres per minute of ISO 68 grade oil at a maximum pressure of 40 Bar. so we had 2 problems. 

  • We did not have enough power for such a large flow pump, according to specifications you would need 55 KW at 45 Bar but we needed 57 Bar and we only had 45 KW
  • Also the pump was the wrong pressure rating as it was only rated for a maximum of 40 BAR and we needed 57 bar to raise the lift frame and forklift. Further research indicated that to achieve 57 Bar at 660 Lt/min we would need a least 78 KW.
  • For the above reasons we recommended to the customer to change out the pump with a smaller flow, higher pressure to more closely match motor power available. With costs and time by this stage were blowing out we eventually chose a GR45 180 Lt this pump at full 80 bar pressure would only require 30 KW

Below is the full report of our findings as reported to the customer after a few days of testing, head-scratching, number crunching and research. 
The Blain Hydraulics online Lift Calculator was a great help in getting the customer to understand the situation and to also reinforced our findings research and calculations. 

For privacy reasons, I have removed all mention of the customer and location. 

Summary of Findings, Damaged original Drive motor & poor performance of replacement motor at XXXXXX ... XXXXX.

  • Calculated weight of empty lift is approx. 2200 Kg
  • Add 2000 KG for Forklift total weight 4200 KG.
  • The pressure required to raise empty lift = 31 Bar (450 PSI)
  • The pressure required to raise lift with forklift = 57 Bar (850 PSI)
  • The installed pump is rated to 40 Bar (57 bar required to raise lift and forklift)
  • Originally installed Pump Drive motor was rated to 47kw at 2770 RPM and 89 AMPS. 
  • New motor rated at 45 KW at 2960 RPM. (%7 higher speed) at 76.3 amps.
  • Power required to raise empty lift 45 KW
  • Power required to raise lift with forklift only! Is 81 KW.
  • Option 1 replace 2 pole motor with 4 pole motor to reduce speed to 1450 RPM.  However, the pump is working at 40% over the maximum rated pressure. And may not last long term.
  • Option 2 Best long term fix, source smaller pump rated at the correct pressure and installed motor speed.

·       Please see full calculations and pictures below.

·       Figure 1. Name Plate From Original Elmo Damaged Drive Motor 47 KW (64 HP) at 2770 RPM Max running amps 89 A
Figure 2. Name Plate From Replacement Techtop Drive Motor 45 KW (60 HP) at 2800 RPM Max running amps 76A. 

 Figure 3. Installed pump in tank, Specification is as follows
S M Screw pump GR70 –SM-660 LT
this pump is rated to only 40 Bar, 57 Bar is required to raise lift frame and forklift only.  

Figure 4. The Installed high Flow Pump requires 81 KW at 2960 RPM to flow 660 LT / Min.
It Requires 41 KW at 1450 RPM to flow 330 LT/Min.  See calculations below. 

Figure 5. Full Calculation Based on Actual Measurements  & Calculated Data. Motor Power required is 81 KW. Actual installed power before failure was 47 KW. Hence the catastrophic failure of the submerged electric motor after years of short duration high amp operation. 

Conclusion, today we are replacing the 660 liters per minute 40 bar pump with a higher pressure (80 Bar 1100 PSI)  pump rated to flow 180 liters per minute at 2800 RPM.
We will leave the new 47 KW, 2800 RPM replacement motor in place. 

When complete this installation will be capable of raising the lift superstructure, forklift and a ton of payload (total of 5200 Kg ) to the next level (6 meters up) in a little over 30 seconds.

New high pressure 180 Lt/min pump on left with old low pressure 660 Lt/min Pump on right. Bernardo our always smiling hydraulics technician working on the changeover.  

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To Contact us about your Sick, Leaking or Temperamental Lift or to book one of our Technicians click here

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top 8 Bite Force vs Human vs T Rex vs Crocodile vs Lion vs Great White Shark vs Hydraulic Pulverizer.

What animal has the Strongest Bite Force. 
Interesting facts about the hydraulic Pulveriser's Bite force compared to a few other hungry animals including Humans.
  • Human bite 80 Kg (175 pounds)
  • Lion 270 Kg (600 Pounds)
  • Bear 545 Kg (1200 Pounds
  • Gorilla 590 Kg (1300 Pounds)
  • Hippopotamus 820 Kg (1800 Pounds)
  • Salt water Crocodile 1680 Kg (3700 pounds)
  • Great White Shark "estimated" 1820 (4000 pounds) 
  • Tyrannosaur's Bite force "estimated" at 5800 Kg (12,800 pounds)
  • Hydraulic Pulverizer Bite force 60,000 Kg (130,000 pounds)
click here to watch a Pulverizer in action (Mother T Rex Building Nest)

Measuring an Alligator's Bite Force "Courtesy Nat Geo" 

Our client's calls it the "Pulverizer" and they use it to crush, break up and remove the steel bars from large pieces of concrete removed from building demolition sites  . 

They then break the smaller chunks of concrete down into gravel sized pieces as they pass though a set of reciprocating jaws and a series of sorting screen. The resulting gravel sizes are then discharged into piles and recycled into road base and other useful building materials.

So what kinds of teeth do you need to chew concrete all day ?

Molybdenum alloy steel.

We are currently rebuilding the big jaw muscle (hydraulic cylinder) that generates this supper bite.

Need your leaking Hydraulic Cylinder removed and resealed ?

Next blog on YouTube The Pulverizer eating Action.

I think it looks like the head of  T Rex some say it reminds them of a Turtle or a Lizard
or a Snake or "whatever!" they are all reptiles OK!. 

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Zero to 750 K per year in eCommerce sales in six years (our specialist Hydraulic Online Stores)

The title 3 years ago used to read "0 to 300 k in three years, Our online store".  
We are currently (Dec 2018) at $750 K in sales per year and are planning to exceed $ one million by the end of this year Dec 2019.  

So what has changed in the last 2-1/2  years. 

1. We invested in and launched our own web store. Our Own Hydraulic.Online
 We have promoted this store with a little bit of consistent SEO and by also sending a small card with any eBay sale we directly dispatch from our Service Sales center inviting our eBay customers to save 5 % by visiting and purchasing from our new online store. 40% of all our online sales now come from this web store.

In the last few weeks (As at Feb 2019) I have gone back and started to update our blogs with new fresh pictures, more detailed and clarified content and the odd video. I have also added links to our website and web stores. So watch this space for the next update on our sales performance.

2. Amazon Australia.
Amazon is a completely different and more sophisticated online platform to eBay, Amazon is a very customer (buyer) focused almost to the detriment and expense of the seller. 

Amazon has the lions share of the online market in the USA and that is where we are going to focus some of our efforts this year. 

Here in Australia, Amazon is just 1 year old, we are slowly making some progress with a few key imported products but as the platform is still new in Australia and does not have all the product categories as the US site has, it has affected our niche of specialty industrial products that currently have to be listed under the "home improvements" category. 

Less Than 1% of our online sales come from this platform, and at the moment it is a loss for our business, but watch this space we are learning about key words, pay per click and early adopter programs most of which are not yet available in Amazon Australia.

2. Sales from our eBay store continue to increase for the following reasons.

  • We have created relationships with wholesales and importers who will drop ship for us. 
  • Drop ship means you promote other companies products on your website and if they sell, you send an order to your supplier and or wholesaler and they ship the product to your customer on your behalf. Around 30% of our total online sales are drop shipped. 
  • Bulk buying, as we have grown we have been able to negotiate better prices buy purchasing some of the best selling items in larger quantities, these savings are passed on to the customer making you more competitive but Warning make sure your profit margins are maintained.
  • When our sales $ volume increased to a certain size we were allocated an eBay concierge, this is a representative employed by eBay who calls us once a month and discusses our performance, makes recommendations based on market trends and also on what our competitors are doing. Some of their recommendations are  
  • New products and a larger range of sizes and quantity variations.  
  • Importing our own products directly from manufacturers or overseas wholesalers. This will gave the best margins but at the cost of having to invest up front for the products. 
  • Check out our stores here 

Below is the details of our original blog written a couple of years ago.  
Ebay, I suppose most of you have heard the name,  most of you have purchased and or sold 
something through eBay with great, average  or perhaps disappointing results. If you feel ebay is not for you because you feel or have heard that it has a reputation for cheap poor quality products I urge you to think again and take another careful look. 

So why do we use eBay ? There are three hundred thousand reasons why we use eBay, the most important reason is "global reach"  and more importantly for us Australia wide reach. I am not writing to tell you what to sell, I am writing to tell you HOW we at Mobile Hose Fixers & Hydraulics Gold Coast sell specifically through our eBay store and by using the rules below you most probably could do it as well.

Just in case you are still wondering  "What is ebay?"
Wikipedia the online encyclopedia says
"eBay Inc. is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales services via the Internet".

First a little history.
My wife and I were using eBay even before we purchased our own businesses some 10 years ago. We used to get up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings and drive to all the "promising" garage sales advertised in the local newspaper.  

I still remember my two most profitable garage sale purchases.
1. A large Kleenmaid clothes dryer that I purchased for $80, I spent 4 hours cleaning it up inside and out and replacing a small ball bearing supporting the drum and then listed it on ebay...it sold for $320 one week later.
2. A mint condition hard cover book on Thomas the Tank Engine (the complete collection of stories) which I still kind of regret selling , I did triple my money but I could of made a lot more now if I had held on to it.

  My wife even had a small part time eBay business mainly buying small antiques from ebay in the United States then reselling them here in Australia,  she made enough to pay for the family groceries every week.
Anyway with the purchase of our own businesses eBay was forgotten up until about 5 years ago when I thought "I wonder if I can sell some of the products that I sell over the counter and out of the service trucks on ebay?" but that's all I did, .... think about it, and then I didn't do anything about it for another 2 years.

In 2013 I listed my first small  $8 item related to my current business on ebay and within about a week it sold , motivated by the sale I listed some similar items and within 2 weeks most of those had also sold.
Initially the items I listed and sold were not items I sold a lot of through the business but  products I thought might be useful to people who would be interested in doing the job themselves,  people who were possibly skilled, interested and motivated enough to want to do the work themselves but who may have had difficulty sourcing or selecting the correct parts.  And that's how it started, the ebay DIY (Do It Yourself) hydraulics theme.

I did my homework and in most cases followed eBay's online tutorials and or advice they sent me via email as we grew,  Over the past couple of years we have generated and list of rules and proceedures for listing, displaying, describing and photographing the products we sell. Below are some of the rules that in my opinion are the basics but also the most important ones.
1. Photographs
Multiple, clear, well illuminated, high resolution (1 megabit) digital photographs with plain uncluttered backgrounds.
High resolution because eBay has a zoom function on pictures which lets prospective buyers really see the detail of the product they are interested in purchasing. Pictures of your product from different angles also allows the buyer to better visualise how your item is put together and how it will look or fit into or onto their machine.
Some of our product photos have been viewed so may times through eBay and its promotion of our product that they even show up on google images.
2. Lots of Written Detail
A very detailed, well written and laid out description of the product, its uses and function.
Describe what your product does,
how and where it is used and by whom.
Where it is made, if it is made in Turkey,  China, Germany, Italy or the USA, say so, you should have confidence in your products, 
Sales training Specialist Victor Antonio says it perfectly "be a Product of the Product".
All our products new and or re-manufactured are tried and tested and come with a 30 day money back guarantee and so should all the products you list.
If new, all products by Australian Law must come with a  12 month warranty.
What materials is the product made from?
It's size and weight?
Its design limitations such as pressure, flow and temperature.
The details you write to describe and explain your product and or show through photos will not only indicate that you know your product well (which you should) but the buyer will also percieve that you are an expert on this item.
Remember the more details you put the less questions you will have and more informed and confident your buyer will be.
3. Answer all Questions
Included a contact phone number and or an email address in all your listings and be prepared to answer all inquiries promptly with enthusiasm, respect and politeness at any time of the day.  We have made many great repeat customers this way who now contact us direct with all their hydraulic requirements.
4. Packing and Postage
Ensure that you pack and address all your products neatly and professionally and most importantly post the item or items as quickly as possible.
Ensure that you don't profit from the postage. However do allow a reasonable amount for your time and expenses to wrap and prepare a postage label and for the run to the local post office or freight company.
Try and negotiate with freight and courier companies for bulk deals.
If you offer Australia wide postage like we do, shop around for the best freight deal. With time you will come to know which carriers are good for what areas.  Always keep looking for better freight deals.
If you experience any kind of dispatch delay or out of stock error or you have realised you just made a mistake let the customer know straight away in writing and always offer a 100% refund as a first option followed by your preferred option which is to ask the buyer to wait until you have rectified the mistake or problem. It is our experience that if you offer a 100% refund first and keep the buyer informed with regular updates generally more than 99% of buyers are happy to wait till you sort the problem out.
5. Pricing 
Pricing will vary with the type of overheads you may have.
For us pricing is a based on a standard % mark up and on tiered scale based on our purchase price. The higher the purchase price the less the margin %.
However our online business has and does generate enough funds to pay wages to two full time employees as well as cover overheads and fixed expenses and so should yours.
The Selling price of your item is not always the deciding factor on whether a buyer will purchase from you, your "feedback" score is generally far more important. 
6. Feedback
Feedback is a score that your buyers give you based on how they felt the transaction went and how satisfied with the product they received.
Your customers are asked by eBay to judge the service you provided as well as the product you supplied and then give you Positive, Neutral or Negative feedback.
A 5 star grading system is also used by eBay and it asks the buyer to rate the following .
How accurate was the description of the product in the listing compared to what they actually received.
How good was the communication by the seller during the transaction.
How quickly was the item posted.
And how reasonable were the postage charges.

Ebay analyses these scores and makes them visible for everyone to see.
If you follow the rules eBay will also reward you and promote you and will also display little icons that lets all prospective buyers know what kind of seller you are.
Two years ago eBay's awarded us "Top Rated Seller"  status, which recognises sellers who have a proven track record of excellent customer service and sales.
Last year we were awarded "Power Seller" status.  Power Sellers are among the most successful sellers on eBay in product sales and customer satisfaction.
What are the requirements? To qualify for the Power Seller program, sellers need to consistently sell a significant volume of items, keep their account in good standing and provide a high level of service to their buyers. Membership is free and can only be awarded if you qualify and maintain those standards.

7. Conclusion
So what are you waiting for? Everyone has at least one keen interest and or in depth knowledge on a product or process and how to use it and even who to purchase it from. Do some homework or research on eBay and find out who is currently selling where are they located and for how much are they selling it.
Or You may have a garage, basement, barn, attic, house, bedroom, display cabinet or wardrobe, full of items you purchased but never used, or replaced before its useful life was over.
My favorite saying is from Nike Sports wear "Just do it" ....... eBay it!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Holden Astra Convertible, Roof Repair, Hydraulic Hose repair, Oil Leak and Roof Latches.

The other day I had a phone call from a woman who owned an Astra Convertible, she explained that  her mechanic had told her to call us as we might be able to fix her hydraulic oil leak on her Astra Convertible and get her roof operating again.
I said to her, ""let me guess, your oil leak is at the rear left hand side of the vehicle" she said "how did you know that !" I explained that nearly 95% of the failures are on hose supplying oil to the single cylinder that lifts the rear metal hatch that covers and hides the folded roof. 

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Mobile Hose Fixers and Hydraulics Gold Coast have had many inquiries over the last few years about hydraulic oil leaks and repairs on the roof of 2003, 2004, 2005 and early 2006 Holden (Vauxhall) Astra Convertibles.
We have removed, re manufactured and installed many hoses, cleaned out pumps and tanks, have replaced roof control computers and even fixed and or re manufactured the mechanical locks that hook the front of the roof to the top of the windscreen.

Holden Astra Convertible

Updated Feb 2019.
Way back in 2014 when we initially wrote this blog we struggled to find a way to even open the Astra Convertible roof! and internet searches back then were of little help or were out of date, or had been moved, phone calls to a local Holden dealer although somewhat helpful supplied us details for the wrong model. We were very frustrated. 
Eventually we went back to the Astra owner's manual which provides instructions on how to close the roof in the event of a malfunction but it mentions nothing about how to open it !!! 

We thought we will just do the reverse of what the owners manual says and it should open ...... and it did ....almost ....  but with a little perseverance we eventually got it open, identified the damaged hose, removed it from the vehicle's roof cylinder and the pump manifold. We manufactured a new hose,  installed it back into the Astra, topped up the oil tank with "special oil " and reset the hydraulic system.
Holden used to sell complete hydraulic systems for the Astra for several thousand dollars, but now you can bring it to us for a fraction of the cost, we estimate that we would invoice around $300 in labour plus $150 to $200 for each new hose.  The Good news is that now there are more $ savings to be made on repairs, Please read on.

Typical Astra Convertible Roof Hose, there are 10 hoses in each
vehicle, hose Length varies between 1.8 and 3.6 m.

Never force or lever the roof of the windscreen, you will damage some or all of the locking mechanisms which is very expensive to repair and or replace. Contact us (details below) for advice on this issue.  The roof to windscreen locking latches are a combination of electric motor, flexible drive shafts and an elaborate mechanical linkage system, See more pictures below.
In 2017, in order to save time and reduce costs for the vehicle owners who love this car, we experimented with a new "rough and quick" way to make repairs. This involved repairing the old hose in the car rather than removing, manufacturing and installing a new hose.

Astra Convertible Hydraulic power pack for roof opening and closing, complete with Plastic Tank,
Pump, Motor, Manifold Block with electric solenoids & relays and Top Hose Plate (removed)
This pump is located in the rear right hand boot (trunk) cavity. 

The Good News 
The good news for most Astra convertible owners is, that after repairing so many Astra convertibles we came to realise that 95 % of the time the failure was the same hose. This hose is located at the rear left hand side of the vehicle and it is connected to the bottom of the single hydraulic cylinder that lifts the metal lid (above the boot/trunk) space used to store and hide the folded roof. We have developed a quick repair process that takes about 30 to 45 minutes to repair without having to completely remove the hose from the vehicle.
If your vehicle needs this repair current costs (as at Feb 2019) is around $150 Plus 10% GST
This price includes labour, parts, and up to 200 ml of special oil.

The Secret to Buying an Astra on the Cheap 
An other advantage/opportunity is that if you are looking for a cheap convertible look for an early model Astra Convertible that has a roof that does not work. Chances are pretty good that it is just this hose and the current owners have not found this blog yet.

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Astra Convertible Roof Latches (Left and Right Side) the Claws hook onto the top
 of the windscreen frame and locks the roof down. These latches have been
re manufactured as they were damaged when the roof was forced open.
Mobile Hose Fixers & Hydraulics are located on the Gold Coast,
South East Queensland, Australia. and can be contacted
on  +617 5571 6155 or email sales@mhfgc.com.au

Friday, November 23, 2018

Repairs to leaking Mercedes SLK, Saab 9 3, Porsche and Peugeot Convertible and Sun Roof Roof Hydraulic Cylinders

As a hydraulics business specialising in the repair and maintenance of small to medium hydraulic equipment, we get to witness first hand the effects that time, oil and the heat generated from engines and the sun have on the seals of high pressure cylinders of modern vehicles fitted with a convertible roofs or a sun roof.

Unlike the Holden (Vauxhall) Astra convertibles that usually have their High Pressure Hydraulic Hoses fail, Mercedes Benz, Saab, Porsche and Peugeot fitted with a convertible roof or Sunroof have failures of the High Pressure seals inside their linear actuators or more commonly called hydraulic cylinders or rams that lift, move, close or lock the the convertible roof or sun roof.

Modern Vehicles have a come a long way in the past 100 or so years. Pictured here is a 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 with 385 Horse power. In the background is the vehicle of the past that required 2 to 4 four legged horsepower to get it to move down the road. The GT4 also uses High pressure Hydraulic Cylinders to adjust the suspension characteristics of the vehicle, depending on the settings selected by the driver and also from data collected and sent by sensors located around the vehicle. This vehicle also comes as a convertible called the Porsche Cayman Spyder. Its not really relevant to the topic but it is such a great picture I just had to share it.    

In our experience, as vehicles reach their 12th to 15th birthday, certain materials that make up some of the high pressure seals that prevent oil from leaking out of these cylinders will start to partially dissolve, soften or harden, crack and or split and eventually deteriorate to such a degree that oil starts to leak out of the cylinders.
Depending on where these cylinders are located in the vehicle, oil drips and sprays can or may soak into the fabric of the roof or onto leather seats, carpets and trim of the vehicle.

As more and more oil leaks out of the roof's hydraulic system, eventually it will malfunction, fail and generally a series of warning tones or beeps will be heard as well as indicator lights appearing on the dash board.

Not all cylinders can be re manufactured but a vast majority can and are. We have dismantled resealed and or re manufactured a large range of hydraulic cylinders for various models of Mercedes Benz, Saab, Porsche and Peugeot convertibles.

Generally most manufacturers build or design roof cylinders in a way that saves money, by reducing the number of parts required to manufacture the cylinders and also to speed up assembly. Therefore  most roof cylinders are assembled with permanent style techniques that usually entail the deformation of metal by rolling, squeezing and dimpling.   

Above is a convertible Roof cylinder removed from a Mercedes SLK  the high pressure oil hoses have been permanently attached to the barrel body by squeezing and deforming the top lip of the oil inlet/outlet port tubes.  

Mercedes Benz SLK 

Mercedes SLK convertible roof cylinders undergoing re-manufacture, this involves careful preparation before drilling, preparation of new parts more drilling, tapping of fine threads, removal of old seals, cleaning and installation of new seals and final assembly and high pressure testing.
Mercedes, Saab, Porsche and Peugeot all utilise some form of permanent or semi permanent assembly techniques in the manufacture of their convertible or sun roof cylinders. The majority of the cylinders we work on will require careful preparation and measurement before drilling. Some cylinders will require machining and the removal of metal in a lathe followed by drilling and tapping of new threads to insert new locating pins or grub screws. All re-manufactured cylinders are bench tested to 1500 PSI (100 Bar) before being returned to the customer. 

Some of the more common Cylinders such as those from Mercedes SLK are completed on an exchange basis so we always have stock available immediately for dispatch.        

Typical larger Cylinder for Solid panel convertible roofs 
As mentioned above the high pressure hoses are not usually a problem with these vehicle models but we have re manufactured new hoses, installed them back into the vehicle, topped up the oil tank and set the hydraulic system. 

 Most Manufacturers are happy to sell you a new replacement component (and preferably a set of components) at a generally steep price such as what Porsche and Mercedes will charge. Other manufacturers such as Saab are no longer in business and most other manufacturers for example Peugeot will not and do not have to keep spare parts for vehicles older than 10 years.

Prices (as at Feb 2019) for cylinder repairs vary from $150 for a Peugeot lock cylinder to $450 for a double acting Porsche Sun roof cylinder.

For more information or to contact us.

2004 Saab 9 3 Convertible 

Typical Soft top Convertible roof move / fold stretch cylinder from a Mercedes or Saab Convertible these cylinders must have metal removed in a lathe before re-manufacture can begin.  

Mercedes Convertible latch or locking pin cylinder