A valuable engineering lesson learned at the SBPLI Regional Event:
We have a rear climbing piston to help us up the 6" step. Sometimes (always) it gets stuck on the diamond plate and bends as we try to drive forward. This is okay unless we REALLY bend it, because then it doesn’t come back out.
The first time we did this, we took the piston off and replaced it with our only spare. If it happened again, we thought, we were done. Then I went to work on the old piston. I was able to get it back out by putting it in a vice and twisting, but it would still jam up if I tried to push it back in. I tried to step on it and bend it back, but this was useless…it is a 1.5" bore piston and is pretty strong. I tried putting it in the vice and pulling as hard as I could, but that didn’t work either.
Then I remembered engineering rule number one: if it doesn’t work, hit it really hard. I looked at it too see which way it was bending, turned it the opposite way, and slammed it into the ground. Sure enough, it worked perfectly!
Now when we bend them, we swap the bent one out and the good one in and hit the bent one into the ground really hard…the whole process take about 3 minutes and has saved us 5 pistons so far.