How to Install the Western Snowplow Lift Ram Packing

by Jonathan Maziarz
Jupiterimages/ Images

The main hydraulic lift ram on Western snowplows allows the plow to be raised and lowered. Over time, the lift-ram packings (both o-rings and seals) may wear out and begin to fail. If you notice excessive leakage around the lift-ram packing nut even when it has been properly torqued, or if the ram fails to lift the plow or lifts very slowly, it is likely time to replace the lift-ram packings.

Step 1

Coat the replacement packings with hydraulic fluid.

Step 2

Install the inner backing ring, by hand, on the packing set. Then install the outer seal over the inner backing ring by hand. Make sure the ridged surface of the outer seal faces the ram.

Step 3

Slide the gland nut over the threaded end of the ram to prevent wrinkling the seals.

Step 4

Thread the piston lock-nut onto the ram and tighten to 100 to 120 foot-pounds.

Step 5

Place the ram back in its housing.

Step 6

Place a 0.012” feeler gauge between the ram and the gland nut. Tighten the gland nut until it is snug against the feeler gauge.

Remove the feeler gauge and tighten the gland nut to 150 to 180 foot-pounds.


  • Submerse the ram assembly in warm liquid to make it easier to install the o-rings and seals.

Items you will need

  • Replacement o-ring and seal kit for your model plow
  • Hydraulic fluid (specific to your climate)
  • Torque wrench
  • Feeler gauge set

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