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Forklift Master Cylinder is one of the most important parts of the braking mechanism in forklift trucks. It is essentially a control device, which is responsible for the conversion of non-hydraulic pressure, resulted due to the application of manual force to the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. This device allows the brake liquid to transfer the applied braking force, duly multiplied, equally to all four wheels. A reservoir of brake oil placed right above the brake master cylinder provides optimized quantity of oil to the master cylinder, enabling it to apply the requisite pressure to the braking system. Besides providing requisite brake oil supply to the master cylinder, it also ensures an airtight atmosphere for the mechanism. It prevents any air intake into the master cylinder, since air intake can seriously reduce the amount of brake fluid to be transferred to the pistons and can result in reduced pressure application.
In all modern forklift trucks, two circuits operate in the braking system with each circuit governing two wheels. The two circuits hold good for a four wheel drum braking system or a rear wheel drum braking system only. In the later system, front wheels are served with disk braking system. The master cylinder ensures the provision of an equal pressure to both the circuits and both sets of wheels, thus guaranteeing the safety of truck and optimum functionality of the braking system.
The brake master cylinder includes a hydraulic pump that is operated via the operator’s foot, which sends pressurized brake fluids into the brake calipers and wheel cylinders through the brake lines. Forklift master cylinders generally contain the following components: primary and secondary reservoirs, rubber cup, primary and secondary pistons, return springs, and a housing. When the brake pedal is pressed its linkage with the primary piston pushes it forward. The forward push builds pressure in the cylinder and braking lines, forcing the primary piston to exert pressure on secondary piston as well. Both braking circuits of primary and secondary pistons receive equal amount of pressure in case the brakes are working to their optimum.
The hydraulic pressure in the cylinder is produced by the piston, cup and spring which slides into the bore. The contaminants that result from the wear of brake lining are kept out from the rear of the master cylinder by the reservoir which is kept full of brake fluids. The mechanics of the master cylinder is simple. Inside of the master cylinder, there is a push rod that is applied when the brake pedal is pressed by the operator. Trapped brake fluid and hydraulic pressure builds up as the piston cup is engaged. The calipers or wheel cylinders are forced to stop the wheels from rotating by a built up hydraulic pressure. Once the pedals are released, the brake fluids stream back into the master cylinder reservoir.
Another form of master cylinder is called the dual master cylinder. As the name implies, it has two separate chambers, separating the front and rear brakes. The benefit of the dual master cylinder is that one circuit can operate both the front and rear brakes. Also, it eliminates any possibilities of any brake fluid loss from braking.
A malfunctioning of braking systems is unacceptable for any vehicle. It is highly dangerous for the forklift trucks in particular, which usually operate either in the confined environments or outdoors at construction sites. The braking system involves a number of working parts with every part performing a crucial role. A faulty braking system can be attributed to a number of reasons. However, one such major failure that can render the rest of the mechanism untenable, is a faulty brake master cylinder. When it malfunctions, it either may stop to transmit equal pressure to both sets of tires, thereby reducing the Forklift truck’s braking capacity. If it remains uninspected and rectified, the fault may lead to a total failure of braking system. Hence, it is important to inspect the forklift master cylinder from time to time. Certain symptoms may facilitate inspection and can be useful in trouble shooting.
One of the symptoms of master cylinder failure is that the brakes become soft or squishy when the brake pedals are used. In addition, the brake pedals will sink to the floor when the operator apply continued pressure. At other instances, one would be able to see the brake fluids leaking from the master cylinder.
Constant maintenance and observation of the forklift master cylinder is important to avoid any braking problems. Testing the master cylinder is very simple. First, locate the brake fluid reservoir. It is typically located at the back of the engine bay and is a cylinder, made of plastic material, filled with hydraulic fluid. Then, another person has to be inside of the forklift to apply pressure on the brake pedal. Meanwhile, one must observe the brake fluid reservoir. When the brake is firmly pressed and fluid bubbles or swirls form within the reservoir, it means that the master cylinder is not functioning properly and will need replacing. If there are any leaks of brake fluids from the master cylinder, a repair kit can be used to fix the leak or a complete replacement can be made. Note that if the brake fluids are getting leaked from the brake lines, then the master cylinder does not need to be replaced.
At times, due to old, dusty and worn out brake fluid, some pitting can be observed at the bottom of master cylinder, which ultimately renders it useless. Servicing of master cylinder of the forklift truck can sometimes save the operator its replacement cost. Disassembling and servicing of parts is a technical job and should only be performed by a specialist mechanic, or a working master cylinder may fail to respond at a critical time. Generally, if the master cylinder is failing, there are a few options. The assembly can be fixed by using repair kits. In case it is not salvageable, a new one would have to be ordered to replace the faulty one. Solid Lift Parts Inc. provides all master cylinder parts and repair kits for all makes and models.
Forklift Master Cylinder Photos
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