When your office chair keeps sinking due to a faulty gas lift cylinder, a replacement of this important piece is all you need to restore the chair’s functionality. If the rest of the chair is in good condition, there is no need to get a whole new chair. You’ll save a lot simply getting a new cylinder.
To replace a pneumatic lift, you remove the old cylinder from the wheel base and the bottom of the seat then place the new cylinder first in the wheel base then on the underside of the seat. You need a rubber mallet, pipe wrench and a liquid penetrant such as WD40 for this.
With the right tools and steps, this is something you can do in a few minutes and you’ll be back to working at your desk. Make sure you get one of the best gas lift cylinders for the best results. Always go for a gas lift cylinder with the same or higher stroke/travel to maintain your chair’s height.
How to Replace Office Chair Cylinder: The Tools and Steps
The tools needed for this task are:
- New chair gas lift cylinder
- Pipe wrench or vice grip
- Rubber mallet
- WD40 (optional)
When using these tools, ensure you don’t damage the parts of the chair. You can do that by placing it on a padded surface and wrapping any part you use with a pipe wrench with a piece of cloth to cushion it.
The steps are as follows:
Step 1: Remove the Wheel Base
Turn the chair on its side then hold one of the arms of the wheel base in one hand. With the other hand, hit the center of the base with the rubber mallet to gently push out the old cylinder. You should aim for steady but medium strokes to avoid damaging the wheels. Apply some WD40 if it doesn’t come off easily.
Steps 2: Remove the Rest of the Cylinder from the Chair
There are two ways to do this:
- Secure the top of the cylinder tightly with a pipe wrench then twist it until it’s released from the base of the seat.
- Remove the tilt mechanism from the bottom of the seat then tap the cylinder from the mechanism with the rubber mallet. This will require the use of a screwdriver or Allen key to remove the mechanism from the seat. You will also need to return the mechanism unto the chair before heading over to the next step.
Be gentle to avoid damaging any parts of the chair. You can also use some WD40 if the cylinder seems to be stuck. Some cylinders may have spring clips which need to be removed before removing the gas lift cylinder from the chair.
Step 3: Insert the New Cylinder into the Wheel Base
Insert the wider end of the cylinder (the column) into the wheel base from above. Push it down until it’s tight.
Step 4: Insert the Cylinder into the Base of the Seat
Next, insert the narrow end of the gas lift cylinder (the gas spring) into the base of the seat. There’s a provision on the mechanism of the chair for the narrow end of the cylinder to go in. Some chairs may have a threaded insertion point which will requires screwing the cylinder into the base of the seat.
Step 5: Align and Adjust the Chair
Once you’ve inserted the cylinder in the right position, stand up the chair then take a seat. The cylinder will fall into place. You can then adjust the height and make other office chair adjustments as needed.
If you’re not able to do any of these due to a lack of the needed tools or the knowledge to carry it out, you’re better off leaving the work to an expert.