Next-Level Hydraulic Diagnostics - Possibilities & Feasibility

Chris Diagnostician Lansdale, Pennsylvania Posted   Latest   Edited  

As a diagnostician, I am always searching for faster and more efficient ways to get the job done, whatever it may be. The world of diagnostics is ever expanding yet certain areas of our industry lag behind; heavy duty and off-road is generally one of these areas, due in part to inherent design flaws. Much of the more advanced testing techniques that have become somewhat mainstream, such as pressure transducer usage, in automotive have not begun to catch on to the same extent within the diesel and off-road markets, in my experience.

I have begun some preliminary research and planning into advancing my hydraulic diagnostic capabilities. As expected, the information and case studies are somewhat lacking so far, besides brief mention on Pico's website and some white papers on engineering level vibration and pulsation analysis within hydraulic systems.

Some of the ideas that I am researching and will be testing include:

  • Hydraulic Pump/Motor Health - I believe it may be possible that specific pumps (especially axial piston pumps) could have their pressure pulses monitored as a means of determining pump health (similar to current ramping a fuel pump)
    • There is also a thought floating around in my head that incorporating an NVH kit may lead to some impressive results if used creatively
  • Valve Stack leakage & operation
  • Cylinder Operations
  • Effects of Solenoid Valving on hydraulic systems
  • Hydraulic system effect on engine performance in real-time and vice-versa

I am wondering if anyone, including any representatives from Pico, has some further information or experience in this undertaking? An undertaking like this will be a work in progress, perhaps one in vain, but if successful I hope to be able to help open up a whole new level of diagnostic strategies for heavy-duty technicians. Hooking up gauge sets is already a common practice, so imagine if there is a whole new level of insight that could be gained by merely substituting a pressure transducer for a gauge and building up a waveform library and some top-level diagnostic thought behind it.

As I've said, this is a thought experiment first while I figure out the logistics. My tooling for this product is limited to a Parker Serviceman with the 8,700 PSI transducer (will have to figure out how to modify the connector for my scope), Snap-On (SO) 0-500 PSI & 0-100 PSI transducers, and a Verus Edge for a scope. Like most projects worth pursuing, this will require some creativity and new thought processes but I think it is worthwhile, I welcome all who wish to join the experiment.

+6
Josh Technician
Lynchburg, Virginia
Josh
 

You seem to always have interesting post and ideas thanks for that. I have thought about using the pressure sensor on a 6.0 Powerstroke for pump heath, I have looked at one or 2 not enough to gain any knowledge though. I’m interested in your findings. I believe Frank Massey did something similar on a diesel pump, but that was in a car.

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Josh, I just spend alot of my day trying to improve on what I'm doing. If I can make some use out of my ideas then great, if not then I've still learned something. Seems only right to pay it forward after all the information others have made available to us. I'll have to look into Frank Massey.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Matthew Mobile Technician
Bartlett, Illinois
Matthew
 

It may be interesting to research what production plants do. I know they have vibration sensors on hydraulic pumps and motors that can be remotely monitored. From what I can tell they do not necessarily use the data for diagnostics, more to identify failures before or as they occur. I don't work on much equipment anymore, otherwise I would be game to experiment. Is your Parker transducer the

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Matt, That's where the bulk of my research is now, technical papers and industrial usages. I'm hoping to adapt some of their principles to something a bit more useful for someone in the field. The transducer is analog, just has a special connector I'll have to play with. Response time is 1ms which should be sufficient I imagine.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Tom Owner/Technician
Santaquin, Utah
Tom
 

I too will try to help if i can. I have the pico 600 bar. and 500 bar. transducer.

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven
 

I'm going to make a suggestion. I think it's time to upgrade to the Picoscope. The Snap-on scope has weak functionality compared to Picoscope. Does the Verus Edge scan HD vehicles, or do you have it mainly for the scope? When I check ebay, I see the Verus Edge selling for like $3,000 to $4,000. That's more than enough to get set up with a Picoscope. Let's see what it might cost: - $ 1800

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Steven, Always appreciate your input and suggestions, and believe me a Pico scope and some accessories are at the top of my list for purchases. Unfortunately, with work cutting hours back right now it is not a viable move at this time. Got to make ends meet before I spend more 😑. I do HD during the day, so the Verus Edge is my run and gun scope, but nights and weekends are my automotive diags

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill
 

Chris - you seem to have a very curious mind and enjoy electrical theory research way too much not to have a pico and be building your own wave form library at this point.... I personally wished and wanted a pico for way too long i didn't make the funds a top priority. I have had one for several years now and never looked back there is NO comparison and i never stopped thinking i should have got

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Bill, I appreciate the kind words and glad you enjoy the posts. I'm just adding in what I find interesting in the hopes of getting some more traffic on the network here. In fact, I had put up a post to see what everyone wanted to see on the network here. If anyone posts there with some recommendations for content they want, or if they just post something up, I am committing myself to doing the

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Bill Owner/Technician
Jackson, Michigan
Bill
 

If you were closer to me I would be looking to interview you.... Your mindset is a employers dream. Keep up the good work and find the pay you deserve! I wish you the best

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Angel Technician
Boston, Massachusetts
Angel
 

Steven, love that portable setup, I haven't seen a setup like it before.

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Ben Technical Support Specialist
Eaton Socon, United Kingdom
Ben
 

Hi Chris, I just want to add something quickly here so I follow this up asap. I have been proactively working with hydraulics with the WPS600 for understanding hydraulic pressure analysis. I'm sure your not but please don't think this device can be used for diesel fuel pressure. It is designed soley hydraulic fluid. I would be interested to talk to you further about this and I will add more

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Ben, Take all the time you need as I was expecting to go into this endeavor blind. I generally spend a solid week just on research before formulating initial testing procedure experiments. There are quite a few variables that are rolling around my head so they will take time to sort out. I'm glad to know you've already been doing the hardwork and I'm looking forward to working back and forth…

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Angel Technician
Boston, Massachusetts
Angel
 

Chris I commend you for wanting to give this a go. I'm still wrapping my head around automotive diagnostics. Currently at my place of employment I work on some diesels here and there and diagnostics approach/available resources are a little different. Looking forward to future posts. I'm guessing most adapters would be custom made for the pressure transducers? Another great post. Thanks

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Angel, I am still working on my automotive diagnostics, as well as my diesel and hydraulic, I am far from competent. I have one reason to start a project or research and that is to find a better way to get it done. I hate plumbing in pressure gauges and getting hydraulic oil everywhere. As far as pressure transducers, it's up in the air. I definitely see how they can be helpful for intrusive

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Ben Technical Support Specialist
Eaton Socon, United Kingdom
Ben
 

Hello Chris and all interested here! I think you have bought up a very interesting topic and for me one that doesn’t get enough coverage. Fluid power is still one of the most effective ways of ‘moving’ and despite the future of electrification in the automotive world beginning to phase out the ICE, fluid power is still going to be around. As Pico we can provide a solution for hydraulic

+4 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

Ben, Thanks for the update. Pretty exciting stuff as the pressure pulses are exactly what I was expecting to see. I am even more curious as to what can be figured out via the vibrations inherent to a hydraulic system, especially when compared to the regular pressure pulsations shown above. I have a couple ideas as far as failing pumps and getting waveforms, but we will discuss that later. I

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
 

For those following this thread, after reviewing Ben's captures and some other data and research, I've formulated a rough outline of how this could all work in a diagnostic procedure. I have to type it all up and proof read it, but it should be up within a week or two I think. I want to prove out a couple conjectures first. If you run into me at the TST big event, and dont mind some napkin

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

A rough draft will be up at some point in the near future here.

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Chris: A thought and a suggestion. This could be useful in diagnosing sticking poppet valves in steering gears. It could eliminate the threat of "burning out" the gear through the use of a "T" valve. The suggestion? sae​.​org/publications/j… Perhaps, even this: sae​.​org/news/2019/02/c… HTH, Guido

+2 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Guido, I like the poppet valve thought, I see potential usage in any hydraulic system, be it abs, steering, trans, etc. As far as SAE goes, the paper needs lots of work and structure, an experienced guide to help me through as I didn't follow any standard format. I'd like to put something professional together as I'd love to get something published. For this, I just needed to somewhat

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony
 

Hi Chris: Experience is what you get from screwing up. :) The second link has some resources on submitting a paper. While it is referencing the young guns (I don't know how old you are. Therefore, I don't know if you qualify.) Still, I think they make for a good starting point. Keep in mind that there is a drop dead date for the young guns in a l'il over a week. Here are some direct

+1 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Guido, I'll give it a shot. Like you said, nothing ventured, nothing gained. As far as age, I'm old enough that I was using command prompt in MS-DOS when I was little but young enough that I'm part of the much maligned millennials [definitely need a cooler name than that].

0 Ð Bounty Awarded
Chris Diagnostician
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Chris
   

Hi Guido, I rewrote the whole paper, twice actually, sans screenshots, and made it a write up in theory of application. It took most of yesterday as I had to learn Chicago Style paper writing. There were no open calls for the subject matter in any journal, but I submitted to the SAE International Journal of Commercial Vehicles as of yesterday evening. Not sure anything will happen with it…

0 Ð Bounty Awarded