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Replacing hydraulic seals on live tooling turret


Jun 5, 2023
Good morning all,
I'm hoping someone on here may have had experience with tearing down and replacing hydraulic piston seals on a live tooling lathe turret?
I have recently started at a new shop (sole machinist) and have been running a Hardinge GS200MSY, which seems to have developed a reasonable hydraulic oil leak from within the turret.
The turret itself is a Duplomatic SM-BR-20, 12 station VDI interface with live tooling. The clamping action is hyrdraulic with the indexing and live tooling being electric.
On average the turret seems to leak between 1.5 and 2 litres of hyrdarulic into the main housing cavity before working its way out through the tool disc.
The leak seems to occur even with the machine started up but not running anything, implying to me it may be the main clamping seal that is compromised as that would be the only seal under constant pressure without the machine running parts.

If anyone out there has had any experience with working on live tooling turrets, any pointers or advice would greatly appreciated. Wheter this job is achievable with the turret in place on the machine or not? Any special tools required etc.
This machine is produces most of our parts for in house products, and so I would rather make a window in production and deal with the issue in a preventitive way, before it fails completely and leaves us in a tricky spot.

Cheers - Matt


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Good morning?

I had a leak in the turret of my Hardinge's turrets not too long ago. It's a 12 station, live tool, VDI turret like yours, but mine is made by Sauter. Mine wasn't leaking at the cylinder that clamps/unclamps the whole turret but rather at the cylinder that engages/disengages the live tool driver. It was probably a much easier fix than tearing into the main cylinder which is buried deeper in the turret. I just wanted to mention this as another possible source of your leak in case you hadn't already thought of it.

Not knowing that turret but having worked on a few others, I'd say you can most likely do the repair with the turret still mounted to the machine. You might need special tools. We had to make some for re-doing our older Hardinge Conquest turrets. I would just block off a few days in the schedule and start tearing it apart. That's really the only way to really know. It might also be worth a shot contacting Hardinge and Duplomatic to see if either of them have any tips for you. Good luck!
Great info thanks, I hadn't considered that cylinder, but I will definately check it out. Definately would be a whole lot easier fix if that is the problem!
Much apppreciated.
most likely the turret is going to be coming off. have a machine with the same turret, they suck. I would send it to bluesky technologies or Macoser (us rep for duplomatic). Have a turret out for rebuild right now and parts have been a pain to come by. If the seal are a standard o-ring no problem but if its a special seal or duplomatic part it may be a wait to get it.
And the design sucks, the live tool shifting is driven by a piston in the back with a rod and shifting fork in the front. the prox switches are also back there so if anything past the piston fails (rod, fork ect) the turret will see the prox switch shift and think everything is fine and the tool driver will still be engaged and index the turret, spinning the live drive assembly around and a pain to get things fixed.