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Old 08-23-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
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A brand new problem. I have a jack that will only retract about 5" and then stop. I tried helping along by prying up with a 2x4, but it will not go any further. I lowered all jacks and releveled the motor home and then hit the store button and it retracts about 5 inches and stops. The repair place says the shaft is bent or has a "bow" or something in it and I need to replace the jack. I don't understand how this steel shaft could bend? Am waiting to here what they quote me on a new HWH jack and installation. All this after the $460 quote to replace the air filter. I am beginning to feel like I am being taken advantage of.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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Couple quick non-technical things to try...

When "helping" with a 2x4, make sure someone is in the coach holding the button in the "retract all" position or the hydraulic valve will not be open and won't allow the jack to retract.

If you have not lubed your jacks, extend them, clean them, and spray some silicone spray on them and retract and extend for a few cycles and they should get better.

Some jacks also have a grease fitting, be sure to put some fresh grease in.

All of these suggestions helped to significantly improve my jack performance but I have the Power Gear system and the HWH may be different.

Good Luck
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. The RV repair place just called and quoted nearly $900 parts and labor to replace the jack. I told them no thanks. I am going to research this a little more myself before I give them the better part of $1000.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
Thanks for the response. The RV repair place just called and quoted nearly $900 parts and labor to replace the jack. I told them no thanks. I am going to research this a little more myself before I give them the better part of $1000.
Well Sir,
Just wondering, do you have the model number of the HWH system you have? Ours is the 625 system and is fully automatic or, manual. I'm not an expert on any of them but, you should not have to have anyone "holding" the retract button on an HWH system. I could be wrong but, I know I don't have to when I have a sticky jack. When I push the "Store" button, the jacks go up and, the bags fill, all at the same time. But, on occasion, I too have a sticky one. It's not always the same one, sometimes the right rear, sometimes the left rear.

But, with your problem, it's always the same one and, it fails at the same place, the same time. Hmmmm. I would think that, if you had/have a bent ram, then it's possible you could actually see it, but not always. As far as the cure for your situation, as I see it, you've got a couple of options. And, to keep the cost down, are you willing to do at least some of the work yourself? I've removed two jacks on my previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder 34V. Removing them is a bit of a pain but, not insurmountable. The real pain is, they're awkward and heavy. Two people are way better suited for it so that one does not get hurt trying to handle it on its way down to the ground.

But, I had one of mine apart, and had a rebuild kit handy from Power Gear at the time, and it was all said and done for about $90.00, at the time.

Now, that was several years ago. I've since learned that Power Gear no longer deals directly with the public. You have to go to a dealer/service center if you want parts. Not sure, but, that's what I've heard. As for HWH sending you parts/rebuild kits for your particular jacks, don't know that either, haven't had to deal with it yet.

But, you can get that jack down, and take it to a hydraulic repair facility in your area. 99.9999% of the time, they've got all that's needed to put that jack back into service and, for SERIOUSLY less cost than you've been quoted. It's up to you. I recently (about two years ago) had to pull one of the bedroom slide rams out due to a leak. What a serious pain in the a$$. A new one from HWH, was/is $285.00. I took mine down to a local hydraulic jack repair facility and, labor and all, it was $60.00. And, it's been working flawlessly ever since.
Scott
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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Well Sir,
Just wondering, do you have the model number of the HWH system you have? Ours is the 625 system and is fully automatic or, manual. I'm not an expert on any of them but, you should not have to have anyone "holding" the retract button on an HWH system. I could be wrong but, I know I don't have to when I have a sticky jack. When I push the "Store" button, the jacks go up and, the bags fill, all at the same time. But, on occasion, I too have a sticky one. It's not always the same one, sometimes the right rear, sometimes the left rear.

But, with your problem, it's always the same one and, it fails at the same place, the same time. Hmmmm. I would think that, if you had/have a bent ram, then it's possible you could actually see it, but not always. As far as the cure for your situation, as I see it, you've got a couple of options. And, to keep the cost down, are you willing to do at least some of the work yourself? I've removed two jacks on my previous coach, a '99 Fleetwood Bounder 34V. Removing them is a bit of a pain but, not insurmountable. The real pain is, they're awkward and heavy. Two people are way better suited for it so that one does not get hurt trying to handle it on its way down to the ground.

But, I had one of mine apart, and had a rebuild kit handy from Power Gear at the time, and it was all said and done for about $90.00, at the time.

Now, that was several years ago. I've since learned that Power Gear no longer deals directly with the public. You have to go to a dealer/service center if you want parts. Not sure, but, that's what I've heard. As for HWH sending you parts/rebuild kits for your particular jacks, don't know that either, haven't had to deal with it yet.

But, you can get that jack down, and take it to a hydraulic repair facility in your area. 99.9999% of the time, they've got all that's needed to put that jack back into service and, for SERIOUSLY less cost than you've been quoted. It's up to you. I recently (about two years ago) had to pull one of the bedroom slide rams out due to a leak. What a serious pain in the a$$. A new one from HWH, was/is $285.00. I took mine down to a local hydraulic jack repair facility and, labor and all, it was $60.00. And, it's been working flawlessly ever since.
Scott
Thank for the response. Yes, I believe I could remove the jack myself and I like your suggestion of looking into having it rebuilt. My issue with the RV place is that they were so quick to tell me it was bent. The jack had been sitting completely retracted for weeks and then earlier this week I leveled the motorhome on a concrete pad and now suddenly this solid steel shaft is bent? Not saying its not possible but it does not seem right.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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Yes, the steel ram, can be bent. I had two (at different times) bend on me. I realized what was causing the problem, so I won't do it again. I was lowering the jacks and then "dumping the air" from my air bags, causing the coach to settle forward just enough to bend the jack. I took mine off, by myself and managed to load it into one of my storage bins, to take it home. Each one, cost me about $900, including shipping, but I re-installed them myself. I have to remember to "dump my air before I put my jacks down". If I forget, I just do not dump my air.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:50 PM   #7
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Lube the shaft

Quote:
Originally Posted by gripper View Post
Yes, the steel ram, can be bent. I had two (at different times) bend on me. I realized what was causing the problem, so I won't do it again. I was lowering the jacks and then "dumping the air" from my air bags, causing the coach to settle forward just enough to bend the jack. I took mine off, by myself and managed to load it into one of my storage bins, to take it home. Each one, cost me about $900, including shipping, but I re-installed them myself. I have to remember to "dump my air before I put my jacks down". If I forget, I just do not dump my air.
If it had been working fine to this point I would but all the jacks down and spray lube them and wipe them down and try that a time or two. I had a 2000 Horizon and a few times I had a problem with one sticking. Good luck, Jim
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
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You ask how it could be bowed.. Well I have two answers,, ONE I learned the HARD WAY!!!!! By the way, thanks for the estimate.

First: Have you EVER raised the coach enough to lift the wheels off the ground EVEN one rear wheel? If so then the coach can move foward and backward.. And turn your jacks into very expensive pretzels.. (Lift both front or rear and it can move side to side as well)

Second.. I ran over a curb.. Curb snagged the jack.. Nuff said.

I seriously suspect some of the speed bumps I've seen could do it as well.
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Old 08-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
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I would say extend the jacks, put ATF on all the jack rams with a brush or a rag. Leave wet with ATF and try to retract. You might have to wet and retract several times. It's a cheap try and always worked for me.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
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I would go for the trans fluid rub, also sometimes the springs do get weak especially if the jacks get overextended frequently. Just curious is the place that gave you the quote on the air filter the same place that's wants to replace the jack? The air filter price seems high. If nothing else I would get a second opinion.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:17 PM   #11
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Per instructions from HWH do not use silicone spray on your jack tubes. Use only WD-40. With your problem call HWH and discuss this problem with them. They are very customer friendly - 800-321-3494.

Try spraying WD-40 on the extended jack and then retract the jack and see if it will retract fully or more than 5 inches. If it does not retract fully but more than the 5 inches respray and try again. As I said above, call HWH.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:06 PM   #12
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I have a manual system and had problems with front driver side. Looking at the jack it had taken a beating. It would work sometimes and other time I had to pry it up. Spring replacement did not do the job had to replace the cylinder. Solenoid valve could be the problem as well. good luck
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #13
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I would use a floor jack under the lifted jack. Use the jack to put lift pressure on the jack. If it doesn't move, remove the floor jack and then disconnect the hydraulic line at the jack. Try lifting it again with the floor jack.

If the jack won't go up using the floor jack with the fluid line disconnected, then it's a good bet something is bent.

Can't hurt to try.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:39 PM   #14
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I would go for the trans fluid rub, also sometimes the springs do get weak especially if the jacks get overextended frequently. Just curious is the place that gave you the quote on the air filter the same place that's wants to replace the jack? The air filter price seems high. If nothing else I would get a second opinion.
GG1, you took the words out of my mouth. I believe they are overcharging me on the air filter and now this with the jacks. My gut says walk away and get another opinion.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:41 PM   #15
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Thank for all the responses. I will update with what I learn.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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WD-40 works for us. Also, look in the jack pan to make sure there is no gravel or other debris. We often have to sweep ours out due to bits of gravel and then, as long as we're laying on the ground, we put another dose of WD-40 on.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
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Have never seen a bent HWH shaft one reason the jack may not go up is the ring seal inside have become twisted and binds the shaft from returning in its top position.
You can try to lube shaft and work system some but if you tried to lift with 2x4 and it would rise and stop and rise some more and stop than I would say the rings are twisted. Jacks may not return because of week springs or a valve problem with solenoid.
I had that happen on driver side front and replaced jack 7 years ago jack cost about $350.
I just replaced the jack passenger front because the jack was leaking fluid through the piston sidewall casing, road salt, jack this time cost $400.
I replaced both myself this new jack came with two shims for the pivot point of jack.
When you drop jack out of housing these two shims will mount at the top two bolt locations on each side of jack housing.
Put all bolts in place loose, for plates to hold the pivot point of jack, slip the jack shaft into the pivot rings than tighten all your bolts.
Your jacks pivot sideways to coach to adjust for any uneven ground surface when you lower the jacks.
You save yourself $500 if you do it yourself not to hard a job you can steer your front tires to make space behind them to disconnect the hose and jack alarm wiring.
My 2x4 wouldn't lift jack either had to use my 8 ton jack, lift chassis and place wood blocks under jack than release 8 ton and jack plate fell on blocks a few times to drive coach home.
The rear jacks are a little more difficult for this old man.
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #18
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Have never seen a bent HWH shaft one reason the jack may not go up is the ring seal inside have become twisted and binds the shaft from returning in its top position.
You can try to lube shaft and work system some but if you tried to lift with 2x4 and it would rise and stop and rise some more and stop than I would say the rings are twisted. Jacks may not return because of week springs or a valve problem with solenoid.
I had that happen on driver side front and replaced jack 7 years ago jack cost about $350.
I just replaced the jack passenger front because the jack was leaking fluid through the piston sidewall casing, road salt, jack this time cost $400.
I replaced both myself this new jack came with two shims for the pivot point of jack.
When you drop jack out of housing these two shims will mount at the top two bolt locations on each side of jack housing.
Put all bolts in place loose, for plates to hold the pivot point of jack, slip the jack shaft into the pivot rings than tighten all your bolts.
Your jacks pivot sideways to coach to adjust for any uneven ground surface when you lower the jacks.
You save yourself $500 if you do it yourself not to hard a job you can steer your front tires to make space behind them to disconnect the hose and jack alarm wiring.
My 2x4 wouldn't lift jack either had to use my 8 ton jack, lift chassis and place wood blocks under jack than release 8 ton and jack plate fell on blocks a few times to drive coach home.
The rear jacks are a little more difficult for this old man.
You post is very helpful. I am more confident now that I can tackle this job.
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Old 08-25-2013, 09:10 PM   #19
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Getting hosed on repair costs is not very unusual. Some shops are very good at reading potential customers (AKA 'Johns'). If the service writer reads you as a softee, you get the "$2000 give or take, it'll take 6 weeks to get the parts and you need to leave the coach " My suggestion - always get at least 2 quotes for any major repair, and ask buddies how their repairs we re handled. If you can join up with a local RV club, you will have an excellent source for help.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:54 PM   #20
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I have a couple jacks that stick once in a while. I spray WD-40 on them and wipe then down really well. They retract with ease after that. I'd try WD-40 first before removal or spending a ton of money.
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