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Old 09-18-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
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Hydraulic Leaks & Slide-Out Creep - smart beds et al

Wanted to close the loop on several nagging problems I had with hydraulic leaks and slide out creep on my 2008 Alpine (36' FDDS). The easy one was the LR slideout creep and the front PS smart bed creep. Replaced two solenoids and the creep disappeared, evidently according to HWH, a fairly common problem and solution. The difficult one was the hydraulic fluid in the rear DS smart bed cavity (below basement floor level) after replacing the two hydraulic hoses. This one turned out to be two leaking / defective hydraulic rams slowly leaking on the bottom side of the rams pressed against the cavity floor where it was extremely difficult to detect. Every shop after the leaking hoses were replaced, except one, said they couldn't find any leaks or that it was simply residual spillage from the two hose leaks. Aubrey's in Yakima was the first to say it was the hydraulic cylinders. A trip to HWH in Moscow IA confirmed it was two cylinders which were quickly repaired, along with the two solenoids. Interestingly (or surprisingly), one hydraulic manifold services two smart beds and one room slide out (the one in the ceiling of the rear smart beds) and another hydraulic manifold (the one in the PS front bay) services the other two smart beds and the second slideout. There are spare solenoids on both manifolds if ever needed in a pinch as long as one carries spare fittings to plug the solenoid openings after removal of the spares. Monitoring hydraulic levels in the common reservoir for all slideouts and smart beds confirmed that the leaks were eliminated. Commercial "Brake Cleaner" was used to clean up the residual hydraulic fluid in the one "below basement" area. Hopefully "end of story" thanks to excellent diagnostic expertise and service from both above entities. ray
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:15 PM   #2
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Ray- you can permanently reclaim the "extra" solenoids using a machined plug. The solenoids are ~$150 ea, and the plugs ~$35. I did that when one of my spare solenoid valves started leaking. HWH didn't sell plugs, only solenoids (I guess they haven't' sold too many manifolds where the coach mfgr didn't use all ports.

Did you record the solenoid positions vs slider devices for front & back? If yes I'd like to compare notes on whether WRV was using the same schematic. I have 3 front & 3 rear devices like yours.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Mike, know where the front PS smartbed solenoid is because I watched the replacement of that one. I will take a pic and either post it or send to you directly if you like. Didn't watch the one inside the DS smartbed ceiling but I can call HWH and see if they can tell me. They were surprised at one room slideout on each of the two different manifolds. Will be back to you later ASAI find out something about the setup. I was really pleased with Lon and his two techs plus the scheduler Tami. ray
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Dale Gerstel hypothesized the following numbering system and layout:
Room Slides:
DS Front = #1
DS Rear = #2
PS Rear = #3
PS Front = #4
basically CCW from #1 position above for numbering
Then, #1 & #4 off front manifold (both front room slides), #2 & 3 off rear manifold.

SmartBeds:
same CCW numbering and front-beds/front-manifold, rear-beds/rear-manifold layout.

If your rig is missing any room slide or bed, then that solenoid valve position is a "spare" plugging the hole. If your rig has 2 room slides & 2 beds, then you only have front manifold and no spare valves.

Let us know how yours works.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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Robbyray - my smartbed ram leak was caused by the installer (WRV) who used channel locks on the machined bore of the ram when he was tightening the nut which hold it to the SB. Once it was changed I have had no leaks (knock on wood). HWH did a good faith repair on it several years ago. None of the other ones had/have this issue. I do have one SB which creeps out a tad over a weeks time, but I live with it, since it is so tiny.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Mike, noticed you had an Hydraulic Cooler/Chiller over-pressurization or WRV recall issue several years ago. I have just blown my Hydraulic Cooler (29,000 miles) on my ’08 2-slide 36’ Alpine (HWH manufacture or in-service date Sep '07) with the redesigned radiator stack. Am currently stranded in Flagstaff AZ, at Freightliner where they have pulled the HC out and found a major crack in the HC metal housing where I lost much of my hydraulic fluid that power the brakes, steering and radiator fan. Would really appreciate your and other's feedback relative to: 1) How do I determine whether mine has been retrofitted with the upgrade Dave Campy (WRV) was sending out several years ago?, and 2) Where can I get a new HC if the current one can't be repaired and approximate cost; and 3) Where can I get the upgrade kit (65 psi pressure relief value, larger size fitting / hoses and approximate cost if mine doesn't already have the upgrade kit installed? Also noticed that Dale Gerstel and Kraig had some comments about this HC rupture issue several years ago. Thanks much, robbyray
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:18 PM   #7
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See response on hydraulic cooler on this thread.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:53 PM   #8
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Manifold Area Hydraulic Leaks HWH 625 System

MANIFOLD AREA HYDRAULIC LEAKS: Another hydraulic leak saga, only this time in the manifold area only. First some old business, in my FDDS 38' 2008 Alpine, I have the traditional HWH 625 auto leveling system with the following controlled by solenoids in the PS compartment virtually outside the passenger seat:
See the Top View on the schematic M15.9502 issued 01APR04 titled Instruction Sheet "Room Extension Solenoid Valve Replacement" with the leveling system manifold and four jack solenoids extending towards the front of the coach for a graphic of the following. Beneath the leveling system manifold are four extend "E" solenoids toward the front of the coach and four retract "R" solenoids pointed towards the rear of the coach numbered 1 through 4 with 1 being closest to the outside skin of the coach and 4 being closest to the inside of the coach.
My coach was hooked up as follows:
Solenoid 1 = SmartBed 3 (rear SB PS; numbered per HWH starting with the DS front =1, DS rear =2, PS rear =3, and PS front =4)
Solenoid 2 = SB 4 (front SB PS)
Solenoid 3 = unused
Solenoid 4 = Room Slide 1 (front living room slide driver's side; same number sequence as with the smart beds).

One of these days, I will map the second set of solenoids that sit in the roof of the coach basement between the two rear smart beds. If anyone has mapped these for a FDDS of 2006 to 2009 vintage, I would be interested in seeing you post your map so I can compare.

LEAK #1: A new experience -- SB solenoid 1E (Smart Bed 3 rear passenger's side "extend" solenoid) started leaking hydraulic fluid but the extend and retract functions worked perfectly. A quick call to HWH resulted in a new package of O-ring seals, enough to replace all of the O-rings on four solenoids, being sent to me to replace a nicked O-ring, one of five O-rings. Fortunately, I was cautioned by Tech Support (Randy) to watch out for the fact that some of the O-rings are concave on one side and have to match up against the contoured (convex) steel edge of the solenoid. Had Randy not told me about this slight, but very important structural point, my repair would probably have not worked. One of two large diameter O-rings and one of three small diameter O-rings are similarly concave to match the contoured steel rims of the solenoid. My nicked or failed O-ring was one of the two large O-rings and happened to be the concave one. After replacing the O-ring and reinstalling the solenoid (being careful to release the hydraulic pressure inside the solenoids by draining the hydraulic fluid from both the extend and the retract solenoids by turning the 1/4-inch Valve Release Nuts four complete turns counter clock wise to open the valves). BTW, a valuable little tool that you can make or more easily order from HWH is the two-prong tool that allows you to easily spin the solenoids off and back on and tighten. This tool is critical for replacing any solenoid except the ones on the outside which can be removed and replaced using locking vise-grip pliers of the correct jaw opening size. With all of the wires and close clearances for solenoids 2 through 4, the two-prong tool inserted into a ratchet wrench makes things a lot easier. This took care of leak #1.

Leak #2: Another first. This time, after the leaking solenoid was fixed, I noticed that even more hydraulic fluid was coming from one of the four brass poppet check valves sitting on top of the manifold. In my case it was the most inner check valve. Referring to HWH's "Hydraulics and HWH Systems" tutorial issued 26Apr11, page 7, Figure 13 shows a schematic of the check valves used by HWH (see paragraph 4-2.1.3.2). According to HWH's instruction sheet MI 154750 "Room Extension Manifold Check Valve Replacement" dated 23Apr08, the large brass cap with the spring check valves are used on the older manifolds. There is a better schematic of these brass cap, poppet-type check valves in this Instruction Sheet, but the rest of this Sheet doesn't really apply to Alpines. These are hydraulic pressure activated check valves and although the schematic showed the pressures at a much lower value (50 pis and 100 pis) than some of the other pressures in this manifold, e.g., the 800 psi in the shuttle valves and e.g., the safety release valve pressure in the pump activated at 3,500 psi, I was reluctant to mess with these four brass check valves without talking to HWH. Again I was assigned to Randy at HWH who indicated it was OK to check the O-ring in the leaking check valve even with the jacks down as long as nothing was being operated. As it turned out, one of the four check valve nuts was just a little loose. The O-ring was evidently fine because simply tightening the brass cap immediately stopped this larger hydraulic leak. If the O-ring had been damaged, I would have ordered replacement O-rings from HWH. I was cautioned to not over-tighten and damage the O-ring seat on these check valves.

No more hydraulic compartment drips or stains under the rig. Two other things I learned: the new solenoid valves no longer have the two holes in the end to allow for easy removal and installation with the two-prong tool as HWH has stopped using the 1/4-inch valve opening nut and replaced it with a lever at the end of the solenoid. I also learned that it is still considerably less expensive to remanufacture the old solenoids so I'm planning to stay with the old style for these two reasons.

I've had my share of hydraulic problems, the biggest ones on a WRV designed system (the hydraulic cooler bypass system HWH engineered), not an HWH system. In this day and age of almost never getting a human being on the phone, my thanks go out to HWH for being prompt and expert in their help, both onsite in Iowa or on the phone when experiencing a significant problem. If anyone wants the above HWH reference materials, I can post a link or you can just Google them. robbyray
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:03 AM   #9
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Correction to a type in last paragraph to the Manifold Area Hydraulic Leaks post: WRV engineered and installed the hydraulic cooler bypass system for the brakes and steering. HWH had nothing to do with this, e.g., change HWH to WRV in the last paragraph dealing with hydraulic cooler. thanks, robbyray
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