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Old 11-13-2017, 12:31 PM   #1
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Need wisdom on Jacks

Just recently acquired 40' 1999 Monaco Executive, high mileage mechanic's special. Regrettably, I am not the mechanic I thought I was any longer. Too many years elapsed.

Finding that the jacks will extend, not sure of brand, build sheet that came with coach had the mfr. for everything except the jacks. It may not matter which mfr., the problem is that the baseplate on passenger rear has detached from the piston that extends. It is down and I need to get it back up far enough to at least place baseplate on bottom of piston. It probably needs to be welded back on for safety, but first I have to get it retracted far enough to get the baseplate under it. The retract switch does not retract that piston, only the ones that still have their springs attached. My idea is if I can get a floor jack on the frame and lift high enough, maybe I can get another floor jack under the piston and with the retract switch "on" maybe it can be forced up. Then with a little leverage, maybe I can get the baseplate back in its right position and with the springs then pulling maybe it will retract as the other two have. Yes, three jacks, how odd. Our predecessor MH, a Bounder, has four.

Is this likely to work, or am I wasting my time.

Regards, Harry:confused:
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:04 PM   #2
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The jacks I'm familiar with are retracted with the springs attached to base plate and frame (or upper-stationary part of jack). But the base plate is not welded - it is like a ball in a socket only held in place by the springs. That way the base can angle itself to any slope in the ground.

As you said , in order to lift the jack you would need to have someone hold the "retract switch", or open the hyd valve for that cylinder, while lifting the cylinder ram).

I think your idea about using the floor jack would work fine once you get it under the jack. Perhaps you can lift the coach (that corner) high enough so the jack is off the ground then slip some wood under the jack and let coach down. Then repeat until you have enough clearance to get the floor jack under the ram.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:07 PM   #3
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If it's a spring return type you should be able to start it up by prying with something like a flat shovel / spade. Then use a piece of angle iron, bar or 2x4 with a block to give leverage.
All above w unit on and in retract mode.

I wouldn't weld plate on piston... it's made to pivot for a reason... if welded firm and used on a slope you will put a bending force on the piston and risk damaging it.

You may need new springs if stretched enough that they came off.
Lots of posts re tips to install springs. Basically insert one end in a vice tip spring side to side and insert wooden wedges between the coils to lengthen the spring. Fully retract the jack and install springs and plate.
Extend the jack to remove wedges.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:21 PM   #4
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Mine are HWH. The springs (2/jack) retract the jack and hold the base plate in place. When one fails to retract I use a 2x4 and a fulcrum to help. Can you dig out underneath the jack?
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
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If its a Power gear, its probably welded and doesn't pivot.. The spring then attaches to the foot. Look at the other rear one to verify..

As you discovered, if the spring isn't attached, the cylinder cannot retract.

Try powering up the system, place it in RETRACT mode, then see if you can get a pry bar or something under it to push it up a little. Maybe a claw hammer, flat pry bar, shovel, etc.

If you get it up enough to get the foot pad underneath the cylinder.

Then press the DOWN a little to press the foot pad into the cylinder a little, then weld it in place.

I wouldn't attempt to weld it if its retracted as the heat may damage the seals.

Here are some photos of my front cylinder, the rears on mine are similar. You can see how its welded and the spring is attached. See if yours is the same.

Power Gear 500384 hydraulic jack re-assembly – 1999 Southwind 35S

Power Gear 500384 hydraulic jack teardown – 1999 Southwind 35S

..
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:33 PM   #6
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I've had that problem in the past and used a square nosed shovel to get under the jack and pry it up. Once it starts you can reverse the shovel and keep prying.

If you jack controller is in the store position you should not have to open any release valves. Once I had the bad cylinders repaired they worked just fine.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:35 PM   #7
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your description of three jacks means you have the same jacks as our mh;

RVA Jacks

still in business
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:39 PM   #8
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Smile

Many thanks for all the responses. This is a heck of a forum - others I've been on never get this kind of traffic and quick response.

It worked as I thought - partly. I was able to lift coach with jack enough to get a long pipe under piston and horse it up, just enough to then get my smaller jack under piston and it did indeed make it all the way to top. Only problem is, still could not force the baseplate under the piston, and with a better look at it, either the baseplate or piston seems to have some damage so it may not go back on and stay in place. At least it is now driveable (if I can get starter working right, my list of bugs is long) so I can get it to someone to solve the problem with jack or I may have to replace that jack. No $$ were planned for that.
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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Hi Harry! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Congrats on the new rig! Unfortunately, I'm about as far from being a mechanic as you will ever find! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:39 PM   #10
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I got a front jack for my 99 Windsor from Visone. It was a lot cheaper than a new one. rvparts.visonerv.com
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xbigblue View Post
Many thanks for all the responses. This is a heck of a forum - others I've been on never get this kind of traffic and quick response.

It worked as I thought - partly. I was able to lift coach with jack enough to get a long pipe under piston and horse it up, just enough to then get my smaller jack under piston and it did indeed make it all the way to top. Only problem is, still could not force the baseplate under the piston, and with a better look at it, either the baseplate or piston seems to have some damage so it may not go back on and stay in place. At least it is now driveable (if I can get starter working right, my list of bugs is long) so I can get it to someone to solve the problem with jack or I may have to replace that jack. No $$ were planned for that.
I think you will have to put a strap on it to hold it up, if the base and the springs are not on it! It may bleed down when you are going down the road, as the springs are what hold these jacks up! They are not a pull type hyd. system, they just push down, and the springs are what pull them back up! Rail!
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Old 11-24-2017, 01:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guardrail53 View Post
I think you will have to put a strap on it to hold it up, if the base and the springs are not on it! It may bleed down when you are going down the road, as the springs are what hold these jacks up! They are not a pull type hyd. system, they just push down, and the springs are what pull them back up! Rail!
Guardrail's suggestion is a very good one, especially if you seem to have drooping cylinder syndrome (which would probably denote a bit of a hydraulic leak).

I had a chassis service done before I picked up my used Navigator; the two front feet are gone and the remainder of the springs is hanging there, with some tape around them and the cylinder to hold it in place. All the lines and fittings checked out under pressure, so I'm happy there. I have the HWH replacement feet and springs en route, so I get to figure out how to get all my humpties together again.

Ah, well...home sweet home deserves some wracked knuckles, eh?
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