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Old 02-17-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
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Work Horse chassis stuff/Autopark

Hello to all, my wife and I finally moved up from a class c to our 2004 33' winnebago sightseer. What a find super clean with 7,000 miles on it. During our negotiations with the dealer they were responsible to fix the "Park Brake" alarm before we would take delivery. WOW, what an experience. Took over two weeks for the WH dealer to figure out the problems. Turned into a remove and replace trial and error however all components ended up getting replaced on someone else's dime
Being a industrial controls and hydraulic engineer I began reading and looking at detailed drawings of this design. Didn't take long for me to realize this was, well,,,,, not the smartest mousetrap in design. I now know this system extremely well and how to prove what component is defective before replacing parts. Its really simple once you understand how it sequences and what component does what in the sequence.
I'm putting together a very straight forward operational instruction and diagnostic cheat sheet for those suffering from this long time issue. I will post this soon or you can reply with any question you may have.
Thanks and really hope I can assist fellow rv'ers in saving time, money and frustration.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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Sounds like you've got a project on your hands. Don't let it take too much time away from getting out and enjoying your new RV.
Safe Travels.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:22 AM   #3
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Are you talking about the J71?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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Yes, this system is actually designed to fail if the RGS switch fails. The system design failure is that there is NO pressure relief on the hydraulic pump. At no time should any hydraulic system be designed without a system relief. It would be like having you house wired with no breakers or fuses. A relief valves main function is limiting the hydraulic pressure in case of catastrophic conditions. This system has none, but it can

The pump from our old unit that the dealer kept for me had the pump shaft twisted off due to this condition. Furthermore, any point in the system: tube, fitting, cylinder, switch will fail due to the unlimited pressure potential.

It's beyond me why workhorse hasn't figured this out and offered a recall or at minimum honor a poor design corrective action for its customers. Maybe that's why we are all here to help each other sounds to me like they need a new hydraulic engineering manager
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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Thanks Skip426. Worry not about missing RV time for me. I have a few more years before retired. We are just getting a jump on getting our stuff together so when the day does come to leave the farm and hit the road full time. For now I spend every day designing industrial control and hydraulic systems along with providing NFPA hydraulic training classes. I really like my job but as time goes by I'm liking the thought of fishing a whole lot more.

I have read many articles about this issue and only trying to help others realize its not " black magic" it's truly an issue that can be resolved. I'm only trying to help bring to light what can be done to eliminate the costly failures. I look at it this way, if we can put a man on the moon, this parking brake issue is simple once we understand what fails and why it fails.

Good luck and safe travels to you!
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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.........

It's beyond me why workhorse hasn't figured this out and offered a recall or at minimum honor a poor design corrective action for its customers. Maybe that's why we are all here to help each other sounds to me like they need a new hydraulic engineering manager
You do know that Workhorse is no longer functioning, right?

FWIW, they chose to address the problems with the J71 AAPB back in 2005 when they discontinued production of the entire P32 chassis line.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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Looking forward to your dissertation on the J-71. I'll try to send you a couple documents for reference via PM.
Also, Rodger Haag at oldusedbear11@charter.net is our resident expert. He maintains an Autopark library and even rebuilds the actuators - all voluntary, donations accepted.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:08 PM   #8
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Welcome to the MH clan. DW and I also have a 2003 winnie sightseer 33L which we really love. I have had no problem with the J71 and I don't mind it at all. Sure am glad that you have found the pressure problem, could save us all a lot of greef. Looking foward to your next writeup and keep up the good work. We have had our MH for 3 years now and enjoy every thing about it. Very well put together MH. Have done a few upgrades but only because we wanted to. ENJOY!!!!!
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:10 PM   #9
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I'm researching the components along with the price to insure the hydraulic side cannot exceed 2000 psi. It's a simple adjustable relief and will be set for 1950.
Again, the problem with the J 71 design is that if the UGS fails closed, and it does, the relief won't let the system go to infinite pressure. Else one of many components will fail and oil is lost. The hydraulic power unit I found is half the cost of the WH and will have a float switch to indicate low oil level on the dash mount indicator light.

I'll post a very detailed document that includes all the vendors and phone numbers so everyone can order direct themselves. Any " backyard mechanic" will be able to install.

Safe travels to all,
Grouper1 out for now
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #10
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Not sure about WH not functioning. I spoke with them this week????
Are you referring to not offering the P32 chassis or are you saying they are not operating to serve MH customers?
Either way, my perception is that this chassis is built like a tank that is outside of the parking brake issue. Our prior class C ford v10 was impressive however I don't believe it can compare regarding the torque WH has.
I'm not an "expert" regarding the P32 chassis yet but I do know control and hydraulics extremely well and only trying to help out on a global issue that seems to plague this vintage WH owners.

Safe travels to all
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Edgray
Not sure about WH not functioning. I spoke with them this week????
Are you referring to not offering the P32 chassis or are you saying they are not operating to serve MH customers?
Safe travels to all
Navistar "mothballed" the Workhorse brand and closed the assembly facility in Union City, IN. I'm aware that a relatively small group of service people are still employed to offer dealer support and handle warranty claims, but I believe they are all that is left of what was once a dynamic company. Almost all of the folks I knew there were laid off as the plant was being closed. The former Workhorse parts department continues as a seperate entity called Uptime Parts. I don't know who you talked to, or where they were located, but I'm glad you found some assistance .

If you search this forum you can find several threads about the demise of Workhorse.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Deep Grouper View Post
I'm researching the components...

The hydraulic power unit I found is half the cost of the WH and will have a float switch to indicate low oil level on the dash mount indicator light.
The Parker pump (hydraulic power unit) seems to perform very well until it runs out of fluid.

Can't wait to see the solution

The two plastic rotten ugly pressure switches need to go
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #13
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My Workhorse chassis does not have an AAPB, J-71 or otherwise. If I did own a rig that was equipped with one of these units, after reading all the problems they seem to have, I think I would opt to install a manually applied parking brake on it the first time any problem occurred with the AAPD. There are parts available, to install a manual parking brake system. JMHO
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #14
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I apologize for not commenting sooner, but the title of this thread didn't lead me to think it was about AutoPark.

Anyhow, J71 AutoPark miseries ARE, and HAVE BEEN FOR A LONG TIME, a controlable disease.

Once again, we'll suggest that the very first step for ANYONE with a J71, is to build and install our Genie Lamp. Less than a twenty buck outlay for parts and you'll have an early warning and diagnostic system that will be the best vaccine you can get for AutoPark problems.

As always - - for more info you can contact me at oldusedbear11@charter.net

oub - aka Roger at the AutoPark Library
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