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Old 02-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #1
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How to replace level return springs?

I am not sure this is in the correct place but, I don't suppose it is platform specific.

I have a '95 Vectra and the return springs on one of the rear levelers let loose a few weeks ago. I have ordered the springs, should be here in a couple of days. Now the question is, how to I replace them? Is there a write up someplace? I have all sorts of tools, air and regular, just need instructions.

TIA
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:19 AM   #2
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A bench vise, shims and some pry bars will come in very handy. Pry off old springs if need be. Install new springs in vise and bend them over to install shims in between the coils to "expand" the springs. Once you have gotten the springs stretched out a couple inches they can be installed on the coach. After installation on coach, extended leveling jacks to remove the shims in springs.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:44 AM   #3
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A word of caution. large, strong springs can be very dangerous. I have a good friend that decided he should/could replace the broken spring on his garage door. During the process, after getting it wound tight, he lost control of it and about lost his right arm. I do realize you're dealing with a totally different type spring, I'm just giving a bit of friendly advice to a fellow forum member. Be extremely careful during your "fix" we want to see you typing with both hands on here!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:32 AM   #4
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Thanks. It shouldn't be too hard, I just need to make some shims out of wood. I kind of wish there was another way but, ... .

As for the garage door spring; I had one of those break one day while I was in the garage. The eye of the spring implanted itself into the drywall about 10 feet away from me. I almost wet myself. I know those springs are dangerous. Thank you .
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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Hi JamesT,
Consider using clothes pins for the shims. Assuming you have HWH jacks, I did what RV Wizard posted.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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Large washers work well too, I replaced mine using shims as RV Wizard suggested but had a lot of clean up from broken pieces of wood. But it did work maybe my shims were not thick enough.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #7
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Get some wood paint stir sticks (10-12). Cut the sticks in 2 inch pieces. Lower the jacks and insert paint stick shims between the coils. This fills the gap between the coils when extended. Then raise the jacks until the springs are hanging loose. Remove the springs. Suggest one jack be donenat at a time.

Attach on end of spring in a good vice, bend spring to remove shims and install in new spring. Install one end of new spring in vice and install shims on each side of spring evenly to keep spring straight. When length of spring has been lengthened enough hang back on spring then put jack down until shims fall out or can be easily removed.

Proceed with caution as these springs are very strong. I am assuming that your system is the HWH system.

Good luck.

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Old 02-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hi JamesT,
Consider using clothes pins for the shims. Assuming you have HWH jacks, I did what RV Wizard posted.
Do they even sell wood clothes pins anymore? I saw someone's post about these, I thought it was "dated".
I have used those for so many things, in the past. I will see, maybe Ace still sells them.

A couple of inches is a long way to shim it, maybe 8 clothes pins halves? That might be a fairly cheap way of doing it, now that I think about it.

Another thing I have to do is get the levelers up. They are down right now and have been for a while.

BTW - In my searches of this board I saw something about filling the reservoir for the levelers. A word of caution: do not fill the tank when the levelers are down. What a mess you will create, I know. LOL
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Be sure ram is collapsed, take the bottom plate off, remove old springs, put bottom plate sideways beside the ram, install the springs and then lever the bottom plate with the springs attached over the ram end. Worked fine and wasn't much of a struggle.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:56 AM   #10
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Hi JamesT,
Yep, wooden clothes pins can be found at Publix, Dollar Stores, etc. Wood or plastic, it matters not. They will do the same job.

It took me about 15 pins (1/2 pins) to get the spring long enough so I could get it over the pad attachment hole. However, I do not have much upper body strength.

I used a long piece of steel to pry up the jack. Then I used a scissors jack to lift the coach jack to the fully raised position.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Be sure ram is collapsed, take the bottom plate off, remove old springs, put bottom plate sideways beside the ram, install the springs and then lever the bottom plate with the springs attached over the ram end. Worked fine and wasn't much of a struggle.
So you don't have to shim the springs doing this?

(the springs are removed. I thought my dog had come up with a new chew toy, lol. they exploded all over the place and the coach is still up in the air.)

Thanks all.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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Where is the best place to purchase the springs from?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #13
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I was looking at these yesterday and it doesn't appear the bottom plates come off, they appear to be welded to the end of the rams.
I also noticed that the hose on the front-passemger's side piston is leaking. I need to see if I can get one :(

Quote:
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Where is the best place to purchase the springs from?
I called the good guys at Lichtsinn Motors. They have always helped me and been really good about knowing what I need. I have no place locally that wants to sell me parts for a 17yo coach, sad....
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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I replaced the springs on both front levelers, purchased springs directly from HWH,quick shipping, very reasonable price. I used popcicle sticks from craft store to expand springs, made installing easy.
HWH has the parts, Welcome to HWH Corporation
My MH is a 1994 model.
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