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Old 05-18-2015, 05:28 PM   #1
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HWH front leveling jack spring installation...Ughhh!

Have a problem where the dash buzzer/light won't go off because the front jack springs are worn out and do not pull up the rams enough during stow.

Got new springs and just cannot figure out the way to get them on. Now, my new springs replacements were based on a chart that used the original model number on the ram tube sticker. Come to find this replacement spring has five less coils and each end of the new springs look to be progressive in design vs. all the coils on the old springs having equal diameter.

I figure this is just a newer design. The new springs are obviously shorter with less coils.

The foot of the jacks just falls of the ram when the springs are removed. What I did was to hang both new springs on the top of the ram mount and just hang the ram foot on the end of the two springs.

Now, the job is how to lever that foot with both springs fully attached and get it back on to the ram. The foot has about a 1" hole in the middle. The ram has domed end with a metal nipple to keep the foot on the end of the ram.

I just don't have the strength to get that foot on the end of the ram with such limited room and swing angle for a lever.

Any ideas??
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:38 PM   #2
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Ok, I put my thinking cap on, put that spring on something that will put a load on it. Do you have a vice or something to carefully stretch that spring, then put wooden blocks between the coils to hold them apart.
You can use short pieces of 2 x 4 sharpened and wedge shaped to pry the spring coils apart. You will need several on each side of the spring to keep it vertical, otherwise it will bend to one side.

Be very careful when you stretch these things a lot of energy is going to be stored in them. Drive wooden wedges between the coils enough to get the springs mounted.

Once mounted, drop the jacks and the coils will release the wooden wedges.
Well that's my advice in poor mans engineering today
Just be careful, but should give you some ideas.
Hope it helps
Jim
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:51 PM   #3
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Like Jim says. I saw a post where the installer put the spring in a vise, bent the spring one direction, put in a wood shim, bent the spring the other way and put in a shim, etc. until the spring was extended enough to install.

Get your wood shims at Lowe's or Home Depot.

That person also used the shims to remove the old spring. Extend the jack insert shims and retract the jack.
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Old 05-18-2015, 05:57 PM   #4
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Did one of mine as the previous posts, but an easier way is to use good old wooden clothes pins. Bend the spring to one side (opens gaps in the other) and clamp a pin on it. Bend 180 the other way, do the same on the opposite side. Work your way down. The pins work a bit better than the shims IMHO as they cannot slip.

Does take a lot of strength, easier to stick one end in a vise so you can use your body weight. Be careful... lot of energy in those springs.

Once it's extended enough, put the spring on the retracted jack. Then extend the jack and the pins come right out.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:08 PM   #5
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Do a search there are literally hundreds of posts on how to do this. I had a jack replaced and watched the mechanic install the spring. He fought with it for 15 minutes and in my opinion did it the worst way possible. He took a couple of pry bars and just pried it down. I believe if i remember correctly the way that i thought would work the best ( I have not tried it yet though) take one spring and put it on the plate. pull the plate down and then push it over under the jack. get a small hydraulic jack or scissor jack and put under the side that needs to be attached to the spring. Jack this side up until it is high enough to easily attach the spring to it.

I had a friend put the new springs you are talking about on for me. I did not watch him do it but he took the new springs under the motor home with no tools. I went to the shop to get a jack to use the method I mentioned above. When i got back ten minutes later he was coming out from under the bus with the old springs and had already installed the new ones. He did it all by hand with no tools.
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
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That's it.... you guys are genius'!!!

So simple, yet so hard....lol

I will try and install them on my camping trip this holiday weekend and I'll take some pictures, as well.

I will have to remember to correctly clock the wood shims on the spring so they don't get in the way of the ram mounting box, though...

Thanks again!

Any other ideas, for the record are very welcome
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Old 05-18-2015, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
Do a search there are literally hundreds of posts on how to do this. I had a jack replaced and watched the mechanic install the spring. He fought with it for 15 minutes and in my opinion did it the worst way possible. He took a couple of pry bars and just pried it down. I believe if i remember correctly the way that i thought would work the best ( I have not tried it yet though) take one spring and put it on the plate. pull the plate down and then push it over under the jack. get a small hydraulic jack or scissor jack and put under the side that needs to be attached to the spring. Jack this side up until it is high enough to easily attach the spring to it.

I had a friend put the new springs you are talking about on for me. I did not watch him do it but he took the new springs under the motor home with no tools. I went to the shop to get a jack to use the method I mentioned above. When i got back ten minutes later he was coming out from under the bus with the old springs and had already installed the new ones. He did it all by hand with no tools.
I tried a variation of that method and it would not work, as the foot was just impossible to get anywhere near the end of the ram. The springs are just too short and will not allow it.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:50 PM   #8
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I had to replace the spring on one of my back jacks. It took more time to make the shims and to install the shims in the springs than it took to install the springs. Once in I just lowered the jack and the shims fell out. Total time, just over an hour.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:09 PM   #9
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How about renting a set on spring compressors from O'Reilly's that you use to compress auto struts. They should work. Eddie Elk.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:28 PM   #10
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The method of hooking one side on and jacking the other side of the foot worked fine for me. It took about three minutes to put the new springs on. Maybe there are different lengths of springs but mine were easy.


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Old 05-20-2015, 09:43 PM   #11
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How about renting a set on spring compressors from O'Reilly's that you use to compress auto struts. They should work. Eddie Elk.

You need to extend the springs, not compress them.

The method of hooking one side on and jacking the other side of the foot worked fine for me. It took about three minutes to put the new springs on. Maybe there are different lengths of springs but mine were easy.

This is how I took mine off and put the new ones on the night before last. It was a little tougher getting the new one on than the old ones off, but doable. Be careful that the jack doesn't slip and send a spring flying into your face. Took me about 10 min total for one jack. Unfortunately, that didn't fix my problem, but that's for another time....

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:42 AM   #12
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Make it simple. Use 2 large screwdrivers or pieces of similar metal. Have the jack retracted. Place a screwdriver on each side of the center pin - springs to the sides. Push down on the screwdrivers and the bottom plate will pop off of the center pin. then remove the foot plate - replace the springs with the new ones and again use the screw drivers to push the plate down until the plate fits over the center pin on the shaft. All done.
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Old 05-21-2015, 01:04 PM   #13
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Use this safe method from other posts and save your hands and fingers.


Replacing HWH Spring
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Old 05-21-2015, 04:14 PM   #14
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No problems with hands or fingers. They just came off easy and went back on the same - there was some grunting but no 4 letter words.
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