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Old 07-03-2013, 04:54 AM   #1
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Hydraulic jack fluid, do I change it?

Should we be changing the Hydraulic Fluid in the jack system? Does it pick up moisture and cause problems with the cylinders. It looks like it could be difficult to change and if there is no benefit I'd just as soon not change it. I understand that the fluid is just Automatic Transmission Fluid without the coloring dye. HWH jacks.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:09 AM   #2
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Should we be changing the Hydraulic Fluid in the jack system? Does it pick up moisture and cause problems with the cylinders. It looks like it could be difficult to change and if there is no benefit I'd just as soon not change it. I understand that the fluid is just Automatic Transmission Fluid without the coloring dye. HWH jacks.
You can call HWH to get a definitive answer. In their FAQ section they say "rarely, for fluid contamination or condensation. It's a closed system and unless there is some "event" which opens the system then it's not necessary.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:56 PM   #3
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I posted this question just before I went to pick up my 4 rebuilt jack cylinders. They replaced the seals, made new bushings & added bearings. The tech said they were "pretty mucky" and that they had spent a long time cleaning them out. I asked the tech about changing the fluid & he said it would probably be a good idea.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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PowerGear says to change the fluid every ? years (I think it's 3 years). I don't have my manuals here right now.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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Mine looks good but I am changing it to a higher quality fluid because in cold weather the jacks do not retract properly but works fine in hot weather.

Ted.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Gulfstream37: Are there different grades of hydraulic fluid? My original problems were the opposite of yours, the jacks retracted quickly when they were cool, below 50f, but above that had to be pried up if I wanted to move the same day. Overuse of the "store button" caused problems with the selenoid valves burning out & blowing fuses. Since I am going to change the fluid, and it could be a tedious job, I want to use the best fluid possible. What brand of jacks do you have?
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:07 AM   #7
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Interesting. I've never changed my fluid. Hadn't really thought about it. Maybe I should. After 20 years, it's probably due.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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I guess it'd be easy enough to suck out all you could with a turkey baster and then fill it back up with fresh fluid.
I do this occasionally with the brake fluid in the master cylinder in my autos.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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You can buy the HWH fluid. It can be pumped out w/ any pump. ie: hand oil pump from Harbor Freight. Not a bad idea to change, mine is now 11 yrs old.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:26 PM   #10
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I have used a Turkey baster to remove the front oil bearing fluid and added new fluid. works great.
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Old 07-04-2013, 04:51 PM   #11
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Power Gear tanks have a drain plug on the bottom.

In most applications, Type A automatic transmission fluid (ATF, Dexron III, etc.,) will work satisfactorily.
Mercon V is also recommended as an alternative fluid for Power Gear leveling
systems
If operating in cold temperatures (less than -10F) the jacks may extend and retract slowly.
For cold weather operation, fluid specially-formulated for low temperatures may be desirable.
Mobil DTE 11M, Texaco Rando HDZ-15HVI, Kendall Hyden Glacial Blu, or any Mil. Spec. H5606 hydraulic fluids are recommended for cold weather operation.

1. Change fluid every 36 months.
• Fill the reservoir with the jacks in the fully retracted position.
• On 1998 - PRESENT model year coaches, the fluid should be within 1/4 inch of the fill port lip and checked only with all jacks retracted.
On pre-1998 model year coaches the fluid level should be approximately 1/8 inch on the dipstick and checked only with all jacks retracted.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasser View Post
I posted this question just before I went to pick up my 4 rebuilt jack cylinders. They replaced the seals, made new bushings & added bearings. The tech said they were "pretty mucky" and that they had spent a long time cleaning them out. I asked the tech about changing the fluid & he said it would probably be a good idea.
I am not an hydraulic cylinder expert but I thought I understood the basics. The moving cylinder has some type of seal and you pump fluid in under pressure on the stationary cylinder. This pushes the movable cylinder out. I am not sure how or why they would have added bearings to the jack cylinders do you know why they did that. How does it improve them ?
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Old 07-04-2013, 09:58 PM   #13
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I am not an hydraulic cylinder expert but I thought I understood the basics. The moving cylinder has some type of seal and you pump fluid in under pressure on the stationary cylinder. This pushes the movable cylinder out. I am not sure how or why they would have added bearings to the jack cylinders do you know why they did that. How does it improve them ?
There are no bearings in a Hydraulic cylinder. There may be on the ends but I don't see how there could be because they are mounted rigidly
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:03 AM   #14
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He didn't elaborate, but he did say they machined new bushings & added a bearing to stabilize the piston in the cylinder. I assume the bearing is not a ball bearing, but a sleeve type. I did a lot of research before giving the job out and had nothing but glowing reports on this shop. I am out in the MH at the moment & will install the jacks, install a new solenoid valve & change the fluid next week. I'll report back here when that is done. I'm looking forward to having reliable jacks. He did say it was pretty messy in there, I assume the fluid will be 9 years old & probably picked up moisture just as brake fluid does. I'm not sure, but I think I read somewhere that the original bushings were a phenolic material which I understand can absorb moisture and change dimensions. I had a brake problem on a C class with an early Dodge Chassis which had phenolic pistons in the brake calipers. New steel pistons solved that one.
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