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Old 07-23-2014, 06:38 PM   #1
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Is changing height control valve doable?

my front airbags won't raise, i believe the height control valve (HCV) is the first thing to look into. bought a new valve and felt it's an easy job. but, but, but... there is always a but... the tech support in the manufacturer warned me sternly - he said he had worked there for 30 years and had seen too many incidents people getting hurt or killed involving air system repair... now i am thinking if i should let a shop do it.

how many people here have done it by yourself? any particular things that i should be aware of? i am thinking the procedure should be like this:
1) drive up the front wheels on a solid wood ramp so to make a room for me to do the job underneath.
2) chock up one of rear wheels (don't think needing both sides)
3) dump the air on the control panel
4) are wood blocks needed to support the frame?
5) slowly disconnect the air hoses
6) remove the retaining bolts
7) reconnect air hoses to new HCV
8) fasten the new HCW with bolts @8 ft-lbs and set the height rod
9) start engine to test
10) adjust the height accordingly
11) unchock and drive down from the ramp

did i miss any steps?
appreciate your info.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:28 PM   #2
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Driving to a shop with no air in the front end is liable to do some serious damage. You cannot turn or you tear up your wheel wells. Yes you can do it yourself but take every precaution. Wheels on solid wood so it doesn't move or crack. I always put jack stands on the frame. I would chock both rear wheels myself. Your plan seems a good one.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #3
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When you dump the air the body can't go any lower.

Why not test it first.

Air up, take the adj link off one end the frame or the arm, slowly move it up the frame should raise, then move the lever down.

This whole thing moves a lot slower than you think.

now if you jerk it up or down .........well

I just changed out my links, not a big deal just think about what you're doing.

place a jack stand under the frame if you want, put the jacks down......U get the idea
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:53 PM   #4
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I also have worked on the height valve. If you run the front wheels up on blocks and put blocks or jack stands under the frame you'll be fine. You just don't want your arm or hand in a spot that a sudden move of the frame could pinch or trap your arm. If you dump air first, there shouldn't be any surprises.

Also, I suggest you cut a dowel to the proper ride height you'll be setting valve at when finished. It saves time and easier to see if high, low, or just right.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:09 PM   #5
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If you have the front end up on blocks, you will not be able to get a good ride height adjustment on the valve.

How did you determine you have a bad valve?

If you do install a new valve, be aware that it is possible to install it 180 degrees out meaning that the rod adjustment will be backwards. On the new valve, do not twist it from the position it is in when you remove it from the box.

Do you have the correct height measurements? I have them but they are in the coach
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:28 PM   #6
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Once the valve is installed and checked for leaks by airing it up, you can remove the jack stands or blocks under the frame and adjust length of the rod to proper height. Just be cautious that the frame and body can't drop far enough to pin you underneath. On my RV I can lay underneath with bags fully deflated.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:34 PM   #7
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I assume there is only one, not two adjusters on this model in the front?

that's why the OP thinks it's the problem.

He knows now how low it can go as far as safety goes I think
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:44 PM   #8
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You need to make certain there is enough room for you to maneuver underneath with all the air bags deflated so you won't get crushed in the event of a sudden air loss. I recently replaced my rear valve with a dual height one from Haldex. I put the MH up on 6 blocks, one under each tire to keep it level. This way you can make the proper adjustment.
BTW I am a 40 year mechanic.
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:13 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the great info...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melmoses View Post
Driving to a shop with no air in the front end is liable to do some serious damage. You cannot turn or you tear up your wheel wells. ...
my airbags have air in it because i tested with auto leveling it leveled. I have not dumped it yet. when i start engine, it just won't raise up but definitely not empty...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbo2013 View Post
Air up, take the adj link off one end the frame or the arm, slowly move it up the frame should raise, then move the lever down.

This whole thing moves a lot slower than you think...
Got it. the valve instruction also explains this step for adjustment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
I suggest you cut a dowel to the proper ride height you'll be setting valve at when finished. It saves time and easier to see if high, low, or just right.
Good idea Bob. I will do it that way to make the job easier

Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
How did you determine you have a bad valve?

If you do install a new valve, be aware that it is possible to install it 180 degrees out meaning that the rod adjustment will be backwards. On the new valve, do not twist it from the position it is in when you remove it from the box.

Do you have the correct height measurements? I have them but they are in the coach
Well, good question... I tried to call HWH but every time the lady only took my phone number saying someone will call me... But it's never happened. I talked to a few folks, they all seemed to think the HCV is more than often causing the problem. I bought one for $90, inexpensive in RV repair per se, so I decided to give it a try.
On the part, there is an arrow pointing the direction of the height rod. Good to know the 180 degree thing but if I follow the instruction it should be alright (I have not twisted the position yet). I don't have the height measurement, could you send it to me when convenient? Big thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerRick View Post
You need to make certain there is enough room for you to maneuver underneath with all the air bags deflated so you won't get crushed in the event of a sudden air loss. I recently replaced my rear valve with a dual height one from Haldex. I put the MH up on 6 blocks, one under each tire to keep it level. This way you can make the proper adjustment.
Yep. I will stack up blocks to make sure it won't fall further. That was what the Haldex tech agent was worried about. For the height, I am thinking to set the rod position to the new HCV exactly to the same position of the current rod. after verified no leaking, I will get it to the ground and measure the height. If needs to adjust, I will just drive up to the ramp again; it wouldn't take much effort.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:53 AM   #10
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how good is your health insurance? It is a relativity straight forward process but if you screw up the out comes can be very messy. For a few hundred bucks you have to ask yourself if it's worth it.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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stop scaring the guy, anyone with mechanical ability can do this.

on scale of 1-10 its a 6
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper9x9 View Post
how good is your health insurance? It is a relativity straight forward process but if you screw up the out comes can be very messy. For a few hundred bucks you have to ask yourself if it's worth it.
A bit dramatic, I think. Taking proper precautions, as suggested and as CountryFit said he would be doing, that 'few hundred bucks' could buy a month or two of better health insurance.

Doing it yourself means your RV is being worked on by someone who cares that it gets done right.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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You can get the ride height adjusted roughly just sitting in the driveway, but for final setting there is a procedure that needs to be followed.

Find a parking lot that is large and has a nice level area.

Drive around the block a couple of times and enter the parking lot with as little rock and rolling as possible. Slow right down as you approach the level section and try to stop without using the brakes - or at least the minimum amount possible.

Leave the engine running, transmission in neutral

If possible have someone chock one wheel rather than use the parking brake. Get out of the MH as quickly as reasonable so you aren't rocking it from side to side.

Measure the ride height and adjust as required.

Repeat the procedure.

Sounds a lot of messing around but can be useful. The height control valves are heavily damped and will have some friction and hysteresis so you need to drive around a bit until it settles down.
Of course it isn't essential but...
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:52 PM   #14
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all advices are taken...
i have been always diying whenever possible, not because of just to save some bux, but more of enriching my knowledge and feeding my thirst of curiosity when i did something myself, it sit in my brain and next time i would know what i am doing. there were some unpleasant out-repair experience also preventing me from letting other people do it for me if i can.

a couple years ago, i had a shop (with a good score on rv service review) replace the cracked exhaust manifold. after returning from a trip, i was to change oil at the bottom and noticed 2 large bolts hanging in the air. went back to the shop, they admitted they didn't use thread lock. while redid it, they broke the dash ac line and the freon burst out right in front of me. the shop owner insisted the hose was already too brittle, so they broke it for a reason. well, at the end i paid the cost of freon. a few days later, i drove to yuma, az, finding no dash ac. on the way back, i stopped at there. this time they found the hose they had put on was loose at one end... i am pretty sure other rvers would have this kind of frustration too. it's quite common that they fix one but break others, either they don't know what they are doing or they are too negligent. so if i can do it, why not just do it to save from the headaches?

happy traveling
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