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Old 09-24-2015, 08:29 AM   #1
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Slow retracting jacks question

We have a 2005 Journey and we are finding that it can take as long as 25 minutes for the rear Jacks to retract. The fronts come up in about three to five. I k ow the back is slower cause the are farthest from the pump. Would using a dry lube help?? If so can anyone recommend a good one??

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:05 AM   #2
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NO, do not use dry lube. Use WD40 on the jack cylinders when extended and run them up and down several times each time coating them with WD40. Also check your fluid reservoir when jacks are fully retracted and the slides in to make sure it's at the proper level.

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Old 09-24-2015, 09:11 AM   #3
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Interesting, the retraction of my jacks is powered by the attached springs. Distance from the pump doesn't appear to matter. Sometimes one or both of the rear comes up first. Other times, not. Go with whatever cleaning/lubing procedure your jack manufacturer recommends.

This is what HWH says about cleaning/Lubing their jacks: http://www.hwhcorp.com/ml47149.pdf
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:40 AM   #4
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WD-40. Then perhaps it's time for some new springs, depending on if they are old and rusty.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:05 PM   #5
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Get clean soft rags, Q-Tips and WD-40 with the red straw on the applicator valve. On level ground, extend the jacks as far as possible without the wheels coming off the ground. Bathe the shiny jack shafts with WD-40 being sure to extend the straw applicator up inside the jack sleeve. With a Q-tip clean up inside sleeve to remove old built up dirt and road grime. Do this several times for each jack until the Q-tip comes back clean. With the clean soft rags wipe down the jack shafts removing excess WD-40 and any dirt then bathe shafts one more time.

Operate the levelers a few time and note any performance change. Be sure to wipe down the shafts a final time before finishing the job.

You should see a big improvement in performance. If not, you may have a valve not opening all the way.
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:38 PM   #6
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Even 3-5 minutes is extreme - should be more like one minute. I'm pretty sure you have springs on the jacks rams, and if so, that's what does the retracting once the valve in the hydraulic line is opened. Distance from the pump is irrelevant if that is the case.

You have either bad valves in the hydraulic lines to the jacks, or weak jack springs.
If they are Power Gear brand jacks rather than HWH, they may have grease fittings that need a squirt of chassis grease.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sunset4k View Post
We have a 2005 Journey and we are finding that it can take as long as 25 minutes for the rear Jacks to retract. The fronts come up in about three to five. I k ow the back is slower cause the are farthest from the pump. Would using a dry lube help?? If so can anyone recommend a good one??
Does it have a hydraulic hose on the bottom of the ram, or do you have springs to retract? Our '06 Itasca (Winnebago) had levelers that raised under hydraulic pressure, no springs. Either way, that is way too long to retract and as others have said lubrication is the first thing to try, then look at the solenoid/valves or a weak pump.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:30 PM   #8
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OK no one on here has probably touched on the real problem. You can spray WD 40 or I like to use Waterproof silicon and it will make them go up faster for a few cycles. The real problem is that something probably the seals have hardened and increased resistance to them moving past them. Going down is not a problem because you have a 2000 PSI hydraulic fluid pushing them. Going back up is just the springs. When I bought my MH the front left would go very slow sometimes not completeing the cycle before the timer timed out. I tried all of the above fixes. New springs of the modified variety from HWH. I used silicon, WD40 etc on them and they would work better for a while. I finally took it to an RV mechanic that replaced my jack under the warranty. It now takes about 5 to 10 seconds for that same jack to raise. All that was changed was the jack so the new springs, the valve etc are not at fault. About a year later the other front one got changed for the same reason. Again from a few minutes to a few seconds to go up. By this summer probably both back ones will be replaced.

If you want to make sure it is not the valve. Manually put the jack on the ground by itslef not holding up any of the bus. Open the manual return valve and see how fast it comes up. IF no change then is something inside of the jack
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Old 09-24-2015, 03:48 PM   #9
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The experience I have with hydraulics and actuators is on aircraft of various military types. We always cleaned the extended shafts with the same type of fluid used in the hydraulic system as routine maintenance, in this case Dextron III. I have a Itasca that had the same issues as yours. Wipe the actuator shafts down to clean and then squirt some more on to coat. Recycle the system a couple of times.
If the seals are dry and they very well could be they certainly are not made to be used with WD-40, lube them with the product they are designed for them.
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:48 PM   #10
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From The Power Gear Manual

If you have a Power Gear Jack System here are the recommended preventative maintenance procedures:

1. Check the fluid level every month. Fill the reservoir with the jacks in the fully retracted position. On vertical pump assemblies, the fluid should be within 1/4 inch of the fill port lip and checked only with all jacks retracted. On horizontal pump assemblies, the fluid level should be up to the weep hole on the side of the reservoir tank and checked only with all jacks retracted.
2. Change fluid every 24 months.
3. Inspect and clean all hydraulic pump electrical connections every 12 months.
4. Remove dirt and road debris from jacks as needed.
5. If jacks are down for extended periods, it is recommended to spray exposed chrome rods with a silicone lubricant every seven days for protection. If your coach is located in a salty environment (within 60 miles of coastal areas), it is recommended to spray the rods every 2 to 3 days.
6. Jacks equipped with grease fittings at the bottom of the cylinder should be greased with light weight lithium grease using a hand pump style grease gun only. 2 or 3 pumps should be sufficient for every 20-30 uses.

7. Do not use a high pressured was/rinse system on any of the components associated with the leveling system. This includes the pump, pump motor, wiring harness, control and touchpad. THE USE OF A HIGH PRESSURE WASH/RINSE SYSTEM WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.

Note steps 5 and 6. WD-40 sells a good silicone spray that I use. My jacks retract slowly until I grease and lube with the spray. The spray is the key.

Also here is a trouble shooting guide from the manual:


Lubricate the jack. - While the jacks are extended down spray the chrome rod with silicone spray. If the jacks have a zerk fitting in the bottom collar of the jack assembly apply all purpose lithium grease. Three pumps with a manual grease gun are recommended. Retract the jacks and then extend the jacks. Lubricate the jacks again as above. Repeat this process 2 more times.

Jack rod guide is rusted or dirty - Clean the chrome rod and grease rod guide if equipped with grease fittings. Otherwise lubricate with silicone fluid as described above. It may be necessary to reseal jack or replace.

Broken jack spring(s) - Replace jack spring (see TIP sheet 34 and TIP sheet 82-L0505).

Shunt valve clogged - Remove corresponding hose fitting on manifold to gain access to shunt valve. Clean valve passages with solvent and compressed air.

Shunt valve spring damaged - Replace spring.

Hose damaged - Replace kinked or damaged hose (damage may not be visible externally).

Internal failure within jack - Rebuild / replace components of jack as necessary.

Again, I suggest you do the lube procedure for the jack. This is usually the issue.

Hope this helps.

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