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Old 05-15-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
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To lube or not to lube: HWH jacks

Hi, all We are now full timing :laugh. Question about HWH jacks. Front jacks would not go all the way up without some Manuel pushing, my question is has anyone had this issue, what could it be, if a lube is needed what kind??? Thanks for all your help. 2011 tiffin allegro bus 43ft. Power glide
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the class of 2012!

Much as been written/debated/claimed about cleaning and lubricating HWH jacks. A quick search of this topic will provide you with countless hours of readings.

I personally like to wipe mine down with ATF, use a Q-tip dipped in same to clean the outer seal and then wipe clean with a smooth cloth. It has worked for me.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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I try to keep all the components clean and free of any mud, dirt and make sure all moving parts are lube. I use a white spray grease. I did have one rear jack get stubborn and this seemed to fix it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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...and of course for everyone who wipes down their pistons and puts them on a pillow to sleep, there are countless others that can recollect contruction equipment out in the mud for 20 years with similar jacks and hydraulic pistons without any wiping or cleaning that still operate under much more severe conditions... moral of the story? Lube up if it makes you feel better, or don't wipe down and make a cocktail! We can't take this 'stuff' to Heaven with us!
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:22 PM   #5
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HWH advised me to spray the cylinders with silicone & wipe them down. Mine were very slow coming up & after I siliconed them they can up much faster. Do not use WD-40 as it gums up & collects dirt.
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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Construction does not take care of the hydraulic cylinders?
On the farm wiping cylinders was a end of the day duty... normally got done in the morning with the greasing of the zerk fittings.
I do not believe RVs require daily wiping but I would think when necessary (dirt, mud and the like).
I do not have hydraulic leveling gear, just going by past maintenance practices for hydraulic cylinders (farm and production).
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:42 PM   #7
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generally speaking...

lube plus clean = good.
lube plus dirty = really really bad.

no lube and dry dirt = not so much bad.

If you start lubing them, they will work better, but will need constant attention, wiping clean and relubing.

If you have no troubles now, then for god's sake, if it ain't broke don't fix it!
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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Tonumanns said not to use WD-40 but just two months ago the HWH tech told to use exactly that. Furthermore, if you read their information on their site, there, they say to use WD-40 also.
I used to use silicone spray, with good reults, but since switching to WD-40, they come up much faster.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Have never used any lube on my HWH's nor have I ever cleaned them off, on my third MH with HWH and have never had a problem. This rig is ten years old and they still work fine.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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The main ingredient in WD 40 is, you guessed it, FISH OIL. An oil based lube, whether natural or petroleum based, is prone to collect grit and grime and thus destroy seals if not cleaned properly. IMHO adding the jack cylinders to your PM list is the way to go. Wipe them clean and spray them with silicone once a month. If you don't have a PM schedule, you need one. An ounce of prevention is well worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to maintaining an RV. Repairs can be costly when RV appears in the vehicle description.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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I farmed for years and never once wiped the hydraulic cylinders. No problems with them either and there isn't anything dirtier than farm work.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krivanj View Post
Tonumanns said not to use WD-40 but just two months ago the HWH tech told to use exactly that. Furthermore, if you read their information on their site, there, they say to use WD-40 also.
I used to use silicone spray, with good reults, but since switching to WD-40, they come up much faster.
The main reason HWH does not recommend WD 40 is the fact that as an oil it attracts dirt. It does however dissolve most road tar and crud thrown up from the road. Silicone is a great lubricant but it won't dissolve anything.
I have used WD 40 on several occasions to clean road tar and debris from the pistons. After a thorough cleaning I make sure to wipe off all the solvent and give them a liberal dose of silicone. On more than 1 occasion I have coated a Q tip with WD 40 and cleand the seals under the lip of the outer casing. You'd be surprised how much junk can accumulate on the seals after a few thousand miles. Once the seals are clean I wipe them down and give them a shot of silicone.

We have almost 100,000 miles on the motorhome. After replacing 2 jacks at 25,000 miles due to salt damage I find it easier and far less expensive to clean them once or twice a year.

To flloster's point construction equipment does indeed wallow in the mud all day long. The big difference however is that most cylinders on that type of equipment have at least 2 sets of seals and in some cases 3 sets. The outer ones are wipers meant to clean off the debris before getting to the ones that actually seal in the hydraulic fluid.

The other main difference is that construction equipment uses primarily double acting hydraulic cylinders. That means they're powered in both directions by hydraulic pressure of up to 3,000 lbs per sq inch. You can move a mighty stiff cylinder with that kind of pressure. The typical HWH cylinders are single acting. They are extended by hydraulic pressure, but retracted by spring pressure of generally less than a couple hundres pounds.

Just for the record in my time as a construction equipment mechanic I replaced hundreds of hydraulic cylinders seals on machines that worked in mud and water. They might be rough and tough machines but seals still fail
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #13
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To lube or not to lube

Quote:
Originally Posted by trn the page View Post
Hi, all We are now full timing :laugh. Question about HWH jacks. Front jacks would not go all the way up without some Manuel pushing, my question is has anyone had this issue, what could it be, if a lube is needed what kind??? Thanks for all your help. 2011 tiffin allegro bus 43ft. Power glide
Coming from the mining industry I have used and rebuilt these units..
WD40 eats rubber!.. dont use it.. Use a silicon spray and wipe off the excess!
never use grease or a sticky lube... DIRT Magnet!... If the look like they need Cleaned.. Clean them.. Use common sense.. I just wipe mine clean if I am under the RV, I clean with a rag and thats it... FYI, pledge is great to wipe them clean with.... and it does a great job on all your rubber bumpers and seals.. (slide outs)... and cost half of the auto products...

HikerDog is 100% right.... you CAN use WD40... but ues it as a cleaner and not a lube!
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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We also have a stubborn jack on our right rear. I use silicone spray and it works better.
Hey if it is not working can you really make it any worse ?
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