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Old 07-26-2014, 06:41 PM   #1
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Front power jacks motor blowing fuses

I had an issue with my switch for my front power jacks burning out so I didn't think much of it and got a new switch. Worked about six times and happened again so I investigated further and discovered there was no fuse in the wiring harness. Got myself a new harness and it will run the motor for a short time in a certain extended range either up or down but once past that spot it starts to strain and will blow fuse. Dealer thinks motor has a short which I think unlikely since it works in a certain spot. They are booked for a couple months so I need to fix it myself but if I buy a new motor for $170 I think it was and it doesn't fix it I can't return it and obviously don't want to eat 170$ if it doesn't help so I figured I would ask here if anyone has had similar issue and what was the cause? Seems more likely to me the gearbox or screw in the jack is sticking making it strain to move blowing the fuse since it moves in a certain range.

What could possibly cause this? 2007 and jacks look in great condition, not dirty or visibly bent. Is it possible I could've bent them a little somehow by unhooking on a slight Hill? I wouldn't think they would be that flimsy would they? I've always blocked the tires but I've noticed the pads did slide maybe a inch or two a couple times while hitching back up like there was some pressure on them but surely they would be strong enough to not bend in that situation wouldn't they? How else are you suposed to deal with a slight hill? I pull the brake saftey cord and block the tires using blocks and a thing that goes in between the tires and screws tight as well as put wood blocks under the pads so they aren't digging into the dirt or anything when they slide. I was thinking the original owner was maybe having the same issue and that's why there was no fuse in the first place. It seemed to work much longer before I changed the switch than it did after, like it was getting harder to move or something. Any insight on this would be great. Thanks.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:59 PM   #2
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I had the same exact issue last year. In the end it turned out to be the motor, which was replaced with a brand new one. Since the fix, I have not had the problem again. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-26-2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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I see a few issues.

1. Motor runs good in one spot but not another - indicates bent leg.

2.Don't replace a motor, or any electrical part for that matter, without a volt meter to test volts and amps.

3. You use the emergency break away cable to lock the brakes? Do you never put it back in? You've probably burnt that thing up by now, it's meant for short term use, or one time use.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
I see a few issues.

1. Motor runs good in one spot but not another - indicates bent leg.

2.Don't replace a motor, or any electrical part for that matter, without a volt meter to test volts and amps.

3. You use the emergency break away cable to lock the brakes? Do you never put it back in? You've probably burnt that thing up by now, it's meant for short term use, or one time use.
Ya it seems to run OK in certain spot and then it pulls down like it's working harder then pops as many fuses as I'll put in it in about 1 second flat, if I hand crank back to spot it will work by motor again. That's why I was thinking bent leg or sticky screw inside or something but do they bend easy? I'm used to trailers with much sturdier looking jacks and if these are bent how do I avoid doing so to the new ones?

I pull the little plastic deal attached to the cable out of the slot, brakes still work. Do you mean that no brakes activate now when that is pulled? I didn't know it worked that way. Oops. Thanks for heads up.
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:03 AM   #5
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There are tons of fifth wheels out there and I really don't replace that many for any reason, so they are pretty sturdy.

The "plastic deal and cable" is the emergency break away cable. It locks the brakes when pulled. I would not leave it unplugged, or use it all the time like that anyway.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:04 PM   #6
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Yea I knew it did that, that's why I pulled it. I guess I didn't factor in how it actually works and was probably a bad idea. Figured it was like air brakes I that no air, no release, no power no release. If it uses power to activate the brakes, as im now thinking it does, I can see how it's not a good idea and am surprised it still works and never caught fire cause I've had it unplugged for months at a time. Is it separate from the brakes as controlled by the TBC unit in the truck? Cause they still work. Does it mean that now when that's pulled the brakes likely aren't locked like I would assume they are?
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Old 07-27-2014, 03:45 PM   #7
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Electric drum brakes always use power to engage, and have no "park feature."
There is only one set of brake wires. They are powered either from the truck brake controller or the battery on the RV, which is connected to the circuit by pulling the cable.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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Fair enough, thanks. Was just wondering if there was a fuse or something after the safety cable? I shouldve known this but never been around electric brakes before.

How about other issue then? Any way to disassemble or check jacks or just remove motor and see if it runs while not turning them first?
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:47 PM   #9
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A Class A owner today was posting a writeup and pictures on another forum about his front jacks failing.

His problems were relays mounted down low being splashed with water off his tires. Water intrusion can cause debilitating problems to both motors AND relays. Sometimes a coat of silicone can stop such problems.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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Well I was unable to disassemble enough to see anything inside the legs but I lifted the weight off them and removed the cap and slowly dumped a 1/2 quart of synthetic motor oil down the top of each one while running them up and down a few times and they work good now. Oil will probably collect dirt and quit again soon though.
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