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Old 08-31-2010, 10:48 AM   #1
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Angry HWH problems AGAIN

I have a 2004 Journey and have had retraction problems with all 4 jacks on separate occasions. I have repalced the springs on 3 jacks but that seemed to have little or no effect. The puzzle to me is that I can always (at least so far) been able to take a 6 foot bar and push the jack up with very little effort. Sounds like weak jack springs but new springs make no difference. Seems the HWH spring is too weak, even the new ones. Has anyone tried buying a different spring and installing them on the jack with good results? This is driving me crazy !!! HWH is the most popular but they don't seem to be able to solve the problem which seems simple to a poor country boy like me.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:56 AM   #2
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My brother in law had the exact problem in his 2003 Journey. He tried new springs and lubing and cleaning the jack shafts and he still had to use a board to get the jacks up. He stopped at HWH and they told him he needed all new jacks due to bad seals. They gave him a good deal with 50% off on the jacks. Since then his jacks have worked great.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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What makes a good deal? Sounds like I may need to go for the deal myself.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:03 AM   #4
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This may sound stupid but have you checked the hydralic oil that is used for the jacks to make sure there is enough in the holding tank? One time years ago I had that problem and found the oil to be low. Added oil and had no problems after that. Good luck
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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Can you use Tranny fluid for this? Sorry I am not up on all this. Also does it matter if you add tran fluid to tank if it already has hydralic fluid in it?
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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slick60,

I have had similar problems with my jacks for the past couple of years.

I called HWH and talked to a tech who stated that a change of springs probably would not solve the problem. He recommended a local HWH service tech check out the jacks.

I had a local HWH authorized service tech check out my jacks. He came to a quick conclusion that I needed two new jacks. He then told me there was no less than a 6 week wait to get the jacks. The tech admitted to me that HWH seamed to be dropping the ball on service to their customers the last couple of years and that their quick answer to jack retraction problems was jack replacement. I keep that last info in the back of my mind and value it for what it's worth.

Now for my resolution. This may not work for you or others but it is working for me.

Prior to storing the jacks, I wipe off the extended piston with a clean rag then I spray it with a silicon spray. I wait a couple of minutes then hit the store button. This has been working for me for the last year. Note it is important to clean off any and all dirt from the piston prior to re-lubing and retraction.

If I'm traveling several days in a row, I've found that I do not need lube the jacks each day. Maybe every 2nd or 3rd day. If I'm parked for 3 days or longer I always clean and re-lube the piston just prior to retracting.

I acquired a foldable padded exercise mat to help with the process. I also check my tire pressures at the same time I'm lubing the jacks. I just drag my mat from tire to tire and check tire pressures and lube the jacks. I've got it down to 3 to 4 minutes for the whole deal.

You may want to give this a try to see if it will work for you before you go to the expense of buying several new jacks.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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Check your manual and see what it recommends. I think you need to use regular hydralic oil.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
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We were just at HWH to have the front jacks replaced with rebuilts. Over time (10 years) the seals had gone bad and the jacks would not retract without a pry bar. Our tech told us to store the jacks at least monthly to keep them lubricated. Last year in Florida we didn't move them for almost 4 months.

The total bill at HWH was $616 which included 1 hour of labor ($70) and they work great now.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:08 PM   #9
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HWH jacks use Dexron III transmission fluid or HWH hydraulic fluid, which is supposedly the same as Dexron III without the red color. Dexron III is no longer being licensed for manufacture. There is transmission fluid sold that says it is equivalent to Dexron III, but I use fluid from HWH just to be safe. DO NOT USE HYDRAULIC JACK OIL!
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
which seems simple to a poor country boy like me
And a total mystery to this country boy since I have a 2003 coach and have never had any problem at all with jacks retracting. I do use mine frequently ...always had them down when storing the coach, and now that we are fulltiming rarely have them down for more than a month at a time. I wonder if more frequent use makes them work better???
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:21 PM   #11
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I have same problem as Slick60. I was not offered the 50% deal. I just do as Brigadoon does, spray with silicone and wipe every couple of days per HWH technician's suggestion.

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Old 09-03-2010, 11:37 PM   #12
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I had the same problem, called HWH, after a week I got a callback. They gave me a return authorization number to return the 2 rear jacks, one was leaking the other would stick to the point even a floor jack couldn't push it up. It has to do with the seals rolling out of position. I sent mine in and in 3 weeks I got totally rebuilt jacks returned for about $330. Fixed the problem for half the price of new jacks which were 4 to 8 weeks out. Had them on a week now.
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Old 09-04-2010, 08:51 AM   #13
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Tips on removing your jacks:
  • A Packard style waterproof electrical connector for the jack-up sensor easily unplugs
  • The hydraulic fitting on top of the cylinder is hard to access, you almost need to loosen it by feel, if I did it again, I would get a 5/8" crowfoot socket. I used a shorty open end wrench and even then it was too long at times. I do have a tiny 6" pipe wrench that helped. Once you break the nut free, it easily loosens by hand.
  • You need a 9/16" socket to remove the 8 nuts holding each jack. Have a jack ready to support the weight of the cylinder at the proper height to access the fitting on the hose.
  • When you replace the jack, make sure the inaccessible carriage bolts are in position before you insert the cylinder and hook up the hose.
  • Don't worry about the fluid running out of the hose, you will only get a few drops.
Quote:
I spray it with a silicon spray
HWH is now recommending the use of WD-40, not silicone. And wipe off any excess.
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:19 PM   #14
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I've had this problem since day one when I bought my 2002 Damon. The dealer replaced the springs on two of the jacks, which seemed to help in the short-term. But now the two on the passenger side take over an hour to completely retract. Just like Slick60, I can easily push them back with a pry bar - so it seems like whatever friction there is, it's just barely more than what the springs can handle.

I will call HWH and ask about new springs again, since I don't know if the replacements put on by the dealer a year ago are the stronger version.

In either case, is there a way to modify the springs (i.e. shorten them), or are there after market springs which might pull with more force?
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