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Old 06-06-2014, 05:21 PM   #1
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Jack Cylinder Replacement

I ordered my new straight acting HWH jack cylinder replacement today. While I feel pretty good about how to do this cylinder swap, I wonder if anyone who has done it might list the steps to be sure that I'm not overlooking something. It looks relatively simple. I just want to be sure I'm not making a bad assumption Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:34 PM   #2
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I had an HWH jack replaced by a mobile rv tech and I watched how it was done. I can't give you details but certainly could have done it myself. The tech used clothspins as spacers to expand the springs. I don't know your mechanical abiltity but it does not take a master mechanic to change and I should have done it myself. There was not an issue with fluids. I was recovering from shoulder surgery at that point in time but still think I could have done it.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:47 AM   #3
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I'll be watching this thread closely. My left rear jack (HWH) is stuck in the down position and I'm taking a shovel and a 2X4 out to try and persuade it to come up. Called HWH service yesterday, but as usual they never called me back. On the plus side, I got very cordial service from Stuart's Services and he's shipping me a new jack on Monday.

The jack would not come up, even using the manual retract instructions from HWH. Working with Mr. Stuart, I've surmised that it's not the shuttle valve, lines nor solenoid. Since he had time to talk with me about my problem, I will use his services from now on, versus calling HWH.
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:56 AM   #4
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I agree that HWH needs more folks working there and IMHO it does send a message about their level of concern for a customer. Having said that, once I do get a human on the phone, they are very polite and helpful. I was told to loosen the pressure nut on the jack and if it came up then, it's likely the valve. Mine didn't come up except for taking the pressure off and using a 6 foot pry bar so I know the jack is shot. My cylinder replacement should arrive this week and it looks relatively simple. I'd just like the scoop from someone who has done it before to be sure. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the tip regarding Stuart's.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:13 AM   #5
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When you prepare to remove you will first remove the jack alarm sensor wiring than the hydraulic hose. Keep the hose up as to not drain the hose.
To remove springs check out MAX HUBRICH's QT's Mod's, above Dutch Star Don's mods, in QT's # 3, 3/4 the way down thread.
The new jack will have fluid already in it so do not tilt downward when you remove plug from top for jack alarm sensor.
You will remove from old jack sensor, to re-plug that top hole.
The pivot plates at base of jack frame will have four bolts each side of jack housing that will be removed and plates spread so jack cylinder will drop out of the pivot plates.
Now I say bolts will be removed the older jacks you just removed the bottom four each side of jack housing now on last one I replaced they send a spacer plate that will need the top four bolts removed and the top four bolts will hold the spacer plates along with the heavier pivot mounting plates.
As you assemble leave all bolts loose until you have everything in place.
I found it easier to have a few blocks of 2" BOARDS to hold jack up into the jack mounting housing because your hands will be busy placing the bolts in their respective holes to hold the plates.
With the jack cylinder pushed up in housing you will than close plates to pivot point of jack and than tighten the bolts.
Once its mounted reconnect the hose and jack's down sensor wire plug.
Do not rush yourselves and watch the fingers when moving things around with practice its a piece of cake.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:24 AM   #6
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Thanks 007, that's exactly what I needed. It looked like that was the plan but I needed the reassurance and you've provided that. One question that I just thought about...since I bought the coach used (it's a 2000 Allegro Bay), I can't be certain if there's HWH fluid in there or generic ATF. I will need to top off as a good bit of fluid shot out of the pressure release when I used a pry bar to raise the jack. Will I be OK adding ATF or do I need to drain the whole thing to not run the risk of mixing fluid types? I also assume there's not a bleeding process after cylinder replacement. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:30 AM   #7
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If you do not have HWH fluid the ATF is OK to use and probably what you have in the older jack system anyhow, with all jack retracted check fluid level is between the two lines of the bell vent shaft.
There is no problem mixing the two fluids.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memphisflyer View Post
Thanks 007, that's exactly what I needed. It looked like that was the plan but I needed the reassurance and you've provided that. One question that I just thought about...since I bought the coach used (it's a 2000 Allegro Bay), I can't be certain if there's HWH fluid in there or generic ATF. I will need to top off as a good bit of fluid shot out of the pressure release when I used a pry bar to raise the jack. Will I be OK adding ATF or do I need to drain the whole thing to not run the risk of mixing fluid types? I also assume there's not a bleeding process after cylinder replacement. Thanks again for all your help.
If the fluid is red it's automatic transmission fluid. If it's clear it's HWH fluid. The only difference is the color. HWH introduced their own version when the early model levelers had a joy stick inside the motorhome. The joy stick actually moved valves mounted inside a compartment. Since the whole control mechanism was inside the motorhome any leak would spill red hydraulic fluid on the carpeting. They couldn't guarantee the system would never leak so they had their own fluid made so at least it wouldn't leave stains.

As a side note our 2001 Adventurer with the HWH system came with red GM Dexron II in the system. Dexron II has been replaced, but the new fluid is compatible.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:40 AM   #9
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I just did this same thing 4 days ago. Also bought mine from Stuarts. I have one suggestion to add to the other great advice. lift up the end of the RV that you are working on and set on stands. If you don't, the jack cylinder will not have room enough to fall out the bottom. this swap took me about 45 minutes and I have never done it before.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:40 AM   #10
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Thanks to all. Just removed the jack in anticipation of new one arriving next week. I used a small floor jack to hold everything in place while I removed the retainer bolts and collars. The bottom two bolts had been installed with red loctite, so it took quite a bit of persuasion. I had to use a shovel to get the stuck down jack to come up. 007's tips were spot on and thanks for your input. Only lost about a teaspoon of ATF .
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #11
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Update: My new jack arrived from Stuart's Service last night. I used the shim method of stretching the new springs. I put the jack back on the motor home with a little help from a floor jack to hold everything in place while putting bolts back on the jack. Left everything loose as suggested and reconnected the electrical and the hydraulic line. I put a spring on one side of the mounting plate with ease. I then used the floor jack to raise the other side of the pad to shorten the distance for the remaining spring. I pushed auto level and all jacks went down with no problems. Most of the shims fell out on their own, but I did have to pick a few of them out. Retraction was flawless and fast. I highly recommend Chuck Stuart. He really knows the HWH systems!!!! He'll be my first call the next time I have jack problems.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:27 AM   #12
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That's GREAT!
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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Update: new jack cylinder arrived from HWH and I finally had time to install it. It went just as "007" said and was truly easy to do. The only thing I'll add is that to release the springs I just used a floor jack to push up one side of the foot until I got the spring off - it was easy. Thanks "007" and others for the info. This forum is priceless, but only because of the people in it.
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Old 06-07-2015, 08:22 AM   #14
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Thanks to this thread I was able to replace both of my rear cylinders myself.

Big thanks for that!!

I'll add one tip for tight spaces.....this little claw wrench was the only way I could tighten the hose fitting. Click image for larger version

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