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Cry Jones 10-04-2016 07:19 PM

Power Gear Jack Removal
I have a 2000 Discovery 37V that needs the passenger side rear jack rebuilt. I'm handy enough to remove and rebuild the jack myself. The questions are: 1) when I remove the hydraulic line, do I have to plug the end to keep air from entering the line? 2) After I rebuild the jack and I'm ready to re-install the jack, do I have to bleed the system or will it work itself out? Also, any other tips would be greatly appreciated too.


jacwjames 10-04-2016 07:23 PM

I would plug the line to keep trash out and it would prevent air from entering the system. After you reinstall the system should bleed the air out on it's own.

Darwin 10-04-2016 07:30 PM

I replaced the hoses on my power gear levelers last year, when all hoses were replaced I cycled the jacks a few times and they work fine. No bleeding is necessary. If you search this site you will find info on jacks.

Cry Jones 10-04-2016 07:31 PM

Thanks for the replies!! It's greatly appreciated!!

GrampaDennis 10-04-2016 07:36 PM

I recently rebuilt a Power Gear jack on our 1998 Southwind. I am editing this post because I just remembered that I did put a plastic cap on the line (Previously, I said I didn't plug it. Getting old and forgetful is a bitch.)

The jack holds nearly a quart of fluid, which you will lose in the rebuilding process. (I maybe could have saved some of it, but I thought it better to put fresh ATF back in.

I downloaded a manual for the rebuilding. The bleeding process, as recommended in the manual, consisted of extending the jacks fully, retracting them, top off the fluid, then repeat the cycle of extending, retracting and refilling. Do this cycle 3 times. Because I had done a front jack, it made sense to me to extend the front jacks only on the first cycle. I did 2 more cycles extending all jacks. By the 3rd cycle, I didn't need any more fluid. The jacks have worked fine since.

GrampaDennis 10-04-2016 07:59 PM

I posted a write-up in another forum about my jack rebuilding project. I would link it here, but I have read that irv2's moderators are sensitive about promoting or linking another forum. Therefore, I am copying my previous article into this post:

While at the FMCA rally in Springfield, MA, this year, I noticed that the left front jack on our coach had started to leak. The Parts List in our Power Gear manual showed the entire jack assembly as a replacement part, but did not list a seal kit or a rebuild kit. With a little internet research, I found that there indeed was a rebuild kit, and found the documentation I needed to confirm the appropriate part number. I downloaded the maintenance manual and studied the procedure for installing the kit. The manual was very well illustrated, with lots of photos. It looked like I had all the tools I would need.

In a Google search for the part, I found exactly one online supplier. Lippert/Power Gear does not sell parts directly. You have to go through a dealer or wholesaler. The seal kit cost about $136, including shipping. It included a new Rod Guide, which is the part that the seals mount in, which screws into the cylinder tube. This Rod Guide is a different (and better) design than the original part in my jack. It includes a Wiper Seal (which the original did not have) and the main seal seems to be a better one. I looked for a price for the entire jack assembly. I didn't find the exact one as mine (probably obsolete) but a similar jack was over $500.

I spent most of Labor Day weekend on the jack project. Getting the jack off the frame was a bit of a challenge, largely because the return spring was mounted so tightly against the bolt heads on the front flange that I couldn't get a wrench on them. The space inside the u-shaped bracket (welded to the frame) was also very tight for getting to the nuts and lockwashers.

Getting the jack apart was the second challenge. The manual said to heat the area where the Rod Guide is threaded in with a small propane torch, to soften the Loc-Tite on the threads. I took that to mean I should heat gently. I started off using a regular sized propane torch, but couldn't start the threads. The threads are about 3 inches in diameter. After several tries, and a stop for lunch, I got out my MAPP gas torch (hotter than propane). On the second attempt at heating with MAPP gas, the threads finally broke free. The rest of the disassembly and reassembly of the jack went smoothly after that, except that the kit supplied a cheapo drive-in zerk fitting that came out with the grease gun, when I first tried to use it. I went to Tractor Supply and bought a pack of better zerk fittings.

Remounting the jack to the motorhome went fairly well. I did some measuring and found that I could swing the top bracket for the return spring about 30 degrees away, to leave clearance to get wrenches on the bolt heads. The toughest part was to get the nuts started on the bolts, up inside that U-shaped bracket. I used masking tape to hold the nut in am open-end wrench while I turned the bolt with the other hand to get it started.

The fill plug for the leveling system's fluid reservoir is up near the top, of course. The system uses ATF for fluid. At an auto parts store, I bought a "fluid transfer pump" that was made for this type of situation. You can screw the pump into a quart or gallon sized oil jug. The output of the pump has about a 15 inch length of flexible tubing. The instructions said to extend the jacks fully, retract them, then add fluid - repeat 3 times. Since I only had one front jack apart, I cycled the fronts only the first couple of times, then cycled all of them. No more fluid was needed after the 3rd cycle. I intend to check the fluid again after a bit of use. I'm not seeing any leaking, so I think I'm good to go.

While this job is not for everybody, it was within my capabilities, and it probably saved me well over $400. A RV shop likely would have put in a new jack, instead of rebuilding the existing one, and would have had at least $200 of labor in the job.

98FPA 10-05-2016 07:52 AM

I did both of my rear jacks in Nov. 2013. I found that this was a very challenging job for me since I was pushing 70 and not the strongest of guys (hard headed though). I had trouble breaking the bolts loose as it was hard to get a wrench on the nuts as described above. I just didn't have enough room to hardly get any tools on the bolts. I was using a cheap 3/4 socket which made matters worse (cheap is not the tool of choice). I ended up using a 3/4" impact socket and a breaker bar to get bolts/nuts loose. If you have impact wrench and the room to use one it is a lot better. I did plug my hoses as well, put the end of the hoses in a empty milk jug and taped them shut. I used my floor jack to help support the jacks up when I had them loose and ready to remove; this really helped me as the jack weighs around 55 lbs. I took my jacks to the hyd. shop and had them rebuilt for around $120.00 each. A hyd. shop should have the rod seals, wipers, and O-rings that you would need. In the installation process I used my floor jack again to position the jack in place. As others mentioned, I just cycled my jacks 3-4 times to purge the air from the lines. Removing and replacing the hydraulic hoses for the rear jacks is even more challenging especially for this ol' man. Good luck with your project.

GrampaDennis 10-05-2016 08:01 PM


Originally Posted by 98FPA (Post 3282281)
I used my floor jack to help support the jacks up when I had them loose and ready to remove; this really helped me as the jack weighs around 55 lbs. ... I used my floor jack again to position the jack in place.

I forgot to mention, in my write-up, that I also used a floor jack in taking the jack down and putting it back up. When taking the jack down, I asked my Mrs to help me by operating the floor jack while I guided things from underneath. She refused at first because she was afraid she wouldn't operate the jack properly and might hurt me somehow.:banghead: I told her that she was the only helper I had, and that she HAD to do it. She wasn't happy, but she did it.

When I put the jack up, the Mrs wasn't home. I somehow managed to guide the power jack with one hand and work the floor jack handle with the other.

By the way, 98FPA - we're about the same age. I'll be 70 in 4 months.

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