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Old 07-28-2016, 08:11 AM   #1
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Hydraulic leveler leaking badly

1998 National Dolphin gas-

I will include pictures when I get home this evening, but last night when getting home from work, I noticed a large puddle on the concrete under passenger seat area, about 3 ft. in diameter. At first I assumed it was condensation from the ac units (been very hot and humid lately), but then realized that wasn't possible that far forward. Shined a flashlight and saw the puddle was centered around the hydraulic leveler foot. eeek!

I've been parked in the same place since April 1 and was thinking about going for a drive to exercise the engine and fill up on propane but now sounds like I may be going to the local Delightful Days for repairs. My question is, If I raise the jacks with low fluid, will the springs hold them up or will I have to have somebody come out?

Don't know if this is to early to ask, but I did have to have both main hoses replaced last fall at a cost north of $1,000. Maybe a fitting? If not, maybe a seal? Hopefully pictures will be helpful.

Comments appreciated-
Bud
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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You would have to find out exactly where the fluid is leaking, could just be a hose or fitting. Spring should hold the jack up if they are retracted. Not sure what hoses you had replaced for $1000 but I just changed the one to my left front jack for a grand total of $68.00. Maybe time to shop around for a different repair facility?


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Old 07-28-2016, 06:23 PM   #3
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Lubricate the shaft with silicone spray and wipe it off then re-spray. Exercise the shaft a few times up and down. Buy a cheap plastic oil pan to place under the pad to catch any leakage until you can get repairs made. I have had leaks that stopped after doing this routine. Just lucky. Also, a good farm store can make hose if that is your problem. I keep a clean plastic oil pan on hand in case of leaks.
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC Wndsr View Post
You would have to find out exactly where the fluid is leaking, could just be a hose or fitting. Spring should hold the jack up if they are retracted. Not sure what hoses you had replaced for $1000 but I just changed the one to my left front jack for a grand total of $68.00. Maybe time to shop around for a different repair facility?
Thanks TC Wndsr. I'm a little old to be crawling under the MH, so going to talk grandson into going under there and taking a video of the leak.

As for the $1000 hydraulic lines repair, the tech had to get 2 30' hoses with fittings all custom made and shipped from out of town. Then I was there and he worked several hours and was covered in fluids. He showed me where the two main hoses crossed over the axles and had rubbed a hole in both.

I want to think he did his best... On two other occasions, he looked at my noisy brakes and blew out dust and said they were fine... no charge. (I was expecting a big brake job)... Another time I had a problem with dead batteries. he came down to the rv park and put a chasis cut off switch then jump started the engine. Total charge $40.

If I have to take it back to him, it's about a 30 mile drive. Maybe I can get somebody to fix it on site?
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Whaler2 View Post
Lubricate the shaft with silicone spray and wipe it off then re-spray. Exercise the shaft a few times up and down. Buy a cheap plastic oil pan to place under the pad to catch any leakage until you can get repairs made. I have had leaks that stopped after doing this routine. Just lucky. Also, a good farm store can make hose if that is your problem. I keep a clean plastic oil pan on hand in case of leaks.
Thanks Whaler2, I'll try that.

Any idea how to check the fluid level. I've got a hunch it is low with the leakage.
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Old 07-29-2016, 04:50 PM   #6
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Hi Bud,
If it turns out to be a leaking seal on the piston itself try cleaning the shaft first. Then take a rag with some brake fluid and wipe down the entire shaft. Then run the jack up and down several times. Brake fluid will cause the seals to swell slightly and help them to seal tight again. I had a leaky jack several years ago, I did this simple repair and no more leak.
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Old 07-30-2016, 08:07 AM   #7
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Hi Bud,
If it turns out to be a leaking seal on the piston itself try cleaning the shaft first. Then take a rag with some brake fluid and wipe down the entire shaft. Then run the jack up and down several times. Brake fluid will cause the seals to swell slightly and help them to seal tight again. I had a leaky jack several years ago, I did this simple repair and no more leak.
~Bill
Hi Bill,

That sounds like a great plan. I like simple and cheap.
I'll try that first assuming it is a seal leak. I have a buddy coming over in the morning who can get under the MH and take a look. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thanks again everybody,
Bud
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Old 08-06-2016, 04:44 PM   #8
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I replaced one jack on my RV and found one for $600 and installed it my self. I later talked to a guy who said he replaced the seal by himself and he said it was easy.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaler2 View Post
Lubricate the shaft with silicone spray and wipe it off then re-spray. Exercise the shaft a few times up and down. Buy a cheap plastic oil pan to place under the pad to catch any leakage until you can get repairs made. I have had leaks that stopped after doing this routine. Just lucky. Also, a good farm store can make hose if that is your problem. I keep a clean plastic oil pan on hand in case of leaks.
Yes I have done the same, don't be shy with the silicone spray seems like grit or sand gets between the shaft and the seal the silicone can rinse out the grit. I have had a couple leaks and both went away when using the spray on a regular basis.
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Old 08-11-2016, 12:23 PM   #10
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Ok, sorry for the delay in pictures, but I had to wait for grand kid to slide under the MH and take some pictures of the hydraulic leak.

Best I can tell, the results are

1st picture shows the top of the jack and (faintly) the hoses. I don't see any hydraulic fluid

2nd picture on right just shows the hydraulic puddle on the concrete around the jack foot. about 2 foot in diameter

3rd picture on bottom shows the hydraulic piston going up into the jack. Click to enlarge the picture andt there appears to be some wet crud at the point the piston enters the jack. Am I seeing the result of a leaking seal there?

Comments very welcome.

Thanks,
Bud
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:10 PM   #11
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IF the jack foot plate was filled with oil then I'd suspect the ram seal as the problem, from looking at pic #3 I don't see a lot of indication of oil all over the foot pad. Leak could be a line/fitting and it's dripping down without running down the cylinder.
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Old 08-12-2016, 06:27 AM   #12
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IF the jack foot plate was filled with oil then I'd suspect the ram seal as the problem, from looking at pic #3 I don't see a lot of indication of oil all over the foot pad. Leak could be a line/fitting and it's dripping down without running down the cylinder.
I think there's a drain hole in the foot plate. I'll check when I get home tonight.
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Old 08-15-2016, 06:57 AM   #13
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I think there's a drain hole in the foot plate. I'll check when I get home tonight.
Yup, there's a drain hole in the foot plate. That's still not to say the leak could be anywhere but I just can't get under there and if I did I'd need a tow truck to pull me out.

Bud
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