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Old 11-26-2021, 03:09 PM   #1
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Leveling system trouble shooting

Newbie here trying to figure out my leveling system
Have a 1994 Southwind on a Chevy chassis...Im working on trying to get my leveling system to work again, first thing needing to figure out
how I can bypass the parking brake sensor. Apparently been rewired because park brake is no longer wired to pin #1 like it should, that wire
is cut and no longer going to anything. Reason wanting to bypass is it acts erratic, hard to turn on and stay on. Second problem, I replaced
main Battery and thinking I connected a cable wrong, there is a #2 cable connected to the solenoid should that be connected to the positive
side of battery?
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Old 11-26-2021, 06:46 PM   #2
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Jacks: Find the hydraulic fluid (ATF) reservoir. You should service that right off, clean it up, check the oil when all jacks are retracted, remove and clean all connections. Once you are familiar with the area, you can try to chase out which solenoid does what. There will likely be 5...1 for each jack, and the 'Retract' solenoid. Knowing that, you can test each one in turn.

Now, the other issue with the warning. Does the park brake actually work? Check that carefully. Very important. Almost slipped off a mountain once when I thought mine was working but it wasn't. What kind of park brake is it? Chase that out. It has already been bypassed for testing the jack system just by cutting wire #1. It's not active. You can just put in your own brake sense of course if you have a mechanical park brake (unusual). You likely have that terrible Rotten Green switch issue too based on the age and chassis so google that.

BTW, it's mostly a POWER GEAR jack system. So remember that as you research. I repaired mine several times and here's a link to my ad free article; mine was a 3 jack so adjust your thinking: Power Gear Leveling...

You can build a switch assembly that bypasses the entire control pad if you want. The jack system in your case is just a motor, a reservoir, a brake sensor, a fluid level sensor, a hydraulic manifold, 4 hydraulic solenoids, and 1 hydraulic release valve...assuming your jacks have big 'return' springs. The 4 'Extend'ers will run the motor, the 'Retract' will not. Those solenoids do tend to corrode and the terminals break off. Can be fixed, see my link.

Hopefully your system IS hydraulic not electric. Snort.

That solenoid looks like the solenoid that closes when you press the 'AUX' rocker switch that crosses the two sets of batts to assist starting. It's the same one that closes when the BCC (battery control center) senses the starting battery is charged enough and then charges the house batts while you drive.

So it's supposed to be wired to the PLUS of each battery set. But check the back of the BCC cover for a drawing.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, yes its a power gear system and its hydraulic.
Ive researched on it, one thing trying to make sure that one cable is suppose
to go to the positive side of the battery. As for the controller it wont come
on unless park brake is engaged but its erratic, having to play with park brake
alot then it wont always stay on so wanting to find out a way to bypass it
all together....
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frebird View Post
Thanks for the response, yes its a power gear system and its hydraulic.
Ive researched on it, one thing trying to make sure that one cable is suppose
to go to the positive side of the battery. As for the controller it wont come
on unless park brake is engaged but its erratic, having to play with park brake
alot then it wont always stay on so wanting to find out a way to bypass it
all together....
You said earlier that the wire to #1 pin was cut in the past. That should make the circuit ignore the park brake, as it says in the description. So you'll need to explain. Are you sure it's not the NEU switch that's giving the intermittent operation?
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:48 AM   #5
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The control panel wont turn on unless the park brake is on, as for how it is connected I have no idea. Out of the four different wires needing to know what I can do to bypass all of them??
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Old 11-27-2021, 03:10 PM   #6
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So today I reached under and tested the brake switch, it works but not great. I turned on control pad and then reached under and pushed in switch with my hand and it turned off so definitely connected some how.
Ok what I need to know is if the #2 cable going to the solenoid is suppose to be connected to the positive on the battery??
I may connect some sort of manual switch or try replacing brake switch...
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frebird View Post
So today I reached under and tested the brake switch, it works but not great. I turned on control pad and then reached under and pushed in switch with my hand and it turned off so definitely connected some how.
Ok what I need to know is if the #2 cable going to the solenoid is suppose to be connected to the positive on the battery??
I may connect some sort of manual switch or try replacing brake switch...
It is always best in future that you separate issues with your RV and post them each in their own thread.

1) According to the wiring diagram you posted, the brake switch under the dash operated by the foot pedal isn't the brake switch the diagram is talking about. That would be the P-B (Park Brake), different switch. I don't know where that is on your rig. If operating the BRAKE switch shuts off the control pad for the jacks than I would suspect it's mis-wired probably to overcome some other problem.

2) Here's a 1991 drawing of the BCC (Battery Control Center) for the Southwind that is supposed to cover 1994. https://www.irv2.com/forums/attachme...2&d=1435432030

Download it to your desktop then you can click on it and it should open. Then you can rotate it and zoom in. Most computer OS's have built in PDF readers.
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:09 AM   #8
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Thanks, Thats some good info on the wiring...itll come in handy
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Old 12-23-2021, 04:20 AM   #9
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Ive got my leveling system working, but all three only go partial way leaving about 3 inches. Ive checked fluid also lubed each jack what could be the problem??
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:15 AM   #10
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Partially 'down' or partially 'up'?

If they stop partially down (extending -- lifting the RV UP), usually that would have been fluid. Did you check the fluid when all the jacks were up all the way? If not, try again.

If they stop partially up (retracting -- ready to drive), that's usually old weak springs. The springs do age out. Especially if they have been extended for years, worst if extended for a long time in a hot area. Amazon and eBay carry replacements.

You can get by with jacks not retracting all the way by carrying a 6' 2X4 and use it to lever the jacks back up to the top. Or disconnected the 'Jacks Down' beeper while you're looking for the issue so you can drive the rig (as long as they're nowhere near scraping the ground).

The other thing to look for in a rig that old are carbonized contacts on the big solenoids. That would only affect the 'Up' function generally and repeatedly pressing and releasing the 'Up' button should show that as jerky motion if it's badly carbonized, so it has a hard time operating the jack at all. Using a big rubber mallet, go wack a few of those solenoids when it acts up. Not only satisfying, but may show up a bad solenoid.

When I say 'Up' or 'Down' I mean of the JACK, not of the RV. As the Jack goes down, it lifts the RV up. Just the way I think of it. You can do the opposite if you want.
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:24 AM   #11
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Would there be a problem if it had to much fluid? Mine has a dip tube ...
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Old 12-23-2021, 09:28 AM   #12
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Too much fluid would be blown out the breather cap when you retracted the jacks and douse your undercarriage and the ground with ATF. A nice big puddle. Assuming that old system has a breather cap.

One thing I'd mention while you're working on the system is after it's all working, use a plastic turkey baster and remove some ATF and replace it with a bottle of ATF Stop Leak. With those old jacks, bound to have a seal leak soon now that you're using them more and the Stop Leak would help minimize that.
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