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Old 10-30-2005, 07:16 PM   #1
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Question Hydraulic Levelers Reservoir

I suspect this has been addressed, but I haven't found it by searching. I have a 1989 370, and need to know where the hydraulic fluid reservoir is located. That is one thing that should be fairly standard, I should think, in spite of the Gillig chassis. None of my manuals address that issue, not even the one on the levelers. Also, the leveler manual says to use either 5W nondetergent motor oil, or dextron transmission fluid. It also says not to mix fluids. How can I tell what's already in there except for taking a dip and hoping I get what looks like either engine oil or Dextron fluid? Is mixing really a problem?

Thanks for any help.

Noiva (Tim)
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:45 PM   #2
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If you can find the pump that supplies pressure for the jacks, the reservoir should be made as a part of it. At least it was on the two motorhomes I had. You can hear the pump running when you operate the jack control. It should have an electric motor about the size of a starter motor with a pump and reservoir attached. There will be lines from the jacks to the pump. Don't know how standard the location would be, as a lot of them were added by the owners and not factory installed. On my 310 and 345 they were just behind the engine, below the floor, bolted to some of the AS framing.
About the only way to tell which fluid you have (other than have it tested at a lab somewhere) is by color, Dextron is usually red, and oil is honey colored to brown. Of course if it is dirty or overheated, all bets are off.

Neal
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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Hydraulic Pump Reservoir

Neal,

Thanks, you've confirmed my suspicions. The pump on mine is located just behind the front bumper. Haven't had time to get to it yet, but will do so this afternoon. I'm wondering if it really makes much difference whether you mix 5W motor oil with Dextron. If they're both usable, I'm thinking that since they are basically a lubricating fluid for the pressurizing of the stabilizers it probably doesn't matter. (However, I'm NOT an expert on hydraulics.) I'm going to attempt to determine first what's in there. And, there's always that unlikely discovery that it won't even need any fluid!

Thanks again,

Tim

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleneal
If you can find the pump that supplies pressure for the jacks, the reservoir should be made as a part of it. At least it was on the two motorhomes I had. You can hear the pump running when you operate the jack control. It should have an electric motor about the size of a starter motor with a pump and reservoir attached. There will be lines from the jacks to the pump. Don't know how standard the location would be, as a lot of them were added by the owners and not factory installed. On my 310 and 345 they were just behind the engine, below the floor, bolted to some of the AS framing.
About the only way to tell which fluid you have (other than have it tested at a lab somewhere) is by color, Dextron is usually red, and oil is honey colored to brown. Of course if it is dirty or overheated, all bets are off.

Neal
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:39 PM   #4
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I have seen the reservoir attached to the underside of the step up to the driver platform. Often if you open the doghouse, the reservoir will be under the lip between the rear of the motor and the step wall. If this is the case you will have o be creative to fill it as they seem to place it so high up that you have to check the level by feel, and fill it with a piece of tubing in lieu of a funnel.
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Old 11-03-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiva
Neal,

I'm wondering if it really makes much difference whether you mix 5W motor oil with Dextron. If they're both usable, I'm thinking that since they are basically a lubricating fluid for the pressurizing of the stabilizers it probably doesn't matter. (However, I'm NOT an expert on hydraulics.)
Thanks again,

Tim
Yes, it does. The two fluids have different viscosities and additives, if you mix the two, it would be like adding a quart of transmission fluid to your engine. Not a good thing. If it is low, and you don't know what you have, drain the system, and refill it with either one or the other. This will do two things, fisrt, you will have a full system with all the same, correct fluid in it, and second, you will be draining the moisture, crud, and garbage out of the system at the same time.
If you don't want to go that route, draw up a sample in a turkey baster-type suction device (if you use the baster out of the drawer in the kitchen, toss it so the wife doesn't use it to baste the turkey this Thanksgiving, it does NOT enhance the flavor), and take it to either an auto parts store like Napa, or your friendly mechanic. Hopefully they will know what fluid you have, so you can replace it in-kind.
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