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Old 10-05-2004, 12:14 PM   #1
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Leveler woes

The HWH levelers on my 84 310 Limited MH seem to function correctly, but I'm having trouble with an indicator light. First, while the hydraulic controls seem to work correctly, the indicator lights which are supposed to tell you which leveler to lower in which order, do not work. On the dash, to the left of the steering wheel there is a red light which is illuminated when any of the levelers are down. When they are all retracted, the light goes out.

At least that's how it used to work. Now that light comes on intermittently, or comes on at random and then stays on. Bumps will sometimes cause it to come on or go off. Of course I have checked and all the levelers are retracted while this is happening.

My thinking is that either the springs that pull the levelers up into the retracted position are weak and are allowing them to move enough to trip the sensing switch or there is something amiss with one or more sensing switch.

Have any of you had experience with a similar problem or know the levelers and the sensors well enough to make any suggestions?
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Old 10-05-2004, 03:54 PM   #2
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Not an expert on this, but...

So it sounds like there is one light for all four levelers. Could be one, or all four having problems. If all the levelers are fully retracted and you get an intermittent off/on light when hitting bumps and such, it sounds like one of two things to me - either dirty and/or corroded contacts where the leveler leg comes up to close the connection, or in some cases the contacts are spring loaded, I've heard of situations where the spring can either weaken or slip out from behind the contactor, preventing it from making solid contact when the leg comes up.

If it were me, though, I'd try to determine the location of those contacts on each jack, and make sure they're good and clean. 20 years, and something is bound to get in there, be it dirt, corrosion, whatever.

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 10-05-2004, 04:10 PM   #3
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guy99,
On mine, the position switches work like a mercury switch on a thermostat. They are sealed and strapped to the leveler. The "level indicator" is in another box mounted on the floor.

I also have the dash "idiot light" but have two indicators per corner on each of the levelers. One indicates that the leveler is down and the other shows which corner to level.

I have the manual for the system. if you PM me a fax number I'll send it to you.
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Old 10-05-2004, 06:43 PM   #4
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I have the manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
guy99,
On mine, the position switches work like a mercury switch on a thermostat. They are sealed and strapped to the leveler. The "level indicator" is in another box mounted on the floor.

I also have the dash "idiot light" but have two indicators per corner on each of the levelers. One indicates that the leveler is down and the other shows which corner to level.

I have the manual for the system. if you PM me a fax number I'll send it to you.
It is the 'idiot light' I'm speaking of. The other idicators on my MH don't work so I use some level's I have mounted on my dash to level.

I spent the day under the MH checking everything out. As you say, the switches are like sealed mercury switches. It's not obvious how they would fail. I checked all the grounds, seemed fine. I had someone watch the indicator as I wiggled and moved each leveler in turn. Nothing I did made the light go out. Seems like it must be either an internal failure in one of the switches, or a fault somewhere in the wiring to the light. I'm a little worried about taking the control apart and not being able to get it to function again by Sunday when we are scheduled for a 10 day, 1400 mile trip.

Anybody know about parts availability?

Can these levelers be hooked up to a newer control panel?
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Old 10-05-2004, 09:22 PM   #5
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Other than fiddling and cleaning, I'd leave it alone until you return. Too many things to get caught on before departure.
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Old 10-09-2004, 03:35 PM   #6
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Sensing switch

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Originally Posted by coriolis1
So it sounds like there is one light for all four levelers. Could be one, or all four having problems. If all the levelers are fully retracted and you get an intermittent off/on light when hitting bumps and such, it sounds like one of two things to me - either dirty and/or corroded contacts where the leveler leg comes up to close the connection, or in some cases the contacts are spring loaded, I've heard of situations where the spring can either weaken or slip out from behind the contactor, preventing it from making solid contact when the leg comes up.

If it were me, though, I'd try to determine the location of those contacts on each jack, and make sure they're good and clean. 20 years, and something is bound to get in there, be it dirt, corrosion, whatever.

Hope this is helpful.
One of mine was also intermittent. The switches are mercury types and cannot be cleaned. They can slowly leak out the mercury and eventually will stop working. The soulution is simple. Replace them. The new switch comes in a kit to fit many variations of jack. Each switch is about $20 from HWH which is the only source. The job takes about 15 to 20 minutes for one switch.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:04 PM   #7
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Thanks

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Originally Posted by wa3vez
One of mine was also intermittent. The switches are mercury types and cannot be cleaned. They can slowly leak out the mercury and eventually will stop working. The soulution is simple. Replace them. The new switch comes in a kit to fit many variations of jack. Each switch is about $20 from HWH which is the only source. The job takes about 15 to 20 minutes for one switch.
For the information, its always nice to hear from someone who has had the same problem.

Based on what you say and the circuit diagram which is after all pretty simple I'm about 90% sure that I have a failing switch.

As a matter of only academic interest there is something I don't understand. The wiring diagram in my manual seems to indicate that the master warning light is lit whenever any of the switches is closed. So the switch must be failing into the closed position. If the switch operates by mercury flowing (under gravity) to a position where the mercury is in contact with both the input and output terminals thus completing a circuit and 'closing' the switch. I can easily how such a device would fail in the open position as would happen if the mercury were to leak out. What I don't get is how can such a switch fail in the closed position? What am I missing?
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
For the information, its always nice to hear from someone who has had the same problem.

Based on what you say and the circuit diagram which is after all pretty simple I'm about 90% sure that I have a failing switch.

As a matter of only academic interest there is something I don't understand. The wiring diagram in my manual seems to indicate that the master warning light is lit whenever any of the switches is closed. So the switch must be failing into the closed position. If the switch operates by mercury flowing (under gravity) to a position where the mercury is in contact with both the input and output terminals thus completing a circuit and 'closing' the switch. I can easily how such a device would fail in the open position as would happen if the mercury were to leak out. What I don't get is how can such a switch fail in the closed position? What am I missing?
The switch fails in the open position due to the loss of mercury. The Master warning light is wired as follows:
a. one end goes to the 12 volt Ignition circuit
b. The other end goes through a diode, one to each of the four jack switches.
When a jack switch connects to ground the Master light diode is grounded thus lighting the bulb. With four diodes the Master light will go on if any one of the jacks is opened thus closing that jack switch. Its the use of the diodes that lets the system work with a normally open switch.
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:07 AM   #9
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Interesting

Quote:
Originally Posted by wa3vez
The switch fails in the open position due to the loss of mercury. The Master warning light is wired as follows:
a. one end goes to the 12 volt Ignition circuit
b. The other end goes through a diode, one to each of the four jack switches.
When a jack switch connects to ground the Master light diode is grounded thus lighting the bulb. With four diodes the Master light will go on if any one of the jacks is opened thus closing that jack switch. Its the use of the diodes that lets the system work with a normally open switch.
Thanks for the explanation. When I looked at the circuit diagram I really didn't think about the diodes.
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Old 10-20-2004, 05:09 PM   #10
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I know this may sound simple, but it was my problem on a similar system. The fluid level in the main reservoir was too low. Filled the reservoir with the required fluid and it cured the problem.
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