I just purchased a 1982 Excella with an electric tongue jack. I am pulling with a chevy 1 ton pickup. The bottom of the electric jack, which appears to be the original jack, is only 3 to 4 inches off the ground when hooked up. The bottom of the jack appears to be welded on. I am concerned that I will hit something and damage the jack when I am on the road. Can the ground clearance be increased? If so how can I increase it?
You have a legitimate concern...that's not much clearance. The jack post (the part that goes up and down) should retract pretty much all the way into the body of the jack (the stationery part).
A couple of thoughts: It's possible that for some reason the post is not retracting all the way. I'd make sure the jack foot isn't just stuck onto the post. Depending on the design of the foot it can add several inches to the post.
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If the jack is working properly and you still have this problem, perhaps someone relaxed the jack and created the situation?
May be a "Mickey mouse" solution, but if all else fails and you are still concerned, perhaps you could just cut a couple of inches off the bottom of the moving post with an angle grinder (after first ensuring you have lots of travel) then use a large wooden block (or a few of those interlocking plastic leveling blocks) if need be to get the height you need when dropping the jack down to release the trailer from the hitch ?
The guy that I purchase the trailer from said that he thought that it was a travel limit switch setting that needed to be adjusted but when I looked closer at the jack the traveling portion was being retracted into the top sleeve until the bottom sleeve came into contact with the top sleeve, ie the traveling portion of the jack was completely enclosed so the jack could not travel anymore. The bottom plate appears to be welded on and the sleeve appears to have been crimped to the traveling portion. Anyway I was not able to knock the bottom portion off of the jack. My thought was to remove the bottom portion an trim it so that could rise higher before hitting the outer sleeve of the top portion
2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County, NC
, Highlands County, FL
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I think the thing that is crimped on is actually not crimped, but is dimpled. The dimple goes into a vertical slot on the shaft then rotates into a horizontal slot. The jack foot plate should come off of the jack shaft. On one of my prior trailers it would get rusty and filled with mud then get stuck. Try spraying it with some WD40 and let it set a while. Then, with the trailer hitch resting on the hitch ball raise the foot plate about an inch off the ground and bang on the foot plate a few times with a hammer. You may have to rotate the foot plate about 1" to get the dimple aligned with the vertical slot in the tube so it will drop off. If this works it should give you 6" more clearance.
2014 Silverado 1500 5.3L maximum trailering package (yes, I'm towing the 34')
Thanks for your words of wisdom. Knowing it was suppose to come off, penetrating oil, pipe wrench and hammer it did come off. I now have plenty of ground clearance. The guy I bought the trailer from did not know that it was suppose to come off so it had been on there a minimum of 12 years. Once again thanks
For a long time I had to beat the foot off the jack with a hammer every time.
Eventually it became one good whack with the hammer.
Now I can get off by hand or it stays on the ground when the jack is raised.
I think it was new/tight/stiff and has now worn/warped/bent/wallowed out a little-
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