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Old 07-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Replace Tongue Jack Cylinder?

I made my first newbie mistake with my Airstream; I bent my tongue jack cylinder. Ooops.

With the Hensley Arrow hitch, I have to put down the jack so that a certain amount of weight is off the truck. With the tension released off the jack, you can get the tow bar out by driving forward.

This time, I didn't release enough tension from the hitch, and the truck dragged the trailer forward a bit -- that's normally OK, but the feet of the jack cylinder got caught under the blacktop, and it got bent. Ooops. Photo below.

I noticed this when I retracted the jack, and the fuse blew -- I'm deaf, so I didn't hear the motor straining. I've verified that the jack still works by replacing the fuse -- these 30amp marine fuses aren't exactly easy to find!

So, this leads me to ask -- can the jack cylinder be replaced? Is it a standard circumference part? Where would I find a replacement jack cylinder, and how involved is it to replace?
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:38 PM   #2
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You might be able to get a cylinder, depending on the brand, but, as with so many things these days, an entire new unit might be just as cheap. Atwood, and Barker are two brands which may have cylinders. Possibly others.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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Did you try to bend it back (using your TV)? If the metal is not too stressed, it should work for short term.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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My suggestion, replace the entire unit. If you can find the exact same unit, you might be able to save the power head as a spare. Mine got bent a bit from previous owner, it dragged on the bent section as it extended and retracted. Good reason or lesson on being careful not to bump trailer and bend center post.

3 bolts and one wire to R&R.

Good luck.

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Old 07-21-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
You might be able to get a cylinder, depending on the brand, but, as with so many things these days, an entire new unit might be just as cheap. Atwood, and Barker are two brands which may have cylinders. Possibly others.
Looking at the photo that I took of the hitch, it's manufactured by a "Barker Mfg, Battle Creek, MI" and it's a LEVELRite Hi-Power 3000.

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Originally Posted by Air-Texas View Post
Did you try to bend it back (using your TV)? If the metal is not too stressed, it should work for short term.
Unfortunately, with the jack bent like that, I'm not able to get the tow bar into the Hensley receiver -- which makes me wonder if I'm going to be able to do this even with a repaired jack.

Some extra lifting jacks might be in order.

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Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
My suggestion, replace the entire unit. If you can find the exact same unit, you might be able to save the power head as a spare. Mine got bent a bit from previous owner, it dragged on the bent section as it extended and retracted. Good reason or lesson on being careful not to bump trailer and bend center post.
This is one of the answers that I was afraid of. But the Camping World prices that I've seen for these jacks may be overpriced -- they were $200-400 there, where I'm seeing tongue jacks listed for $100 on Amazon.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:38 PM   #6
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Looking at the photo that I took of the hitch, it's manufactured by a "Barker Mfg, Battle Creek, MI" and it's a LEVELRite Hi-Power 3000.
Looking up some parts sheets online it looks like it's either this part number:

27313 Post Assy. Black High Power Jack $186.00 B

or the other

27527 Post Assy. H.P.J. $178.45 B

Except that the manual specifically says part 27669:

15 27669 POST ASSEMBLY(BLACK- Ø2.25)

Which does not exist in the parts catalog as available.

Pricey, either way, for a chunk of steel.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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call barker and if memory serves me correctly, it runs 125-150.00.

barker manufacturing
(269)965-2371 bob was very helpful to identify the correct replacement. the swap was easy.

p.s. get extra fuses while you're at it.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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call barker and if memory serves me correctly, it runs 125-150.00.
Thanks for the tip.

Does anyone have any sage advice to render as to why I shouldn't just get a Husky HB4500 from Amazon for $200 vs paying $150 for a chunk of steel?

Quote:
barker manufacturing
(269)965-2371 bob was very helpful to identify the correct replacement. the swap was easy.
Called them, haven't been able to get anyone yet. Will keep trying.

Quote:
p.s. get extra fuses while you're at it.
I managed to find the 30amp marine fuses at Lowe's as part of a fuse set. They only had 30 amp timed fuses for individual fuses, and this seemed like a bad idea for the power jack.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:53 PM   #9
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the piece of steel is the whole lower section of the jack. i'm not sure which model you have (there are a few that differ) my jack has the heavy duty gear.

the 30a fuse is a slo-blo type which i found at west marine.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:24 PM   #10
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I installed the Husky after I found the slight bend in mine. It's working just fine. But I did have to modify my Sandlapper flag mount.

What caught my eye was the ball screw design and IF you have a malfunction you don't remove the power head. They have a manual brake release tool then you hand operate. No disassembly.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:41 PM   #11
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I installed the Husky HB4500 on my '72 Trade Wind. Love it! Took some considerable effort to remove the old Atwood original....as it was bent and deformed. I ended up hitching the AS to my truck, and then using blocks of wood and a bottle jack to force the old tube up and out.
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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I don't know anything about the Husky jack. Most everything is off shore sourced these days and I have seen some dreadful inexpensive jacks. Poorly designed so the water would not be kept out, and so slow you need to schedule extra time to leave a site (kidding of course, but really slow). I took one back immediately after installing it, sounded like a box of rocks inside the head. So, just a heads up, the quality of tongue jacks is quite variable these days. The literature all sound great, but the jacks don't.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:55 AM   #13
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My Husky comments are from ownership.

But the logic behind any design that requires head removal with (IIRC) Allen wrenches to operate manually in case of a malfunction then re synchronize to install the power head leaves me cold. I actually fixed my old Barker after a switch failed, I'm good with electrical repairs but it was a headache. YMMV
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:13 AM   #14
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I've replaced mine (a Barker super jack) for exactly the same reason. I wasn't able to get it to bend back. Before you decide on a course of action, decide what the jack is worth - in my case, I could buy cheaper jacks that would do the job, or I could replace the tube. I went with replacement.

If I had it to do over (and I guess I do; it's only money), I'd consider going hand-crank. It's quiet, easy, and less complex. It may look out of place on a top-of-the-line Airstream, though.

If you replace the tube be certain you index it correctly! It should include instructions on how to do so.
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