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Old 12-31-2015, 02:17 AM   #1
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1998 30' Cutter Bus (Chevy)
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Leveling jack not retracting, possible fix?

During our sea to shinning sea two month adventure very few things went wrong and that is Good. We left Washington for the east coast in September with one leveling jack not retracting more then half way. I had tried the WD40 and silicone spray and changing return springs (not fun at all) nothing worked. I made a plea for any help any ideas, I hoped an additive would be on the market by now, some magic elixir that I could add to the hydronic fluid. No one had any ideas except the silicone or WD 40 spray that I kept reading about on the internet would wash off easily or wouldn't handle the heat of the road plus the heat from the engine. Then setting around a quite camp fire in Maine it accrued to me that I had something on board that was slick, would handle the heat and would not wash off easily. I was at the point of trying anything and I didn't care if it ate the jack off the motorhome. The next time the jack was extended I cleaned the jack and wiped on a generous film of Big White High Temp Past Wax that time the jack closed 80% the next time it was down I applied it once more it closed 100% and the next 10 times we camped (we don't travel far each day) it closed 100% every time.
I know just a coincidence right ?
Hope this helps
Trident
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Old 01-01-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
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My jacks are shinney like they were chromed, wd40 or silicone is all I have used. When the dash indicator showed they were still down, it turned out they were up but the fluid was low, a few ounces of fluid and the lights said they were up
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:49 PM   #3
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1998 30' Cutter Bus (Chevy)
Everson , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFL View Post
My jacks are shinney like they were chromed, wd40 or silicone is all I have used. When the dash indicator showed they were still down, it turned out they were up but the fluid was low, a few ounces of fluid and the lights said they were up

Looks like you have it all together and may your jacks never stick. But if you have one or more jacks that will not retract no mater what you do you may want to remember this suggestion to free up (shinny) jacks.
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:14 AM   #4
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I'll have to try that on mine. I have one "lazy" rear jack that wont retract unless I give it a little start with a crow bar. Once it clears the ground it retracts fine. HWH told me I need to remove it and send it in to them for refurbishment. It seems that the seals swell over time and cause the jack to bind a little. New springs didn't fix mine either.

I'm assuming that this is what you used:


If it works on mine then we have consensus since mine has done it for several years now.
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Old 01-04-2016, 01:58 PM   #5
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You should not be using WD 40 as it will destroy the seals.

Stick with the silicone.
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
I'll have to try that on mine. I have one "lazy" rear jack that wont retract unless I give it a little start with a crow bar. Once it clears the ground it retracts fine. HWH told me I need to remove it and send it in to them for refurbishment. It seems that the seals swell over time and cause the jack to bind a little. New springs didn't fix mine either.

I'm assuming that this is what you used:


If it works on mine then we have consensus since mine has done it for several years now.

Yes that is the same stuff I had onboard that I mentioned in my post.
I cleaned the piston ( the shinny part ) with a clean rag only, then I applied this paste evenly and liberally with a clean rag around my finger. I didn't wipe off any, didn't wait for it to dry or buff to a shine. I think I hit the home button within 15 minutes so no dirt or dust had a chance to stick to the paste. As I said before, that first application only improved the operation of the jack after the second application the jack worked 100% the next 10 times I tried it.
My understanding is that big white doesn't contain any wax at all it's how it achieves the high temperature it calms. If it's a high temp silicone paste that could be why it worked when the spray silicone didn't touch it.
Although your symptoms where different from what I had, in that , my jack would not close at all. You are still the test, I hope you are up to it, just kidding, but I hope you will let us know if it works. Maybe it's warm where you are and freezing tempeture will not effect the results.
Not that it's as much fun as removing the jack and sending it off to be repaired but it would be nice if this works for most.

Trident
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trident View Post
During our sea to shinning sea two month adventure very few things went wrong and that is Good. We left Washington for the east coast in September with one leveling jack not retracting more then half way. I had tried the WD40 and silicone spray and changing return springs (not fun at all) nothing worked. I made a plea for any help any ideas, I hoped an additive would be on the market by now, some magic elixir that I could add to the hydronic fluid. No one had any ideas except the silicone or WD 40 spray that I kept reading about on the internet would wash off easily or wouldn't handle the heat of the road plus the heat from the engine. Then setting around a quite camp fire in Maine it accrued to me that I had something on board that was slick, would handle the heat and would not wash off easily. I was at the point of trying anything and I didn't care if it ate the jack off the motorhome. The next time the jack was extended I cleaned the jack and wiped on a generous film of Big White High Temp Past Wax that time the jack closed 80% the next time it was down I applied it once more it closed 100% and the next 10 times we camped (we don't travel far each day) it closed 100% every time.
I know just a coincidence right ?
Hope this helps
Trident

Update:
I took our LY out of its baggy (cover) where it's been sense October. I needed to take the weight of the blocks under the rear axial so I extended the jacks in the rear of the RV, the jack that caused all the trouble (for so long) worked as advertised closed up 100%
The real proof will be coming up this camping season. I would like to take that jack off my concern list leaving more room for relaxation like going to fun old and new places. I like being able to level and stabilize the RV with the touch of a button and it's great when it all works. I hope this helps!
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Old 05-22-2016, 11:20 PM   #8
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Using paste wax is an interesting quick fix. Just had the seals replaced on both front jacks. They always worked but leaked if left extended for more than a few days. Like DaveFL, my problem was low fluid due to the leaking. Once fixed and tank refilled, no problems.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:10 PM   #9
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WD 40 and seals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
You should not be using WD 40 as it will destroy the seals.

Stick with the silicone.
We took our rig to the HWH factory to replace one jack and install a new joy stick box and they used lots of WD 40 on the jacks and told us to use it regularly. It's been a couple of years now and no seal problems...
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