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Old 09-26-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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1974 29' Ambassador
CONCORD , North Carolina
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Magnetek 3200 and Intermittent Power Jack 74 Ambassador

74 Ambassador Mid-Twin (Rear Bath)

I've got an intermittent electric hitch jack (brand, model ?) that may or may not have packed-it-in this weekend. Naturally, when it stopped working halfway through operation, and being a curious and quasi-resourceful fellow, I set off to find the fuse box / 12V panel when something like that happens.

Instead of a Univolt, I find a Magnatek 3200 tucked into the rear wall of the rear closet where the Univolt would have lived. Inside the [Magnatek] access panel are a series of (what appear to be) intact blade fuses.

So... is there, in a 74 Ambassador, a separate fuse panel somewhere else in the vehicle? I looked behind the gaucho, which is on the front wall (side credenza layout) and only found the 7-way receptacle wiring access.

Before dropping two or three bills on a new electric jack, I'm curious to see if I've missed a fuse. Also, there is but one wire going into the motor housing itself and it looks old. In theory, is that the hot and the common is the metal body / trailer chassis? I would love to meter it, but suspect there is no power there as I saw no spark when I inadvertantly touched the frame with the newly stripped wire.

Thanks for any advice / direction!


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Old 09-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #2
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1974 29' Ambassador
CONCORD , North Carolina
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It should be stated that I've gone through both the 1974 owner and factory service manual and not found the location of the 12V distribution / fuse panel. There is a picture of it (Service Manual, Univolt Section, Fig 19), but no supporting language for where it resides within this 250 s.f. space. Airstream manuals = awesome. Being a betting man, I presume that it was built into the original Univolt unit. With that gone, I suppose the blade fuses in the Magnetek are servicing various and sundry areas of the trailer.

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Old 09-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #3
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2017 26' Flying Cloud
1976 Argosy 28
Alamo Heights , Texas
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I don't know anything about the standard jack wiring, but from an electrical troubleshooting point of view I'd start with getting a battery or other 12V source and attaching it directly to the wire you found and, if you can't find another connection off the jack, ground the negative terminal of your power source to the body of the jack and see if it'll operate. It wouldn't hurt to put an inline fuse between the power source and the jack if you have one handy, in case the problem really is inside the jack motor.

I suspect that somewhere between the trailer battery and the jack there's an inline fuse that's blown or a connection that's loose, since there seems to be no voltage on the wire near the jack (a multimeter would be helpful to you in narrowing this down.)

If you find that the jack works when powered directly, you just have a wiring issue. If you find that the jack has a short or some other internal problem that draws too much current, you may find that you also need to trace the wire back to the battery and find an inline fuse or burnt wire in addition to correcting the problem with the jack.
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | Il Progetto — 1976 Argosy 28 Center Bath | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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Old 04-02-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Did you find the 12V distribution / fuse panel? I'm guessing you did by now, but just in case you didn't:

my Sov requires that you to get on your knees in front of the streetside closet between the bath and the sleeping area, and look on the right rear corner.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
...John Wayne...........................
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