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Old 05-22-2019, 04:57 PM   #1
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Jack one side with tongue jack extended?

I have a 2018 25í Flying Cloud. Iíd like to jack up one side so that I can remove both wheels in order to diagnose a non-working brake assembly. Trailer brakes are new to me, so I want remove both wheels to compare the two assemblies.. (Itís under warranty, but Iím guessing the repair will be simple and taking it to the dealer is inconvenient).

I know I need to raise the four supports, but should I jack it up with the tongue jack extended, or should I lower the trailer onto the hitch of my tow vehicle?

-Sean-
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:28 PM   #2
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I've done it both ways. If on level ground I mostly jack up without the vehicle attached. If it is on unlevel ground I sometimes connect the tow vehicle. In either case, use chocks on the tires that remain on the ground.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:44 PM   #3
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Thank you, Warn
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:52 PM   #4
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Before jacking up, look at the wire connections behind the wheel. I've had the connectors come apart while traveling (road debris?) and all I had to do to restore brakes was reconnect the wires. You also can check voltage between the two wires going to the brakes at the connectors (with brakes activated) to see if there is enough voltage to activate the brake magnet.
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:58 PM   #5
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I’ll try and those suggestions first, thank you.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:14 PM   #6
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I always jack it while hitched to the tow vehicle. That way I'm sure it won't move.
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:33 PM   #7
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Thats a good consideration, W&S, thank you.
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:56 AM   #8
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Hitched to the tow vehicle means no worries - Safety First
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:02 AM   #9
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I've also done it both ways and either is fine. But, I always put a jack stand under the front by the tongue jack just in case of mechanical failure on the jacks part. You probably already do this but I also put jack stands under the trailer frame near the axles and I stack the two tires and slide them under the frame also. I am overkill when it comes to safety.

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Old 05-23-2019, 11:49 AM   #10
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Our AS hitch jacks are not designed to take lateral movement and donít have a wheel to compensate for it. Use the tow vehicle. If you have lateral movement a hitch jack could collapse, a tow vehicle will not.

On this topic, always chock your wheels before hitching or unhitching. Not long ago, I heard a big crunch as a neighbor was hitching up. Unknown to him, his wife had just removed the wheel chocks before he got in the truck to hitch up. He backed into the hitch and the hitch jack buckled as the trailer moved back. It was a recent model AS Classic 30. Everyone saw it and brought portable jacks over to get them on the road, but he was inconvenienced with not being able to unhitch until he located a new jack.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:05 PM   #11
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Thank you Mickey and Jr, better to be safe.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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To get access to the brake assembly, you will need to remove the brake drum.

Assuming you have Dexter Nev-R-Lube wheel bearings, the drum is held in place by a large spindle nut.

You will need the following tools; 1 7/16” socket (not a common size), external snap ring pliers, a hefty breaker bar to remove the spindle nut and a torque wrench (160 ft-lb minimum) to reinstall the nut. Don’t use torque wrench to remove the nut!


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Old 05-24-2019, 06:13 PM   #13
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Thanks Greg, I’ll be sure I have the tools before I begin.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:42 AM   #14
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Think it through - the opposite side tire sidewalls taking the load, compression of the spindle(s) versus the track of the torsion arm, the lateral creep away from the jack point as the weight settles - its not a slam dunk hinged weight transfer, has a bunch of fluidity built in.. . . ..those forces have to be 'unwound' and released when lowering the lifted side.

I've rerailed 40-ton subway cars and we used hydraulic jacks and cribbing, stacking timber and boards to get hard points to control lifts etc. After the first time my trailer surprised me with a little toss of the jack bottle from lateral shifting I went to setting hard points on the opposite side, lift the far side enough to take some of the weight off the tires and make a solid hinge point using 6x6 and 4x4, 2x4 blocks then lift away on the repair side w/o wondering what will get potion of motion from thrusting so much weight laterally into the suspension and tires...
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:45 PM   #15
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If the wires are intact connect to your TV and have someone step on the brake. Take a compass and hold it near each wheel. The brakes work by energizing a magnet and the magnet will attract the compass needle if it is working.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:56 PM   #16
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Thanks wabbiteer, I donít have large pieces of milled wood, but I could put my shortest set of jack stands under the opposite axles prior to the work.

-Sean-
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Old 05-25-2019, 03:03 PM   #17
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I also had the brake wire connections behind a wheel come apart, so check that first.

I've jacked it up both ways. One time with the jack extended, I was working on it with a very experienced trailer mechanic and neither us gave it a second thought. But as I think about it now, I think it is safer and better for the jack if the trailer is hitched. Of course if the truck isn't braked and the transmission isn't in park, the whole thing can move. I prefer chocks under the opposite side no matter how you do it. If hitching is not an option, you could put the tongue on a lot of blocks instead of keeping the jack extended, but that seems the worst possible and unsafe option since blocks easily tip over if the trailer moves a little. And I also use a jack stand as a backup when I jack up a vehicle to work on it. One time I was working under the Airstream and the space over my head seemed to be getting lower and lower. I crawled out before I couldn't and noticed the jack stand and the jack were sinking into the ground—if the ground can be compressed, put boards under the jack and jack stand.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
under the opposite axles prior to the work

Nothing is ever to touch the axles or torsion arms, only hook up points for wresting serious weight are the knife-edge steel axle mounting plates, the tubes used are hollow & just keep things flying in tight formation, only hugged by the machines they use to do alignments by adjusting the preset bend in them.. .
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:09 AM   #19
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Thanks for so many helpful tips. I’m going to drop the tongue onto the TV. I’ll start with Rocco’s compass tip, partly because it seems like a super simple diagnostic test, and partly because I have a really nice orienteering compass that I like to find excuses to use. If all 4 “attract” the compass when brakes are applied, I’ll then check the wire connections. If it comes to the point of having to remove the wheels, I’ll use opposite side jack stands (not on the axle tubes) with the stands on sturdy wood as suggested by Wabbiteer and Gene.

I hope to do this next week, I wanted to form a plan before starting...I’m glad I waited, you have all provided lots of useful ideas. I was unaware the axle tubes are poor support points, to be honest, that’s exactly where I would’ve placed the jack and jack stands.

I’ll add an update as soon as I have more info.

-Sean-
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:02 PM   #20
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The jacks should be under the frame and no where else. It runs from front to back on each side just behind the wheels. You can feel it through the belly pans. Centering a jack on the frame requires being sure of just where it is—a sturdy piece of thick plywood helps make sure you catch the frame completely. If you jack in the middle of a belly pan you will be very unhappy, possibly piercing one of the tanks.
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