RV Repair Tips

How to fix a motorhome broken jack (leveler) spring.

 

This is bad news.  I went to retract my jacks, and the light wouldn't go out on the control panel.  3 retracted, 1 didn't.

In case of such an emergency, there's an easy fix.  This will take 2 people.  Per the manufacturer's instructions, 1 person must power up the control panel, then HOLD the retract button while the other person jacks up the ram manually.  In the instructions that came with a replacement spring (more on that later), it showed a floor jack being used to push the ram into the retracted position.  Not likely.  Unless you want to dig a hole (tough on a concrete pad) to get under the jack, this won't work.

I cheated.  I keep small ratchet straps onboard.  I laid it over the top of the jack, connected 1 end to the eyelet on the jack foot, the other end on the bracket the jack is bolted to.  Had to be careful not to crush any wires or hoses on top of the jack.  I just pushed them aside.

With my trusty helper pushing the retract button, I operated the ratchet.  This worked great!  Don't think you can push the ram up with your hands.  I'm a beefy dude, and that didn't work.

The hydraulic system locks when the retract button is released, which is why someone must hold it down to push the ram. 

 

Here's the info I got on purchasing a replacement spring:

 

The spring replacement part number for the 500082 jack is # 500094. The
cost is $68.92 + shipping. Call us at 800-334-4712 and follow the
prompts for ordering parts. We accept Visa or Master Card.

Jeff Curran
Power Tech Service Department

Their e-mail address is parts@pwrsysa.com 


In the picture above, you can see the top portion of the spring.  From what I've learned, this is a fairly common issue.


The included repair instructions say to completely unbolt the ram from the frame.  You could, but it is completely unnecessary.  There's a much easier way.

On top of the ram is a plate.  This plate has a 9/16" bolt through the top, attaching it to the ram.  It will be very tight.  But using a box end wrench, and a hammer to "tap" it loose, you can remove it.  You'll end up with the plate, and the remainder of the old spring.  The bolt going through the top of the spring is very long, and for good reason.

Remove the old spring bolt.  You will need to pull up on the bolt to keep the insert from turning.   When the bolt is removed, the insert will then fall out.  Grab the new spring, put the new insert into it, then start the new bolt (long).  Remember to thread the bolt through the plate too.  Only get it started, you'll need the extra slack in a minute.

Take the hook end of the new spring, and thread it through the eyelet on the end of the ram's pad.  Swing the spring up into position, and take the other bolt (shorter), and put it through the plate, and thread it into the top of the ram.  Tighten both bolts.  As the long bolt is tightened, it will tension the spring.  Be sure to have the shorter bolt fairly snug before tensioning the spring.

By not removing the ram, you've just saved yourself a couple of hours.  The instructions called for complete removal, and disconnecting the hydraulic line! 

Expect this job to take an hour or so.  It isn't technically difficult, but will require climbing under the rig (plenty of room).

 

 


 

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Last updated 02/11/05    All rights reserved.