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tcolburn

PowerGear Hydraulic Jacks Won't Extend

7 posts in this topic

Purchased our '99 Southwind last August, knowing the leveling system didn't work. Eventually took it to a dealer for diagnosis and repair: they replaced the controller board. The system worked fine in their parking lot when we picked it up; since it was the end of the season we took the MH to storage and never touched the levelers after that...

...until a couple weeks ago when we went for our spring shakedown outing. Followed the directions in the manual but the jacks wouldn't respond. Here's the symptom in detail. Set parking brake, ignition on and engine running, press on/off button and green light illuminates. OK so far. Now I press "front" pad and I hear a slight noise--no movement of jacks--and voltmeter on dashboard deflects noticeably downward, indicating what looks like a large current draw. Release the button, and just for safety I press the "retract all" pad whereupon I hear a slight click. I reset the system by cycling the ignition per the manual and tried with each of the two rear pads; same result.

System number is 500456. All the fuses are OK. I'm thinking it's either the solenoid or the pump. The big terminals on the solenoid show some corrosion but look like they've never been disturbed. What is the consensus of the group?

--Tim

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Did you check the fluid level in the reservoir?

Umm, no. Guess I'd better do that. Thanks!

--Tim

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I would be concerned about the Pump motor. You mentioned that the voltage on you volt meter dropped when you activated the front jack(s).

I'm thinking that a low fluid level would not cause a greater then normal current load. The hydraulic pump will draw a good amount of current. You might be able to have the copilot energize the jacks, while you stand next to the motor and listen to the pump. Should it hum and not start to pump, then it could be the motor or pump is frozen up.

The other possibility is a problem with the motor brushes. I did need to have them replaced on one of mine years ago.

Rich.

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I would be concerned about the Pump motor. You mentioned that the voltage on you volt meter dropped when you activated the front jack(s).... it could be the motor or pump is frozen up.

The other possibility is a problem with the motor brushes. I did need to have them replaced on one of mine years ago.

Rich.

Rich, that was kind of my line of thinking too. This may be a more involved project than I want to get myself into, so I might resort to having the dealer who worked on it before take a peek at it. I'll certainly post results when it's fixed!

--Tim

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Hey, I'm back. Happy to report that the system is working again! Turns out, I guess, that the pump was sticky, not having been run for several months. I slid under the vehicle and gave the pump/motor assembly a couple very light taps with a hammer, and when I tried extending the jacks everything worked. I've cycled them all up and down several times since with no problem. Guess that is is one of those systems, like so many, that actually benefit from regular use!

Now, it's time to go RVing!

--Tim

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Rule number 5, if all else fails, get a bigger hammer.

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