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Old 10-10-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
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Leveling jack pad replacement

Well after dealing with the leveling jacks popping for 1 &1/2 years I finally got Equalizer to help and they acknowledged that the jack pads were defective. Well after waiting for 2 weeks for them to ship me replacements I contacted Andy Thompson at Forest River Diesel. Andy sent me 4 new pads pronto.

I proceeded to change them out and got 3 of 4 done with no sweat, The 4th is really being difficult. My approach has been to grab the chromed pistion/rod with a rubber strap wrench and then use an impact wrench (520 ft-lb capable) to remove the bolt. This last jack bolt is really stuck good. I've tried every penetrating oil known to man combined with some heat and cold (spray C02) and no luck.

Anybody got any ideas?
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:44 AM   #2
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Cannot help you with removing the pad, but perhaps you can answer a couple questions. I heard that some pads are punched through with a large bang after being chipped away and the coach falls down on that side. Is your defective pads in this class? Also is the noise that you experienced from this problem?

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Hank


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Old 10-12-2014, 09:15 AM   #3
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The bolts that retain the pads to the piston were bottoming out on the ground, concrete or whatever they were pushing on before the pad made contact. The bolts were thereby taking the majority if not all of the weight of the motorhome. If leveled on concrete I could actually take the pad and spin it so actually the pads provided no support. The pistons had not punched thru the pads and there are no signs of distress on the pads. The sound I believe was the pads rattling around whenever the weight in the motorhome shifted (i.e., I rolled over in bed). It was more of a clunk and would usually occur at any of the four pads at one time or another frequently. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:28 AM   #4
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Have you tried a breaker bar with a cheater, sometimes a dead steady pull will move it.

Try hammering with the impact wrench tight, loose, tight, loose.
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:31 PM   #5
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Yep. Tried both. Since I can only hold the chromed piston/rod with a strap wrench. I can't provide enough resistance for the cheater bar approach to work.
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Old 10-12-2014, 03:26 PM   #6
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Try using steady pressure on wrench and hit the wrench with as big a hammer you can handle under the coach with out messing anything else up. This will probably after several blows with the hammer loosen it up. Next step will be to get a hydraulic wrench since you can not use torch to heat up without a big fire that you do not want. CO2 might work if you can get enough firectly onthe bolt to freeze it. Also you might need to recruit help to hold strap wrench
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:31 PM   #7
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Try using a large pipe wrench.. (With a piece of rubber for padding so not to mar the cylinder) to hold the cylinder while you go at it with the impact gun..
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
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Try using a large pipe wrench.. (With a piece of rubber for padding so not to mar the cylinder) to hold the cylinder while you go at it with the impact gun..
No doubt that chrome plated cylinder is very hard but some pipe wrenches have sharp teeth and they will dig into it need to make sure that padding will protect it. I have saw them dig in to a 4" compresser cylinder rod on a natural gas compressor and they are very hard. how big is your impact wrench 1/2" drive of so you may need 3/4" drive that has a bigger internal hammer. They can be rented at lots of tool rental places.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:01 PM   #9
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Try using a large pipe wrench.. (With a piece of rubber for padding so not to mar the cylinder) to hold the cylinder while you go at it with the impact gun..
Not sure I'd use a pipe wrench on a polished Hyd cylinder but anyway if its that difficult to get loose after you've done three, something may be seriously wrong. It's not difficult to remove the ram. Disconnect the two hydraulic lines with bucket to drain the tubing. Remove a max 8 maybe 3/4 inch bolts and take the entire assembly to a machine shop. Chances are the bolt is thread damaged from the load and you won't get it out w/o major damage.
A shop can get it out, chase the thread and reassemble for you. Just my thinking, if you strip it, you'll probably go to shop anyway or buy new.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #10
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I agree..But if he cleans the cylinder then wraps it a few times with a let's say rubber inner tube ....it should hold enough without digging in.... But you are correct..he should be careful.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #11
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Not sure I'd use a pipe wrench on a polished Hyd cylinder but anyway if its that difficult to get loose after you've done three, something may be seriously wrong. It's not difficult to remove the ram. Disconnect the two hydraulic lines with bucket to drain the tubing. Remove a max 8 maybe 3/4 inch bolts and take the entire assembly to a machine shop. Chances are the bolt is thread damaged from the load and you won't get it out w/o major damage.
A shop can get it out, chase the thread and reassemble for you. Just my thinking, if you strip it, you'll probably go to shop anyway or buy new.
X2 it really does sound like it might be cross threaded or some other damage to threads.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:15 PM   #12
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Got it!!

Equalizer tech support assured me the fluid seals were high enough in the cylinder that I could heat the rod with damaging the seals. I wrapped the rod and wiper seal with a wet wash cloth, heated it real real good, grabbed as low on the rod as I could with a set of thin jawed channel-locks (Equalizer suggested a pipe wrench) and hit it with the impact wrench and bingo. The thread-locker they used was white, strong stuff. No signs of corrosion or cross-threading.

Put a few marks on the rod but they're real low and hopefully want cause any harm.
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:43 PM   #13
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Outstanding... Why is it always the last one that puts up a fight..lol
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:44 PM   #14
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Great perseverance. Just think of what a shop would have charged you. Granted, you spent a lot of time, but I bet you have a great deal of satisfaction.

Hank


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Old 10-13-2014, 07:25 PM   #15
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Great perseverance. Just think of what a shop would have charged you. Granted, you spent a lot of time, but I bet you have a great deal of satisfaction.

Hank


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Had mine replaced by a Tech and he took $200. Was an incredible amount of effort, he broke several of his tools; I gave him an extra $50.

According to Equalizer, you can indeed use a vice-grip type tool on the very end of the piston without jeopardizing the seal. Someone already mentioned this; it appears to me that you could "booger" the ram as far as 1/4 to 3/8 inch and you still won't ruin the seal.

He used heat and a IR temp sensor to make sure the part near the seal did not get to hot. Then a large pipe wrench, a breaker bar welded to an appropriate sized hex (allen) wrench and a big sledge hammer!!

My pads were punching thru VERY suddenly with a heluva noise and violent rocking of the coach. The replacement pads (comped by Eq) were a lot sturdier; CS at Eq said they been tested with a press and hit 12K lbs before failing. Sure be enuff for a Berk, eh??

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Old 10-13-2014, 08:01 PM   #16
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If I had it to do over:

I would jack up the front of the motorhome as high as I could to allow extending the jack as far possible and still have access to the bolt with the impact wrench. This would have given the fluid seals more distance from the heat.

Oh well, time will tell if the heat did any damage.
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