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Old 05-08-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Hydraulic Horrors!

Yesterday morning in prep for a 1 week trip, started the engine in the FR 378TS. When engine warmed, started the jack system and when settled pressed "retract all jacks". Thats when the horror fun started. The jacks started up and suddenly within a few seconds all jacks reversed and deployed to full height! All wheels are now off the ground. Two front slides would not operate from the out position. The bedroom slide did come in but would not go out again. Tried numerous steps to get the system operable, note the pump would run but nothing would happen. System oil level was fine and parking break was on. I spoke with 3 RV shops in the vicinity, and no one heard of this problem. Tried opening the emergency valves 1-7 and applied drill still nothing. Called Lippert and my dealer from the begining. Lippert never responded until.....
4:30 PM one of Lipperts Engineers Gary called me back and in short I had the wrong books from FR, the system fitted is newer and on the net, even still the proplem was not i the book. Gary had me pull the lead from the reversible solonoid on the side of the manifold. Then operated the jack system and magically jacks retracted on their own! Closed all slides with a combo of wire on, wire off.

Today opened all slides ok, later attemped to start engine to move unit just a few inches and the right side slideout retracted.on its own and the jack alarm went off and indicated jacks down! (they weren't)

Gary yesterday told me its probably a diode in the black/white wire leads to the Rev/sol. I think all the electronics in this system are suspect, they better find a more reliable sub for this duty...........

Any experience or ideas welcome, thanks
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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Wow that's a frightening thing. Is Lippert going to send any replacement parts or anything for your dealer to address this? What year is your coach? Still in warranty? Hopefully you never have this occur again but it sure would be nice to know what exactly happened and that it's fixed properly. Best of luck and let us know what's up next.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:27 PM   #3
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Wow that's a frightening thing. Is Lippert going to send any replacement parts or anything for your dealer to address this? What year is your coach? Still in warranty? Hopefully you never have this occur again but it sure would be nice to know what exactly happened and that it's fixed properly. Best of luck and let us know what's up next.
Thanks for the response, I reached my Dealer about the problem and called Gary Twice today at Lippert, not avail. I'll be here until Monday, after I get everything in, I'm thinking of disconnecting the main power supply to prevent the "computer" on issuing dumb commands.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:57 AM   #4
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I ran into this problem with my 2011 327 Georgetown on the second trip we took last year. You ended up with a better experience, being able to get someone from Lippert who knew how to change the state of the relay. I retrieved the full manual from the web and found that there was no reference to that relay in the manual. The Lippert tech I was able to reach on a Sunday couldn't find one of their hydraulic techs that evening. I ended up opening up the quick flush and individual jack valves and used a 2x4 as a lever to push the jacks back up. An additional problem was that the motor burned out when this happened.

When I returned the unit to the dealer for repairs, they immediately ordered a new motor. It took 6 weeks to get it because the guy who took the order (at Lippert?) never entered it into their system and quit that day. Of course, his replacement knew nothing about the ordered part.

Two weeks after the drop-off, I was at the dealer and discovered that the house batteries were dead. I spoke to the dealer's tech who would be doing the repair and got the comment; "Oh no, three weeks ago I had to make a service call at the other end of the state for the same problem." He then explained that there was a diode in the wiring harness that could short out and would lock the hydraulic unit in the "push the jacks down" mode. The only way to retract the jacks once this happens is to pull the wire on the relay located on the side of the hydraulic unit, exactly what you were told. He checked my unit and found the stuck relay and shorted diode. Unfortunately, the power for this circuit does not go through the battery disconnect relay so it'll drain the battery even after you've hit the disconnect switch.

When they were inspecting the hydraulic system when this happened, they also discovered that I had one of the units with bad hydraulic return hoses. With less than six month's ownership, the return lines were badly bubbled. Replacement lines were ordered and installed.

The jack system has been working properly since the repairs were completed. Fortunately, all of this happened during the factory warranty period.

Phil
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pmsherman
I ran into this problem with my 2011 327 Georgetown on the second trip we took last year. You ended up with a better experience, being able to get someone from Lippert who knew how to change the state of the relay. I retrieved the full manual from the web and found that there was no reference to that relay in the manual. The Lippert tech I was able to reach on a Sunday couldn't find one of their hydraulic techs that evening. I ended up opening up the quick flush and individual jack valves and used a 2x4 as a lever to push the jacks back up. An additional problem was that the motor burned out when this happened.

When I returned the unit to the dealer for repairs, they immediately ordered a new motor. It took 6 weeks to get it because the guy who took the order (at Lippert?) never entered it into their system and quit that day. Of course, his replacement knew nothing about the ordered part.

Two weeks after the drop-off, I was at the dealer and discovered that the house batteries were dead. I spoke to the dealer's tech who would be doing the repair and got the comment; "Oh no, three weeks ago I had to make a service call at the other end of the state for the same problem." He then explained that there was a diode in the wiring harness that could short out and would lock the hydraulic unit in the "push the jacks down" mode. The only way to retract the jacks once this happens is to pull the wire on the relay located on the side of the hydraulic unit, exactly what you were told. He checked my unit and found the stuck relay and shorted diode. Unfortunately, the power for this circuit does not go through the battery disconnect relay so it'll drain the battery even after you've hit the disconnect switch.

When they were inspecting the hydraulic system when this happened, they also discovered that I had one of the units with bad hydraulic return hoses. With less than six month's ownership, the return lines were badly bubbled. Replacement lines were ordered and installed.

The jack system has been working properly since the repairs were completed. Fortunately, all of this happened during the factory warranty period.

Phil
Thanks your response. I took it to a 1 week reservation I had paid for with no further drams except as noted earlier. I dropped it at an approved shop for warranty repairs on Monday.

The only difference between our systems is the pump is unidirectional vs bidirectional as of late 2010. Also the reverse relay you refer to is Now a reversing hydraulic switch instead. The diode is still there and apparently still fails.

I left the white/black lead off, the only parasite I could think of.

BTW welcome to the forum!
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:27 PM   #6
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I didn't know that they changed the pump system at some time in the past. Mine is the unidirectional pump with the relay changing the path the pressurized hydraulic fluid takes. This system uses hydraulic pressure to move the jacks in both directions, eliminating the need for springs to retract the jacks.

My only concern at this time is that the delay getting the pump caused enough of a delay that the dealer couldn't get the replacement wiring harness before I took the unit out on my next trip. They "borrowed" a new harness for me from another new unit they had on the lot and the new harness from FR went into that unit.

I also now know what to watch for and what to do about it. When attempting to retract the jacks, I keep myself aware of which way the jacks are moving; up or down. If they're going down; I immediately turn off the engine which shuts down the jack system. Pull the power wire on the relay then the jacks will retract normally. Leave the wire disconnected because it will drain your house batteries. If you're in the middle of a trip, you can always hook it up for a few minutes to lower the jacks.

Phil
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pmsherman View Post
I didn't know that they changed the pump system at some time in the past. Mine is the unidirectional pump with the relay changing the path the pressurized hydraulic fluid takes. This system uses hydraulic pressure to move the jacks in both directions, eliminating the need for springs to retract the jacks.



Phil
Neither did I except the book provided was for the older system. It used control relay to reverse the DC motor for extend and retract. It had a large relay for reverising where the new system uses a shuttle solonoid to reverse fluid flow.The clue is if you use a 1/4- 5/16 emer drive in pump end its the older system. New uses a 1/2" drive socket clockwise rotation. Easy to see difference "lci1.com" go to Electronic leveling plus from the numerouts entries. Closest match I can find and a very good graphic of the "wiring harness with diode. No schematic though. Control pad is a 4 lead matrix of numerous commands into the "brain".

Here's a couple of quirks for ya, at campground put ign key to aux and right slide started in. Bedroom slide operates opposite of two mid slides ie wire off to extend and wire on to retract! I'm sure, did it four times in driveway and at campground.
Older system is dated 08/2009 Electronic leveling and serive manual
Newer system is dated 09/2010 Electronic leveling Plus owners and service
manual. Both listed under "Leveling/stablization owners manuals. Thanks for your advice re system ops. Sucks we have to learn this the hard way eh?
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #8
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I just read this old thread. I just experienced this same problem. Slide outs would not retract. When I would press the rocker switch to bring them in, they just kept moving out until fully extended. Fortunately I reached a tech at Lippert within about 8 minutes. He told me that I blew the diodes in the wiring harness and walked me through the workaround that VinceU earlier in the thread described. I now have a new wiring harness with new diodes on order for $150. My voltage was very low (still resolving that issue) around 8.5 volts and he said that if you try to operate the slides at that low of voltage, the amps are increased significantly and it blows the diodes - that certainly would have been nice to know beforehand. Anyone ever heard of the low voltage causing the diodes to blow? Also, I see a black box on the outside of the wiring harness by the pump. About2.5 inches long and 3/4 inches think. Assume the diodes are inside but the box is sealed. Once I get the new harness on and working, I plan to crack open this old one to see if the diodes could actually be replaced (Lippert said they could not). Anyone every try to replace the diodes?
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #9
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I always make sure I have the generator running or I'm plugged into shore power before operating the slides to avoid the low voltage situation. Unfortunately the slides won't move with the engine running as a safety measure so that's not an option like it is with the jacks.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #10
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I just read this old thread. I just experienced this same problem. Slide outs would not retract. When I would press the rocker switch to bring them in, they just kept moving out until fully extended. Fortunately I reached a tech at Lippert within about 8 minutes. He told me that I blew the diodes in the wiring harness and walked me through the workaround that VinceU earlier in the thread described. I now have a new wiring harness with new diodes on order for $150. My voltage was very low (still resolving that issue) around 8.5 volts and he said that if you try to operate the slides at that low of voltage, the amps are increased significantly and it blows the diodes - that certainly would have been nice to know beforehand. Anyone ever heard of the low voltage causing the diodes to blow? Also, I see a black box on the outside of the wiring harness by the pump. About2.5 inches long and 3/4 inches think. Assume the diodes are inside but the box is sealed. Once I get the new harness on and working, I plan to crack open this old one to see if the diodes could actually be replaced (Lippert said they could not). Anyone every try to replace the diodes?
Been on the road all day, just found your post. Part two of hyd horrors was titled "Hydraulic Problems May 12" as a word doc with lots of pictures and trouble shooting help. Went throught it for months cause no one could id the cable. Anyway I took that cable apart including the "sealed circuit board. Its not diodes failing its actually a IC chip that turns on a power transistor and won't let it open again. Both diodes on mine were fine, buts its a easy excuse. The diode failing could not cause yours and mine symptoms. Have a read and post what ya think. Good huntin-
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