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Old 10-30-2020, 11:13 AM   #1
NXR
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FYI: Had a jack drift down and have been seeing the Jacks Down lit when jacks are up

A week or two ago we went to level the motorhome in the driveway so we could put the slides out. When we turned the LCI panel on we saw the Jacks Down light was lit. All jacks appeared to be up. Retract All ran the pump and the light went out.

A few days ago we raised the jacks and just two hours later I saw the passenger rear jack had dropped 3 1/2" and was now only 3" above the ground. I hit Retract All and it went up.

It poured here yesterday so I did not check the light but the jack stayed up. Today the Jacks Down light was on again.

There is an Emergency Retract feature where if the system thinks all jacks are not fully up and the Parking Brake is released the pump will automatically start and build pressure to retract the jacks. There's also supposed to be some kind of alarm or buzzer; the manual is unclear. This happens even if the panel is turned off.

I started the engine, put my foot on the brake and released the Parking Brake. I heard the pump start and the Jacks Down light went off but there was no alarm.

I called Lippert and their tech support line is as good as everyone has said. The fellow said that the alarm will only sound if motion is also detected, which means the leveling sensor detects one axis has changed, so it will not sound if you're not moving.

He also advised that if we're driving and the system pressure starts to drop the Emergency Retract will build pressure and retract the jacks. So there should be no way for a jack to go down and hit the ground while driving unless there is a massive leak on the Retract side and the pump cannot build pressure.

He advised that the Jacks Down light works solely off of a pressure switch on the hydraulic manifold. If the pressure on the Retract side drops below 2,150 PSI then the switch will close and light the Jacks Down light.

He is certain we have a jack bypassing internally and gave me the test procedure:
  • Hit Retract All until the pump stops.

  • Remove the Extend hose from one jack, which should be the orange one. You may see a dribble of fluid when the hose is removed.

  • Hit Retract All again.

  • If you see fluid coming out of the jack then the jack is bypassing internally.

  • Repeat for the other three jacks.

  • It can be any jack that is bypassing, not necessarily the one that drops.

I did see that the bypass valve Allen screws on all four solenoids were not snug so I snugged them up but the light was back on today. The tech said that if the valves are cracked at all that can cause the jack to drop. Maybe that is why the one jack dropped; I don't know. One pic shows my Plan B.

The motorhome is at a local truck shop right now and they will do the bypass test so we'll see how expensive this gets...

I circled two of the solenoid bypass Allen screws and there are two on the other side. They are backwards, so you turn them counter-clockwise to close the bypass valve.

The black cap on the motor can be popped off and the pump can be rotated with an electric drill to manually raise the jacks once the bypass valves are open. Unfortunately that motor is below the lip of the compartment so you would need some kind of 90-degree adapter to turn the socket placed on the motor.

I hope this helps shed some light on how this system works.

Btm, I think I saw a post from you three years ago where you had something similar happen? Do you recall how much your bypass valves were from fully closed? Did closing those valves fix the problem?

Thanks,

Ray
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:23 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info NXR. I was also told by a tech (one I trust) that the lights can flash if the chassis battery is low... as I had that happen once or twice when the RV had been sitting a bit when I first started it up. . That would not explain the lowered jack though (I did not have that issue and I did check), just the panel lights flashing.
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Old 10-30-2020, 08:34 PM   #3
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Thanks, Tom. I had no flashing lights at all. Turning on the panel showed just the power light and the Jacks Down light.

Unfortunately the truck shop could not get a chance to do the jack bypass test so we brought the motorhome, well, home.

I did reschedule for next week but I may do the bypass test myself if it's not too cold. 39 may be too cold.

Ray
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
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Jacks

On 9-18-19 NXR posted with pics. about fluid sprayed/leaked on hyd. pump and hoses causing some to run out on the ground.

Some posted answers that it was battery protectant spray. My red fluid leaking and on the ground was hydraulic fluid and I think yours was the same.

This happened to me at about 2300 miles. I cleaned everything very well and found no loose connections and did not need fluid. Comments were that the leak would not heal its self. I agree that a leak would not heal its self, but it has never happened again and I am at over 16000 miles.

I still think it was a leak around the cap. On my return trip before the leak I had my alarm go off. When I was leaving the campground I forgot to retract the jacks. The instant I let off the brakes the alarm went off and I immediately put the brakes back on. Set the emergency brake, put it in park and went outside to look at the jacks. They were all up and had retracted quicker than normal.

It was about 2 days later that I saw the leaking fluid. I think the rapid auto retract return fluid leaked around the cap. I keep checking for a fluid leak, but it has not leaked again.

I think your current problem is different than what we had before unless it is low fluid caused by the previous leak.


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Old 10-31-2020, 08:46 AM   #5
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Thanks, Btm. Do you recall what the "jacks down" alarm sounds like? Is it loud enough to really grab your attention? I've read "beeps" and I've read "buzzer".

Ray
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:10 AM   #6
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Jacks down

Mine was an intermittent loud buzzing/alarm sound like at a fire station. I may be wrong on the sound, but you won't miss it if it goes off. All 4 of mine were down, so I don't know if one can cause the alarm.

Something to try if you see a jack part way down again. Start motor, put foot on brake, put in drive, let off emergency brake and ease off of foot brake. This will let you know if the alarm works with one jack part way down.

Even if you were on the road you would hear it.


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Old 10-31-2020, 02:55 PM   #7
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OK, great. I'm assuming I'll need a new jack and I think it's this 14,000 pound one but they have no part number on them. It looks the same and has the same number of mounting holes and the same distribution block at the top: https://store.lci1.com/hydraulic-lev...ck-236560.html

I sent Nick Hoover a note asking him for the correct part number.

$600. Ouch. That's more than a tire and with a lousy one-year warranty.

I'm not so concerned about the jack coming down to due to it internally bypassing because it appears that Lippert has built in enough safety features to make that almost a non-event. But if the leak can be bi-directional, extent-to-retract in addition to retract-to-extend, well, that could cause one jack to leak down and could cause a frame twist. I'm going to call LCI on Monday and ask that specific question but I have to assume it is.

I know some of the hydraulic systems have built in safety locks to prevent or minimize the effects of a collapse but I have no idea if these do.

The Jacks Down light was on this morning so I did a Retract All and I'm timing how long it takes for the light to come on. So far it's been four hours and the light is not yet on.

Ray
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Old 11-01-2020, 02:28 PM   #8
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Alarm

Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post

I started the engine, put my foot on the brake and released the Parking Brake. I heard the pump start and the Jacks Down light went off but there was no alarm.

I called Lippert and their tech support line is as good as everyone has said. The fellow said that the alarm will only sound if motion is also detected, which means the leveling sensor detects one axis has changed, so it will not sound if you're not moving

Thanks,

Ray
After thinking back, I believe my alarm sounded when I put it in gear. If you have a jack drop down again, a way to check if the small drop will set off alarm is to do what you did above except put it in Drive. Having the emergency brake off prevents you from extending jacks. ( and maybe retract them ) Putting it in drive and easing off the brake will also cause motion like the Tech said.


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Old 11-01-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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So I dropped the rear jacks yesterday about 6" and did a Retract All. They went up and stayed up. The Jacks Down light did not come on over 24 hours. Today I dropped all jacks about 6" and did a Retract All. Five hours later and still no light.

If the problem will not come back the shop can't do any good. So I'll keep doing this and see if the problem comes back.

Ray
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