One PowerGear jack won't retract-how do I manually override

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dvleemin

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Nov 28, 2009
Posts
123
Last winter I went to retract the jacks, and the rear passenger didn't retract. I figured it was the cold, so I left it until spring. I went to retract it and nothing is happening. I can hear some clicking by the jack pump. The panel shows all jacks retracted.

Here's what I've done:
- checked the fuse at the pump
- checked the fuse at the chassis body
- removed the emergency brake, put my foot on the brake, and put it into drive (nothing happened)
- drained some fluid from the reservoir. Still no lights on panel.

I'm at the stage where I just want to get the jack up and take it in to a shop, but I can't figure out how to manually release the pressure. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Details on unit:
2003 Fleetwood Bounder
Powergear control panel model 500456
Pump reservoir has model S200T*4682 on it and part 500507
Part with hoses has part number 500505

Here are pictures. I took the black plastic cap off the the three cylinder things, in the hope that I could release the pressure then, but not sure what to do.

http://www.chasmconsulting.ca/jacks_1.JPG

http://www.chasmconsulting.ca/jacks_2.JPG

http://www.chasmconsulting.ca/jacks_3.JPG

http://www.chasmconsulting.ca/jacks_4.JPG
 

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Loosen the referenced Jack's hydraulic line exiting the Jacks control till the pressure is relieved  Power Gear does not "drive" the Piston (hydraulic jack)  to the retracted position, rather it picks a Solenoid to relive the Hydraulic Pressure to the piston.  It is the same Solenoid that is picked when it extends the Jack, the difference being that the hydraulic pump motor is not running during retraction..

You can accomplish the same thing by loosening the Solenoid valve to relieve the pressure, since you will probably be replacing the Solenoid Valve I would go that way.

You might try have someone manually raise that jack from the Control Panel while you Tap the appropriate Solenoid.  The Solenoid inline with the output Hydraulic Hose going to the Jack in question.

Good Luck and let us know what happens.
 
My guess would be that the jack piston may be misaligned and jammed in the cylinder. If you have a bottle jack, you may want to try lifting the coach a little to take the pressure off. Once the pressure is off, the spring should pull the jack back up if the solenoid is open.

Are one of the return springs broken?
 
Since the panel shows that jacks are up, it appears the fluid has all returned to the reservoir (that's how the "jacks up" status is determined). That would suggest the solenoid did open but the jack was unable to retract regardless. The jack in this type of system is raised by the pressure of an external spring. Is the spring intact?  It could also be bent/jammed, or simply stuck at the seal on the ram. Some Power Gear rams have a grease fitting (zerk) at the lower end and need an occasional shot of grease.

Try the pressure relief that weewun described. If it doesn't come up by itslef, you can try prying up on the jack foot using a 6-8 ft 2x4 as a lever. A concrete block makes a useful fulcrum for the lever.
 
It would almost be impossible for all the fluid to return to the reservoir unless until the extended leveler is retracted, unless, of course, the tank was filled after the jack was extended.  If the panel is indicating that all levelers are "UP", the float switch in the tank is either maladjusted or defective -OR- there is an electrical problem causing various false indications.

The "Dump" valve and the individual "leg" position valve must both open to retract the leveler. I suspect that the solenoid valve for that position is not opening to allow the fluid to return.

Try removing the solenoid valve(s) completely.  Be prepared to catch the returning fluid.  The actual solenoid valve can be removed once the electrical coil is removed.

HERE is  link to the Service Manual. 
 
Good point, Lou. I wonder if the "jacks up" indicator was working right before this? In any case, something is fishy here, cause it should not be saying "all jacks up" if the solenoid did not open. There are either two separate problems or something we yet do not understand about the malfunctioning ram.
 
On power gear Jacks up is sensed by a float valve in the fluid tank, this is the pair of leads that come out of the top of the tank.  The switch closes to signal jacks down, if the switch fails to close it will show jacks up, if the plug comes loose (flat 2 connector usually) same thing.

I have a spare magnet

But here is what you can try,, NOTE UNDO THIS WHEN DONE

The three assemblies on top

Take the black plastic caps off two of them  SWAP the electro magnets.

Try pressing the RETRACT ALL button

BE SURE TO PUT "EM BACK THE WAY THEY WERE

I recommend labeling them 1-2-3 before you start.

These 3 valves

one is the valve for the front jacks (They work as one) one for the right rear one for the left rear and no,, I do not know which is which.

I'm hoping the problem is electrical

The next step is a bit messier and has already been described.

On my jacks the controller died.. 250 bucks for the key pad and no guarantee that is the problem.. I built my  own controller, The only feature it does nto  yet have is auto retract if I take her out of park.. That is coming,  Total cost should be less than half the new keypad and it gives me MORE control over the jacks.
 
Looking at the photo the OP attached to his post, I see fluid around the nut holding the float switch in place.  If that nut is loose, or has been disturbed, it's possible the switch is no longer in the proper orientation.  It is important that the internal float is proper aligned to allow activation of the "jacks up" switch.  This could account for the false Jacks Up indication.

The yellow label in the photo describes how this is done.
 

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