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Old 09-12-2018, 10:01 PM   #1
WQ6N
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Default Front Bigfoot Jacks are failing

Coach is a 98 SunSport 32ft
The front two jacks will not stay up and when extended they loose their extension. Currently being held up by heavy duty bungee cords.

Past work includes filling the tank with the correct auto-trans fluid, changing out all the 12vdc solenoids for heavy duty versions and installing a battery cut-out solenoid.
The rear two jack works fine. I believe the leaking may be due to the engine/road vibration over the years. Even though there is only 15k miles on the RV.

I was told that these are over $900 each to replace.
Was looking for a hydraulic overhaul kit for the Bigfoot jacks and thought I had one a few years back.
Any recommendations from the forum? This RV has a long life ahead.
Thank you in advance
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Old 09-13-2018, 06:09 AM   #2
Restorium
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How did you determine that the rams were bad and not a valve or line?
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:50 AM   #3
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A good question. I was speaking of the unit as a whole. I did not get into granular details to differentiate between the individual components of the jack. I did pay for a RV repair SME to evaluate the issue and the result was replacement.


Since these are self contained jacks, it would be possible to pull one and go through it. Hence my attempted research on a overhaul kit. To be honest, it could very well be a valve or pump that is leaking. I am very comfortable taking things apart, repairing and restoring them, it is a time issue more than anything.


There was a moment in time, prior to me installing a 12vdc cutout supply solenoid, that the individual solenoids on the jacks were starting to fail in a closed state. When that happened, the jacks would start extending and there was no way to stop them because Gulfstream failed to design in a master cutout. The only way to stop the jacks was to disconnect the 12vdc feed at the battery. I have since replaced all the individual solenoids on the jacks with heavier duty solenoids along with a master cutout solenoid. No problems since that repair until the leaking issue appeared later on.



The risk of the jacks coming down while on the freeway doing 60 is/was my concern. Hence the double bungee cords. The coach rides pretty low with the stock wheels and it would not take much to create a potentially serious issue. It was recommended that I look into ordering individual leaves from Benz to bring the coach up. This is a separate issue from the original thread.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:45 AM   #4
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I have the Bigfoots on my 99. I get a red light occasionally while driving. The cylinders drift a tiny bit. Just enough to move off the home switch. After practically panicking the first few times I got the red light while driving I realized they were just moving a tiny amount and staying there. Nothing to worry about. They have done that for at least 5 years now.


These rams remind me of the ones on my old convertible cars' retractable top assemblies. When those go bad they can't be repaired very easily so you replace them. Could be the same deal on these.


I'm a machine repairman by trade and rebuild a lot of cylinders. If you start getting these tore down I can help with the rebuild. I imagine I will need to rebuild mine someday. I really can't imagine spending $900 a corner to fix them. If that's what it takes then I will probably go with something else to level with.
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Old 09-16-2018, 05:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WQ6N View Post
Coach is a 98 SunSport 32ft
The front two jacks will not stay up and when extended they loose their extension. Currently being held up by heavy duty bungee cords.

Past work includes filling the tank with the correct auto-trans fluid, changing out all the 12vdc solenoids for heavy duty versions and installing a battery cut-out solenoid.
The rear two jack works fine. I believe the leaking may be due to the engine/road vibration over the years. Even though there is only 15k miles on the RV.

I was told that these are over $900 each to replace.
Was looking for a hydraulic overhaul kit for the Bigfoot jacks and thought I had one a few years back.
Any recommendations from the forum? This RV has a long life ahead.
Thank you in advance
Not as expensive as you thought; https://shop.thebigfootleveler.com/R...-Jacks_c24.htm
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:15 AM   #6
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On some systems, the "Jacks Down" light is also an indicator of low fluid.....are you sure they are slightly dropping.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
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On some systems, the "Jacks Down" light is also an indicator of low fluid.....are you sure they are slightly dropping.
Yup. They drift off the switch.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:36 PM   #8
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Call Big Foot and they will help you out. They will have the kits if that is what you need. Last time I called them they were very helpful. With only 15K miles on the motor home it is hard to believe that the ram seals would be worn out already. Has to be something else.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:43 PM   #9
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Default exhaust heat

a possibility is that the jacks are close to a heat source (exhaust), and the fluid is overheating causing either damaged orings/rod seals in the ram, or expansion forcing the ram down. not sure how these are valved, but I have the same units with no problems on mine, so I'm interested in the root cause when you find it.
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