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Old 10-04-2022, 08:30 AM   #1
AppliedThinking
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Default 97 Sun Sport Big Foot hydraulic jack Rebuild?

Both my front 97 Sun Sport Big Foot hydraulic jacks/levelers will not stay retracted nor lift. It looks like the front end road and engine vibration has played a part in the problem. The rear jacks work fine, for now.



Currently I manually keep them retracted using heavy duty rubber bungee cords from Home Depot.


Is there a rebuild kit or known repair for the Big Foot hydraulic jacks/levelers?


I did change out the solenoids and installed a separate safety power disconnect solenoid some time ago. I had the unpleasant experience of the jack raising with a stuck solenoid that I could not turn off. Bad design but now fixed.


The only other thing would be to replace the front hydraulic jacks. I am not sure if there any manufacturer that would use the same controls?


Thank you in advance, JohnF
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:07 PM   #2
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I found the Quadra site for Bigfoot levelers. I am in communication with their technical staff as well. My next action if to find out which cylinders I have. Supposed to a sticker somewhere on the cylinder. My system is older that their oldest Operators Manual. I may just remove the two front leveler assy for rebuild anyway.


The site:



Bigfoot Hydraulic Leveling System Product Manuals
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Old 10-09-2022, 02:31 PM   #3
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Default Jacks

I had my cylinder rebuilt on my left front for $200 I took it off and put it back on. I also replaced the rest of the unit I found new on eBay for $300. The hydraulic shop also sold me an extra set of seals so next time Iíll do it myself
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Old 10-09-2022, 03:22 PM   #4
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I HAVE READ OF SOME VINTAGE BIGFOOT BEING OBSOLETE AND parts or replacement not available, but sounds like you have many local or national or MFR options still not eliminated? Look for local hydraulic repair shops? Good Luck
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Old 10-09-2022, 04:15 PM   #5
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Not all shops will even touch motorhome jacks. I found that out
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Old 10-10-2022, 07:35 AM   #6
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Quadra Manufacturing can supply complete leveler which includes jack and hydraulic unit. The cost depends on the diameter of the cylinder. Their newer cylinders a rebuildable, unfortunately mine was not.



I ordered a complete unit which was $1100. Installation is not fun if the cylinder will not lift the coach. You need a 6 Ton floor jack to lift the one of the rear corners on a diesel pusher, even then that is a bit scary.
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Old 10-10-2022, 03:11 PM   #7
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$1100 is a joke. Everything on the unit can be rebuilt just finding someone to do it is the hard part. A local hydraulic can do it. If the Jack works lift it up block the frame and remove the unit the fronts are easy now the back are a different story
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Old 11-13-2022, 02:33 PM   #8
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To share lessons learned. My BigFoot hydraulic jacks are too old and there are no kits available for the older QEI-21. The suggested replacement is QEI-16 at $500 ea. The same pump assy can be reused. I decided to try a full system flush with each jack. That entails aprox 3 liters of DEX-III/MERC for each cylinder system. Using the wiring guide, a short alligator jumper can be used to activate the solenoids while pumping out the old fluid. I used a quart oil hand pump (Slippery Pete) to refill when it was time. In one case, I had my better half doing the extend switch since I could not reach the 12v buss bar. Lesson learned - Don't let it suck air. Takes two different ID hoses - One to fit over the steel line and the other over the nipple. Use a Gal jug for the old fluid.

The backs are done and are solid. Next is the front jacks that are not working very well. Fingers crossed. I will do the front jack at the same time replacing the sway bar mounts.
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Old 11-26-2022, 10:30 AM   #9
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Well the hydraulic flush did not work. The jack would not stay down or up. So it was decision time of purchasing the QEI-16 cylinder or the complete corner for each of the two front jacks. I certainly did not want to think about crawling under the RV with a bottle jack while on the road especially in bad weather. So I went with two complete corner systems and will keep the older QEI-21 jacks for spare parts in case the rear ones start to go south. This was the quickest and most guaranteed way to fix the issue at hand. Safety is key in my book. At least now I will be able to see the fluid level in the tank in stead of using long wooden Q-Tips for dip sticks in the older steel tanks. I will definitely cover the extended jacks while parked especially when at the beach. I will also wipe them down before retracting. The fine beach sand is a jack killer for sure. I am sure there is a hydraulic shop somewhere in San Diego area. Maybe if the back jacks tart to fail. I would fully agree with the above statement needing strong jacks for the back end. I will get the RV weighed once it's back on the road.
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Old 11-27-2022, 11:23 AM   #10
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I spray the cylinder rods with PB Blaster silicone lubricant before I raise the levelers each time. It has rejuvenated 2 of the seals that we beginning to seep.

All four of my cylinders are the same size.

I kept the pump off the one complete unit I replaced for a spare.

The new cylinders Quadra / Bigfoot make can be rebuilt.
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Old 12-05-2022, 07:40 AM   #11
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Hello...my rig is a 1998 and i do have the oldest jacking system and Quadra BigFoot Customer support told me that they do not make any replacement parts...and that i need to replace the full computer system at about $1,000...
My RV is 40ft and grossweight 36,000lbs...and i do have air ride suspension....so when i stop the pusher engine...all 4 ballons collapse.. and the RV become very very Low to the ground...so jacks are very hard to reach out...and very scary to go under ...My computer / keyboard is the one with old interface...and nothing today is compatible. Also my front left jack is leaking...Now my RV is stored fir winter but in April 2023...i need to fix my jacks...BIG Job... :- (
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Old 12-05-2022, 07:57 AM   #12
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Send a picture of your interface unit.


Can you manually move any of your levelers?
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Old 12-05-2022, 08:11 AM   #13
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First...i do not know How to put a picture...sorry...

The control panel is the old one with the botton SEMI written...on it...

Yes... i can rise and retract all 4 ...but not all the time...maybe finger problem...and my front-left jack leaking so before i empty the reservoir...i quit playing with the leveling system...
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Old 12-18-2022, 11:09 AM   #14
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More Lessons Learned, Old BigFoot QEI-21 with the new QEI-16 corners:

I spent several hours squeezed or on my back under the RV yesterday.
The first one is always the hardest they say. I removed the old hydraulic leg. But it was so tight that I had to dismantle the tank and control assy from the hydraulic cylinder first. This lead to having Dex III fluid spilling out of the jacks. Luckily I had rags handy. Still spilled some on the concrete.
I did get it out. In doing so, I found the large 12v positive line was pinched and the conductors exposed to the frame. Very bad installation by Gulfstream. Also there is no 80amp breaker nor master power switch. The 12VDC is wired direct to the battery. SAFETY ISSUE that I will correct.

UPS came later that day with the new corner legs. It all looked good until I saw the size difference of the new tank/control boxes. Yikes!!! they were much larger. I started to panic knowing that the space was already tight with the old tank/control boxes. Gulfstream built the storage containers right up to the box (Bad engineering). The top right cylinder mounting bolt cannot be removed. By working both the heavy new QEI-16 cylinder and by twisting the cylinder to the side and working the tank/control box in between the front suspension mount and the storage box. After I got it all in place, one bolt would not go in, arghhh, I tried using a spike to try and get things lined up. No joy. I was getting ready to drill the 7/16 hole out. Then I realized the new cylinder was lower than the existing jack. Yikes #2! I had to take it all apart and bring up the new cylinder one bolt hole.
Finally got all 4 bolts in place along with the tank/control box. It was getting dark and chilly. time to quit.

Today, I will hook up the hydraulic lines from the tank/control box to the cylinder along with the existing Power and control lines. I need to drill out a cable entry in the new tank/control box with a standard snap in plastic grommet for 1-1/16 hole. That will work. I will bleed out the new hydraulic lines and that will complete one corner.
Time to start the other corner with removal. I hope it goes better!


If I could not remote the new tank/control box in the same location, I would have to relocate it to inside the storage box and use longer hydraulic, control lines and install a separate ground line to the frame.


Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

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Old 12-19-2022, 07:22 AM   #15
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Default More BigFoot Lessons Learned - Passenger side Front

Well its sad to say that passenger side front was not easier. The storage container was brought all the way to the old unit. That means the new tank/control box would not fit. I had to take a high speed die grinder and cut the corner out of the storage box in 2in. The cut was aprox 7in across and 10in high. After I removed the corner, I was then able to mount the tank/control box to the cylinder flange. Folks this was not fun!
I will have to figure a way to seal the storage container as that is where my large marine inverter/charger is mounted with all the cables.


One small positive, I was able to reroute the #4 battery supply and control lines using the existing cable entry on the box. I still need to fill the new tank and bleed the extend line for air. The final thing will be the new tank box covers. I will have to notch the driver side cover for the cable/hose run.


I do not look forward to replacing the two rear units. There is even less real estate to work with. Especially the driver side rear with the fuel tank fill and lines. I will take the two older cylinders to a local hydraulic shop and see if they can overhaul/reseal them. The pump assy appears to be the same. Well now, I have plenty of parts to work with.


It will be done before Christmas if my aching back hold up. ha ha


Regards, JohnF
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Old 12-24-2022, 09:39 AM   #16
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As of yesterday, I completed the BigFoot jack replacement. Putting on those ABS covers was a pain in the tail. Due to the extreme tight space, I had to notch the covers to get them on. I also didn't want to use those self drilling screws anywhere near the plastic tanks. I finished off the covers with a single run of cable Velcro around the whole lower box. All cables are tie-wrapped and protected against vibration.



Hindsight, I should of brought up the jacks before topping off the tank. I may have over-filled one as it leaked out when retracted. I will have to pull the cover off to check the level again and make sure the tank fill plug didn't come out. This is called double work...



The last piece is to seal the storage box where I had to cut the corner out to install the larger tank/control box. I took the cut-off metal and mounted inside the box, flipped 180deg, with self drilling screws. That created a metal outside surface. Will use expanding foam to fill the two large top and side gaps and wax paper to protect the new ABS cover (an old surfboard resin trick). The very last thing will be to spray an rubberized undercoating layer or two for the final sealant outside and inside of the storage box.


This concludes the journey for the front two jacks. It's clean up time and get ready for a Christmas BBQ dinner. It's supposed to be in the mid 80's F here on Christmas Day.



Will take the two older jacks to a hydraulic shop at a later time to see if they can be overhauled. At some point, the back two jacks will need to be replaced in even tighter spaces. I could always locate the tank/control box inside one of the storage boxes and run longer hoses.


Best Regards, JohnF
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Old 12-29-2022, 07:52 PM   #17
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Just a suggestion, contact a farm equipment repair (hopefully independent and not a major brand, ie John Deere, New Holland et to see if they have parts to fix older cylinders if their stuff is too small, may have to Contact earth construction equipment. to find the shop that has experience with your size & load rated cylinders. Obviously the mfg doesn't maintain parts for their pieces on some of the systems that are failing. So if some aftermarket supplier didn't tool up parts then replacement is only choice, Newer fluids, especially for older or high mileage hydraulic systems have conditioners in the oil to help soften the seals and recondition them. New clean, thinner fluid can also cause leaks so no clear direction when to do maintenance. Also had anyone asked Big Foot who supplied (vendor) the original seals or did they buy cylinders from a supplier themselves/
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Old 01-01-2023, 06:58 PM   #18
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All Good points. There is a local hydraulic shop here and plan to see if they can do the work. Later though, we are recovering from the cost of the front replacements $$$.
BF does carry replacement seal kits for the newer jacks.
If I park the rig at the beach, I will certainly wrap the shafts and clean them up prior to retracting. Lesson learned...
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