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Bent ram on Lippert Level up


redcrzr

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I bent one of the aluminum rams on my 6 leg system. I plan to call Lippert on Monday but I thought I might ask here, as well. Can the ram hydraulic fittings be removed without losing all of the hydraulic fluid? My uneducated thinking is that the rams would need to be in the up position for this part. If some fluid does come out during ram replacement does the system need to be " bled" to remove air or can you just top off the fluid reservoir?

I have the bent ram loose and secured out of the way now and after the initial shock of what looks to be a $572.00 part I have chalked it up to a lesson learned. I was hooking up the 5ver on asphalt and had trouble getting the hitch to engage. Too many bangs on the hitch. Any suggestions for getting the TS/binkley to engage & disengage. We've had this issue before.

 

Todd

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Todd, I just changed a ram on ours. It is a very easy process. I hooked it up to the truck retracted all the rams and slides. A quantity of fluid came out when I removed the 3 lines to the ram. After I installed the new ram, I filled the fluid tank to the top and began cycling the level up system. The new ran worked slowly as the air was being forced out. After about 4 or 5 cycles all was good. I topped off the tank and kept an eye on it to assure I didn't loose fluid. All in all about an hours work. Dick

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Both the Level-up and the Quadra systems are self bleeding. A couple of cycles and you should be good, as Dick indicated. Try not to lose too much fluid, though.

 

For the Binkley head, hookup should be very easy, if the head is in good contition and you properly match the kingpin height to the Binkley. What usually causes an issue is 1) the jaws are VERY rusted and do not close well. Not likely the case with most RVers, but it could be. and 2) you are using a lube plate that is too thick and it is keeping the jaws from closing into the hourglass part of the kingpin....the plate is forcing the jaw to close on the wider, top of the kingpin and the jaws do not close properly and lock.

 

Follow the Trailersaver instructions closely for hookup. You should have a manual but if you do not they are onlline.

 

If the hitch is brand new then sometimes you have some issues on the first few hookups with the jaws closing properly. I can only guess they are stiff???? I've seen that before. But for a hitch that has been used for awhile there are only a couple things that can be wrong, covered above.

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May I suggest getting some plugs for the hyd lines, so that when you disconnect them, you can install the plugs temporarily. Once the new cylinder is in place, then remove the plug and install each line, one at a time. The described bleeding process described here is appropriate for a dual acting system.

 

Note that the Lippert Level Up is indeed using aluminum cylinders, more prone to damage as you have incurred. I see not reason why you couldnt find a steel or stainless steel cylinder with the same physical dimensions to replace the one that you bent. That would depend though on if you still have a warranty in place on that system. I would think that commercially available cylinders might be more cost effective than buying from Lippert and give you a more robust cylinder. I have a DRV with the Level Up and another 5er that I am remodeling and will be adding the Quadra Big Foot to. I decided on BF because of the difference in the materials used in their system. Much higher quality.

 

Before ordering the replacement cylinder from Lippert, do yourself the favor of calling a hydraulic supply house and seeing what a typical industrial cylinder might cost as a reference. You'll need the physical dimensions for the cylinder rather than only the part number, though. Bore, stroke, mount etc.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I appreciate the replies and can now update, somewhat. The procrastinator in me and because we have been in the process of an auction and selling of our home I was finally able to remove the bent leg on Monday. I located a hydraulic shop in Oshkosh and delivered the ram to them on Tuesday and he suggested a steel ram. (versus alum.) He said I should give him a couple of days and 3 hours later he called and said he was finished. $200 versus $570 form Lippert. I plan to reinstall on Wednesday and will finish this post with the results.

Thanks again,

 

Todd

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Can you list the brand of cylinder and part number. Many of us have that same system.

It sounded to me as though the hydraulic shop replaced the cylinder rod with a steel rod, thereby eliminating the aluminum rod that was the Lippert OEM part. Most hydraulic shops can do that. An aluminum rod would likely be a special as typical hydraulic cylinders use steel rods.

Congrats on the savings and getting the job done. And for teaching us all something new.

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dreamer2, I am very interested in this topic. I also have the Lippert Level-Up system and am not happy with it at all.


If your upgrade is successful I may opt to do the same myself. I am not knowledgeable on hydraulic components so I am not completely clear on what you changed.


Here is a basic hydraulic unit (click on it for a bigger and easier viewed image):

post-7343-0-20303800-1461728985_thumb.jpg


By 'ram' are you referring to the 'rod' in the image? If so, to be clear, based on the image, the aluminum mat-surfaced rod was replaced with a new steel (shiny) rod? Or, did you replace the entire cylinder depicted?


If the shop replaced the aluminum rod with a steel rod and preserved the rest of the original components, do you know if it was necessary to change seals and/or any other components? Did your hydraulic shop discuss whether the existing pump is sufficient or spec'd for the new pieces?

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I caught your comment about hitching up. It should hitch up easy. Either the lube plate is too thick(as mentioned) or your technique needs some mod. You should not have to bang on any hitch to get it to latch. A little practice in a quiet, flat location is all that is probably needed until you get the correct procedure.

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Kevin H

 

The shop changed out the "rod". He made the statement that because it was a fairly new cylinder it probably didn't require new seals. I told him that he was the expert and to do whatever he felt was necessary. I was so excited with the cleanliness of his shop, his friendliness and his fast turnaround that I never asked him if he changed the seals. I would not hesitate to use this shop again if in need of this service.

 

Todd

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Kevin H

 

The shop changed out the "rod". He made the statement that because it was a fairly new cylinder it probably didn't require new seals. I told him that he was the expert and to do whatever he felt was necessary. I was so excited with the cleanliness of his shop, his friendliness and his fast turnaround that I never asked him if he changed the seals. I would not hesitate to use this shop again if in need of this service.

 

Todd

 

Thanks for clarifying. Appreciate the info. There is a definite possibility I may mimic your actions in the future. Good post.

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I've been reporting some progress with the hitch on the HDT part of this forum. If you haven't seen it I'll update a little here. I was stuck in the jaws of the Binkley head and after some prying, prodding and banging and discussion with Trailer Saver I (we) were able to open the jaws. I have removed the head and started to disassemble it to free up the rusted parts. Needed to take part of it to a shop to have the pins that the jaws rotate on removed. Ordered new springs from TS and when I get the parts cleaned up & the springs arrive, I will reassemble with never seize and hopefully be going in & out of that thing with ease.

Ram is back on & oil reservoir is full, I will wait to move the trailer to a more level spot before I run the Level Up system.

 

Todd E.

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