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Wheel removal and jacking up the coach


Steve P
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I am about to change valve stems and add a TPMS.  My single past experience with an RV and truck tire shop has not been good...   My coach has 2 hydraulic leveling jacks in the rear and one in the front. Last year when I bought new tires, the shop had me use those to raise the wheels off the ground. They then put jack stands underneath someplace as insurance. I later read that having the tires hanging on the suspension is considered a path to failure, or damaging at the very least.  Is what they did actually bad practice?   If so, I don't mind drawing a line in the sand, or leaving, when a shop won't do what needs to be done correctly.  The place also sold me Goodyear tires that were 4 YEARS beyond the date of manufacture.   I talked to Goodyear, and they wouldn't do a thing.   In their view, the product manager said the tires were perfectly fine and the shop had not violated any Goodyear guidelines or policies.  No wonder I'm buying a TPMS... !!!  Also, I noticed one stainless braided extensions is chafing a wheel on the pass thru.  You live, you learn...   

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So the axles with wheels and H-frames were essentially hanging on the airbags. Does not sound like a good thing to do to them as it is the direct opposite of their function, IMO. No idea how much they can take between the 4 of them. The old tires are a story on its own. I would stay away from that shop.

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I read somewhere that wheels shouldn't be lifted with air bags inflated. 

On my last trip the rear wheels were off the ground for 2 days (yes, front wheels were chocked). 

- bob

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I don't know enough about this topic to even have an opinion. I somehow imagined that shock travel would be the limiting factor based on my equally limited experience with coil spring suspension systems. I have raised my rear wheels off the ground on numerous occasions apparently without consequence which included chaining up and parking on steep residential streets on occasion.

Edited by Gary Cole
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1 hour ago, Gary Cole said:

I don't know enough about this topic to even have an opinion. I somehow imagined that shock travel would be the limiting factor based on my equally limited experience with coil spring suspension systems. I have raised my rear wheels off the ground on numerous occasions apparently without consequence which included chaining up and parking on steep residential streets on occasion.

I believe that you are right about the shocks holding the weight at their full extension. I don't have jacks so I lift the axles.

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On 9/20/2021 at 8:21 PM, Ivan K said:

So the axles with wheels and H-frames were essentially hanging on the airbags. Does not sound like a good thing to do to them as it is the direct opposite of their function, IMO. No idea how much they can take between the 4 of them. The old tires are a story on its own. I would stay away from that shop.

The shocks top out before the airbags, but yes, it's not particularly good for them to be stretched out like that.
I wouldn't worry to much for short term, but wouldn't leave it like that for days.

U usually use the jacks to raise the coach until the bags fully dump, then put stands underneath the frame, and use a small bottle jack to lift the axles themselves to remove the wheels.

Edited by dl_racing427
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1 hour ago, dl_racing427 said:

Usually use the jacks to raise the coach until the bags fully dump, then put stands underneath the frame, and use a small bottle jack to lift the axles themselves to remove the wheels.

That's what I did with the old gasser but with a floor jack.  Get the wheels so they're still on the ground then use the jack to get them barely off the ground.  Makes tire removal / replacement much easier (pretty much no lifting).  But with the DP I'm hard pressed to find a breaker bar large enough for proper lug nut torque.  Oh, there's that budget thing, too. 

- bob

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3 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

A torque multiplier will let you remove the lugs easily with a standard 1/2" breaker bar.  You can also use it with a 1/2" torque wrench to torque them properly.

I was concerned with accuracy on re-torquing.  At a 1:58 ratio that would be 8.62 ft lbs.  Not worried about being 20 ft-lbs off but 100 off could be a problem.  That and I already bought a $150 3/4 drive digital torque adapter! 

And then there's wrasslin' a 100 lb tire.  The F53's were a scant 70. 

- bob

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16 minutes ago, cbr046 said:

I was concerned with accuracy on re-torquing.  At a 1:58 ratio that would be 8.62 ft lbs.  Not worried about being 20 ft-lbs off but 100 off could be a problem.  That and I already bought a $150 3/4 drive digital torque adapter! 

And then there's wrasslin' a 100 lb tire.  The F53's were a scant 70. 

- bob

I was thinking more along a 3/1 or 5/1 multiplier.
If you get within +/- 50lb/ft of spec, you're probably doing better than many tire shops. 😠

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With trial and error, I found that with 12lbs on my multiplier I get close to the final torque. But lately I just use a 1/2" air impact to get me within 1/2 turn to 500lbs before final torque setting. It takes very little turning radius to get from say 400 to 500lbs, at least with my lugs.

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23 hours ago, cbr046 said:

And then there's wrasslin' a 100 lb tire.

Is that what they weigh?   When I wrestled with mine it felt really heavy,  maybe it's me getting weak.  LOL

I used a 3/4 breaker bar and a pipe for an extension,  since then I bought a multiplier.

I got the wheel just barely off the ground then used my hand truck / dolly to lift and ease the wheel off the studs,  reversed it all to reinstall.  Everything is pretty heavy.

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3 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

Is that what they weigh?   When I wrestled with mine it felt really heavy,  maybe it's me getting weak.  LOL

I used a 3/4 breaker bar and a pipe for an extension,  since then I bought a multiplier.

I got the wheel just barely off the ground then used my hand truck / dolly to lift and ease the wheel off the studs,  reversed it all to reinstall.  Everything is pretty heavy.

I've already met my quota for hernia surgeries... I'll leave the fun stuff to a tire store or truck stop and someone 20 years younger than me! 

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