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2004 Signature: Use Air Lift System for Chassis Lube Working Room


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I have seen many posts on doing your own oil change and lube work.
I experimented today to see how high the coach goes. I did not do a measurement, but would it be great for working room.
1. How long will it stay at maximum height after you shut the engine off?
2. Is there a recommended way to block the frame up?
 

Thank you very much for your help
 

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I have read where people have used 6x6's cut to a length and placed in specific locations to block the frame from collapsing unexpectedly.

Hopefully some members who have done exactly that will chime in.

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Some use well casing cut to fit between the H-frame and frame rails.  I have a large set of jack stands I use under the engine cross member.  Be careful as jack stands are rated in pairs so a 20,000# set is good for 10,000# each.  

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1 hour ago, Dr4Film said:

I have read where people have used 6x6's cut to a length and placed in specific locations to block the frame from collapsing unexpectedly.

Hopefully some members who have done exactly that will chime in.

I use sections of 6x6 cut to length to fit vertically between the main frame and suspension rails. Has worked good for me. 

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1 hour ago, Lee Smith said:

 
1. How long will it stay at maximum height after you shut the engine off? 

 

Every coach is different. Mine seems to stay put indefinitely! I've read of others lowering in a few hours!

I run my tires up on homemade ramps when working under the 'H' frames. I also raise the coach with the air leveling, but I have enough clearance just with the ramps so as not to get crushed.

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4 X 4 blocks next to the air bags in-between the frame rails will do it.  

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I have made ramps from 2x8 boards stacked on top of each other and screwed together. I have 4 of them so I can run the rear duals and tag axle up on the the ramps. That way I will never get squished by an air system failure. I have the air leveling system ( which I hate and would never buy again) and no hydraulic leveling jacks. During the numerous air system repairs with the coach on the ramps, I can completely drain the air bags and still move freely under the coach on a creeper. Oil changes and chassis lube are very easy to perform with the coach on ramps as the frame and rear axles are high enough to get under.

 

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8 minutes ago, Nevada Rob said:

I have made ramps from 2x8 boards stacked on top of each other and screwed together. I have 4 of them so I can run the rear duals and tag axle up on the the ramps. That way I will never get squished by an air system failure. I have the air leveling system ( which I hate and would never buy again) and no hydraulic leveling jacks. During the numerous air system repairs with the coach on the ramps, I can completely drain the air bags and still move freely under the coach on a creeper. Oil changes and chassis lube are very easy to perform with the coach on ramps as the frame and rear axles are high enough to get under.

 

I am curious why you don't like the air leveling because I feel differently about not having to worry about additional hydrailic hardware?

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10 minutes ago, Ivan K said:

I am curious why you don't like the air leveling because I feel differently about not having to worry about additional hydraulic hardware?

I totally agree! Actually, the only thing better would have been having the optional choice at the time which was having both Air Leveling AND Hydraulic Leveling from the factory. I would only use the hydraulic jacks to stabilize the coach during very windy conditions and not for leveling. Don't have to worry about possibly having a cracked windshield with hydraulic leveling.

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Good morning Ivan K. I do not like the system for three reasons. #1) A small air leak can be very difficult to locate where as a hydraulic leak will show easy with leaking fluid leaving evidence of a leak. #2) The coach is not as stable as hydraulic jacks. We have two 190 lbs. Great Dane/Mastiff mix dogs. When they move around at night (or anytime actually) in the coach you can feel the coach moving. #3) I do not care for the auxiliary small air compressor coming on the middle of the night. The coach is a 2008 Dynasty that had 26,000 miles on it when we bought it 1 1/2 years ago. It sat too long without much use. That is hard on any machine. Things dry out and seals leak. I have repaired/fixed 28 air leaks to date. Monaco built a beautiful coach and pretty well made but to use the cheap quick connect fittings was a mistake. I am replacing every fitting/connection with brass DOT approved compression fittings. I will most likely be preplacing every airbag as well. I like the simplicity of the idea of using a system already on the coach to level it. In theory it is great, in reality not so much. We very rarely stay in RV parks. We boondock 95% of the time so the ground is seldom flat or level. I wish the coach had both air and hydraulic jack leveling system. I am not sure it is worth the money to add hydraulic jacks at this time with the economic crash on the horizon.

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As far as finding leaks, I go against the norm and us a electronic leak detector. If you can't see the soap bubbles up behind a fitting you don't find the leak.

 I got mine on Amazon about four years ago for $50 and it works great.

Tim

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Thanks for the reasoning, Bob. I can see how 2 human sized dogs would cause some movement. Our 120lbs sheppard dog made more noise than wiggling when walking on tiles. I replaced the sixpack seals and no more leaks, I also turn the leveling off once it is done. We boondock whenever possible as well and know what you mean but my only problem is thermo expansion/contraction with unevenly filled bags and that's easily corrected. I just like the simplicity of using what's already a necessity without much extra hardware, that's all.

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1 hour ago, Ivan K said:

Thanks for the reasoning, Bob. I can see how 2 human sized dogs would cause some movement. Our 120lbs sheppard dog made more noise than wiggling when walking on tiles. I replaced the sixpack seals and no more leaks, I also turn the leveling off once it is done. We boondock whenever possible as well and know what you mean but my only problem is thermo expansion/contraction with unevenly filled bags and that's easily corrected. I just like the simplicity of using what's already a necessity without much extra hardware, that's all.

Did you get a "seal kit" from Valid directly? Did you do the work and how was the task or have it done? On our last trip to Utah Bryce Canyon over the 4th the left rear bags would lose air within an hour. The weird part is the compressor would not kick on and the air pressure in the tanks would not drop. I totally agree that using what is already built onto the chassis to level is a great idea. On my other coaches with jacks I never lifted the coach off the ground to level. If things were that far off I would drive the coach on blocks to get it close then level with jacks. 

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Sorry Bob, we have HWH leveling so I can't help with Valid but here's got to be someone who can. The HWH orings replacement is quite simple and I would suspect the same with yours but I don't really know anything about Valid. No doubt someone will chime in. 

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18 hours ago, Nevada Rob said:

  On our last trip to Utah Bryce Canyon over the 4th the left rear bags would lose air within an hour. The weird part is the compressor would not kick on and the air pressure in the tanks would not drop.  

Are you leaving the levelling system in 'Auto mode' ( 2 green led's flashing)?

If so, the levelling system should have been waking up every couple of hours and adding air to that corner, using air from it's own small air tank, then the aux compressor filling that tank back up.

Have you ever heard the aux compressor running?

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5 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Are you leaving the levelling system in 'Auto mode' ( 2 green led's flashing)?

If so, the levelling system should have been waking up every couple of hours and adding air to that corner, using air from it's own small air tank, then the aux compressor filling that tank back up.

Have you ever heard the aux compressor running?

I do leave the  system on after leveling. The aux compressor comes on for about 5 seconds then goes off. It comes on every 4 or 5 hours for a few seconds. the other 3 corners stay up. I am going to plumb in a pressure gauge on the little leveling tank. The left rear does not lose pressure until the leveling system is activated.

 

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2 hours ago, Nevada Rob said:

I do leave the  system on after leveling. The aux compressor comes on for about 5 seconds then goes off. It comes on every 4 or 5 hours for a few seconds.  

 

That doesn't sound right. That compressor should start when the pressure in it's tank drops to 90psi, and fill the little tank to 120psi. On my coach, that takes 30 or 40 seconds.

Your left rear corner dropping only when you are leveled, and not at ride height, points to failed 'O' rings in the rear manifold. Same as Ivans.

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On 7/6/2022 at 12:03 PM, Nevada Rob said:

I am replacing every fitting/connection with brass DOT approved compression fittings.

Good move Bob.  I did the same thing with my coach.  Had many leaks and replaced with compression non-swivel connectors.  It seems most of my leaks were either at a swivel or push to connect connection.  When I bought the coach, the aux compressor was kicking on every 17 minutes.  After fixing all the leaks I could, it would then kick on every 2 hours.  Some improvement, but shouldn't have been that often since all leaks were fixed.  Then I discovered two other possibilities that you can't detect with leak detection.  

There are two inline check valves.  One for the aux compressor to keep air from leaking back out of the compressor.   And another one on the small surge tank that separates the leveling system from the main air tank system.  If these check valves are not seating, you can leak air out the compressor or into the main air tank system.  After I replaced those check valves, my aux compressor may kick on after about 4-5 days. 

This was not my issue, but I have read it has been for others.  The air connections at your park brake can leak.  Be sure to check those.

And your aux compressor only kicking on for 5 seconds may be a bad pressure switch.

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3 hours ago, Nevada Rob said:

I do leave the  system on after leveling. The aux compressor comes on for about 5 seconds then goes off. It comes on every 4 or 5 hours for a few seconds. the other 3 corners stay up. I am going to plumb in a pressure gauge on the little leveling tank. The left rear does not lose pressure until the leveling system is activated.

 

That 5s information is interesting. I would look to see if the check valve isn't reversed and all the compressor does is to ' inflate' the line.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Ivan K said:

That 5s information is interesting. I would look to see if the check valve isn't reversed and all the compressor does is to ' inflate' the line.

LOL!

I wouldn't put it past them 🙄!

Crack the drain mounted to the bottom of the small leveling tank. The compressor should start almost immediately. Completely drain the tank, and see how long it takes the compressor to fill it back up.

Should be well over a minute.

You probably already know, but the drain is a thumb screw that only takes 1/4 turn to fully open.

Edited by 96 EVO
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