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Old 07-11-2019, 09:00 AM   #1
foszoe
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landing gear engages intermittently

I kept thinking it was moving slowly but today something different happened and i know I have an issue.

the motor would engage for a bit then it would keep running but it sounded like a machine gun. I suspect its intermittently engaging the gears. I just bought a crank and the crank works fine although I would hate to crank the gear down with that handle away from home!

I did notice the motor and the gear box are quite loose and bouncing around. I will start with that.

I hope since the handle works, the gearbox is fine and its just the play is allowing the motor to slip.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
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gearbox for the motor looks fine too.

After I raised it up a few inches. It started "working" in that it raised the trailer but about every 10-12 seconds I heard that rat a tat tat sound again.

Plugged the fifth wheel into the truck with the truck running to make sure had good 12V source.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:57 PM   #3
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Checked Battery voltage and it was 13.24. I had 11.94V at the motor leads. I think the motor has lost its ummphhh

Ordering a new one.
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:06 AM   #4
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And now I wonder if its the gears inside the landing gear legs...

By the end of the year, I should open an RV shop
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:15 AM   #5
foszoe
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An etrailer expert emailed that the voltage at the motor needs to be at 12V or the motor will not be able to crank.

I neglected to say that the 11.94V was under load. Without engaging the switch, I had 12.93V at the motor leads.

The battery is less than a month old. I did check the water levels last night and topped them off a little with distilled water.

I am still leaning to it being the motor.

I found one youtube video that exactly matched the sound I am hearing,

but it was posted so others could solve the problem and as such didn't help me diagnose.

I have read that a Venture tech said those motors have an internal clutch which can be responsible for that clicking sound and once it starts every repetition further wears the clutch.

The motor also grows quite warm under load.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:25 AM   #6
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I wanted to put the fully extended and fully retracted stop marks on my landing gear as several suggest here on the forums to prevent the motor from damaging that nut.

So I went out the the trailer and disengaged the motor, then I hand cranked it all the way up until the resistance greatly increased. I then cranked it back down 10 rotations and placed a mark around the inner leg with a sharpie. I went to the passenger side and discovered that the outer leg was still down about 4" compared with about 3/4" on the drivers side. The passenger side showed severe signs of oxidation so I am certain this is an inherited problem with buying it used from the dealer.

My next course of action is to disengage the shaft that runs to the follow leg and retract it. I then plan to make a mark on the follow leg for full retraction.

Then I will manually crank it down to full extension and make a mark on both legs.

If after parking it a few times, I see the marks are not matching up, I suspect I have a gear issue in the follow leg.

I think I will fully extend the outer legs then fully extend the inner leg on the drivers side until it makes ground contact then with the inner leg fully retracted on the passengers side place a jack under the inner leg.

With the trailer hitched to the truck, see if I can place a jack under the passenger side and exert just enough force to raise the driver's side foot off the ground. This should tell me if the worm screw is OK, the leg is capable of holding weight and point to it being a gear issue.

Would anyone agree with me or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:44 AM   #7
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I'm not sure how heavy your trailer is or how much weight your landing gear is rated to support. If, for example, your pin weight is 3000 pounds and your landing gear (2 jacks) are rated at 4000 pounds, then raising them "together" will support the entire pin weight.

You may damage your landing gear by putting a jack under one side and raising it by putting the entire 3000 pounds on a gear set that's rated for 2000 pounds (half of the total 4000).

So, depending on your trailer pin weight, landing gear maximum weight ratings and how they stack up, you could "overload one side" and damage the gear set or the jack mount if you put too much weight on that side by lifting the total pin weight with a jack under the pad.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:49 AM   #8
foszoe
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The aha! I disconnected the drive shaft and used it to crank the passenger gear down from where it stopped and then back up. It stopped again and would go no further.

I am pretty sure its bent.
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Old Today, 07:02 AM   #9
foszoe
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An update:

I had already ordered a new motor (a 7140 rpm vs the 5500 rpm that was installed) and then I discovered the bent leg. So I went ahead and ordered two new legs and a new landing gear. I figured I might as well start off fresh.

I don't know if any of this will help anyone, but with the old legs installed, the old motor was drawing 30 amps to energize and over 2 to run the legs.

With the new motor, gear, and legs, it pulls 29-30 amps to energize then less than 1 amp.

The rocking and rolling of the motor and gear assembly is almost all gone. It was moving all over the place before. Now there is just a hint of the old motion.

I plan to keep the old landing gear as "emergency parts".

She lifted off the hitch fine, she leveled fine. I am going to install a levelmate Pro next and then, perhaps I have spoken too soon, raise her up to hitch level. If that all goes as planned. I'll consider myself qualified to answer basic questions about landing gear

I did have to dig a hole under the bent leg because it jutted out 4 inches.

I also marked my outer legs at fully extended, 5, 10, 15 inches and fully retracted. I marked my inner legs at top hole, and 5,10, 15 inches.

A word of warning. I ordered the legs off Amazon. The follow leg had grease zerks so I was happy, then I opened the lead leg. It didn't so I was sad. Oh well
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