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Old 10-25-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Seems that front landing jack problems have been apopular subjectlately so here is another one.

When I am raisng my jacks to remove the trailer from thetruck I get a clicking sound from the gear box when I get the trailer almost raised high enough to get it off the hitch. It doesn't do it when in a lower position and it doesn't do it if I continue to raise it after I get it off the truck. So I am not at the top of the travel! The motor and gear box assywhich is pretty loose (moves around a lot when torque is applied) jumps each time the gear box clicks. It is almost like the clutch sound we get when we bring the slides in all the way, but much slower. Or like it is skipping a tooth on a gear, but only under these conditions. I have no idea what the insides of the gear box or the jack gear look like.



So my questions are:

1. Has anyone had this problem and if so what was the fix?

2 .My motor and gear box assembly is loose. I can move it around by hand and can't see any way to tighten it up. It appears to be designed to float? What does yourmotor and gear box assembly do? Is it loose?

3. Does anybody know what the insides of this assembly look like? Had one apart? Got any drawings or links to drawings? I couldn't find anything on Lippert site.

4. Does this thing have a clutch?



It is working now but since the clicking just started I worry that something is going wrong. I am a do it yourselfer so if there is any way I can fix it I will. Plus my dealer is 60 miles away and my warranty expired 7 months ago.

Kurt
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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The only thing I can think of is that you may be lifting to much of the truck's weight and overloading the clutch. I never lift my trailer off of the hitch completely before I pull the truck away from the trailer. My pin box always drops an inch or so as I come off the hitch. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:35 PM   #3
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Dale, Thanks for the feedback. I considered that since it doesn't do it when raising after it is away from the truck. I raise it until I can see a gap starting between the the pin box teflon ring and the hitch and before the bottom of the pin raises to the claw that locks the the pin in. So it seems that I am never actually lifting any of the trucks weight unless the pin is catching somewhere that I can not see. Maybe that is it. But it just started and I haven't changed my procedure for unhooking.

You mentioned a clutch. Do you know for sure that it has a clutch. If it does I would worry less as that would mean the jacking assembly is probably just doing it's job.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:40 PM   #4
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Kurt don't know if it really has a clutch. I think it is a similar servo motor to what is used on the slides, so it is whatever slips to make the racheting noise that you hear.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
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Kurt, I don't think the motor has a clutch. I lift my rig the same as you. As soon as the pin lifts just off the hitch plate, I drive the truck away. As for the motor, they are mounted on rubber so they are designed to flex. Mine moves quite a bit, especially upon initial startup.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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I have all the above problems with mine. I'll keep following this post.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:03 AM   #7
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I never looked close, but I would think that the jacks are a rack & pinion system. It could be a bad spot on the rack since it always does it in the same position. I would try some blocks under the jack legsand see if it does it. At least you could eliminate a rack problem then.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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Am I missing something here??? I don't think that my landing gear moves more than about 3 to 4 inches when I'm unhitching or hitching our 30SK.The only time that I've ever heard the landing gear drive make the ratching sound is when the DW retracted them too far up after we hitched up. Normally, we extend the landing gear about 1 to 2 inches from the towing position, and then drop the extension legs and raise the 5vr about 2 to 3 inches to take the weight off of the truck and slightly clear the plate.At no timehas there ever been any ratching sound. By the way, the gear mechanism on our 30SK flops about when it's running. Edited by: Hamops
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:49 AM   #9
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Thanks guys for the feedback, Sounds like the flopping gear mechanism is normal.



CamperNJ Actually the clicking doesn't always happen with the jacks in the same place. Depends on where I happen to be unloading.SometimesI start out with the jacks lower, as when I know Iam parking on a slopedspace where the back of the space is higher than the front and I know I will have to raise the front end a lot to make the trailer level. I alsoinitially thought the jacks were rack and pinion, but when you look at where the drive shaft from the gear box goes into the jack (only about 2 inches from the top of the jack) it makes you wonder how that would work. The top of the jackis blanked off so if the drive shaft has the pinion gear on it and the jack shaft has the rack, you would only have about 2 inches of travel before you would be off the end of the rack. It makes sense that it would be some sort of rack and pinion system to hold all of that weight butit's apparently not the simplistic rack and pinion that I am familiar with. Sure wish someone that has seen the insides of one of these things would come on and explain it!

George, the travel on your jacks sounds about right. I have to lift mine about 2 !/2 to 3 inches to get it off the truck and then if I am on a fairly level spot I have to drop it back down about 5to 6inches to get the trailer level since my trailer rides about 3 inches high in the front when hitched on the the truck.

Two of you, Cwit and Hampos mentioned that you have also had the racheting sound at least once and I assume your jacks are still working. So maybe it is a built in safety mechanism to keep us from burning out the motor. If the racheting mechanism is controlled by spring pressure maybe mine and Cwits springs are weaker than they should be and are allowing it to rachet. Mine by the way seems to click or rachet one time per turn of thegear shaft but it still keeps lifting the trailer. It doesn't just keep racheting and stop moving like themechanism for the slides.

Keep em coming maybe we can collectively figure this thing out.

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Old 10-26-2009, 12:01 PM   #10
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I never really thought about it but I agree rack and pinion doesn't seem right. Maybe it's a jack screw that's mounted to the top of the inner jack leg and it just spins which would raise/lowerthe jack leg.Another question iswhen replacing the motor can you simply remove the motor or would that release the tension on the legs and drop the 5er????
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #11
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AAAHH, Stan you win the prize! I gave up on the Lippert website and just went to the Venture mfg website as mylanding gear box said Venture on it. Low and behold I found a drawing of the jack leg and its internal parts. Itdoes havea jacking screw mounted inside the internal landing leg. It is driven by 2 bevel gears, one on the gear box output shaft and one on the top end of the jacking screw. So mystery solved on how it works.

But the jury is still out on why it is clicking or ratcheting. I also got a drawing of the gear box and it doesn't clearly show any clutch mechanism and it doesn't have a parts list on the PDF. So I emailed them to ask if it has a clutch and I will follow up with a phone con tomorrow and see if I can talk to a technician about this whole thing.

Stan, since it is a jack screw I don't think the leg would go anywhere when the motor is removed. The whole weight ofthe frontof the rig would be pushing down on thejack screws with no rotational torque to turn the screws. But the faint of heart could hook up to the truck to be sure.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:08 PM   #12
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I think I would hook up to the truck while working on this

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Old 10-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #13
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I agree with Frank....Hook up to the truck!!!!



Thanks Kurt for the info. I think I will go to the website and print the info you described for my "book".
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:22 AM   #14
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I got an e mail back from Venture today and they said there is no clutch in our gear boxes for the landing gear. Unlike the slide gear box which does have a clutch.

There is no repair kit available for the landing gear box, but they will sell me a new one for $50.

I still don't know where the clicking is coming from. If it is a chipped tooth or something like that it could be in the gear box or it could be the bevel gears which are in the jacking screw mechanism.

Couldn't talk to the tech at Venture today to see what he thinks. I'll try getting ahold of him tomorrow.

I'm not ready to start throwing parts at it yet. It does still work!
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Old 10-28-2009, 08:10 AM   #15
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Are you sure that the clicking sounds you hear are not coming from the bushings? I can always tell when we need to grease the bushings (we replaced the plastic ones with bronze sleeves) when I start to hear that clicking sound.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:54 AM   #16
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OK I have the answer. I talked to the Venture technician today. Although the gear box does not have a clutch, the motor assembly DOES and that is what is clicking. The motor assembly(I think he called it a PK unit)is sold as a sealed unit For about $125. It is separate from the gear box and the gears in the leg assembly. There is no repair kit for the motor unit.

He said the clutch will slip or rachet when the motor is overloaded, as in running the leg all the way up to the stop or trying to lift your truck with the jacking gear. He also stated that the more you cause it to rachet the weaker it will get and the more it will happen. So in my case, I am not going to do anything at this time except make sure my pin is clear when I lift the trailer so I don't start lifting the truck.

It will never become a "getting stuck somewhere with the landing gear not working issue" because the gear will still work with the manual crank. The motor or the clutch could quit working and you can still crank it up or down by hand as the hand crank is attached to the jacking gear and screw.

So problem solved! Time to move on to the next gremlin.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:03 PM   #17
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Thanks for the detective work. Great information to have
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:06 PM   #18
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Excellent detective work! I was going to mention that the power jack on my flat bed trailer had a clutch built into the motor. I had to replace it once. And now that I took a quick peek back at mine. I see that there is no way it could be a rack &amp; pinion where the motor and gearbox are mounted.



I wonder if that motor is a standard. Similar to what they use on a regular trailer jack?



Also, I can here mine getting tight long before it ever starts ratcheting. Maybe you can listen for it.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:02 PM   #19
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Thanks for the info. I won't worry so much about it.
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