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Old 10-01-2016, 02:09 PM   #1
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Default Left Front Cable Snapped

My left front cable just snapped about two inches from where it attaches to the underside of the top. What now? I don't know if you spice a piece on or buy a cable. But where? Any suggestions. I was planning on going camping tomorrow.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:35 PM   #2
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Very sorry to hear that. Unless your going camping with several strong friends, you may have to put that off. Three or four friends to lift that section while you push the "up" button, then place a proper length of 2 x 4 or two under the top is a bit chancy. You can order a cable set/kit from J & R. The top must be separated from the bottom, etc. The operation is in "search" section. If you DO order the cable set/kit, double check your seal and the guide blocks in case you need any of that stuff. Better to do it all at once. Best of luck though.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips. I religiously lubricated the cables under the trailer but it didn't break under the trailer it broke a few inches above the attachment point on the top. I don't even know how you could lubricate where it broke. Do you need 2x4's or 4x4's to hold up the top?
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:39 PM   #4
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Johnnie, Sounds like your taking care of the cables, except the highest stress area. With the top in the up position (kinda mute now), there is a CAP BOARD. Inside, you'll see it by looking at the top of the lower wall. If you visually locate the cables outside, then remove that respective cap board, you'll see the upper pulley and cable. Several times a year (between outings) I put about 6 good drops of sewing machine oil on the outboard side of the pulley and about 20 drops to the inboard side. Then I lube any cables I can see/reach, lower the top and do any cables I can see/reach again. Hope this makes sense. In order to oil that high stress area you must remove those cap boards. Hope this helps now and in the future.
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie View Post
Thanks for the tips. I religiously lubricated the cables under the trailer but it didn't break under the trailer it broke a few inches above the attachment point on the top. I don't even know how you could lubricate where it broke. Do you need 2x4's or 4x4's to hold up the top?
Johnnie, you have to unscrew the trim piece over the top of the lower half from the inside (with the top up). There are several screws along that piece, once they are out you can lift the trim off and you have access to the upper length of cable and the pulleys that are there.

I've used 2x4s to support the top when I've adjusted the cables. I DON'T think you actually have to "separate" the two halves to insert a new cable. I think you could do it with the trim rail off to feed it down on both sides of the pulley.

Rather than several strong friends, you could also buy a farm jack to raise the unsupported corner.

I would actually make my own cable if I had to replace one, rather than buying a set that are pre-made. You can find appropriate cable and the needed fittings at places like Home Depot or ACE Hardware.

Edit: I see Treeclimber beat me to the post again. He's saying the same thing as me about access to the cable ends.

- Jack
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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Again thanks for all the tips. I found the trim cap. I found the 3/16 dia galvanized cable on line. But I don't know how I am going to put the fittings on the end of the cable that go through the frame behind the wheel well. Is there a modification like an eye bolt? The cable looks like it has threaded bolt attached to it(welded?). I also don't know how long the cables are. I plan on researching the proper swage tool and get some 2x4's. I have written a email to J&R but I don't even know if they sell parts. Their web site doesn't have much.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:33 PM   #7
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Again thanks for all the tips. I found the trim cap. I found the 3/16 dia galvanized cable on line. But I don't know how I am going to put the fittings on the end of the cable that go through the frame behind the wheel well. Is there a modification like an eye bolt? The cable looks like it has threaded bolt attached to it(welded?). I also don't know how long the cables are. I plan on researching the proper swage tool and get some 2x4's. I have written a email to J&R but I don't even know if they sell parts. Their web site doesn't have much.
Midget Trailer in Belleville, Ohio sells cables.
http://hilotrailerparts.webs.com/apps/webstore/
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:22 PM   #8
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I just got back from Lowes looking at cable. They have 3/16 galvanized steel cable for $0.50 per foot and 3/16 stainless steel for $0.58 per foot. I am curious, for $0.08 per foot more and given the corrosion issue, why wouldn't you use stainless steel for the lift cables? If I had a way to put the adjustment bolt on the end I would be using stainless steel. I imagine you could use a stainless steel eye bolt for adjustment but you would have to put another loop in the cable which could possibly create a weak point. The marine industry uses stainless steel everywhere. Has anyone used stainless? What's the issue besides cost?
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:04 PM   #9
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Johnnie - you ask a very good question!

I see nothing wrong with stainless steel cable as long as it has the same tensile strength as the other cable. I believe, that the original cables in a HiLo are "aircraft grade", (used to move control surfaces) so they are of a certifiable strength and resistance to fraying.

I think, as long as you use an eyelet at the cable end to go into the eye bolt (as in this picture): [http://image.shutterstock.com/displa...le-1018971.jpg there should not be any weakening of the cable.

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Old 10-02-2016, 09:41 PM   #10
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Default cable replacement

This is the document on cable replacement. It is fifteen pages with some color pictures. Cable replacement in my 1998 HiLo 24TD. 3-3-2010. A member of my HiLo club had to replace his cables on two different RVS. He only had to spend about $18.00 for parts. You can do this repair!!
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:22 PM   #11
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Johnnie - I believe this is the document sam is talking about. It's the .pdf file in the first post of this thread: http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f61/...1998-24td-125/ It shows how you can use 2x4s and an ordinary floor jack to raise the corner too.

Elsewhere, I ran across some comments about using stainless cable, and it looks to me that it should work. DO check the tensile strength though.

And, if a slightly heavier cable would fit in the pulleys properly, I don't see why that would not work either.

I would also leave the old cable in place to use as a guide, removing it as you thread the new one in.

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Old 10-03-2016, 05:17 PM   #12
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I wonder if using 2x4's when in the up position would make the cables last basically forever. They would only have pressure on them when lifting or lowering. I do it because I don't trust the cables or their attaching points anymore and I don't want to be in there when they give up.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:30 PM   #13
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I wonder if using 2x4's when in the up position would make the cables last basically forever. They would only have pressure on them when lifting or lowering. I do it because I don't trust the cables or their attaching points anymore and I don't want to be in there when they give up.
I thought about installing jacks like on a truck camper, would it work?
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:43 PM   #14
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I wonder if using 2x4's when in the up position would make the cables last basically forever. They would only have pressure on them when lifting or lowering. I do it because I don't trust the cables or their attaching points anymore and I don't want to be in there when they give up.
I don't know that there is added stress put on the cables when the top is up, but doesn't the safety bar prevent a catastrophic "fall" of the upper half?

Using 2x4s would certainly be an added safety measure, but they'd have to be cut so that they'd just barely squeeze in with the top fully up. And, unless you then lowered the top onto them to take all the strain off the cables, the cables would still be supporting the top unless there was "top creep". In either case, the bulb seal would no longer be meeting the "lip" at top of the bottom half.

I personally think an annual inspection and lube of the cables is a better solution. If any are frayed or rusty, they should be replaced.

And yes, I suppose jacks (something like farm jacks) at each outrigger to the top could work as well. You could possibly use four of the expandable "bars" that are sold to partition pickup truck beds that way too. You could screw them out to lengthen them enough to take most of the strain off the cables. Either of these would keep the seal between the two halves intact.

In either case, it seems an awful lot of extra junk to haul around.

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Old 10-04-2016, 04:08 PM   #15
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The saftey bar is only to prevent loss of hydraulic fluid from causing the top to lower, if the cable breaks or becomes disconnected the top is coming down at 9.8 m/sec squared. I raise the top, put in 4 2x4s and then lower the top onto the 2x4s taking all weight off the cables.
Truck camper lifts are really slow, and the electric ones expensive.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:26 PM   #16
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Up date. I ordered cables from J&R and they have been very helpful on the phone. I purchase a Farm Jack and have the top up with 2x4's supporting the top. Everything is level top and bottom. Ready to install the cables when they come. Thanks to everyone on the forum. I'll let everyone know when I am successful. The pdf on this forum has be a great tool.
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:57 AM   #17
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CAN SOMEONE TELL ME sorry how to wrap cable around the spring on the crankshaft? wrap it in between the spring towards the end or what? top up right now. i'm lost.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:42 AM   #18
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I'm sorry, maestro - I must be really stupid. I can't think of what you are asking about. There are no "springs" or "crankshafts" anywhere along the cable runs in my trailer as far as I know, and I've traced their path from one end to the other during periodic maintenance.

If you could post a picture of the parts you are talking about, I'm sure it would help someone to give you an answer to your question.

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Old 10-06-2016, 03:03 PM   #19
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I've installed the cables and the top is going up and down. The top is level when it is up. The cables are just snug when the top is down. But when the top is up in the locked mode I hit the down switch believing that I am taking tension off the cables and would suspect that they would just be snug like when the top is down. That's not the case. The cables feel like they have a load on them even though I hit the down switch after I am in the locked mode. Is this normal?
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Old 10-06-2016, 07:10 PM   #20
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I've installed the cables and the top is going up and down. The top is level when it is up. The cables are just snug when the top is down. But when the top is up in the locked mode I hit the down switch believing that I am taking tension off the cables and would suspect that they would just be snug like when the top is down. That's not the case. The cables feel like they have a load on them even though I hit the down switch after I am in the locked mode. Is this normal?
Johnnie, the owner's manual says to hit the "down" switch when the top is up to test that the safety bar has engaged. It DOES NOT say to leave the top ON the safety bar to take tension off the cables.

You should always leave the top in the uppermost position once you have performed the "safety test". This WILL leave tension on the cables. Personally, I don't think this tension is harmful, but if you wanted, you could put jacks, 2x4s or the pickup truck bed bars at each corner to relieve some of that tension if you needed to.

Good on ya for replacing the broken cable and replacing the others!

Be prepared to make some adjustments to correct cable stretch on the new cables.

- Jack
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