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Old 07-02-2020, 01:07 AM   #1
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Default Please help! Hydraulic system

I inherited a 1993 Towlite Hi lo and the system is a mess! There is a battery not connected and hydraulic cylinder not connected and wires and I have no idea where to begin?

My questions are

1. Can I raise/lower without the system working?
2. How do I hook up the system to see if it even works?
3. Should I even bother trying this myself?

Thank you for all of your help in advance
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Old 07-02-2020, 08:40 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome! Everything is well within the capabilities of a Do-It-Yourselfer with average mechanical and electrical abilities and knowledge. You will have to judge your abilities yourself.

If the hydraulic system is not connected, you will have to raise the top manually, possibly with the help of four strong neighbors or four farm jacks.

The battery is easy to connect. There are just two battery cables and they are normally color-coded. Red is positive, black is negative. I can't help you with other wiring without knowing which ones you are talking about.

Pictures would help us help you.

- Jack
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thank you for your reply I will post pictures later today when I get home!

As far as lifting it does it stay up once you get some people to help you or will it go back down?

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Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
Hi and welcome! Everything is well within the capabilities of a Do-It-Yourselfer with average mechanical and electrical abilities and knowledge. You will have to judge your abilities yourself.

If the hydraulic system is not connected, you will have to raise the top manually, possibly with the help of four strong neighbors or four farm jacks.

The battery is easy to connect. There are just two battery cables and they are normally color-coded. Red is positive, black is negative. I can't help you with other wiring without knowing which ones you are talking about.

Pictures would help us help you.

- Jack
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Old 07-02-2020, 02:48 PM   #4
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Jake, if the top was not lifted by the hydraulic system, you would need to support it with 4-2x4s cut to the same length that you would place between what we call the "outriggers" (the little steel supports the top is resting upon when down) and the top. The four I have are 26" long, which is not quite long enough to hold the top fully up, but they supported the top when I needed to adjust the lifting cable lengths. I THINK that 28" would probably hold the top very near the full up position.

You don't need to have the top fully up though to work inside or in the battery compartment. You'd have to be careful to not cut the 2x4s too long.

- Jack
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:13 PM   #5
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Thinking of that, is it possible your trailer has a working manual lift? This is a receptacle on the pump that you stick a rod into. Then, you simply move the rod back and forth to manually lift the top. The manual lift is an optional piece of equipment you may or may not have.

I think this alternate lift may be described in one of the video manuals in this forum. You should go through them all in any case. The first one (an introduction) is in Post #3 of this thread: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-youtube-1233/ and then each one that follows covers a specific feature of the HiLo trailer. I know it covers a later model than your, but, as I said, things did not change much over the years.

There are also several threads in the forum that discuss the manual lift.

I haven't found an owner's manual for your model year, but here's one for the 95 model: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-towlight-621/ Things don't change much between model years, so it should describe your trailer pretty well.

- Jack
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Old 07-02-2020, 09:48 PM   #6
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Here are some current photos. Again I warn you it was not taken care of at all for the past few years at least

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Thinking of that, is it possible your trailer has a working manual lift? This is a receptacle on the pump that you stick a rod into. Then, you simply move the rod back and forth to manually lift the top. The manual lift is an optional piece of equipment you may or may not have.

I think this alternate lift may be described in one of the video manuals in this forum. You should go through them all in any case. The first one (an introduction) is in Post #3 of this thread: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-youtube-1233/ and then each one that follows covers a specific feature of the HiLo trailer. I know it covers a later model than your, but, as I said, things did not change much over the years.

There are also several threads in the forum that discuss the manual lift.

I haven't found an owner's manual for your model year, but here's one for the 95 model: https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49...-towlight-621/ Things don't change much between model years, so it should describe your trailer pretty well.

- Jack
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:27 AM   #7
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Jack & Jake, First photo shows there is no manual lift option added, but I'm a bit confused about the two hydraulic fittings on top pf the pump. If the one that is connected to the pump is rigid and the disconnected one is flexible, then the top should be able to raised when the wiring is sorted out. The flexible line is just static, thus no pressure.
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Old 07-03-2020, 07:53 AM   #8
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Hello! Thank you for helping.

If you are referring to the black cable in the picture it looks like it’s connected to the pump however it’s not that cable is disconnected as well and just has two small wires in.
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Old 07-03-2020, 11:12 AM   #9
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Tree, Jake and any others reading this: I can see I'm out of my depth here. As Tree said, I noticed there was no manual lift capability in the pump, and I found the manual lowering release, but, that's about all that I recognize in this mess.

Jake, I think Tree is referring to the two large elbow fittings on the top of the pump. The one on the left is partially obscured by the stainless anchor strap and I can't tell if it is connected to anything or not. It looks to me as though that should be connected to a hydraulic line that goes to the lifting ram. The other, to its right should also be connected to a hydraulic line. Now, one of them delivers pressure to the ram to lift the top, the other is simply a static, no pressure, return line. I don't know which is which. Possibly someone with a trailer of this vintage could help?

I also see that the solenoid that supplies power to the lifting motor seems to be totally disconnected from any electrical source. That would have to be corrected also and someone having that trailer's vintage could help too.

I wonder about the condition of the hydraulic fluid. I suspect it is likely badly contaminated.

- Jack
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:51 PM   #10
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Jake, what's in the black, flex looking cover? Is it a rigid tube? One of those tubes goes directly to the cylinder, street-side. At the other end of the cylinder there should be a (nearly) clear plastic hose that runs back to the reservoir. As Jack says, this tube is static, no pressure. But it does tell you, you may have in internal leak from the cylinder if it's full of fluid.
The heavy gauge red cable is usually the positive cable to the battery. I presume the black one goes to the negative side.
After that, I wouldn't begin to tell you which wire goes where without being there to follow them. unfortunately, wire diagrams are sketchy at best. Better off finding a friend to help you there.
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