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Hydraulic lift system Hydraulic, mechanical and electrical components of the lift system
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Old 06-05-2022, 11:52 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help Troubleshooting Lift?

I picked up an old 1972 Hi Lo via an auction a couple years ago, and am finally getting into rebuilding it. After gutting the whole thing (previous owners had done some weird and strange things) and getting a new floor down, I'd turned to the electronics and installed a new battery, which led to testing the pump to make sure everything is copacetic.

It is not.

It has been raised for a couple years now sitting and the release seems to be firmly stuck, likely from the weight of the top resting on it (per several threads here). I went and grabbed more fluid and put in a little bit (per several threads here), but no instant success. I am way more computer-literate than mechanical, so I turn to my fellow HiLoans.

This is what each direction of the switch does: one way makes motor sounds but I see no movement either way and can't pull the release cable, the other makes some gurgling noises.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7q35sdo14v...0pump.mov?dl=0
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Old 06-06-2022, 10:32 PM   #2
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You wouldn’t need to pull release cable unless you are lowering it. Make sure you battery is good as well as connections and grounds etc.

Sorry I mis red your post. Try to get it to raise a bit to release cable. Does it have a manual pump on itt. If so, you can raise it a few inches that way to getweight off bar.
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Old 06-06-2022, 10:59 PM   #3
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I wonder if the safety bar has rusted and is binding due to corrosion? If so, some penetrating oil on the affected area should free it. I'm just guessing here, one of these days I'm going to have to get under the trailer and see how the safety bar actually works. Mine's never been a problem, so I've never really looked at it.

-Jack
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Old 06-06-2022, 11:23 PM   #4
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I haven’t come across any manual pump, but was considering trying to jack it up maybe? Not sure I have the right equipment for that, but if it just needs a little…

I’m grabbing some degreaser and spray lubricant tomorrow to hit the bottom. That should make it easier to see if I can see anything, and maybe free things up. I tried looking yesterday, but that’s also of course where the step is mounted, so you have to crawl all the way around from a different angle. In this case on gravel.
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:05 PM   #5
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Lightbulb

FIXED.

As I was driving for work all day I was thinking about the problem and the sounds the pump was making. I'd added a bit of fluid (but didn't want to overfill) and it would change the tone for a bit while "lifting" and I'd be able to hear some fluid moving when I hit the down switch.

Realizing that too much fluid would never be an issue if I couldn't get the damn thing down anyway I grabbed 2 more bottle on the way home, and then added the rest of the bottle I'd been working with (and mostly spilling) to start with.

It didn't raise, but the sound was more earnest, then I "Lowered" it and could hear air bubbling through the now excess fluid in the resovoir. I held it on release until I didn't hear anything, then hit lift again.

LIFE!

And the safety immediately released. Might have also helped I shot it up 3 times from above with PB Blaster yesterday and this morning.

I lowered it a bit to make sure I could, and it was a bit jerky, so I raised it back up and will spray all the tracks and exposed cables with lubricant, and probably continue with my plan to degrease and lube the mechanism underneath. THEN I'll lower it completely and deal with the reservoir fluid levels.
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Old 06-09-2022, 12:08 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure if you've overfilled the reservoir, that the excess will simply be pushed out of the top of the reservoir when the top is fully down. It will make a bit of a mess under the trailer, and maybe inside the trailer tongue, but it won't really hurt anything.

Congrats on getting the top to move though! YOU did it! It does kind of sound to me like the fluid level was too low to get the top to lift off the safety bar, and you fixed that.

- Jack
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Old 06-09-2022, 08:09 PM   #7
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I can attest to the fact that overfilling is not a serious issue, but you may want to put a pan or mat down under the pump casing before lowering. On me early 80s Tow Lite, I could only check the fluid with the top in the up position due to the design. I then filled it completely, not thinking about the fluid that was already in the system. Fortunately, I have a dirt driveway but it made quite the mess as the excess came out the overflow valve. After that, all was good.
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