Jacks popping AFTER adding anti-stiction fluid

David-and-Cheryl

Well-known member
A few years ago I solved the “popping” sound problem with my Lippert Level-Up system by adding CAT Hydraulic Oil Additive anti-stiction fluid. It took 2 quarts, but the problem was almost eliminated.

About six months ago, the popping noise returned. Lippert recommends changing the hydraulic fluid every three years, which I’d never done. So I retracted all the hydraulics, removed all the old fluid from the reservoir, added 2 new quarts of CAT additive and about 4 1/2 quarts of ATF, to the full line on the reservoir. Ran slides and jacks a few times to mix the fluids.

The system was silent for about a week, but then the popping returned! And it seems to be even worse now. It’s most noticeable early in the morning and after sundown when the temperature is changing rapidly (we are in AZ, where 40-50° temperature swings during the day are not uncommon), but it also happens when we’re moving around inside the RV.

Is there anything else I can do to eliminate this noise?


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centerline

Well-known member
I dont know why the jacks are popping, but all dextron3, 4 and 5 trans fluids have friction modifiers in them, as well as "tractor" hydraulic fluid..... if you think the friction modifiers in the CAT fluid is the cure, you can buy friction modifier at any autoparts store much cheaper than the cat fluid, and add more to it....
the system doesnt work using clutch packs or brakes to operate, so there is little chance of getting too much modifier in the system...

I would look closely for a bent cylinder ram.... or cracked weld or loose bolts or some other reason for the popping sound, as a cylinder will usually only develop a popping or chattering after being slightly bent and binding...

a cracked weld or loose bolts can cause popping at anytime the leg is loaded or unloaded, but not always.....
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
I believe Lippert determined the popping to be caused by micro-movement of the landing jacks. Apart from anti-stiction fluid, some other possible ways to improve:


  • Add Snap Pads
  • Shorten the extension of the jacks by adding blocks underneath - wood or plastic.
  • Place thin plastic cutting board mats under the jacks. A few $ at Walmart or Amazon.
 

David-and-Cheryl

Well-known member
I would look closely for a bent cylinder ram.... or cracked weld or loose bolts or some other reason for the popping sound, as a cylinder will usually only develop a popping or chattering after being slightly bent and binding...

a cracked weld or loose bolts can cause popping at anytime the leg is loaded or unloaded, but not always.....

Good thing to check. In my case though, at least three of the six jacks are popping (the two front ones and one of the middle ones), so I'm guessing it's probably something systemic.

- - - Updated - - -

I believe Lippert determined the popping to be caused by micro-movement of the landing jacks. Apart from anti-stiction fluid, some other possible ways to improve:


  • Add Snap Pads
  • Shorten the extension of the jacks by adding blocks underneath - wood or plastic.
  • Place thin plastic cutting board mats under the jacks. A few $ at Walmart or Amazon.
Very interesting. I'd seen in some other threads that people reported the problem went away after adding Snap Pads, but not everyone had success, and nobody seemed to know why. This would seem to be especially plausible because we're currently parked on concrete. I don't remember the noise being this bad when we've been on grass or gravel, where those micro-movements would meet with less resistance.

This afternoon I put concrete blocks under each jack, so they're now extended only about 2-3". That won't allow them to move like wood or plastic would, though. We'll see what happens. We're on our leased lot right now, so this may be only a temporary solve...we can't take the concrete blocks with us when we're traveling. If the blocks don't work or if the problem continues at other locations, I'll probably try the Snap Pads.

Thanks as always Dan.
 

Flick

Well-known member
A few years ago I solved the “popping” sound problem with my Lippert Level-Up system by adding CAT Hydraulic Oil Additive anti-stiction fluid. It took 2 quarts, but the problem was almost eliminated.

About six months ago, the popping noise returned. Lippert recommends changing the hydraulic fluid every three years, which I’d never done. So I retracted all the hydraulics, removed all the old fluid from the reservoir, added 2 new quarts of CAT additive and about 4 1/2 quarts of ATF, to the full line on the reservoir. Ran slides and jacks a few times to mix the fluids.

The system was silent for about a week, but then the popping returned! And it seems to be even worse now. It’s most noticeable early in the morning and after sundown when the temperature is changing rapidly (we are in AZ, where 40-50° temperature swings during the day are not uncommon), but it also happens when we’re moving around inside the RV.

Is there anything else I can do to eliminate this noise?


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A reasonable alternative to snap pads is a DIY option that I’ve been using for several years. They are made from horse stall material that you can purchase at Tractor Supply or any farm and ranch store. You could cut out squares and put them under each foot to cushion the jack to see if they help.
My picture may be sideways. Don’t know why. Thank you Mr. Jim B. for fixing my last sideways picture. Lol.


. image.jpg
 

CoveredWagon

Well-known member
A reasonable alternative to snap pads is a DIY option that I’ve been using for several years. They are made from horse stall material that you can purchase at Tractor Supply or any farm and ranch store. You could cut out squares and put them under each foot to cushion the jack to see if they help.
My picture may be sideways. Don’t know why. Thank you Mr. Jim B. for fixing my last sideways picture. Lol.
View attachment 65256

OMG you got fancy. I just cut the stall mat into 12inch squares. I Use then everywhere especially under tires wine the rv is in storage.
 

rclogg

Member
Horse Mats: we use the complete mats under ours in storage, six mats cover us tire to landing gear, keeps us off the damp ground. Popping noises, we been stationary for three month in SW Florida and I find if I relevel about ever two weeks there is no popping. Retract the rear jacks and the auto level, take about 5 min. Yes I did put in the additive but it came back after sitting two weeks.
 

NYSUPstater

Well-known member
At 1st, I wasn't sure how to read the topic heading, but upon reading, see now what OP is talking about. Our BC does the same thing and have no clue as to what it is/was. Coach never seemed to go out of level, yet still "pops" on occasion. Have wooden blocks under the rear jacks, but nothing more than a 2x6 under front ones. For those that use the horse mats, you are saying you don't get the popping noises? Would they work in conjunction w/ wooden blocks?
 

Flick

Well-known member
At 1st, I wasn't sure how to read the topic heading, but upon reading, see now what OP is talking about. Our BC does the same thing and have no clue as to what it is/was. Coach never seemed to go out of level, yet still "pops" on occasion. Have wooden blocks under the rear jacks, but nothing more than a 2x6 under front ones. For those that use the horse mats, you are saying you don't get the popping noises? Would they work in conjunction w/ wooden blocks?

Won’t guarantee results. But to answer your question, they could be used in conjunction with any leveling blocks already in place. They are very tough but still give some level of give because they are ground up and compressed rubber. They absorb vibrations. Would have to be put directly under the jack foot.

They are usually sold in 4’x6’x3/4” sheets and cost around $50. They can be sawed with a table saw or circular saw but be very careful. The rubber likes to grab every now and then.
 
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travelin2

Pennsylvania Chapter Leaders-retired
Won’t guarantee results. But to answer your question, they could be used in conjunction with any leveling blocks already in place. They are very tough but still give some level of give because they are ground up and compressed rubber. They absorb vibrations. Would have to be put directly under the jack foot.

They are usually sold in 4’x6’x3/4” sheets and cost around $50. They can be sawed with a table saw or circular saw but be very careful. The rubber likes to grab every now and then.

A handheld power jig saw works best to cut them. Narrow blade ...


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centerline

Well-known member
At 1st, I wasn't sure how to read the topic heading, but upon reading, see now what OP is talking about. Our BC does the same thing and have no clue as to what it is/was. Coach never seemed to go out of level, yet still "pops" on occasion. Have wooden blocks under the rear jacks, but nothing more than a 2x6 under front ones. For those that use the horse mats, you are saying you don't get the popping noises? Would they work in conjunction w/ wooden blocks?

The popping is due to the hydraulic fluid trapped in the jack cylinder expanding and contracting with the changing temperatures of the atmospheric conditions.. its usually due to the cylinders having a side load on them, which causes binding,and when the pressure get high enough to overcome the pressure of the binding, it pops and releives the pressure for awhile...a small accumulator could prevent it, but as an accumulator is balanced to the system, it would cause other issues when ever the weight on the landing legs changed...... the best way to prevent or minimize the popping is to make sure the wheels are chocked well and that any lateral stress is supported only by the tires/chocks, and that the landing legs are only supporting the vertical weight of the trailer, without being sideloaded...
The soft pads under the landing feet allow a place for the popping stress to be absorbed into, so even though it can still pop, it will be dampened considerably...
 

Flick

Well-known member
A handheld power jig saw works best to cut them. Narrow blade ...


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Absolutely any of the saws or blades mentioned would work to cut the mats. However, I had to have a lower piece, an upper piece with a square hole and 8 @ 1” wide pieces for spacers. The upper and lower pieces are 8 sided. All pieces were drilled and bolted together. All of that times 6 for the 6 jacks. I had to have a method for my madness that would be somewhat easier. Hence, the table saw saved me along with my crosscut table saw.

I have been using these for several years now and they have worked flawlessly. Only one I had to replace was a center one that bottomed out in a ditch and it was ripped off.
 

DickO

Well-known member
Well, I have tried everything. Added 2 quarts of Cat, use Snap Pads, have changed oil. Still popping from all 6 jacks. I have concluded it is from our AZ temperature change. The more change the louder the popping.:confused:
 
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