Trailer Tongue Jack Repair
Trailer Tongue Jacks, sometimes also referred to as hitch jacks, are essential to the smooth handling of trailers.
They are found attached to the tongues of most trailers. The tongue of a trailer is the anterior metal beam that extends to connect it with the truck or towing vehicle.
What are these used for?
The tongue jack helps to raise or lower the hitch of the trailer, which makes it easy to connect the trailer to the towing vehicle.
This is particularly useful for larger-sized trailers and boats that cannot be easily lifted and connected to the towing vehicle by hand.
Also, they stabilize and keep the trailer level during the processes of loading and unloading. Additionally, a trailer tongue jack helps with parking or storage of a trailer as it provides extra support at the anterior end of the trailer.
Protecting Your Trailer Tongue Jack
Despite how useful these tongue jacks can be, sometimes, they’re left unused for weeks or even months at a time. Over time, their internal lubrication becomes ineffective and they become stiff and quite possibly seize up.
The moving parts of the jack are kept functional and smoothly running through adequate lubrication. Without proper maintenance, frequent use of the jack will cause wear and tear of its components and loss of function.
Even for a jack that has not been used in a long time, the problem of rust comes up necessitating repair and/or replacement of jack parts.
This work focuses on the repair of a malfunctioning mechanical trailer tongue jack.
Here’s all you need to know about this
Just as with other aspects of auto maintenance and repair, there are roles for the owner and there are roles for the professionals.
As a trailer owner, you need to acquaint yourself with the manufacturer’s guide on maintenance and repair of the trailer jack.
The following are the relevant steps to take for the maintenance and repair of your trailer’s tongue jack:
1. Disassemble the jack
With the trailer tongue attached to a towing vehicle to support it, remove the bolt that holds the jack to the trailer frame.
For some trailers, the jacks are welded to them, and can’t be detached completely. Using a taller jack to suspend the front of the trailer in this case will free the original jack to be worked on.
The next step is to separate the jack handle assembly from the jack body. This requires using a plier or a wrench to remove the bolt or pin that links both parts.
Slide the inner screw assembly out from the bottom of the outer tube of the jack body. This will reveal the bearings and washers at the top of the screw assembly.
Remove these bearings and washers.
2. Inspect and clean bearings/washers
These are the parts that are most likely to cause issues if poorly maintained. Proper maintenance here is quite extensive.
It involves the following:
- Checking for poor lubrication, accumulation of dirt, wears, and other forms of damage.
- Thoroughly cleaning the bearings and washers with mineral spirits.
- Cleaning out rust, and polishing with steel wool if necessary.
If any of these components are damaged beyond repair, then they’d have to be replaced entirely, with parts that are sourced from either the manufacturer or some other trusted vendor.
3. Clean up the tube
Clean out all dirt, rusts, and damaged lubricant on the tube. Also, rinse the interior with mineral spirits.
4. Check and fix the screw assembly
Also, clean out old lubricants and dirt from the screws. Apply adequate grease to the threads.
5. Reassemble the jack
Here’s how to reassemble the jack:
- Replace the washers and bearings on top of the screw assembly. The thicker of the two washers goes first, followed by the bearing, and finally the thinner washer.
- Slide the screw assembly back into the tubule of the jack body.
- Connect the handle of the jack back to the jack body.
- Affix the jack back to the trailer frame. If it’s welded, remove the taller jack, and lower the tongue to its initial position.
As you assemble them, make sure to add a coat of grease between the part below and the one above it.
6. Confirm functionality
Run the jack through its range of movement to confirm it’s been well fixed and is now functional.
Electric Tongue Jack Troubleshooting
An electric tongue jack is less likely to have issues than a manual jack.
Whenever an electric jack is not functioning well, the first step is to ensure that the battery is fully charged.
Also, test to see that power is getting to the motor. To do this, run a wire between the negative terminals of both the battery and the motor. If the motor works, then the issue is not with the motor but likely with the grounding.
Alternatively, the grounding may need to be replaced. If this doesn’t work, then the motor likely is faulty and would need replacement.
The components of an electric jack are also subject to similar problems with mechanical jacks. They may also need to be loosened, cleaned up, and greased.
Fortunately, some electric jacks come with cranks that allow for manual operation when the electric component is not functional.
It’s good to study the manuals that come with these jacks for specific instructions on how to use, maintain, repair, and troubleshoot.
Most jacks, including the camper jack, RV tongue jack, mobile home jacks in general, have similar parts.
Repair would generally involve dismantling the parts, cleaning out dirt, greasing the surfaces, changing damaged components, and recoupling the parts.
Call in the professionals
If you’ve tried all these, followed the guidelines in the manuals, but still can’t fix the faults with your jack, then it’s time to involve the experts.
At TLC Auto & Truck Repair Service Center, you have access to fully insure and ASE certified technicians to provide professional services including repairs and replacements of trailer tongue jacks and their parts. Come on over now.