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Old 09-21-2018, 06:55 PM   #1
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Tongue jack sticking

I have a 2015 Escape 21 and just recently the tongue jack began getting very hard to turn. In fact now it is almost impossible to raise. I haven't hit the jack on anything either. After searching the forum for a solution (could not find one) I am asking if anyone with a similar tongue jack has had a similar problem and lubricated their jack? I gather that ETI now uses tongue jacks with a grease nipple on the backside. I did not see one unless it is under the silver cap.

Thanks in advance,

Bob K
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Old 09-21-2018, 08:08 PM   #2
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I made an adaptor shaft so I could use my electric drill. Didn't like it and switched back.

Basically it's a metal on metal under load and without grease it's going to get harder and harder to turn until it galls up.

Pull the pin, take the shaft out and lube it up. Should be trouble free for a long while.

Ron
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help, Ron. I haven't been able to get out and work on it yet due to RAIN, RAIN, RAIN!

Bob K
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Old 09-23-2018, 01:54 PM   #4
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No kidding about the rain and, living at the base of a mountain, I think we got even more over here.

Your bottom photo shows most of the problem. The front side of shaft has a minimal bushing but the rear part of the shaft just passes through a drilled hole. No bearing or bushing, just the edge of the hole. In time, running dry, metal on metal, but it will also wear the hole edges and shaft. It could get so sloppy that the gear jumps teeth.

Sun is on its way.

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Old 09-23-2018, 06:46 PM   #5
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The one on our 2013 model is getting hard to crank, but only for part if its travel. I pulled that top cap off while on our last trip and did what I could to lube the gears and "bearings" in that upper area, but I think the issue in ours is dry threads on the jack screw inside. I plan to pull it off and see if I can get it apart enough to lube the threads.

I considered just switching it out for an electric one, but after reading reviews on Amazon for what I believe is the one ETI installs, I think I'll keep cranking for as long as I can.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:03 PM   #6
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Definitely also cleaning and lubing the lead screw would be a good idea.

I bought an electric one, probably rated way too high. Held it up to the trailer and thought that it was way overkill for what's needed. I decided that when it's properly lubed up it's not really that big a deal to give it a few cranks by hand.

Ron
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:52 PM   #7
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The jack on my trailer (same jack as yours) got stiff to crank, and I contacted ETI for lube advice. They said to take the cap off and lube the crank gear, did not say anything about the threaded shaft inside. Eventually my jack failed and I got the newer jack with grease nipple from ETI.

The newer jack has a lower gear ratio (more turns per inch of lift), so cranks easier, but more turns for the same lift. Takes longer than with the old jack.

I recall looking at YouTube videos showing how to disassemble and lube a jack, unfortunately I looked for them after my old jack died. I think you need to support the trailer tongue, then remove the jack from the trailer so you can pull the shaft out.
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Old 09-24-2018, 03:38 PM   #8
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I just took ours apart, which turns out to be pretty simple. I let the tongue down on a couple of jack stands and removed the three screws that hold it on. On the bench, I figured out the jack wouldn't crank apart (which is probably a good thing) so I removed the top cover to expose the gears. The gear on the crank shaft is held by a press fit pin (the one with knurling around it). The pin is also restrained by a circlip that was easy to move to the side. So the circlip gets peeled off to the side, then the pin can be tapped out with a punch. With the pin out of the crank, it all comes apart with no more tools required. In our case, the main screw is coated with dried out, dust-filled grease that is probably worse than nothing. Tomorrow, I'll degrease everything, apply fresh grease, and re-assemble. Not really a bad job after five years of service. Photos attached.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I considered just switching it out for an electric one, but after reading reviews on Amazon for what I believe is the one ETI installs, I think I'll keep cranking for as long as I can.
The manual jack is a good workout. Not sure what ETI installs currently, but if one were considering a change to a power tongue jack they'd be wise to have the Barker 3500 on the list.

https://www.barkermfg.com/vip-3500.html
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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... I think you need to support the trailer tongue...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
I let the tongue down on a couple of jack stands ...
Jackstands under each side of the tongue work well, but you could also just lower the front stabilizers until they touch ground (don't try to lift with them, then retract the tongue jack enough to lift the foot off the ground. The front jacks have far more capacity than required, and the trailer will be stable and well-supported.
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