Newell Gurus

Full Version: Steps to Rebuild a Six Pack Solenoid
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Gurus,

Tom has been making up rebuild kits for a while now (Discussed in this thread), and I have acquired and hauled a kit with me in case I ever have a six pack issue.  (All my solenoids got replaced right after I got the coach).   I am at Newell and have been fighting a weird air bag problem.   Long story short....I decided that the travel solenoids may be acting up...so I dug out Tom’s rebuild kit.  I found the kit and rebuilt the pair.  

Update:  I ended up rebuilding all six of the rear solenoids.  I found a fair amount of crud under two.  It seems to me that if you have air leaks you cannot find (especially small ones), you could inspect the six packs.

[CAUTION:  DO NOT GET UNDER YOUR COACH UNLESS COACH IS PROPERLY SUPPORTED AND CHOCKED]

Here are the steps I followed.... (Do one solenoid at a time so that you don’t mix up the connections).
1.  Mark the coil with a piece of tape showing the orientation.(Base<- -> Nut)
I have re-thought this and believe that the polarity does not matter.

2.  Dump the air in the system by turning off compressors, hit the down button on the leveling system and opening the petcock on the wet tank.    

3.  Remove the solenoid from the six pack.   The base screws into the manifold...simply unscrew.  I found the location of the travel solenoids to be tight, so I unscrewed the nut holding on the coil, and removed the coil.  That allowed me to get a pair of pliers on the base and loosen.

[attachment=7363][attachment=7364]

3.3 Measure the resistance of the coil.  The spec calls for 16 Ohms.  Mine were both around 14.4 Ohms.

3.5 Clean the manifold under the solenoid.

[attachment=7372]

4.  Use the little baby wrench from Tom’s kit to unscrew the spindle from the base.  On one of the two that I rebuilt, the wrench worked well...On the other I could not get it to budge.  I ended up wrapping the threads with a microfiber towel and using a pair of vice grips on the threads and a wrench on the knurled base. [Note that the spindle looks substantial but it is hollow.  Don’t crush it]  I was able to break it free without leaving marks on the threads.  Your mileage may vary.

[attachment=7365].  The piston is inside the spindle.   Note the condition of the blue center of the piston.
[attachment=7366]

5.  Remove the three O-rings.  (Two on the base and one at the bottom of the spindle).  I used a baby pick to remove the rings.   

6.  Clean up the O-ring channel grooves.

5.  Replace the three O-rings.  I used petroleum jelly to lubricate the rings.    Make sure the O rings are well seated and not twisted.  They should be smooth and almost flush with the channel.

6.  Reassemble the Solenoid.  Using the new piston.  (The piston only fits one way into the spindle)  Here is where I realized that I had created a problem.  Which way was the coil oriented when I removed it?   Who knows!   I believe that the coil is polarized and that it will only work correctly if oriented correctly.

[attachment=7368]

If you look closely at the picture, you will see that the wires come out of the coil at an angle.  This angle should be away from the base.  If you failed to mark it (like me)...you can look at the other remaining solenoids to figure it out.

7.  Reinstall solenoid and reconnect the wire.  Close the petcock on the wet tank and turn back on your compressors.  HWH warns not to over-tighten the solenoid.   The stem can break off in the manifold.

8.  Test the leveling system.  

Full disclosure:  I bought a couple of new complete solenoids and installed those in my coach (I did not want to introduce a new problem in case my rebuild did not go well)   I rebuilt the old ones and installed them on a piece of cardboard to protect the O-rings.

[attachment=7369]

Bonus dog picture

[attachment=7370]

Thanks to Tom for making the rebuild kits.  New solenoids are $130 each from Newell...so the rebuild kit is really the way to go.

Cheers,
Bill
Nice post, I might add that lower your coach all the way and exhaust all the air from the air bags and supply before beginning. Otherwise you WILL exhaust the air when you take the solenoid out. (And probably wet your pants in the process)
Good point, Richard!

I also failed to mention that I found some light grit and corrosion on the manifold under the travel solenoids. Do yourself a favor and clean that up before reinstalling the rebuilt solenoid.

(I updated the original post to include Richard’s thought)

Bill
While at it, replace ALL swivel fittings and quick disconnects, they randomly fail at the joint, typically away from any source of repair and wreck havoc on your aux compressor.