5th wheel jaw wont retract?

Discussion in 'Heavy Duty Diesel Truck Mechanics Forum' started by zaroba, Mar 31, 2023.

  1. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

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    Pulled the handle, one of the jaws retracts, but not the other. I can reach in with my crowbar and easily wiggle it around so I know there's no pressure on it, but it doesn't seem to want to retract.

    Any thoughts?

    Is there a way to manually move that jaw like attaching a piece of wire to the other end of it to pull?
     
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  3. RubyEagle

    RubyEagle Medium Load Member

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    Happened on my old Volvo back in the day. You can use a long crowbar, stand above it say on the frame and jam it back in. Probably time for a new plate.
     
  4. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

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    Unfortunately I can't do that since I have a trailer attached. But, it just released when I cranked up the trailer as high as it would go, dumped my air bags, and pulled forward.

    Yet earlier at my reciever I drug the trailer forward off the dock trying to disconnect. Workers where about to go inside too, shame on them for not waiting for me to disconnect as I was instructed to do.
     
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  5. RubyEagle

    RubyEagle Medium Load Member

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    10-4. My handle was out but jaws were shut was trying to hook up to a van.
     
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  6. nikmirbre

    nikmirbre Road Train Member

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    @zaroba You get your truck going??
     
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  7. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

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    South East PA
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    You meam from that turbo issue at the start of the month? Yep. But I broke down again on Tuesday and just got going again today.

    It just died while driving across WA on i90. I had low fuel but shouldn't have been empty (300mi drive, 10k lb load, started with 1/4 fuel) so had 20 gallons brought (just to be sure) and after 4 hours of trying and another 20 gallons the truck still wouldn't start. Ended up getting towed 50 miles to kenworth.

    Few hours of them inspecting stuff, struggling to get the engine started and it refusing to stay running, they found one of my fuel line connections between the pumps and tanks was bad and letting air get sucked into the fuel system preventing the engine from getting enough fuel. Overall another $2900 spent and the parts (fuel line clamp and O Ring) didn't even cost $40.

    So yay, down over 15k so far this year and there's some other repairs I still need to do. Oil pressure sensor is bad, an O2 sensor on my DPF is bad, belt tensioner for my fan is shot (but thankfully i won't need the fan until closer to summer), and I have a drive tire that needs to be replaced but worst case I'll just pull it off since I run light enough loads to still be legal with a single tire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2023
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  8. Joyce's Volvo

    Joyce's Volvo Light Load Member

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    What brand do you have? Holland, simplex, Fontaine.
     
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  9. markk

    markk Medium Load Member

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    Happens to me all the time and is a pain when loaded .
    Usually too much grease has gotten in the jaws . I grease my fifth wheel too much so I stopped and put a plate on.
    But anyway when it's cold it is really a problem.
    Power wash it out. Or at least use a putty knife to remove some .
    I just pull out from under it as far as I can and use my nail bar to pry them back into the unlocked position. Otherwise it will never lock. Then just slam into it hard. I have had mine take me 1 1/2 hours of messing with it to make it work after going in and it not locking .
    Pry jaws open and ,ake sure the lock is in proper spot also .
    I dropped my loaded pneumatic in middle of street because of that. It looked locked but was not. Lots of money
     
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  10. markk

    markk Medium Load Member

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    Also I bang it into full open with my hammer after I can get it pryed far enough.
    It is probably the lock part not in right position .
     
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  11. FLHT

    FLHT Road Train Member

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    Gunk degreaser works wonders to soften up the caked on grease and dirt combination.
    Run it for a week and pressure wash.
    Clean the pin on your trailer it cakes up too.
    Could be time for a plate rebuild ?
     
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