Cleaning the whiffle tree

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by KJMcNeil, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    When we went camping the other day are top would not go down because the crank would not turn. In desperation, I sprayed a bunch of WD-40 into the crankshaft to see if it would help. Eventually I took the bottom shield off of the Whiffle tree and found that the first few inches of the rod were caked in old grease. We sprayed it heavily with WD-40 and got the crank turning and sprayed it as I lifted the top up and down. However, I feel like I need to go back and clean that first few inches better and I'm wondering what the best way is to do that? I am also wondering if I take the outside case off of the crankshaft will that release the spring or any other parts or will it just leave the drive shaft? I want to clean the drive shaft and the whiffletree but I don't want to have to reassemble the whole system.
     
  2. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    155
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks CA
    Clean the drive screw, block, and cover plate with a solvent (mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, etc) then liberally re grease all parts. Don't forget to grease the cover plate as the block rides on it. While you're at it, use silicone spray or rv slide out lube on the pulleys and lift posts.

    WD 40 into the crank shaft may cause problems with the clutch/brake.
     
    ezakoske likes this.
  3. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Unfortunately I was desperate to try to get the crank to turn and already sprayed WD-40 into the crank shaft. Which is part of why I think I should clean it asap. What would you suggest to clean it out? It was a less than stellar moment of desperation.
     
  4. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Actually, after looking at parts I sprayed it into the extension tube. We also sprayed it on the wiffle tree itself to get it moving.
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,630
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I used break cleaner to help clean the old grease off and a whole roll of paper towels. As for grease, I used a multipurpose grease or barring grease. It's a very messy job. There was a YouTube video out there about grease the Coleman I will need to see if I can find it again. It was a great guidance.
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,630
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia

    Not sure if the above link works... on you tube this guy goes by Coleman guy. There are three videos on the Coleman lift.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  7. DanLee

    DanLee Member

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    35
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Virginia
    How often does a whiffletree need greasing? Ours still has whatever they put in it at the factory back in 1991.
     
  8. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,218
    Likes Received:
    553
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario
    Ah heck, no worries - you're only about 25 yrs too late. [;)]
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  9. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Active Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    155
    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Location:
    Thousand Oaks CA
    Full clean and re grease when purchased. Then re grease whenever I have the cover off, like when adjusting cables. Then full clean and re grease after a couple of years of so.
    So mine's due to get the full service this fall.
     
  10. KJMcNeil

    KJMcNeil Member

    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Ok holy crap you guys... If you haven't cleaned your whiffle tree go do it. Like, right now!!! I cannot believe how much old grease was on the cover plate and jammed into the rod!!!

    That said, my coleman has the crank assembly completely encased and you cannot access it from underneath. Which i think is awesome!!! For now, I'm not going to mess with the gears unless a problem develops. I don't want to risk contaminating the pressure plate. Its a million degrees outside so I came inside to cool off before i try to pop it up. I'm curious to see if there is a difference!!

    While I was under there i noticed one cable has a bit more slack than the other. They are still both fairly taught, just one side was a touch looser. Should i care?
     
  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,132
    Likes Received:
    2,051
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    I wouldn't care unless it didn't work, no need to create problems that aren't there yet. If it was real loose i would worry. But i would check to see if it was on all the pulleys.
     
  12. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,630
    Likes Received:
    1,548
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    When I cleaned my wiffle tree when I bought the camper I actually saw a nest in mine and it got wrapped around my rod. So to say, I'm cleaning regularly now.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.