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Old 10-02-2018, 04:36 PM   #81
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THOR #12231
Very Very Slow. I finally got the front and rears bolted up.

I have NEVER had so much trouble drilling holes in my life! I work in my office 50 + hours a week but I been wrenching on the weekends eversince I was a pre-teen. So I have a good selection of tools, air compressor etc.

This was crazy. I spent about 18 hours drilling and installing the cylinders so far! (but its done and looks great). But I am working alone on my concrete driveway so that slows me down - I get up off the ground 30+ times to grab something I need so it wears me out.

I was trying to do it slowly and carfully but basicly if I didnt press in hard it didnt go anywhere. I used over 50 + bits. When they got worn I would go to the next one. I broke at least 10 bits (I bet I never broke more than 8 bits in my entire life). And I also used cutting oil.

I purchased the step bits on line and at HD but the best ones were from Harbor Freight. So I had to predrill pilot hole with 18 first then use like 5 more bits to step it up slowly to the correct size or use the step bits until they broke or worn out. Then when out of sharp bits - back to the store I went for more.

One bit broke off and I had to drill around it - that took hours - No joke - I was not playing around and I had 3 diff drills tying to figure out the right combo. Most of the others broke and I could just remove with plyers.

The metal must be very hard on these Ford frame. The back is a half inch thick with the Ford Frame and the frame extention sandwiched which were I needed to drill.

If I would have know how long it would have taken me to install I would have had it welded on. But I dont know anyone or any good shops around me that I trust for such a job. But I could have research I guess but Im subborn that way. I will know this system inside and out when done so I can do any future repairs myself.

If I had time I would have gone to BF in Sturgis MI and had them install it in under 4 hours. As long as the install is under like $800 it would be worth it.

One shop "on line" qoutes like $2000 - $2500 for any leveler kit installed (They show around $5000 for the BF kit installed!) so that what motivated me to install myself.

So next weekend I hope to install the central pump (more holes to drill!) and then plum and wire the system in. Keep your fingers crossed.

But I came up with a brillant Idea (well at least I think it is) on where to mount the control panel..... I will show pic's when done.

Thanks for your interest.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:51 PM   #82
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that's crazy you had such a bad time drilling. was it just the rear or front as well? as far as your mystery panel location I have no clue because you said you would like to watch the jacks go down so my guess would be somewhere around where the outside tv is. close?
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:11 AM   #83
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Really love my Bigfoot system - no problem for two years now. All jacks are behind the wheels - front and back. On bad slopes, we use a step to get in.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:33 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegasBaby!!! View Post
that's crazy you had such a bad time drilling. was it just the rear or front as well? as far as your mystery panel location I have no clue because you said you would like to watch the jacks go down so my guess would be somewhere around where the outside tv is. close?
Yep, it was crazy.

Just the rear.... the front is bolt on with the kit. I was gong to add a couple of extra bolts to the front to be safe but after the ordeal with the back I changed my mind. I might mess with it more in the spring. I thought I might have someone tack weld the brackets to the frame as well.

You will just have to wait and see my idea for the control panel. At this rate it might be next year before im done. Lol (Man... I sure hope not).
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:34 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Baddad53 View Post
Really love my Bigfoot system - no problem for two years now. All jacks are behind the wheels - front and back. On bad slopes, we use a step to get in.
Thats good to hear. Im sure after its all done I will be happy as well. So how far down does your jack pads sit and full up position?
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:41 AM   #86
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VegasB - Have you measured the distance from the ground up to the bottom of the jack pads in the full up position (Front and Rear)?

Right now I have the fronts at 7inch clearance and the backs are at 8.5 inch.

The front looks about right since the front sits low on our Axis/Vegas models and compared to the low hanging Ford componets. But the back looked too low so I went up a notch. I dont want to get hung up on any entrance or exit ways (like into gas stations etc).

Big Foot told me they like around 7 inches so you get a full 6 inches of lift (13 inch long shafts on the E450 cylinders) but 8 inches was good and 9 was the highest they install them.

I figured I would use one inch rubber pads under the jacks most of the time anyway so that will help with my lift.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:32 PM   #87
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Ok, so yesterday (SAT) was a productive day. I installed the central pump on the DS on the crossmember like I read above in this tread.

I as able to install the "All up" sensor wires (and zip tie in place) as well as all the plumbing (also zip tied in place). I used some large wire looms on the hoses in spots I thought it might need it.

Really only two good spots (IMO) on where to install the pump. Behind the crossmmeber on DS or between the step and the cargo compartment like shown above in this tread.

I will post pics later.

They are calling for rain today (SUN) but all I lack is the pos and neg wires + curcuit breaker, fill with ATF fluid, check everything again, bleed then test the system.

Oh yeah and mount the control panel and hook up the yellow ignition wire.

I will update once everything is completed. I like to get everything working today and mount the controller next weekend.
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Old 10-07-2018, 05:29 PM   #88
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Thus far, it sounds like I will save up to buy and pay for the install. A job like this gives me pride that I did it myself (I've had difficult projects in the past), but in retrospect wish I had paid to get it done! Just me.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:44 PM   #89
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Mark, I tend to agree with you.

This is not a job to do by yourself (Like I did). This job took way more time than I thought it would. I must have crawled under this RV 100 + times over the last few weeks. As soon as you go under you realize you need something else. The cylinders and central pump are heavy so I have to use a floor jack to lift and hold in place while I put the bolts in. Everything took much longer than it should. Im just glad its over.

I wanted to purchase while on sale and I have tackled big jobs before and now I know everything about the system which come in handy on the road.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:53 PM   #90
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Im FINNISHED! Well almost.... except for one leak - looks like I will need a new hose - plus I need to hook up the yellow wire (so it triggers alarm that the jacks are down when you put key in ignition).

I installed a resetable circuit breaker next to the battery (Kit comes with auto reset but I like the idea of shutting of the BF when not in use and while in storage)

I finally completed the system yesterday. I still need to do more testing - ran out of time (and Auto Tran Fluid).

Im not sure if I will mount the controller at a later date. I kinda like the Idea of being outside watching where the jacks go and to make sure they line up with the block (If I need them). But I might mount to the dash at a later day after I have used the system for a while.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:08 PM   #91
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Congrats L&W. looks like u finally got the upper hand on her. idk what the height of my jacks are when up but I will measure when I get a chance. not sure if my sumos up front raised it much or not. I know my rear jacks are using the lowes holes in the Weld on brackets and they are just high enough to clear a curb. I know this because I have backed into p lots and I have about 1-2 inches above the sidewalk. never thought about that until I leveled at a park and it took about a second for them to hit ground and thought wow that was quick. just glad I didn't hit the pads backing in. that would have sucked.
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:10 PM   #92
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Congratulations! I didn't realize the controller could be used outside like that. I like the idea of watching everything while it's working. Unless it's raining! Like you said, by installing yourself, you know everything about it.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:41 PM   #93
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Yep, I like the idea of watching them as well. But I might change my mind later.

You could just use the controller loose indoors as well. Either put a hole (I dont like the Idea of more holes) in the floor or just run though the step that way the door closes.

I still have not figured it all out yet. I might make a spot under the step to hold the controller and the long wires or perhaps put a small hole in the storeage compartment next to the step and store in there?

I want to use it for a while then decide what works best for me.

I just glad its all done (except for the stupid leak). I just talked to BF and they are sending me two new hoses today (no charge). They dont think they were cripped properly.

I wont be excited until its all done and leak free and I can test in parking lots and at my favorite trail head.

I think we have our last trip planned for later this month or first of NOV.

Then I will do my happy dance.
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Old 10-15-2018, 03:26 PM   #94
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I installed the new lines for the LR cylinder and everything is working great (Big Foot overnighted them to me- they are great to deal with).

I was able to test the system a few times. The first cycle was a little choppy (air in lines) then the next one was smooth so I cycled a few times getting use to how it works and I checked for leaks - all is well.

Its hard to get excited about this when it should have taken me 3 or 4 work days (IMO) but in reality it took me 6 work days then the two more hours to replace the leaky lines yesterday. But I did this job by myself on the driveway (I dont recommend this - at least have one helper and 50+ sharp drill bits!).

I think I wil be more excited when I get to the camp ground or the trail head and im able to level in 45 seconds!

Is everyone using one or two level blocks under the pads to spread load and to give added lift just in case you need it?
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Old 10-18-2018, 04:27 PM   #95
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Very very rarely. The Big Foot pads are large to begin with. Only if the ground is wet/soft or extremely sloped and I need the extra lift.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:47 PM   #96
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A few pics testing it out. I put the control panel in the storage compartment next to the door that way I can watch them depoy and retract (Cord is about 20 foot long). But I think after the novelty wears off I might just install inside RV permenately. But at least this way Im not drilling any holes inside the RV before I know where I want to install it. The cord is long enough I can sit in my drivers seat and work the control panel. Im just glad this job is done and it works so well.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:57 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Long & Winding road View Post
A few pics testing it out. I put the control panel in the storage compartment next to the door that way I can watch them depoy and retract (Cord is about 20 foot long). But I think after the novelty wears off I might just install inside RV permenately. But at least this way Im not drilling any holes inside the RV before I know where I want to install it. The cord is long enough I can sit in my drivers seat and work the control panel. Im just glad this job is done and it works so well.
Kudos! It looks great!
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:02 PM   #98
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Thanks. Im just glad it done. Leveling is (well was) the # 1 thing that can be a PITA when arriving at a camp site. Esp. if its not a paved site. Now its no big deal for me.

I might have to stack two or 3 lego blocks for each jack pad for additional height (but only if its really un-level) but its not like it matters how high each sets of blocks are because I can now raise or lower until level at a touch of a button.

I measured yesterday.....I get 5.5 inches of lift in the front and 4.5 in the back (with zero lego blocks). I can unbolt lower all jacks (about an inch per a bolt hole) if I need to but I want good clearance under the pads in the fully retracted position for bad entrance ways or dirt roads etc. So I will leave them along and I can alway tinker with them next year if needed.

Cant wait to try in out at a real campsite! Plus the added clearance will be ince for oil changes.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:53 AM   #99
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Looks good L & W. Only suggesting is to maybe tie the lines to the jack cylinder to keep anything from the road flying up in between the jack and hoses because they are right behind the tires that will kick up debris like a broom handle or even sticks and twiggs. on the extra length of line I coiled them up like you but I put pipe insulation on the coil and let them rest on top of the gas tank to keep any weight off the cylinder fittings. Oh and I just measured my jack clearances. 9.5" in rear and 8.5 in front" when up.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:41 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by VegasBaby!!! View Post
Looks good L & W. Only suggesting is to maybe tie the lines to the jack cylinder to keep anything from the road flying up in between the jack and hoses because they are right behind the tires that will kick up debris like a broom handle or even sticks and twiggs. on the extra length of line I coiled them up like you but I put pipe insulation on the coil and let them rest on top of the gas tank to keep any weight off the cylinder fittings. Oh and I just measured my jack clearances. 9.5" in rear and 8.5 in front" when up.
The hydro lines are zip tied in several spots and are very solid. I might need to put a few more zip ties on the plunger sensor wires (that tells the system the jack are in full retracted position). No weight on my cylinder lines. I might relocate later but everything is up high and secured well.

I thought if I need to drop the cylinders for any reason I can do so without disconnecting the hydro lines.

Wow .... 9.5 and 8.5 sound high to me. That means you only get 3.5 R and 4.5 F of lift (Cylinders @ full extention is 13 inches).

I measued and im getting 4.5 R and 5.5 F of lift according to my ruler at the bottom of the body work. I didnt want to go any higher but I might drop the rear one inch at a later date. I wanted to make sure I dont drag anything at the current height.
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