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Old 05-20-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
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Generator/Front End Electric Motor

Has any Alpine Owner replaced the generator front end electric motor actuator which extends and retracts the front end and generator because of motor failure and/or damage to the shaft? (note: somewhere around 2003 WRV changed from hydraulic to electric) I believe the electric ones have been used on all Alpines from the 2003 approximate until the end.

If you or a dealer worked on and/or replaced the unit, would you post the parts supplier? Or the dealer used?

Your help would be appreciated, PM if you would rather.
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Old 05-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hal Totten from PA wrecked his running over an obstruction he couldn't avoid. He's been to the previous mfgr who has discontinued this assembly. Since then he has been thru a coupla dozen other suppliers of similar Acme screw actuators, all to no avail. I've discussed the situation w/him and he is currently working on a custom assembly, possibly using an offset gear motor and long Acme screw and probably needing some custom machining work for the ends. If he meets w/success, he will report the parts used.

What happened to yours?
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:06 AM   #3
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So this means I will do my generator slide service every 90 days when we are using the coach. I try to oil all the rollers, and the clean the screw drive off, then apply a little machine oil to it, about twice a year. It seems to always work fine, but I think the day is coming if you know what I mean.
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Old 05-21-2010, 10:29 AM   #4
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I don't think the actuator mechanism is weak in any serious way. Most trouble w/it has been w/the slide rollers freezing up and the latch mechanism up front jambing. The actuator itself seems to have been largely trouble free for the majority of owners.

Hal's problem however, might be avoidable w/a deflector. The actuator has a somewhat thin metal box around it to mount it to the gen slide frame w/4 small sheet metal screws, and it hangs down quite a ways from the other frame parts making itself a target for road debris. If a large recap jambs upward against that box, it can rip loose and bend the screw & tube, as well as wreck the motor case (all of which happened to Hal's). A substantial deflector attached to the coach frame might obviate wrecking the actuator. I'm looking into it for my rig due to the herculean brain damage req'd to replicate it one part at a time.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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Old Rv'er, I don't think the electric actuator for the gen slide is a problem. The lack of responses to my question seem to support that conclusion. I doubt that is an item that gets service by most Alpine owners. Last year I cleaned and lubed my worm gear, rolls and also the latch/lock on the front. After doing so, it worked even better than ever. I straighten out a little dent in the cover and added some bracing to the cross brace where the electric actuator attaches, painted and all was great.

Engineer Mike, "What happened to yours ?" If the photo posts you might guess the Tow Company did the damage. Well your right!

So you don't have to ask, we were returning home from a trip to California. At I-80 Mile Post 363 (16 miles east of Wells Nevada) Pulled the grade up out of Wells and topped the hill at Moor (all vitals good on the Silverleaf) going down hill and the RED STOP ENG lite and buzzer comes on. Tow to Rockymountain Cummins (187 miles one way) 13 days later and that big wad of sweaty money you talk about is at Cummins. ISL 400 engine #2 exhaust rocker came apart, but had to pull head to check for internal damage to piston, sleeve, valves etc. I have the coach back. No warranty because 5year 100,000 mile over the years (6yr2m) but only 32K. I think it should be either but its either/or!!!

Used Good Sam Emergency Road Service and they were great to work with. They did want to take to the nearest repair place, but Rockymountain Cummins in Elko (67 miles) doesn't work on Motor Homes. Also tried to have the tow truck company who works on diesels out of Well, NV (16 miles) fix it. (I wouldn't have allowed that anyway) they only work on external (turbo, fuel pump etc.) The good news to this story is we were towed to our home town and we saved 187 miles of fuel (Never got that kind of fuel mileage before!!!!) After Emike post about his trouble with Good Sam for tire issue I was wondering what kind of two truck was coming. The Tow truck was Kennworth with Century Bed and all the latest equipment to do the job. I would recommend them, even with the damaged electric motor actuator deal.

The Tow Truck owner who arrived first was told about the lowness of the Coach and that the front end electric motor, shaft and cover are a low point. I was smart because I took photo before and after the tow and have them as a record of the damage. The owner was able to lift the front end up without damage to the gen motor. I even ask him if the 1-1/2" clearance was enough, he said yes. But the owner had a driver come out to meet him and drive the tow truck to Salt Lake. I think the new guy changed the height and or angle of the tow. My advise to anyone who is going to be towed with a 'stinger' axle lift would be to remove the cover over the gen slide motor then pull two bolts and the wire connector and remove before hooking up. The bad news is I'm still working on getting replacement parts or complete new electric actuator for the slide. The good news is the electric motor along with drive housing is ok, just the electric motor plastic cap cracked. Actuator worm shaft bent, and shaft tube bent beyond repair. Insurance will pay, but you need the new one first or the old one fixed first.

So you now have the rest of the story to what happened.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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For those who might find yourself on the road w/a non-functioning gen slide actuator, here is Hal Totten's method of fueling, remembering his actuator got mangled by a large recap and is now fully off the coach (and sadly in several pieces):
...my manual technique for opening the gen slide is quite simple. I have crafted a tool (lever) using a small wrecking bar with which I can easily "pry" the slide open using one hand (while second hand holds the safety latch bar "up"). The 'prying" usually opens the slide about 3 to 6 inches; tugging along the slide's front bottom bar then easily further opens the slide enough to fuel & to service generator.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:52 PM   #7
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Thanks Mike and all. As I was driving across Montana today, the thought occurred to me - "what if....."
I can see how prying would get it open hopefully but what/where is the safety bar latch thingee? One hand on the prying tool and the other on the thingee?
Hope this isn't too stupid a question.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:03 PM   #8
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The front end of the pipe that the Acme screw rides in is attached to the latch. The latch is as wide as the the gen slide frame and hooks onto the gen frame at both front corners. You can see a hook-shaped cutout about 1/4" wide on the front sheet metal of the gen frame where the latch bar drops into its slots to keep the gen from creeping out.

With the actuator completely removed, this latch bar is what Hal is prying loose to pop the gen slide open. If the actuator is attached & working, it operates a small lever assembly at the front to lift/drop the latch bar when opening/closing the slide respectively. It helps to assume the Alpine Position (i.e. on your back, under the coach, looking up, legs & feet visible outside) and study it. It is this latch that can occasionally freeze up on you and require the Alpine Manueuver to pop it loose (i.e. whack it w/a hammer) if not properly lubed w/a smidge of grease on the latch points.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:14 AM   #9
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What a great forum!

What a great forum. After reading this thread I decided to clean and lubricate the rollers and screw for the gen slide on my 2003. They needed it. While I was under there I checked out the metal box covering the electric motor. It was very loose. A few jiggles and it fell off! Mine was "attached" by pop rivets. I reshaped the box (it was bent up) using a vice and hammer and reattached it using 1/4 inch nuts and bolts. A skid plate would certainly be better. Thanks for all the useful information everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
I don't think the actuator mechanism is weak in any serious way. Most trouble w/it has been w/the slide rollers freezing up and the latch mechanism up front jambing. The actuator itself seems to have been largely trouble free for the majority of owners.

Hal's problem however, might be avoidable w/a deflector. The actuator has a somewhat thin metal box around it to mount it to the gen slide frame w/4 small sheet metal screws, and it hangs down quite a ways from the other frame parts making itself a target for road debris. If a large recap jambs upward against that box, it can rip loose and bend the screw & tube, as well as wreck the motor case (all of which happened to Hal's). A substantial deflector attached to the coach frame might obviate wrecking the actuator. I'm looking into it for my rig due to the herculean brain damage req'd to replicate it one part at a time.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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Generator slide lock bracket w/elect drive

After seeing Dan's posting about the Generator/Front End Electric Motor, I thought I would add some photos of the locking assembly for those who might be interested. As it often seems to happen for me, I discovered a WRV problem. I had noticed that my gen slide did make a clunk when it first slid out. As you can see by the photo below, when the slide came all the way in, the force from the screw drive pulled back so hard that it twisted the cross brace that the locking assembly is mounted on.



The angle of the mechanism at that point wouldn't allow the plate to swivel high enough to release the locking cross bar. The clunk I was hearing was the lock being forced out of its catch. Below is photo of the bar at the drivers side in the locked position.



I also found that the ramp in front of the catch was cut very rough and was making it hard for the locking cross bar to slide up and over the catch when the slide was closing. I smoothed the ramp up and the slide seated much smoother then. This is the brace I made to keep the cross bar from twisting.



Here is the brace installed.



The next 2 photos show the arm pushing up on the locking cross bar, as the slide is opened, and the other is with in down as the slide in being pulled in. I took them from different sides, to show the assembly better.



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Old 06-26-2010, 10:04 AM   #11
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Dale, Great pictures. My cross brace is bent also. I was contemplating what to do and now have some ideas. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:10 PM   #12
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The interesting thing that I forgot to mention is, that by the time the slide was pushed all the way out, the cross bar was bent back to almost straight. When I put the slide all the way out to start the fix, I noticed that the twist wasn't as bad as I had initially seen. I thought that I had exaggerated how bad the twist was until I ran it all the way in and out a few times to see what needed to be done to make a permanent repair.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:50 PM   #13
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Great explanation! Now I'll be less worried if it does get stuck, and have another (potential) project on my list. I'll be checking my crossbar later today. Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #14
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Gen Electric Motor/Actuator

JOE COOL,

I sent you a PM, but haven't received a reply yet. It looks like IRV2 pulled your post. Please send me a PM (you will need to login in to IRV2 to do this). Or put a reply in this section with how to contact you. Need to talk about Gen Electric Actuator.
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