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Old 01-17-2016, 06:16 AM   #1
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Steps won't retract all the way

Steps won't retract all the way in on my Dolphin. They will go out all the way but only comes in about 4/5 While traveling back home over the week end. Now some history, while traveling back while parked on two different occasions the steps bumped the curb while opening and stopped. It would retract but I didn't notice it not retracting in all the way until at a rest stop. They were up enough to drive but could move in a few more inches. Is there an adjustment to work that out?


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Old 01-17-2016, 06:37 AM   #2
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Lube the pivot points with WD40. The motor shuts off when it draws too much amperage. That unit sat for a while and this is something that gets overlooked.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:44 AM   #3
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I wouldn't use wd40 as it attracts dirt. Kwikee makes a lubricant.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BGOI92/...l_5toda3x0if_e
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by speed racer View Post
Lube the pivot points with WD40. The motor shuts off when it draws too much amperage. That unit sat for a while and this is something that gets overlooked.

Thanks J. I figured there was a safety built into the motor not to overload. I'll try the lube maybe some white grease.


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Old 01-17-2016, 08:57 AM   #5
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All pivot points are free and appear to be well maintained. Must be the travel in the linkage. I'll have to look under and see by chance it came loose and lost its travel? However if that was the case would it still open all the way, I guess it would because pushing out is not a problem it only limited to retracting movement. It thinks it's in all the way. I'll need to cut power to the motor so as not to close it on my hands.



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Old 01-17-2016, 09:05 AM   #6
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I had the same problem with my steps. I could give them a little push and they would retract all the way. I used the Kwikee grease and they work great again.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:14 PM   #7
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Hi,

I would try all the simple stuff first and hope for the best. However it sounds like the motor is getting weak. I have had this issue several times in the past and I would have to replace the motor. If you are so inclined you can disassemble the motor and clean the armature and brushes and this will help but it is a lot of work. I did have some success doing this but was short lived. I went the route of replacing the motor with a window lift motor since that is what they are but getting the correct one turned out to be an adventure I would not like to repeat.

Here is a link to where I purchased my last motor should you need a replacement.

Search Results : AM Equipment

Good luck,

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Old 01-17-2016, 12:21 PM   #8
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Hello again,

Sorry forgot to add; check the ground connection. For that matter check all the wires for fit and/or corrosion. Bad connections are notorious for causing the steps to malfunction. I would consider this as part of the simple things to do first. Replacing the motor is the last result.

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Old 01-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmw188 View Post
Steps won't retract all the way in on my Dolphin. They will go out all the way but only comes in about 4/5 While traveling back home over the week end. Now some history, while traveling back while parked on two different occasions the steps bumped the curb while opening and stopped. It would retract but I didn't notice it not retracting in all the way until at a rest stop. They were up enough to drive but could move in a few more inches. Is there an adjustment to work that out?


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Mine did the same thing....I lubed the heck out of them and they close all the way now....
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill WA6YBD View Post
Hi,



I would try all the simple stuff first and hope for the best. However it sounds like the motor is getting weak. I have had this issue several times in the past and I would have to replace the motor. If you are so inclined you can disassemble the motor and clean the armature and brushes and this will help but it is a lot of work. I did have some success doing this but was short lived. I went the route of replacing the motor with a window lift motor since that is what they are but getting the correct one turned out to be an adventure I would not like to repeat.



Here is a link to where I purchased my last motor should you need a replacement.



Search Results : AM Equipment



Good luck,



~Bill

Thanks Bill you know for $72 I would just replace it. It's 10* here today and I was out there lubricating all the points and after looking at how it works it seems like the stroke is just short of completing, so maybe that is the armature? It is well lubricated and doesn't seem to be bent or rusted up.


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Old 01-17-2016, 07:26 PM   #11
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As mentioned in post #8 check the ground connections in that area. Last month I fixed a set of steps that would move part way then stop. We lubed everything but it didn't help much.

A 12 V motor needs 12 volts to properly deliver all the power it can develop. When voltage is lost trying to pass current through a high resistance (dirty corroded) connection it can't deliver a full 12Vs. That's called a voltage drop.

All I did to fix the steps was to loosen a 7/16" grounding bolt then re-tighten it. It started opening and closing all the way. Steps are located in a wet dirty environment.

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Old 01-17-2016, 07:42 PM   #12
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Like everyone is saying, try all the easy stuff first.

Take a real hard look at the wiring. Look for any corrosion inside the connectors and most important check the big ground wire connections at the chassis. Might even remove the screw and lug and wire brush the connector and spot on the chassis where they normally meet. A bad or corroded connection will lower the voltage to the motor and the motor will lose power.

You might even try disconnecting the motor from the controller and wire it directly to a battery with reasonable size wire say #12AWG. Connecting it one way will cause the steps to move in one direction then reversing the connections will cause the steps to go in the other direction. If the steps appear to work properly (full travel) the motor is probably OK. But remember with this test there is no shut off at the end of the travel so you must be ready to disconnect the battery when the steps reach the end of travel.

Be very, very, CAREFUL when working on the steps! There is a tremendous amount of power available and one could easily lose a finger or worse.

~Bill
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:43 PM   #13
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Looks like TeJay beat me to it. Great Minds and all that stuff.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:06 PM   #14
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Well when it warms up some I'll check into those possibilities?



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