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Old 04-13-2015, 06:59 AM   #1
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2013 Coachmen Mirada steps

I have a 2013 Coachmen Mirada. When the steps retract they stutter near the end of the cycle as if a limit switch is not working properly. I've looked under the steps for a way to adjust them but have not found anything. Can anyone save me a trip to the dealer. I've had so many problems with this coach and I'm told it is no longer under warranty even though it has less than 6000 miles on it.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:00 PM   #2
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The steps were made by another company. If you crawl under and find the ID plate, copy the company and model number of them and then search online for a downloadable manual and troubleshooting guide. Often a bit of spray lube on the joints will help smooth things out. Be careful to always stay to the side or behind the steps because the extend with a lot of force and you don't want any body parts pinched!

If addition, if it turns out to be a bad motor, search on the forum, lots of folks have discovered a cheaper identical motor for a window regulator in a car as a substitute from buying from RV parts or manufacturer of the steps.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
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Do you need to hold the switch down to extend or retract the steps?

Trying to figure out what steps you have.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:43 PM   #4
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Mine have started doing the same thing once in a while. If it ever quits raining I'll take motor off & check things out.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by paulbp View Post
I have a 2013 Coachmen Mirada. When the steps retract they stutter near the end of the cycle as if a limit switch is not working properly. I've looked under the steps for a way to adjust them but have not found anything. Can anyone save me a trip to the dealer. I've had so many problems with this coach and I'm told it is no longer under warranty even though it has less than 6000 miles on it.
Paul,
The first thing I need to ask is, who's the maker of your steps? About 99.99% of them are made by Kwikee. There may be others but, I'm only familiar with Kwikee. That being said, and, if they are "Kwikee", I need to ask what model, single or double step? The main reason I ask all this is because I just finished encountering a problem with my Kwikee double step that's remarkably close to your situation.

Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, has approximately 60K on the clock and is, as stated, about 11 years old. It just recently developed the same symptoms of step problems you're seeing and feeling. After some investigation, it turned out to be a broken tooth on the three inch gear, in the gear box. As the steps travel in and out, they only use 1/2 of the circumference of that gear. And, at the end of the travel, extend or, retract, the drive gear (attached to the motor) stops at the same place, each time.

But, if things are out of adjustment a bit, more pressure is put on those teeth at the stopping point than should be. The result, is premature wear on those teeth at the stopping point.

But, your coach is considerably newer than ours and, has considerably less mileage. I would certainly not think that you have the same problem as we did due to such low miles and age but, that does not mean it can't happen.

One of the things you need to do is, make sure the key is off, and power to the step(s) is disconnected. You can do this by laying under it and un-plugging the power to the motor. Then once that's done, again if it's a Kwikee, you'll see the half arc shaped power arm coming from the gear box, that attaches to the link arm of the steps. You'll see a linch pin that retains a pin, that connects the half-arc arm to the step link. Remove the linch pin (looks like a bobby pin only more heavier duty) and then remove the larger pin. Now, you've disconnected the motor drive from the steps.

Once that's done, you can now move those steps freely, all the way in and out to see if there's any binding at any part of the movement. There shouldn't be, unless you've damaged them somehow. Now, here comes a bit of a tricky part. If you extend those steps out all the way, try and keep them there with whatever you can, blocks of wood, small hydraulic jack, what ever works.

Then, that exposes the motor and gear box so that you can goof around with those without the steps being in the way and, they're disconnected anyway. If you plug the power back into the motor, you can now open and close the screen door (or whatever door operates the step(s) and, watch that motor and gear box, swing from starting point to stopping point.

Oh, by the way, #1, if it's a Kwikee and, #2, if Kwikee hasn't changed their components and operation in between my model of steps and yours, there is NO LIMIT SWITCHES involved in the operation of those steps. Those steps stop at the end of extension and, retraction, due to the added amp draw encountered by the motor. There is a pre-set amount they are supposed to reach and then, shut down. But, if you have what I think you have, a possible broken tooth or, set teeth, then the motor travels to the point at which it's supposed to stop but, encounters broken teeth or the single tooth and, tries to keep going and, there fore shutters.

But, again, if Kwikee, then that motor will run that half-arc arm (or the three inch gear inside the box) half way around and then stop. But, on yours, if it runs into a broken tooth, or set of teeth, it will stop too. Now, here's another way of testing it. You can easily remove that gear box and the attached motor to do a bench test which, is much easier than lying on your back, trying to figure things out. That's the way I did it.

The gear box comes apart really easily. Once you've removed the cover, you can see instantly if you have a damaged gear or not.

Now, hopefully all this typing has not been a waist of time and, your steps are, for some odd reason, another makers. In which case, I'd know nothing about them to try and help you. But, let us know what you find. Below you'll see a couple of pictures of the damage gear inside my gear box. You'll also see a totally "UNUSED" section of the 3" gear. You'll also see the broken tooth, off of the larger 3" gear, lodged in between two teeth of the drive gear, (smaller one)
Scott




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Old 04-13-2015, 09:08 PM   #6
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Scott, Thanks for the writeup. You have the same steps as I do on my 2001 Mirada, I'll watch for this.
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Old 04-14-2015, 12:45 AM   #7
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Scott, Thanks for the writeup. You have the same steps as I do on my 2001 Mirada, I'll watch for this.
Waiter21,
You're certainly welcome Sir. Waiting for the OP to get back here with an answer.
Scott
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:12 AM   #8
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Scott,

Were you able to re-mount the gear 180 degrees and use the other half or did you end up replacing the entire gear box assembly.

ALSO - I'm thinking of taking mine apart for inspection and maybe put a little grease in there. What do you think, worth it or wait until fail.
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Old 04-14-2015, 04:30 PM   #9
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Scott,

Were you able to re-mount the gear 180 degrees and use the other half or did you end up replacing the entire gear box assembly.

ALSO - I'm thinking of taking mine apart for inspection and maybe put a little grease in there. What do you think, worth it or wait until fail.
Waiter21,
Yes, the "driven" gear (3") in that gear box assembly is rotatable (is that a word?) It has a rectangular hole in the middle of it that allows for that rotation. But, here's what happened. I did rotate it and, put it all back together and re-installed it under the steps. I ran that step system out and back in, about 7-8 cycles. All worked fine. I thought: "Wow, I fixed something and, it didn't cost me dime"! That was cool.

But, on or about the 9th or 10 cycle, the gear box did the same exact thing, only on the opposite stopping point. You see, it used to shutter, at the end of the retraction cycle. Well, that was where the broke tooth was. So, when I rotated the gear, the broken tooth ended up at the opposite end, only it shuttered now, at the end of the extension cycle, not the retraction cycle, like it did before I rotated it, CRAP!

It just took the system a while to realize that, the driven gear had been rotated and, it was going to end at the same spot, only at the end of the opposite movement. So, in all reality, there was/is no fix for a situation like that. That gear is JUNK! It's a cast, pot metal gear. It's not a machined, hardened steel gear. It's proned to breakage, at some point in time.

I also contacted Kwikee about it and told them, all I need was one, lousy 3" gear. There answer, "Oh no, you need an entire CONVERSION kit. That kit consisted of a new gear box, motor, and related wiring and other stuff. 99.9999999% of which, I didn't need. I told them to pound sand. And, that kit was a total of, $375.00.

I then cruised around on Amazon and ebay and, found the exact gear box, BRAND NEW, for a whopping $62.00. It came with a new gear box, all the gears, actuation arm and, all retaining clips and pins. There's no way you can beat that deal. I ordered one up and, it was delivered to my house in two days. Yahoooooooo!

That step system works flawlessly now. Now, you ask if it would be worth it to "lube" it. Well, knowing what's inside that gear box as I do, I would not hesitate to jerk that thing off the coach and, tear into it and clean things, inspect them and, lube away. You will then know the condition of all parts in question and, when it was last lubed.

One of the primary important points in that step operation is, setting the limit stop points. If you don't know about them, then take a bit of time to lay on you back and check them out. They are on each side. As your step travels outward and comes to a final rest, it SHOULD be against those limiters.

There are folks on here that think those are to "support" your weight as you step on the step to enter or, exit the coach. Nothing can be further from the truth. They work together with the end-travel of the actuation arm, coming off the motor. You see, as stated earlier, that motor and, actuation arm (little bent arm attached to the motor drive) only travel a short distance. At the end of that travel, that little arm hits a stop.

When it hits that stop, the motor instantaneously climbs in amp draw. At that point, it shuts down. But, the limiters or, CAMS I should say, should be adjusted so the outside arms of the steps, hit the cams, at precisely when the little arm hit's its stop so they all (three) stop together.

And that, my friend, is how the system works. Any questions?
Scott
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:24 AM   #10
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Scott;

Thanks, I'll tear into it over the next few weekends. Mine is a 2001 so its probably on the "barrowed time" list.

John
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