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Old 09-14-2015, 12:39 AM   #1
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Kwikee steps diagnosis and repair

After returning home from a trip to Durango Rv Resort in Anderson, CA, my steps on the Allegro, once again, decided not to extend. Previously, I've taken off the motor, cleaned it, lubricated the moving linkage and at other times I've tapped to motor housing to get it to work. Well, this time the stepped was jammed closed and I had difficulty getting the clevis pin out. Eventually, I had to remove the motor and gear assembly to take it home for further diagnosis.

When I got home I found the actuating arm was pinned against one of the stops on the gear housing. Even with the motor retaining screws removed I couldn't separate the motor from the gear assy. After some assistance from a hammer and screw driver, the motor separated from the gear housing. Looking inside everything appeared to be okay. However, when I rotated the step gear assy by rotating the the motor gear drive pinion I felt some binding at the end of closed position. Closer inspection found several teeth on the gear drive were distorted (see photo).
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Initially, I thought I was going to have to buy another gear assy since the gear unit was sealed. However, upon closer inspection, I saw there was a wrist pin in the shaft were the actuating linkage attached.
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I took a punch and drove the pin out. I then rotated the gear assy shaft 180*, which put the damaged teeth on the opposite side of the gear, lubed the gears with marine grease (for weather resistance), reinstalled the actuating arm and the motor, which I'd already tested with a 12 volt supply to ensure it was working correctly. Sometime this week I'll take the assy back to the rv ( another reason to ride the Goldwing) and reinstalled it in hopes all is corrected.

I'll keep you posted...😕
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:40 AM   #2
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Sorry to say if you look closely at picture #2 &3 the problem is printed right on it !!! Made In china ..........
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:09 AM   #3
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When I took mine apart I notice a couple of spacer washers under the motor gear and I was wondering if a third thin washer would help keep the gears meshed tighter. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether that would help. It does seem that slop in the gears meshing is causing the teeth to get chipped.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tip, pictures and the wright up PapaBobby, I'll keep that one in mind.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:59 AM   #5
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In another post a while ago those motors can be had at your local auto parts stores, they are car electric window motors and cost around $40. Just some info that might save you some time and $.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jergeod View Post
In another post a while ago those motors can be had at your local auto parts stores, they are car electric window motors and cost around $40. Just some info that might save you some time and $.
I think in this case a new motor would not help. A new gear box or turning the gears was the only fix. Turning the gears was a good fix and posting it is much appreciated. I would like to find out what causes the gears not to mess as they should.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:08 PM   #7
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No I just mentioned the motor here in case someones motor takes a dump on them they can save some bucks.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:20 PM   #8
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Entry steps are by far the most replaced motorhome part*. The industry needs to come up with a better engineering solution to this.

* Poll on TRVN showed 51% of Tiffin owners had to replace their Kwikee or Lippert (Coach Step) with in the first 4 years or ownership. The poll did not survey those who just replaced a motor or made another repair on the steps.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PapaBobby View Post
After returning home from a trip to Durango Rv Resort in Anderson, CA, my steps on the Allegro, once again, decided not to extend. Previously, I've taken off the motor, cleaned it, lubricated the moving linkage and at other times I've tapped to motor housing to get it to work. Well, this time the stepped was jammed closed and I had difficulty getting the clevis pin out. Eventually, I had to remove the motor and gear assembly to take it home for further diagnosis.

When I got home I found the actuating arm was pinned against one of the stops on the gear housing. Even with the motor retaining screws removed I couldn't separate the motor from the gear assy. After some assistance from a hammer and screw driver, the motor separated from the gear housing. Looking inside everything appeared to be okay. However, when I rotated the step gear assy by rotating the the motor gear drive pinion I felt some binding at the end of closed position. Closer inspection found several teeth on the gear drive were distorted (see photo).
Attachment 106844

Initially, I thought I was going to have to buy another gear assy since the gear unit was sealed. However, upon closer inspection, I saw there was a wrist pin in the shaft were the actuating linkage attached.
Attachment 106845Attachment 106846Attachment 106847

I took a punch and drove the pin out. I then rotated the gear assy shaft 180*, which put the damaged teeth on the opposite side of the gear, lubed the gears with marine grease (for weather resistance), reinstalled the actuating arm and the motor, which I'd already tested with a 12 volt supply to ensure it was working correctly. Sometime this week I'll take the assy back to the rv ( another reason to ride the Goldwing) and reinstalled it in hopes all is corrected.

I'll keep you posted...😕
Thank you for the pictures and the fix. I now have 2 complete Kwikee step assemblies that I can try and fix/repair. The 1st one has a broken actuator arm and the last one just stopped working on our last trip. When you said that you had a 12v power source, did you mean a battery or what? I have to remove the step assembly first thing in the morning as the wife is NOT happy climbing in and out with a short stool. Thanks for the tip. drtuck, 97 Discovery.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:55 PM   #10
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What brand car do you look at for a motor replacement ??? Thanks
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:32 PM   #11
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Take the motor off your steps and take it with you to the auto parts store, the other thread said it was a left side ford turus window motor.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:17 AM   #12
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drtuck

My 12volt power supply was a lithium jump start set I recently purchased. If you ready the spec label on the motor it likely says 10.4 volts ( minimum power to operate). My initial intent was to replace the motor until I saw the damaged teeth in the gear assy. I pondered what may have caused this and the only thing that came to mind was maybe the motor and gear assy were not properly aligned. If you look at the picture of the case you will see two round stops where the actuating arm rests when the steps are fully opened and closed. I'm guessing the steps may have been fully closed, but there was still space between the stop and actuating arm, which allowed the motor to keep turning, thus damaging the gear teeth. When I install the motor I'm going to position the steps in the fully open position and the arm against the open stop.

If there are other suggestions or a proper manufacture recommendation someone please chime in.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:28 AM   #13
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drtuck....and the last one just stopped working on our last trip.
Check the screen door switch before you go to the trouble of removing the motor and gear assembly. There is a magnet on the screen door that must be in close contact with the corresponding "switch magnet" on the door frame. Maybe one or the other is out of alignment. These magnet switches are what tell the step to come out when you open the door.

BTW, I used to have a 1997 36RS Discovery. It was a good coach after I got the bugs worked out of it.
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Old 09-15-2015, 06:36 AM   #14
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I had the same problem and was going to have the RV dealer replace the motor since I did not have enough time to fix it. Well the RV dealer left me high and dry without even working on my coach. So I went under and start banging on this and that. Most of the time a good swift kick helped. Well this time nothing so I started unplugging all connects to steps and WOW plugged the last one back in and ever thing is great! It was just a bad connection.
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