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Old 10-06-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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Can I convert electric (1986 HR Kwikee) steps to manual

I recently purchased a 1986 HR; it has Kwikee electric steps. The electric steps are sticking off and on and now are stuck in the extended position, I understand I can troubleshoot and purchase replacement pars; however, I don't have extra money left to purchase new parts right now (recently purchased new awning and a few other items). I remember when I was growing up my dad had an RV and we just manually pulled the steps out, which wasn't much trouble especially when compared to electronic steps that don't function properly.
So my question is; can I convert eletronic steps to manually operated steps?

Thanks for reading,
Todd
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:12 PM   #2
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Yes you can convert but have you tried cleaning and lubricating. 99.9% of the time that will take care of it. Do you have a good wire brush?
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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Todd:

Since they are stuck out you should be able to get at the mechanism. There is usually an electric motor connected to a gearbox and linkage. You should be able to see how to remove the linkage and then the step will be free to move, watch out, it will probably want to pivot down on you!

Your next problem will be how to keep it closed or open, as the gears are designed to bind up and keep the step from moving when the motor is not running, it will not stay in the stored or deployed position like your Dad's manual step did.

I have read on the forum that the motor is really an electric window motor so if it is bad maybe you could match it up with one at a junkyard. The electronic controls are custom-made for Kwikee, so they are much more expensive if they are bad.

This link is the FAQ for the Kwikee steps which has some links to manuals to you can see what to look for.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:22 PM   #4
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I sprayed the joints and hinges with WD - 40. Where do I use a wire brush?
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:13 AM   #5
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You need a real grease. The WD 40 eveporates away.
Get some white lithium grease, auto parts store. Get the spray can.
Grease every joint on steps and pivot points on gears.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmow View Post
I sprayed the joints and hinges with WD - 40. Where do I use a wire brush?
Where ever there is a pivot point and the linkage to the motor. WD-40 is ok for spraying on fish bait. Garym is correct. Go in to NAPA and tell them what you are doing and ask them for the right lubricant.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:35 AM   #7
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On mine there is a link that goes from the motor to the steps that is connected with a pin that has a cotter pin on one side to keep the pin on. If you remove this pin you can work the steps manually. It is a good way to tell if the steps are binding due to rust, dirt, paint, etc. While disconnected the steps will remain in the down state. To store them I used a bungee cord to tie them up. When it is disconnected you can tell if the motor runs correctly when opening an closing the door. This is how I found that the magnetic contact switch on my door was not aligning correctly.

Mike
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Hate to mention something so basic, but make sure you check the fuse that controls the step.

Ours will blow if the step contacts something (like a curb) when extending.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
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It shouldn't blow.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
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Conversion not practical.. however "Fix" might be low cost.. My story:

Steps would sometimes not move.. I found if I took the handle of a hammer and "THUNKED" the motor a few times (not too hard, don't want to break it) They would move CAUTION: KEEP OUT OF THE WAY OF THE STEPS, (They can hurt you big time)

Finally I dropped the "Transmission" cover, and let the motor find a new "Stopping spot" (I call that re-indexing) and have not had a problem in several years since.

Give that a try.

Caution: Spread a tarp on the ground under the work area, there is a bushing that really likes to go roll about when you remove that cover and I have no idea where to find a replacement.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:00 PM   #11
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It's FAR more practical - and probably cheaper in the long run -to follow the above advice to correct whatever is the problem with your steps, than to haywire an awkward and homebrew replacement...

These steps are really pretty simple, both electrically and mechanically - and FAR better where there is more than a single step involved, than a manual setup.

Our '88 Winnie has 2 steps from the floor down to the entrance door - and then a 2-step automatic step - and for sure, if there was only a manual outside step, it's a LOOoooong step down to the ground to then pull out a manual set of steps...
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #12
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Skierdoug

I'm in the process of fixing mine. The motor had a broken screw gear shaft.
I think I also need a new control unit Kwikee #909510000.
Anyone know a low cost place to buy it?

Maybe of interest to all is that mine was locked in the in position and it was a real tough job to get things apart. I ended up unscrewing the 3 bolts that hold the motor in place. This was extra hard because there's very little room for a wrench and not enough for my fingers. There needs to be some access holes in the steps for a socket.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:03 PM   #13
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Can this step be cranked in manually? Could I use a wrench on the mortor shaft?
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