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Old 09-07-2014, 06:45 AM   #1
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Kwikee step motor

Just replace the step motor after it failed on the last trip. Lots of grinding. Why do they use a plastic gear in the motor when being driven by a metal worm gear?
Anyone know if you can replace that gear in metal ? And where to purchase it?

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:05 AM   #2
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Kwikee doesn't make their own motors and the step motor is just a common automotive part, usually a motor designed for a power window mechanism. Since pennies count when an item is bought by the 10's of thousands, I suspect the plastic gear was a cost reduction measure. You might be able to find another motor that fits the same mounts but more rugged construction. Try taking the motor to a NAPA store and see if they can find one that is similar.

But I wonder why yours failed? There shouldn't be much of any load on the motor unless your steps mechanical mechanism is binding, and even then the motor usually just stops well short of any gear damage. The step controller is supposed to have a current limiting mechanism so that the step stops if it bumps into something, or if somebody is standing on it when it tries to move.

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Old 09-08-2014, 07:47 AM   #3
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There are two types of gear failure I have seen. The worm gear strips the plastic gear ot the plastic gear disintigrates in the center. The first requires replacing the plastic gear, Auveco sells some of the gears. I have had success repairing the disintigrated gear by cleaning the gear and dropping 3 steel balls into the triangle that remains. I carry three 7/16" steel balls with me now just for that occasion while on the road. Any hardware store sells them.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #4
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Asking, what do the ball bearings do? Are they a replacement? Thanks.

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Old 09-08-2014, 05:38 PM   #5
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In the photo, the piece to the right is triangular shaped. The balls fit into the 3 sides and effectively replace the plastic parts that were destroyed. I have done this to a number of window and step motors and never had one fail. Cost is about $1.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:36 PM   #6
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The balls are a cushion to prevent breaking at end of travel.

We just "modified" one that seemed to consume the inserts or balls.

What happens is the center shaft can shift up and allow the position of the driver to lift a tiny bit.

In the bottom of large plastic gear the overlap is only about 1/16 inch or so which allows gear to lift above the edhe then it only rests on the inserts and ther are gone.

Center pin is case hardened but can be drilled from end with carbide drill or tip of dremmel tool just to break surface then soft inside.

Drilled and tapped for 10-32 from end then after assembled a allen screw with washers used to secure pin against case.

Then with the snap ring at other side driver cannot lift and gear works.

If yours already is trashed you will need new plastic gear...napa or wrecking yard.

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