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Old 05-05-2021, 12:21 PM   #1
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Kwikee Step Won't Retract

Was getting ready for a long weekend trip last week and one of my punchlist items was providing the spouse a place to plug in her iPad. Picked up one of these USB outlets and mounted it in the plastic bolster beside the passenger seat. Spliced it into the power for the porch light behind the four switch panel at the door. Everything looked fine.

Got ready to pull out Friday morning and the step doesn't retract when I start the engine. Nothing I tried would make the step budge. Made the entire 600 mile trip with the step hanging out - wasn't real happy about that.

So this week I've been trying to diagnose what went wrong. Not being a strong believer in coincidence, I first went back and looked at my splice job. Everything looks fine and all the circuits other than the step work. Even ran a borescope into the bolster looking for loose wires and found none. The magnetic switch appears to work as the step light comes on when you open the door. The two circuit breakers for the step are not tripped and there's power to the step. I suspected a bad ground, so I cleaned the stud up and slathered some OxGard on it. The step won't budge.

I've printed out the step manual and starting the diagnostic process, but can't shake the feeling that it's got to be something simple that I messed up. I'm planning to jumper the mag switch just in case, but not feeling like that's the problem.

Any hints on anything that I might have missed would be appreciated.
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
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The most common problem with these steps is a failed motor. It may be seized up if it's not trying to move at all or the plastic gear inside may be stripped. You can find replacements on Amazon for about $80. I had to replace mine at two years old.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:45 PM   #3
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Try lightly tapping the motor with a hard metal object. Sometimes the it will start it. I did mine, it worked then quit, ordered a replacement motor on Amazon.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:09 PM   #4
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Onebrit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Foxtrot View Post
Was getting ready for a long weekend trip last week and one of my punchlist items was providing the spouse a place to plug in her iPad. Picked up one of these USB outlets and mounted it in the plastic bolster beside the passenger seat. Spliced it into the power for the porch light behind the four switch panel at the door. Everything looked fine.

Got ready to pull out Friday morning and the step doesn't retract when I start the engine. Nothing I tried would make the step budge. Made the entire 600 mile trip with the step hanging out - wasn't real happy about that.

So this week I've been trying to diagnose what went wrong. Not being a strong believer in coincidence, I first went back and looked at my splice job. Everything looks fine and all the circuits other than the step work. Even ran a borescope into the bolster looking for loose wires and found none. The magnetic switch appears to work as the step light comes on when you open the door. The two circuit breakers for the step are not tripped and there's power to the step. I suspected a bad ground, so I cleaned the stud up and slathered some OxGard on it. The step won't budge.

I've printed out the step manual and starting the diagnostic process, but can't shake the feeling that it's got to be something simple that I messed up. I'm planning to jumper the mag switch just in case, but not feeling like that's the problem.

Any hints on anything that I might have missed would be appreciated.
I had this happen to me steps stopped working and were stuck in the out position , I removed the pivot pin be carful its under some pressure had to hammer out with a punch used a bar clamp to prevent steps from swing down and trapping fingers. This allowed me to close steps and travel to our camp ground, next day decided to remove the motor disassembled cleaned the Commutator and reset brushes and was back in business.
Good Luck hope this helps but the tapping the motor is a good Idea it didn't work for me at the time but I know from experience it can work if your lucky.
Happy Camping
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the good input. May indeed be the motor, but that's disappointing since the step was rebuilt three years ago and the coach got very little use over the past two years. Watched a bunch of youtube vid's last night. Will probably order a motor from Amazon and then try to clean the current one up as a spare.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:55 PM   #6
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You can test the motor by unplugging the leads and applying 12v directly to the motor. If it doesn't move reverse the polarity. Recently my steps would randomly fail to extend and occasionally not retract. I pulled the pin and used a ratchet strap to hold them closed to get to the next camp where I could go through the troubleshooting steps. First thing I did was unplug the motor to power it directly. They went in and out without a problem. I replaced the controller and it has worked fine since. The troubleshooting guide will test all the controller circuits. Mine failed the tests.
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Old 05-06-2021, 05:36 PM   #7
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My Kwickee steps have a motor held in by 3 easily accessed bolts. About 3-5 min to remove motor, examine for gear damage and test. I have to replace ours at 9,xxx miles.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:33 PM   #8
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Got time to do a test? Undo everything you did installing the USB port and observe results. Worst case scenario you just lost time and free labor.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:48 PM   #9
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Kwiki steps are controlled by three inputs: 1-pressure switch in door; 2-inginiton switch interface; and 3-on/off switch on wall. Curious that your step stopped working after you sliced in the new USB port....coincidence--perhaps, perhaps not?
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Old 05-07-2021, 07:01 AM   #10
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Ordered a replacement motor from Amazon, as well as test pigtails for the controller and motor. Should be here Tuesday - then testing will begin in earnest. Can't really see the USB port as the culprit as all the other circuits work. I'm sure it probably generates some RF noise, but the step controller just doesn't appear sophisticated enough for that to be an issue.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:04 AM   #11
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Same thing happened to me.
Got an EXACT replacemeng off ebay for$20, free ship.
Same thing on amazon for lots more.
Works perfect.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:21 AM   #12
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When the steps are stuck in the out position, they are wedged out, gone over center on the 2 stops on the arms holding up the lower step. It is a bolt with an oblong, out of center washer. I had to use a hitch pin instead of the pin with a hole for a cotter key.
Adjust the oblong washers so the steps dont go too far out.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:41 AM   #13
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Had the same problem awhile back on my Odyssey. Pulled the cotter pin and tied the steps back to get home. Had to take it in for service anyway so had them check the steps; nothing wrong?!? I read somewhere that lubing the steps was a REAL good idea, and it tells you where all to do that in the owner’s manual. Did that and they’ve been good ever since. One thing to add to the periodic maintenance…
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Old 05-09-2021, 04:39 PM   #14
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When mine would not retract it was a mechanical issue.


Before you unwrap your amazon motor, unplug the power to your step motor. Loosen the bolts that hold the motor to the frame, and jiggle your steps. Tighten your bolts, plug the motor back in and see if it works.
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