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Old 11-25-2022, 11:40 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 315
HWH Hydraulic Steps Rail Cracking and Repair

Like so many with the HWH cascading steps I finally had to do the upper rail reinforcement weld repair. Other than having to be a contortionist to get up into the step well to get the upper rail out it was fairly easy.

I did find something interesting upon disassembly. A little back story, my steps seem to be very sloppy, kind of duck walking and moving side to side when extending which was cause by the slop in the upper rail. Even with the steps fully deployed I could grab the bottom of the steps and there was a lot of side to side movement at the upper rail.

When I was disassembling the steps there was a long shim the fell out that was in-between the upper rail mount and the frame (Pic Attached)
Trying to figure out why this would be there I realized that this shim was spacing the upper rail out away from the frame and it was causing was the upper rail to move outwards from the step assembly which was causing the slop.

After the reinforcement repair and putting it all back together I decided to leave that shim out and boy I am glad I did. I can not believe the difference it made in the operation. No more duck walking and no more side to side slop. I thought it was always strange that the guides on the upper rail hung out of the track some and removing the shim fixed it.

I also adjusted the hydraulic pistons so they have a little more out force on the steps when fully extended so they are taking some of the load when you step on them thus relieving some of the stress on the upper rail. I cleaned all the tracks and rails using a red scotch bright then 000 Steel wool to polish them up and finished with dry silicone to give the guides a nice smooth service to glide on. And now the steps have never worked better, they are quite, don't wobble and seem real solid now.

I want to give a shout-out to ewlee for posting instruction on removing the upper rail without removing the entire step assembly, it made it a much simpler project. You can find it here, post #14 #14
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Scott R
2019 London Aire 4543 SL605 FCCC
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:15 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,351
We have had numerous 3 step problem also with our 18 LA. Biggest problem is fuel stops at truck stations with rounded curbs which when the steps open the step hits the rounded corner and miss the stop strip which then twist the step. Our problems with step rails cracking are all on the left side of step when entering the coach. We have no welding or repair work on the right side of the step entering the coach put a lot of repair on the top two rails.
Newmar Man
Tom/Teri 16031 NKK 117995 FMCA
18 London Aire 4531 Spartan K-3 605
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Old 11-25-2022, 07:30 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: PA
Posts: 18
I'm going to put an emergency stop button before my next trip to prevent the steps from hitting an island anybody try that yet? You can't count on the sensor strip already repaired once.
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Old 11-26-2022, 07:18 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Plainfield
Posts: 79
Like the idea of a stop switch
If the HWH reset button or the salesman switch won’t stop the step then I wonder if a switch on the ground wire on the pump solenoid wound be the easiest and safest way to accomplish this
What do you think
Patrick and Michelle O'Brien
2019 London Air
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Old 11-26-2022, 07:55 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: PA
Posts: 18
Thinking of breaking the wire to the sensor switch haven't had time to try it yet
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air, crack, hwh, hydraulic, repair, steps

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