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Old 06-12-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
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Broken Step frame bolt

There are four bolts, approx. 5 inches long that come down thru the frame for my electric steps to mount at the side door of my 2002 Tradewinds 370E. One of the bolts snapped the treaded end the other day. I push up on the bolt and it hits the step inside the coach well before it will come out of the framework. Does anyone know how to get this out so I can replace it?
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Old 06-12-2017, 12:36 PM   #2
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If you can get to the top head of the bolt you may be able to cut the bolt off so it drops out the bottom. You could then use a piece of all thread and install nuts on both ends to create a new bolt. Or possibly put a new bolt in from the bottom up rather than top down. You can use lock nuts or use a second nut as a jam nut to prevent it from vibrating loose.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:44 PM   #3
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Gently pry up the floor covering to get access the two outer edge bolts. Use needle nose pliers, or a very strong speaker magnet, or a curved "pick" to get under the carriage style head and pry up. I replaced two of the carriage bolts with grade 5 bolts (I think they were like 5 1/4" to 5 1/2" long?) and two grade 5 large diameter washers. I mounted the heavy duty grade 5 bolts on the outer edge (street side). When I installed all four nuts I put a few drops of "Red type Lock-Tite" on the threads. Haven't had a problem since in 4 years.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dsallach View Post
If you can get to the top head of the bolt you may be able to cut the bolt off so it drops out the bottom. You could then use a piece of all thread and install nuts on both ends to create a new bolt. Or possibly put a new bolt in from the bottom up rather than top down. You can use lock nuts or use a second nut as a jam nut to prevent it from vibrating loose.
I gave that some thought but did not want to forgo any strength in the bolting process. I would worry about the all thread snapping under the pressure as well. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:45 AM   #5
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I will go to the storage area and give this a try tonight. I did not see where I could look into the top of the frame from the floor area, but I will give it a good inspection this evening. I knew there was an engineer somewhere that created this, but sometimes they just don't think of repair issues. Thank you for the info. I will post what I find this evening.
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Old 06-15-2017, 07:38 PM   #6
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I removed the floor covering on the bottom step to access those bolts. Mine a a ribbed rubber stair tread that was screwed down.


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Old 06-16-2017, 11:50 AM   #7
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Repair completed

Well it was not a pretty sight, but I got it fixed. The bolt cutters would not fit between the frame rail and the fiberglass step tubs. I dropped the electric steps, put the bolt cutter between the mounting frame rails, and just managed to get the cutting jaws on the bolt. After cutting the bolt (which I believe was way under strength) I replaced all the bolts with Grade 5 shoulder bolts, nuts and washers. My wife even assisted me in remounting the steps. I have a couple of wires to reattach this evening and we are off tomorrow like a herd of turtles.
Two things of interest to note: One the square shoulder bolts were treaded all the way up, but the bolt broke right at the frame plate for the electric steps. One of the others was stretched at that thread as well. Soft bolts?
Second, the steps are very heavy so don't try to lift them by yourself. I was setting under the motorhome, holding the motor end of the steps, and had my wife set the lowest step up on my feet to allow me to lift it safely.

Do not plug any connectors back in until you are well out of the way of the steps as they can retract and scare the living be jeebbers out of you.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:11 PM   #8
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One of the other things to remember is if you are going to stop in and area where you will have to park next to a curb be sure leave enough room from the curb so your step will have room to extend out with out hitting the curb.
It happened to me and the step hit the curb and broke the arm that extend the step.
JUST A THOUGHT
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