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Old 11-17-2020, 09:53 AM   #1
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Tricky Kwikee steps.

Hello Everyone.

I searched the forum prior to asking this but could not find my specific issue so I am asking now.

On our Class DP, we have the 3 step Kwikee auto steps. The have never stuck open or closed and seem to move in and out fine.

However

It is happening more often that when the Steps open from a closed position, they extend out all the way fine, then pull back in partially and thus not locking open. May happen 1 out of 5 uses. If you are in the coach and going out, when you park or fuel for example, the steps go out fine with door open but do not always lock. You can tell as they will extend and then sort of bounce back and stop in an unlocked position. You close the door and generally they open and lock but sometimes you have to cycle the door open and close 2 or 3 times before they lock open.

Never a problem going in and out, just not always locking when they open. I have lubed them often and they make no noice but when they open all the way to do make a Clang sound when they hit the stops and then as I said, and more often now, they will retract a few inches and stay in an unlocked position.

I can't see anything underneath to tell me what it is. Could it be Teeth in the motor going out? Is there a setting or adjustment I missed? Thank you for any help.
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:02 PM   #2
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Kwiki Steps

I had this on our's
Be real carefull w/going under the Coach and checking the Steps ,If you have the same as we have ,there is a Large Gear (its Flat) with Teeth on the outside check the end teeth on the Radius real close , the get chewed up ,i fixed mine by taking it apart and welded over the damaged teeth and then reshaped them but you can buy the gear also you need to find out what the model# and serial # is .Try E-Trailer.com ,the have them
I fixed mine myself and been fine for 3 years + now Cost was , my Time
I hope this helps , OLD MARINE
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Old 11-17-2020, 03:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonehands View Post
Hello Everyone.

I searched the forum prior to asking this but could not find my specific issue so I am asking now.

On our Class DP, we have the 3 step Kwikee auto steps. The have never stuck open or closed and seem to move in and out fine.



However

It is happening more often that when the Steps open from a closed position, they extend out all the way fine, then pull back in partially and thus not locking open. May happen 1 out of 5 uses. If you are in the coach and going out, when you park or fuel for example, the steps go out fine with door open but do not always lock. You can tell as they will extend and then sort of bounce back and stop in an unlocked position. You close the door and generally they open and lock but sometimes you have to cycle the door open and close 2 or 3 times before they lock open.

Never a problem going in and out, just not always locking when they open. I have lubed them often and they make no noice but when they open all the way to do make a Clang sound when they hit the stops and then as I said, and more often now, they will retract a few inches and stay in an unlocked position.

I can't see anything underneath to tell me what it is. Could it be Teeth in the motor going out? Is there a setting or adjustment I missed? Thank you for any help.
Have you cleaned and lubed the pivot points? Kwickee calls for lubricating the steps every 30 days. The steps do not have stop switches. The steps stop when they get a rise in amp draw. If they are binding they will stop mid stream. If you had missing teeth, it would happen every time.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:17 PM   #4
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Perhaps the Kwikee service training manual will be helpful. Then there is a of how to diagnose the electricals for a Kwikee step that puts the manuals testing procedure into visual form.
The testing pigtail is available from Amazon and most RV supply stores.
That said, I suspect worn stops are the problem.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:48 PM   #5
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First thing I'd do is lubricate the joints - no one ever seems to do that and it can be the cause of many issues with the steps.
Then, if they are working the key is to NEVER step on them if they are not in a locked extended position - they are not escalators and if you step before they are properly locked you will eventually wreck the gears.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:51 PM   #6
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Check for wear and lubrication

Also check for power and ground.

The controller is monitoring curret flow to motor but not sure if it is looking at actual current in amps or a voltage drop caused by increased amps from motor stall.

If there is a loose ground as example the available voltage can vary based on the quality of the connection.

Any resistance in a connection will result in a voltage drop across the connection which causes the controller to act as motor stall at end of travel.

Lower steps then turn OFF all batteries and close door to confirm steps dead.

After review of the manual locate the main power and ground wires on the steps side of the rubber connector.

Get a couple sewing pins and push them into the power and ground wires where they cannot touch each other or ground.

Get a volt meter and some clip leads to attach meter to the pins and route the wires so they stay clear of moving parts.

Turn battery on and operate the door to cause steps to move.

Monitor voltage to see if it stays same the whole time or if it drops when steps stop.

Also it should be same as battery, 12.6 or so, better than 13 if engine is running.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmarine View Post
I had this on our's
Be real carefull w/going under the Coach and checking the Steps ,If you have the same as we have ,there is a Large Gear (its Flat) with Teeth on the outside check the end teeth on the Radius real close , the get chewed up ,i fixed mine by taking it apart and welded over the damaged teeth and then reshaped them but you can buy the gear also you need to find out what the model# and serial # is .Try E-Trailer.com ,the have them
I fixed mine myself and been fine for 3 years + now Cost was , my Time
I hope this helps , OLD MARINE
Thank you Old Marine. I will crawl under this weekend to check it out. I lubed all joints and pivot points with good dry lube every month per spec.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
Have you cleaned and lubed the pivot points? Kwickee calls for lubricating the steps every 30 days. The steps do not have stop switches. The steps stop when they get a rise in amp draw. If they are binding they will stop mid stream. If you had missing teeth, it would happen every time.
Thank you for the feedback. Yes I lubed with a good dry lube each month per manufacturer. Will check the teeth this weekend to look for an issue there. Thank you.
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Old 11-18-2020, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
Perhaps the Kwikee service training manual will be helpful. Then there is a of how to diagnose the electricals for a Kwikee step that puts the manuals testing procedure into visual form.
The testing pigtail is available from Amazon and most RV supply stores.
That said, I suspect worn stops are the problem.
Thank you very much for the feedback and response. Great information.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
Check for wear and lubrication

Also check for power and ground.

The controller is monitoring curret flow to motor but not sure if it is looking at actual current in amps or a voltage drop caused by increased amps from motor stall.

If there is a loose ground as example the available voltage can vary based on the quality of the connection.

Any resistance in a connection will result in a voltage drop across the connection which causes the controller to act as motor stall at end of travel.

Lower steps then turn OFF all batteries and close door to confirm steps dead.

After review of the manual locate the main power and ground wires on the steps side of the rubber connector.

Get a couple sewing pins and push them into the power and ground wires where they cannot touch each other or ground.

Get a volt meter and some clip leads to attach meter to the pins and route the wires so they stay clear of moving parts.

Turn battery on and operate the door to cause steps to move.

Monitor voltage to see if it stays same the whole time or if it drops when steps stop.

Also it should be same as battery, 12.6 or so, better than 13 if engine is running.
Thank you Tony. Good information. Checking on the volts and gear teeth. I lubed with quality dry lube per manufacturer spec each month and no binding occurring. Thank you again.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:32 PM   #11
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If you follow his method, then make sure to use sealant to seal up the holes left by the pins into the wires. The insulation is not self sealing and the pins will leave a hole for water to get in and corrode the wires. The better method is to get the test cable specifically designed for the task as identified in post 9
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:39 PM   #12
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My 2 year old Kwikee steps started banging really hard when they stopped a couple of weeks ago. Didn't take long before they were dangling. I pulled the motor and gearbox off, took the motor off the gear box and was surprised when the gears were good.

Next I took the metal cover off the motor. The pictures show the condition of the driven plate inside the plastic gear and the shaft through it were rusted badly. When I tried to take the snap ring off it broke.

The other pictures show the opening through the plate wallowed out, and the deterioration of the shaft. I cleaned the plate and shaft and welded them together. It works fine, but there's no way it should have failed in such a short time because of corrosion that severe.

A little hint when you put the the motor and gear box back on the steps- put the motor on the gear box with the arm in the middle of the stroke. The movement of the steps closed to open is less than the distance between the stops cast into the gear box cover. That way the motor stalls when the steps are locked in or out. If the arm is against either stop it's past the maximum extension or retraction of the steps and the pin won't line up.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:40 AM   #13
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Thank you for the pics and input. Working on it this weekend and will let the group know with pics what I find.
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Old 11-19-2020, 08:40 AM   #14
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If you follow his method, then make sure to use sealant to seal up the holes left by the pins into the wires. The insulation is not self sealing and the pins will leave a hole for water to get in and corrode the wires. The better method is to get the test cable specifically designed for the task as identified in post 9
Thank you Harry.
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