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Old 09-25-2006, 10:18 PM   #1
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1995 35' Land Yacht Diesel
Noblesville , Indiana
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Kwikee steps locked down

Returned from extended weekend in Michigan and upon arrival home left the steps in the down position with switch off. A few weeks later wanted to take MH to gas up and top off propane. Steps would not retract. This evening I crawled under the steps and proceeded to test for 12V, switches, grounds, etc. With controller disconnected, proceeded to jumper the motor with negative results. Motor seemed to be frozen solid. I contemplated ordering a new motor, but at $120 for lowest price decided to take the motor apart at the mounting point. After loosening the four torx (#15) screws and giving a tug on the motor housing, about two to three tablespoons of water came out from inside the housing. Uh Oh!

I removed the housing completely and found the motor shaft totally frozen in place with much corrosion. I pulled the shaft out with some difficulty and out poped the brushes and springs too. Well about two hours later after thouroughly cleaning and lubricating the motor shaft and housing and many attempts to get it back in place with the springs and brushes installed and the cover firmly in place, the steps now work better than they did when I picked up the rig two years ago. What had failed was the thin rubber gasket that was suposed to keep the motor dry. I don't intend to take this motor apart in the future as I noticed there wasn't much brush size left (less than 3/16"), and since the gasket is shot, believe I will just JB Weld the housing back in place. Who knows this may last another ten years, but I doubt it. Next time it will be a motor replacement. I'm thinking of just ordering the motor now, because you know Murphy and his stupid law. Most often it applies to me!
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:04 AM   #2
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An Airstream owner can never have too many spare parts. Of course the parts are always in the barn when you're far away and need them. Murphy's law prevails.
It's amazing how much lubrication makes things work! Too many folks overlook the easy and low cost maintainence of lubing up everything.
If it moves lube it! If it doesn't .... do like Gunworks and take it apart and lube it!!
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Old 09-26-2006, 07:56 AM   #3
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Before you JB Weld the motor, why not replace the brushes? If you take one of the old ones down to a good hardware store or motor repair shop, you should bed able to get replacements for a few bucks or less.
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Old 09-26-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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1995 35' Land Yacht Diesel
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Good idea Jim, but alas, the brushes are hard soldered (or molded) onto the connector wire which is also hard soldered to terminals and covered by some hard goop/sealant. It could be done, but I had such a #$@&* of a time putting it back together, don't really want to take it apart again. In addition the hard plastic plate the motor attaches to is also deteriorating, probably due to age. I suspect these are specialized brushes and hard to find. All you can get throught various Kwikee dealers is the "sealed" motor.
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:57 PM   #5
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1994 35' Land Yacht Diesel
Franklin NC , North Carolina
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Kwikee Step

Our step was also stuck in the out position. When I took the motor off
and moved it manually it resumed working when reinstalled. It appears
to me that the dog bone between the drive shaft and the step it self went
past center and locked.
So, we took a trip and it stuck out again.
I called Kwikee and they said I had a flat spot in the electric motor and to replace it. I found the motor on the Internet and ordered one for $106.00 plus shipping. When I installed it, it just hummed. I would not turn the gear shaft so I unpluged it.
I called Kwikee again and this time they said my controller box was bad.
Wait a minute that's $159.00 and I'm not sure that's the problem.
Have any of you wired a manual switch to you step?
If so, does it need a limit switch or something special?
My step gear box shows no signs of water damage and worked well somethings. Any Suggestions?
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:32 PM   #6
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I read somewhere an automobile electirc window motor from NAPA is a direct replacment for the step motor I don't know the part numer but if you take the motor into NAPA they may be able the cross reference.

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Old 10-14-2006, 10:39 PM   #7
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Paul you can go to the Kwikee web site and down load the maintenance manual.
When mine was stuck there was a clicking sound but steps wouldn't move. I found a dirty connector that was acting as a resistor and not enough current would get through to move the steps. It took quite a bit of cleaning to get everyting to working like new.

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