Originally Posted by kleimanr
The lock is simply too tight against the wall. If you have the cover off loosen the nuts that hold the gear box to the enclosure. Then try the switch again. After you get it unlocked you need to lube the worm gear with grease. Not silicone.
Thanks for the reply, kleiman. I have remedied the situation. Here's how.
After hours of mental gymnastics and the attempted use of semantic chicanery to outsmart the interweb thingamajig's search protocol I finally picked up the phone and dialed the number on the motor.. Yay!
Eventually, I spoke to the manufacturer of the worm drive, David Richards, who instructed me to disassemble the gearbox and visibly inspect the smaller worm gear and the bearing raceway above it.
The raceway was crushed and several bearings were loose inside the gearbox, two were worn flat where they made contact with the worm gear. I assume that one or both of them became lodged between the worm gear and the chimney (the tall upper section) wall, effectively jamming it..
David informed me that the bearing system was added per manufacturer's request (I guess that means Airstream?). Normally the worm gear utilizes a hardened-steel thrust washer.
He explained that the bearing system is not stout enough to handle the load over time and will eventually fail.
The same day I contacted him, David sent me two new worm drive systems at no cost to me. I'll install them this weekend.
Piece of Cake.
If anyone else has issues that echo mine,,, open up the gearbox.
Mind the mouse fur! That grease has a tendency to linger.