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Old 09-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #1
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Lubricating Classic Aluminum Steps

I've got a 2008 Classic 25fb purchased about 6 months ago. Pulling on the two release clips the step usually falls out of the storage position and locks but lately it seems to bind up or catches to one side only. I think it just needs to be lubricated where is slides on the two side support slots.

What is the recommended lubricant for the Classic steps? I don't want to have the steps collect dirt using the wrong lubricant.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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I would use some silicone spray....but I'd bet they have been tweaked a bit. Examine the steel outrigger slots for any out of aligned slot edges and reshape accordingly. Look for any burrs as well and gently file them down.

Sometimes it they don't fully engage during drop down, and someone steps on them with only one side engaged, they will twist the outrigger slot edges ever so slightly....and that's enough for non-smooth operation.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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Graphite, being a dry powder, won't collect dirt.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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I just lubricated my steps using silicone spray.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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I can see silicon working on all the linkage points of the steps but the two guides that run along the channels would they benefit using light weight lubricant or maybe a light coating of white lithium grease on the channels?

Steps have been fine up to the last trip. I make sure when I deploy the step that its locked correctly before deploying the second step but I've noticed it was not always locking on the left side and I would have to play with it. This weekend at storage the step got stuck a couple times. Nothing appears to be bent.

Thanks for everyones comments.

Kelvin
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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Spray graphite from the auto parts store is good for all outdoor applications on aluminum where dirt could collect on a regular petroleum lubricant.

Indoors or in protected places, cornstarch is a good lubricant for aluminum (who would have thought that?)
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Spray graphite is a great lubricator, and WILL stay on metal surfaces longer than silicon spray, in my experience.

BUT, you had better be really careful where the spray goes, because graphite will stain just about anything, and won't come off. It's black, by the way.

Silicon may need to be done more frequently, but is much easier to live with.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I would use some silicone spray....but I'd bet they have been tweaked a bit. Examine the steel outrigger slots for any out of aligned slot edges and reshape accordingly. Look for any burrs as well and gently file them down.

Sometimes it they don't fully engage during drop down, and someone steps on them with only one side engaged, they will twist the outrigger slot edges ever so slightly....and that's enough for non-smooth operation.
^
YEP

I usually just spray WD40 and wipe down well, don't want the crud to stick.

Also had to replace the broken/missing countersunk bolt and file the retainer notch. Removed all, Loc-tite red on the threads.

on edit...there is a capture nut on the back side of the locking arm. Had to thread nut down to bolt head filed off the threads, installed bolt in arm so the smooth portion of the bolt locks into the botch.

Bob
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:39 PM   #9
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I use a dry lube that is made for saw blades. Can't think of the name right now but it is amazing. It lasts more than one season.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:06 PM   #10
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WD 40 is not a lubricant. It is good for cleaning things up but it is designed to be a "water displacement" agent.

I came across a silicon spray that contains teflon. I heard of it here on the forum and you can get it at Lowes and/or HD. My trailer was three years old when we purchased it and the PO basically did little or no maintenance on it while it set out in the hot Montana sun. The steps and all 4 of the stabilizers were creaky. I used silicon and it worked well for a short time. Finally I applied some to the teflon stuff and man, what difference. It is clean, doesn't attract dirt and best of all, works.
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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Try one of these products:

Amazon.com: DuPont Teflon Non-Stick Dry-Film Lubricant Aerosol Spray, 10 Oz.: Sports & Outdoors

Liquid Wrench L512 Dry Lubricant with CERFLON - 11 oz. : Amazon.com : Automotive

Liquid Wrench is available at local auto parts stores, and similar products are available at home improvement and hardware stores.

Note: Teflon-type dry lubricants are also sold by several different companies under different labels and descriptions. Just look for the main ingredient Teflon, TFE or tetrafluoroethylene and the keyword "dry lubricant".
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
... Also had to replace the broken/missing countersunk bolt and file the retainer notch. Removed all, Loc-tite red on the threads ...
In particular, the screws in the link arms can loosen up that will contribute to a looseness that allows one end of the step to come out differently and can cause binding in the operation. In addition to regular lubrication with silicone spray, I also secured all the screws with Loc-Tite and my steps have behaved better. These screws are probably only available at JC and dealers should have them, but either way it would be inconvenient to lose one.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:30 AM   #13
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SG,

Even Fastenal didn't have the shouldered bolt that locks the step. McGivered it by running a nut all the way down to the head, filing the threads off, then removing the nut....and plenty of LT red on install.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone. I didn't realize its a bolt with threads that slide in the channels. I can see how the threads could cause it to bind if they get dry.

I'll look for the some of the dry lubricants.

Kelvin
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