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Old 06-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
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Yep, it's THOSE steps

So I have a problem. Steps wigged out on me today. Basically, the opening in the outrigger on the right side of the steps finally got so worn that they won' stay locked in place. Left side looks like the day it left the factory. Right side is so worn that they won't deploy and stay locked at all. A couple of pics.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Pic 1
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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This shows the left side, looks factory new. Step easily locks into place with no problem.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
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This is the right side. Won't lock in place any longer because the steel has worn down over the years.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:18 PM   #5
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For those of you that have dealt with this issue before, you'll notice that the right side is worn and rounded, no place for the bolt on that side to settle into.

So do I grind down both sides to an identical, symmetrical design (preferred choice), or have a welder add a spot of weld in there and shape to fit the other side (read: grind away and hope I get it right )

As always, thanks for the ideas gang.

Jim
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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I am no metal-worker by any stretch...could you scab a piece of metal in the proper shape on either side of the bad outrigger? ...or something to that effect. Just a thought...
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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Do you think JB Weld is tough enough for something like that?
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #8
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When I repaired ours I used a MIG welder, round file and carbide burr in a die grinder - not a very difficult repair. The slots need to be similar, but by most metal working standards there's plenty of tolerance for differences.

Our right side wore down as well... I made 'em match w/ the welder. Note that you can easily trace the good side and use that to match up the other side.

- Bart
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:28 PM   #9
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It can be made to work again

I had the same problem. Just took a rat tail file and made the notches deeper. It took a while to file new notches. Not much working room. I studied it for a while to try and determine which way and how deep, but it worked out. Now I can pull the release lever and the steps swing down and lock into place. It might be easier if you could get a rotary rasp; about 3/8" diameter and put it in a drill motor.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Do you think JB Weld is tough enough for something like that?
I'd be very surprised if JB weld would work here - the built up area is small, and the load quite high - which is why the steel wears out over time.

- Bart
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:31 PM   #11
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Jim:

I don't even use mine. I made wooden steps and carry them in the truck. Adrienne does not like the airstream step and the dogs struggle with it. I really like the wood steps because they are more comfortable going up into the trailer. I stained them and put out door carpeting on them. I have two sets of steps. One I keep in Illinois and the other I use around here.

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Old 06-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
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I would file in this direction. Just enough where the pin on the step sets in good and solid.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #13
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I saw this solution at the first Branson rally almost four years ago now.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...4&d=1192908130

The top has a T sweated on and the bottom has one with a slot to fit over the back of the step. There are one on each side, it's kind of hard to see the one on the left because of the shadow. They hold the step out in positions without depending on the notches in the side.

Clever and cheap. The steps were nice and solid.
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:27 PM   #14
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What is the top T attached to?
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #15
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Thumbs up

I'd probably go with Twinkies reccomendation, but I'd replace the rasp with my Dremel tool and a rotary grinding bit

good luck
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
When I repaired ours I used a MIG welder, round file and carbide burr in a die grinder - not a very difficult repair. The slots need to be similar, but by most metal working standards there's plenty of tolerance for differences.

Our right side wore down as well... I made 'em match w/ the welder. Note that you can easily trace the good side and use that to match up the other side.

- Bart
That's what I was thinking I would do as I read thru this thread - I doubt
JB weld would last long in this application.

Brian.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:02 PM   #17
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The right side of mine was also bad. Plus, the lower step no longer would hang parallel to the ground and was tilting forward significantly. and, the steel band iron accross the top of the assembly had failed making the step even more spongy. I coughed up $650 for a new step and welding of all the new components.
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Old 06-11-2011, 06:59 PM   #18
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BE CAREFUL, when the steps broke on my 98 AS, it cost me $60K. I went to order the parts and my wife started talking to the salesman before it was over we had a 2010 AS.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
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What is the top T attached to?
It doesn't really attach to anything. I tucks into the 90 degree corner formed by the back and top of the compartment that holds the steps. When they are the correct length, you slip them onto the back of the bottom step while raising it a little. When the step is lowered to the correct position, it moves inward pushing the top into the (upper) corner. Easy!
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #20
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Thanks for the tips & hints, boys. I took a tape measure to it today and noticed that the factory cutout (left side) is about 1/8" further from the top of the outrigger than the worn side (right side). My guess is that the two sides need to be about the same distance from the top of of the outrigger to bring things to a sort of level, so I'll grind away on both sides until there's some symmetry there. Suspect that this will leave the step slightly off-level, but that's probably agreeable. I'll post back with measurements and results as I get the work done.

Brian, Susan found a step like you're describing on-line someplace. She just wants to buy one of those and let the steps be an unused cosmetic feature. I, on the other hand, see this as an opportunity to crank up the power tools and "fix something". I guess it's just a guy thing. Never pass up an opportunity to fire up a new tool....

Jim
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