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Old 01-24-2015, 03:05 PM   #1
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UGLY step motor sound, upon retraction

Gents,
We have an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. The step, for the entry door, has been working flawless now for 60K miles. But, upon return from the Quartzsite event, happening as we speak, our step is making some rather "UGLY" sounding noises, at the final stage of retraction.
When the step extends, there's no noise what so ever. It still extends and retracts, basically normally, in both speed and smoothness. But, when the steps are all retracted, that is, flush with the bottom of the door sill, that's when it makes it not-so-good sound.

The sound is like it's got gears that are stipping. It's kind of like you're grinding gears when shifting, only at a real slow speed, not fast like transmission gears. Man, I hope the gear box is not shot. The motor seems fine. The mechanism(s), all of them, that is, all the pivoting arms, arms that attach the motor to the gear box, all seem just fine.

The step was not hit or bent in any way. So, I guess it's time to tear into this thing and find out what the issue is. Anyone ever had this type of sound upon full retraction of the "two-step" version of the Kwikee entry step?
Scott
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:07 PM   #2
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I had a problem awhile back with the steps retracting. Apparently I hit something that hit the step hard enough to bend it just a little. After applying grease I could see where it was working metal to metal. I put some force on it and moved it back forward a tad and it has worked fine since. I did not have or hear the noise you describe. My RV is similar to yours.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #3
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Had a similar problem on our previous coach (Adventurer 35U) Removed the motor and gear assembly. All the grease had dried up. Cleaned all parts and greased everything, but it had a warn gear. It lasted another season and then we replaced it
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:01 PM   #4
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All better now, yahooooo

Well Gang,
All better now. I decided to dissect the little monster and see what I could find. Well, as you can see in the pics, there's obviously two gears. A larger, about 3" inch one which is the "driven" gear and, the smaller one, about 1" which, is the drive gear. In the pic of the driven one, you can see the damage to at least on tooth and, a second one was on it's way to failure too.

Also, if you look close in the pic of the drive gear, you'll see the broken tooth of the driven one, stuck in between two teeth, NOT GOOD! So, using my scientific one celled mind, after a good clean up of all the parts, I noticed that just a tad less than half of that driven gear, IS NOT USED AT ALL, hmmmmmm. The driven gear is, rotatable on the shaft that it sits on, by 180 degrees.

So, I figured what the heck, what have I got to loose? So, I greased it all up, which by the way was a lot better grease and a lot more of it, compared to the factory el-cheapo grease job they did and, re-assembled it all, with the driven gear rotated 180 to basically an almost full arc of movement, in all BRAND NEW TEETH. It all went together just fine. And, the really good part, I had no parts left over.

So, I installed back under the door and, ran it through some tests, prior to actually hooking it up to the step. Smoooooooooth as glass. Now, one thing I noticed when I was starting to remove the motor and link assembly from the step, it was exceptionally hard to drive the link pin out between the actuator arm of the drive mechanism and, the two brackets that are on the rotator shaft of the step. Hmmmmm.

And, in doing test runs without hooking it to those two brackets, I noticed it traveled about a 1/4" farther than it would if it were hooked to the step. That meant that, the step limit "out" adjustments were too far in. So, I loosened them up and turned them a bit to increase the travel of the step. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, those adjustments are a "cam" type adjustment. If you turn them, it's like turning a egg, and, you there for increase or, decrease the travel of the step.

So, I turned them in the direction that would increase the step "Out" travel limit. It took quite a bit for the step to move out so that, re-inserting the link pin was not a strain and it would go in semi-easily. So, now the step travels about 3/4" inch farther out but, it still comes to rest in the same spot, when retracting all the way in. So, that adjustment does not effect the retraction stopping point.

So, the question is, how long will it last, who the heck knows? It sure seems to be smoother and fast that it was previously. But, only time will tell. Anyway, if any one has any questions, I'd be glad to answer if I can.
Scott



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Old 01-25-2015, 11:23 AM   #5
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Nice write-up. Thanks for your insights. Steps can be a real problem.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:24 AM   #6
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Happy to hear you solved it. Good fix.
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:37 PM   #7
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Hope you get another 11 years out of them!
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