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Author Topic: Kwikee Step will not retract  (Read 709 times)

garyb1st

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Kwikee Step will not retract
« on: July 10, 2019, 10:41:51 AM »
Breaking camp yesterday AM.  Step would not retract.  Took considerable muscle to remove clevis pin that keeps step from moving freely.  Pry bar, hammer, pliers etc.  Finally out but may have bent mechanism in process.  This morning I thought I'd place a small bolt through holes so we could use step on temporary basis.  Bolt smaller than dia. of pin would not go in.  Finally a much thinner piece of clothes hanger wire worked.  So it's out and not moving but will need to remove wire and re-secure step for travel.  Oh the joys of RVing.  In any event, we never tried to see if it was a simple fuse problem.   Other than a few times when the stair would not retract while starting out, it has always worked fine.   So now, during the high season, when every RV service facility is slammed, what do we do?

First I'd like to rule out a simple fuse issue.  So anyone have a suggestion on fuse location for step.  It's an 05 Fleetwood product.  There's a light under the step that is always on.  Door open or closed makes no difference.  Switch on or off no difference.   I'm pretty sure the light normally comes on when door opens.  Disconnected house power.  Light still on so definitely 12V. 

If motor, I was told by an RV service type that connecting two wires to a 12v battery would tell me if it was the motor.  I have the Kwikee Owners Manual so I'll see if I can figure it out.  But would like to do the fuse first.   
 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


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darsben

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 11:06:15 AM »
I would check the door switch first.  The light on all the time makes me suspicious
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Utclmjmpr

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 11:19:08 AM »
 With the pin removed,, will the steps move freely.?? It would be a great time to oil all the pivot points and free it up  To replace the "pin",, move the activation arm a small amount by using a 12V battery and momentarily touch the contacts to move it out .. then the pin will reinsert easily.  Reinsert the pin using Never Seize or grease to make it easier "the next time" >>>Dan
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 11:53:58 AM by Utclmjmpr »
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vjswhippet

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 01:27:51 PM »
I'm having the same problem on my 08 Vista Cruiser Mini 4230 Sprinter MH.   Only my steps came out while I was driving and now won't go back in

Kevin Means

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 01:49:32 PM »
Hi Gary. I'd also take a look at the magnetic switch on the door to make sure it's aligned properly. The step-light indicates that power is getting to the system (somewhere) but that power first goes through a circuit board, and they've been known to fail. The circuit board cuts power to the electric motor when the steps reach the end of their travel, and the amps increase. I think you were with us at KOFA when Marty (Sarge) and I determined that the circuit board on our friend's coach had failed.

We disconnected its wiring harness (the plug is tucked up behind and above the steps) and hooked 12 volts directly to the motor. The steps retracted, so we knew the motor was good, and that little gear box that's attached to the swing-arm wasn't binding.

That little gear box is another point of failure. It can jam internally and the motor doesn't have enough power to overcome it. That happened to my steps about a couple years ago. I disassembled the gearbox, greased it, then reassembled it, and it's been working fine ever since. Just make sure you don't drop any of the little parts when you're disassembling it, and pay attention to the order they're removed. It wasn't a difficult job.

Kev
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JD Sharp

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 03:17:41 PM »
If door switch is simple push button. remove from jam, disconnect both wires and place jumper wire between them. If steps retract and extend - bad switch. There is probably a Cole Hersee  part number stamped on it.
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John From Detroit

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 05:45:45 PM »
Had the reverse issue with my RV (steps would not go out) was able to pull the cotter pin and then the clevis pin and then they swung out part way. I have a "Step support" ting I got years ago I do nto often use but it worked to hold them full out while I removed the motor and first gear assembly (3 bolts I used a 3/8" wrench but I think one metric up might work better. UNPLUG the power lead from te motor..)

Caution: There is a small rod that can fall out of the lower gear box assembly on my steps so do not TIP the gear assembly as you lower it.

Now turn the uppe gear (reconnect clevis to steps you may need to figure out what is blocking the pin) YOu may also need to straighten one or both of the pieces the clevis fits between
 Then reassemble. 

Now make sure you are well clear of the steps and tap (I do mean TAP not pound) the motor a few times with the handle of  a hammer.  Have a partner operate the door or better yet get out and do it yourself. If it moves great.

Next week (on Thrusday) I will have order info for a new motor in my nands. Just now it's 60 miles away..

IF the gear on the lower assembly has 9 cogs and is tight to the plate a 1990 FORD torino driver's side motor will work

IF it has 12 cogs and is raised. and can be lifted off the motor.. That's what Is in my mail box.
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KandT

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 07:36:28 PM »
I would check the door switch first.  The light on all the time makes me suspicious

+1 here - been there and done that.  Easy fix and diagnosis.
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garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 09:43:07 PM »
I would check the door switch first.  The light on all the time makes me suspicious

Cut wires connected and nothing. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2019, 09:45:54 PM »
Picked up a test light today.  Apparently some of these kwikee steps have 3 fuses.  I've located 2 so far.  I check those tomorrow.   Both are in BCC fuse box.  Not sure where third is.  Any sugestions?
g
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2019, 09:50:29 PM »
Marty (Sarge) and I determined that the circuit board on our friend's coach had failed.

We disconnected its wiring harness (the plug is tucked up behind and above the steps) and hooked 12 volts directly to the motor. The steps retracted, so we knew the motor was good, and that little gear box that's attached to the swing-arm wasn't binding.
Quote
  Can I use jumper cables to test gear box.  Though I'd connect one end to battery and the other end to the wiring harness.  Hopefully only two wires or wires are labeled.  Suggestions Kev?

That little gear box is another point of failure. It can jam internally and the motor doesn't have enough power to overcome it. That happened to my steps about a couple years ago. I disassembled the gearbox, greased it, then reassembled it, and it's been working fine ever since. Just make sure you don't drop any of the little parts when you're disassembling it, and pay attention to the order they're removed. It wasn't a difficult job.
Quote
Same question Kev.  Will a jumper cable work?

Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

irishtom29

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2019, 10:08:32 PM »
These goofy steps are false luxury. Any competent 19th Century engineer could've designed a simple and reliable manual movable step usable from either inside or out.

Kevin Means

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 12:45:08 PM »
Sorry Gary, I can't help with the locations of the three fuses. (Boy, that's redundant circuit protection) You can use jumper cables to get power to the step motor. In fact, that's exactly what we did when we were troubleshooting the steps on our friend's coach at KOFA . We pulled someone's truck alongside the RV, connected jumper cables to its battery, then taped his multi-meter leads to the other end of the jumper cables. (Hey, you do what you have to in a pinch  :D)

It doesn't matter how the wires are connected, because it's a reverse polarity system, but make sure the motor is mechanically disconnected from the steps before you connect the wires to the motor's leads. if it's still connected when you apply 12 volts, you won't have the current protection when the steps reach the end of their travel, and you could pinch your fingers or gonk your coconut if the steps start moving. (Trust me on that)

If the motor spins when you connect it to power, the problem may be that the little gearbox has dryed out and jammed, like mine did. If the motor doesn't spin, you've found the problem.

Kev
2011 Winnebago Tour 42QD
Towing a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited LJ
RVI Brake 2, TST 507 TPMS, 960 watts of solar, SolaRVector tilt
Lakeside, California

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 06:35:48 PM »
Found two fuses in the BCC under the hood.  Both are good.  The other may be under dash and connected to the ignition.  Read Handy Bob's article on the issue and he's convinced the majority of failures are due to lack of maintenance.  Since I didn't know they required maintenance, it's been at least 3 years and my guess is the previous owner who had it for a year didn't maintain the steps either.  So a good likelihood of binding.  I sprayed most of the pivot points and sliding mechanism with a WD 40 cleaning product.  Tomorrow I'll spray some lithium grease on the steps and see what happens.  I'm also going to check the ground connections for contact issues. 

As far as keeping my head safe, I'll wear my bicycle helmet. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2019, 09:04:38 AM »
Problem solved.  I disconnected and reconnected the 4 way control center wire.  Now the step extends and retracts as before.  However I haven't tried to reinsert the clevis pin.  All that's holding the arm is a thin piece of clothes hangar wire.  Attempting to reinsert the clevis pin previously wasn't working.  Not sure if it was because the step would not fully extend or the bracket bent while attempting to remove pin.  So a couple questions. 

Should I spray the plug with dielectric?

Any suggestions on reinserting clevis pin?  The Kwikee step manual suggests the step needs to be fully extended to reinsert pin. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Old_Crow

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2019, 09:23:26 AM »
I'd pull the plug again when the motor was in motion.  Stop the motor somewhere in mid-travel.  Then you could manually move the steps up and down until the holes for the clevis pin match up.  Much easier than trying to install the clevis at the full lock position. 

Safety disclaimer: make sure you're clear of the steps when you plug them back in. 

Dielectric grease for sure on the plug, and a light coating of wheel bearing grease on the clevis pin, and spray type white grease on all the step pivot points. 
Wally Crow
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garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2019, 09:44:23 AM »
Wally thanks for the reply.  Not sure I'm fast enough to disconnect plug when in motion.  But I'll give it a try if unable to insert pin.   
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

darsben

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2019, 07:16:27 PM »
Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion... The grease does not conduct electricity, so it shouldn't be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2019, 09:07:40 PM »
Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion... The grease does not conduct electricity, so it shouldn't be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection

Thanks for the response.  That is exactly what I was planning on doing.  However, now I'm not sure what to do with it. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

phil-t

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2019, 05:25:02 AM »
Dielectric grease, or tune-up grease, is a silicone-based grease that repels moisture and protects electrical connections against corrosion... The grease does not conduct electricity, so it shouldn't be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection
I am likely wrong, in my use of pure silicone dielectric grease.  I use it on nearly every electrical contact/connection I deal with, from trailer connectors to every connection I touch on all my vehicles wiring.  I use it the way I was taught while working electronics in the USAF (mainly small missle and other armament electronics), in the 70s.  It has done very well by me, and several others I have helped.  There is a LOT of reading, good and bad, that can be found releative to its use.
Sorry for the thread diversion.  My Kwikee steps get monthly maintenance, since their first failure.  No more problems.
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darsben

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2019, 09:18:25 AM »
www.britannica.com/science/dielectric

Dielectric, insulating material or a very poor conductor of electric current. When dielectrics are placed in an electric field , practically no current flows in them because, unlike metals, they have no loosely bound, or free, electrons that may drift through the material.
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

TheBar

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2019, 10:23:05 AM »
"Bulb grease" is meant to be applied to the contact surface then wiped off leaving only a micro layer. When CFL household screw in bulbs first came out dielectric grease was recommended on the threads because the bulbs last so much longer. Also used directly on car battery posts. Plastic automotive connectors often do not fit that tight around the incoming wires exposing contacts to air if not water. Is the slight drop in conductivity on contacts worse than the possibility of corrosion?
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darsben

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2019, 10:50:31 AM »
"Bulb grease" is meant to be applied to the contact surface then wiped off leaving only a micro layer. When CFL household screw in bulbs first came out dielectric grease was recommended on the threads because the bulbs last so much longer. Also used directly on car battery posts. Plastic automotive connectors often do not fit that tight around the incoming wires exposing contacts to air if not water. Is the slight drop in conductivity on contacts worse than the possibility of corrosion?
No but using the right product for the job is the correct procedure
This could be used
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Ford-XG-12-Electrical-Grease/dp/B000NUBB28/ref=sr_1_13?keywords=conductive+grease&qid=1563205956&s=gateway&sr=8-13
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 10:54:21 AM by darsben »
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

John From Detroit

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2019, 03:39:06 PM »
A couple years ago I replaced my steps with used. One of the "Arms" as you call them was bent. I fixed it. To fix put the pin through WITHOUT the part that goes between the arms. and use a good pair of pliers (Vice Grip???) to bend the one that needs it.

Spray with dielectric grease.. Well.. YES. why not. can't hurt or De-Oxit Gold if you like (I"m fighting a bad connection that way) The Stuff you suggested will likely work and is way less expensive.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2019, 11:06:12 AM »
A couple years ago I replaced my steps with used. One of the "Arms" as you call them was bent. I fixed it. To fix put the pin through WITHOUT the part that goes between the arms. and use a good pair of pliers (Vice Grip???) to bend the one that needs it.
My "mechanical parts" vocabulary is a bit limited but I think we're on the same page.  ;)   I'll give that a try but I'm hoping it will slide in now that the steps have been freed up. 


Quote
Spray with dielectric grease.. Well.. YES. why not. can't hurt or De-Oxit Gold if you like (I"m fighting a bad connection that way) The Stuff you suggested will likely work and is way less expensive.

Thought I had a can of Dielectric.  I don't.  What I have is a spray can of CRC - QD Electronic Cleaner.   Based on what I've read that will clean it but will not provide any protection going forward.  Never heard of De-Oxit Gold.  I'll pick up a can if I can find it.  Any other brands I can consider?


Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

PJ Stough

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2019, 03:25:33 PM »
Try this product on the electrical connection. A couple of people I know say it is the best product for electrical connections they have found.  https://www.strikehold.com/
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

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garyb1st

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2019, 04:49:44 PM »
I'd pull the plug again when the motor was in motion.  Stop the motor somewhere in mid-travel.  Then you could manually move the steps up and down until the holes for the clevis pin match up.  Much easier than trying to install the clevis at the full lock position. 

Safety disclaimer: make sure you're clear of the steps when you plug them back in. 

Dielectric grease for sure on the plug, and a light coating of wheel bearing grease on the clevis pin, and spray type white grease on all the step pivot points.

Wally, thank you for this information.  I couldn't get the clevis pin through the holes and then remembered your post.  Unplugged step half way through its cycle and the pin went in without a problem.  Steps are now working fine.  All points lubed and new clevin and cotter pins through the hole.  Thanks to everyone for your help. 

Gary
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Old_Crow

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2019, 06:27:20 AM »
 
:)) :))
Wally Crow
Retired 30+ year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
FMCA F494768

"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."

John From Detroit

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Re: Kwikee Step will not retract
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2019, 04:06:56 PM »
There is a Kwikee step thread on RV.Net (Not sure which forum)
I uploaded soem photos to it. They are too big to post here but perhaps I can copy the links

Let's' see if this works
3 motors the doorman on the left the original right

Just the gears note the tooth count

And another view of the gears

I do not think they will show up doing it this way but you may be able to click through
let me know if it works







« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 04:14:11 PM by John From Detroit »
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.