How to repair this broken bolt in steps?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
Got waved down by a helpful motorist recently who was pointing to the steps in our coach-- they were out while driving down the road. Upon inspection I found that while the motor seems to be working fine, the bolt that connects the motor mechanism to the steps had broken. Tied them up with rope until we got home figuring it would be a relatively easy fix. Not so much...

When trying to replace the broken bolt with a new one-- for at least a temporary fix, we found it all but impossible to line things up to allow a replacement bolt to be inserted. Raised the steps to all positions but no matter what we tried things just wouldn't line up.

I'll call Fleetwood tomorrow to see if they can shed any light on the situation but in the meantime I'm thinking that perhaps there's more than just a single bolt (at least what I'm calling a bolt) involved? There doesn't seem to any kind of damage that I can see which would somehow make it so difficult to line things up.

http://byz.com/steps/
 

NY_Dutch

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Posts
7,827
Location
Where our wheels take us!
Run the motor for a moment to move the arm out a bit until there's enough play to insert a new pin. The original pin used a cotter pin to retain it, but I prefer "hairpin" clips that are easier to remove/replace for lubing the steps.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
NY_Dutch said:
Run the motor for a moment to move the arm out a bit until there's enough play to insert a new pin. The original pin used a cotter pin to retain it, but I prefer "hairpin" clips that are easier to remove/replace for lubing the steps.

Hmmm... the motor seems to want the steps to be IN or OUT. I don't see any way to move things only part of the way. (?)

I do plan to lube the steps as well while working around there. What do you use for lubrication?
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,496
Location
Farmington NH
Can you work with a helper and as you cycle the motor, have them disconnect the battery when it's in the position you want. Just have them hold the battery cable just touching the post.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
Rene T said:
Can you work with a helper and as you cycle the motor, have them disconnect the battery when it's in the position you want. Just have them hold the battery cable just touching the post.

That might work and something we considered trying. Stay tuned...  :)
 

dufferDave

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Posts
54
Rene T said:
Can you work with a helper and as you cycle the motor, have them disconnect the battery when it's in the position you want. Just have them hold the battery cable just touching the post.

Just to clarify, I'm sure Rene meant for you to touch the cable to the post, not to hold the cable with one hand and touch the post with your other hand.

(I love to try to be helpful.)
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,496
Location
Farmington NH
dufferDave said:
Just to clarify, I'm sure Rene meant for you to touch the cable to the post, not to hold the cable with one hand and touch the post with your other hand.

(I love to try to be helpful.)

Thanks for the clarification.  :eek: ??? ::) :-\ ;)
 

NY_Dutch

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Posts
7,827
Location
Where our wheels take us!
The step controller normally stops the motor when the current rises as the steps hit the stops. I stop the motor where I want the disconnected arm by just pushing against it with a long screwdriver as the motor runs. When I want to unhook the arm, I just push against the steps in mid travel. To keep the motor stopped instead of following the door, I flip the inside step switch to "Hold" rather than the "Follow". Just make sure no one turns on the ignition switch while you're working on the steps.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,166
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
As Dutch says, the step motor will stop when the load (resistance to movement) gets high - it is designed that way so the step doesn't bend if it hits something on deployment.  But disconnecting the power lead and briefly touching it to the terminal works fine too.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
NY_Dutch said:
The step controller normally stops the motor when the current rises as the steps hit the stops. I stop the motor where I want the disconnected arm by just pushing against it with a long screwdriver as the motor runs. When I want to unhook the arm, I just push against the steps in mid travel. To keep the motor stopped instead of following the door, I flip the inside step switch to "Hold" rather than the "Follow". Just make sure no one turns on the ignition switch while you're working on the steps.

Aha-- that's very useful information. Also sheds light on just what happens when we might park too close to a something such as a concrete curb and the steps can't fully extend before they hit the curb and stop. My fear always was that I might be damaging something but if I understand your explanation, sensing the increased pressure the steps simply stop at that point and no damage is done. (?)
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
dufferDave said:
Just to clarify, I'm sure Rene meant for you to touch the cable to the post, not to hold the cable with one hand and touch the post with your other hand.

(I love to try to be helpful.)

Sheesh-- NOW you tell me!!  :eek:  :'(
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
Rene T said:
Can you work with a helper and as you cycle the motor, have them disconnect the battery when it's in the position you want. Just have them hold the battery cable just touching the post.

Finally getting around to dealing with this-- thanks to the input here.

So... let's just say one is relatively uninformed when it comes to all things electrical. Looking at this battery compartment, where would one start to disconnect the battery? Always best to proceed with knowledge rather than my usual trial-and-error approach.  :-\

http://byz.com/steps/batteries.html
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
19,496
Location
Farmington NH
Just disconnect one end of the short cable in the middle. Then just touch the big solid post and not the threaded post. There may be a little arching so you don't want to damage the threads.
 

jymbee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Posts
1,769
Location
Upstate NY
NY_Dutch said:
Run the motor for a moment to move the arm out a bit until there's enough play to insert a new pin. The original pin used a cotter pin to retain it, but I prefer "hairpin" clips that are easier to remove/replace for lubing the steps.

Just to put this thread to bed and report the final outcome-- it was as simple as hitting the battery disconnect switch part way out and installing a hairpin. I'm sure that any of the other suggestions would have worked just as well but the bottom line is that were that to happen again rather than the "mild panic" I experienced with the first incident fearing the problem was much more complicated, my reaction will be more like-- "piece-of-cake", I got this. Thanks again to all.
 
Top Bottom