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Old 11-23-2022, 03:47 AM   #1
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Slide-out issue: motor running, slide not moving

Hey guys,

It's a 2016 178 with lippert slide-out system.

Tried search but couldn't find any info. esp. on DIY.

The motor runs but slide-out won't move, though I could manually move the slide-out in and out uisng a wrench without much issue.

It might be the gear in the actuator from what I read.

Have anyone tried to remove the motor/actuator assembly and replaced gear?

Thanks a lot.
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by renhui View Post
Hey guys,

It's a 2016 178 with lippert slide-out system.

Tried search but couldn't find any info. esp. on DIY.

The motor runs but slide-out won't move, though I could manually move the slide-out in and out uisng a wrench without much issue.

It might be the gear in the actuator from what I read.

Have anyone tried to remove the motor/actuator assembly and replaced gear?

Thanks a lot.
If the slide uses a linear actuator (screw inside a tube) then what you describe means the gearbox has a stripped gear.

Lippert through frame units are fairly easy to remove the gearbox on. It's on the opposite end of the actuator from the slide itself. Held in place by two bolts, one top and one bottom, along with two wires that need to be disconnected.

On mine I was able to access the motor/gearbox by cutting a window in the bottom coroplast cover and resealing the flap using PVC Pipe Tape.

That covers the gearbox itself. Now for the bad news. Lippert doesn't appear to sell the gearbox itself, only as part of the complete actuator. I have seen some internal gears sold online by various sources so once the gearbox is out and it's been determined what has failed, a net search might yield replacement parts.

I would avoid like the plague any gearbox sold on Amazon unless it's an actual Lippert part. I made the mistake of getting one, attracted to the low price, but found they come WITHOUT the torque limiting clutch and the first time the slide reaches it's travel limit the only sound you'll hear is the main gear breaking. I sent mine back and Amazon not only refunded my $$, but the gearbox listing was removed.

In summary, if you can move slide in/out manually the actuator itself is OK. If you hear the motor running, it's OK. This points directly at the plastic gear inside the gearbox being stripped and not transmitting power to the operating screw inside the actuator.

When my slide quit it turned out to be a bad motor (brush holder too tight and not allowing brush to contact the commutator). I put in a complete new actuator and repaired the motor so I now have a spare actuator assembly. Guarantees I will never have that problem again


To add:

There are two gearbox/motor units used by Lippert, one "Tucson" and the other "Venture" (learned after a lengthy talk with Lippert Tech).

When shopping for parts make sure you match the ratio ( usually marked on the end of the gearbox) as well as motor speed (5800 or 9100 Rpm). If you have the more common "Venture" gearbox a complete gear set (OE style) is available on Amazon for ~$100.

https://www.amazon.com/Lippert-Compo...784VPKZX&psc=1

It has a plastic gear which in my opinion is preferred. It will fail before anything else and protects the far more expensive screw/ball nut inside the actuator tube. A complete actuator with motor/gearbox is ~$700.

The gear/shaft assembly to the left in the picture contains a torque limiting clutch which also protects the long screw in the actuator. This clutch does not exist in the cheap Chinese copy gearboxes selling for $100-$200.
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Old 11-23-2022, 09:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for your detailed response, Mike.

I'll be trying to take off the motor/actuator assembly and confirm if the plastic gear is gone. (I was able to remove the bottom screw, but had difficulty access the top screw holding the assembly in place)

Would you care to explain a bit more about the torque limiting clutch? Is it a separate part? Could we reuse this part if only the plastic gear is gone?

I did notice there are plenty choices for the gear set or entire motor/actuator assembly for the 18:1 ratio version? would it be possible to go with this one instead?

(btw, looks like multiple places are carrying the gear set, for example:
https://pdxrvwholesale.com/products/...ear-set-191073)
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Old 11-24-2022, 12:10 AM   #4
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Thanks for your detailed response, Mike.

I'll be trying to take off the motor/actuator assembly and confirm if the plastic gear is gone. (I was able to remove the bottom screw, but had difficulty access the top screw holding the assembly in place)

Would you care to explain a bit more about the torque limiting clutch? Is it a separate part? Could we reuse this part if only the plastic gear is gone?

I did notice there are plenty choices for the gear set or entire motor/actuator assembly for the 18:1 ratio version? would it be possible to go with this one instead?

(btw, looks like multiple places are carrying the gear set, for example:
https://pdxrvwholesale.com/products/...ear-set-191073)
The torque limiting clutch is incorporated in the metal gear/shaft assy. It can be re-used but if I'm in replacing one, I'd do the other just to save the effort.

The top bolt is a bugger but if you look down the actuator tube, away from motor/gearbox, you'll see a trunnion on the tube that has a pair of brackets attached. The brackets are secured to the frame with a bolt or two and if you loosen or remove the brackets you can lower the actuator on that end. Just lower it only enough as you don't want to bend the rod on the other end of the actuator. A helper may be necessary while removing or reinstalling gearbox. When working on gearbox just reattach the brackets as they only hold the actuator tube.

There should be a part number on the gearbox so just use that number to match up with the numbers shown in listings for "fits #XXXXXX"

BE SURE TO MATCH GEAR RATIO. A 28:1 gear set won't work in a 18:1 gearbox. If the ratio isn't shown on the gearbox then count teeth and compare with listing.
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Old 11-25-2022, 02:55 AM   #5
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Thanks again Mike.

I ended up gaining easier access to the motor by removing the cabinet frame underneath the fridge, but the top screw is still a lot of work to undo, so will definitely try your suggestions later.

Turns out the motor/actuator assembly is good, opened up the actuator and don't see any stripped teeth of the plastic gear.

Then I went on to take apart the ragbox, and eventually found out that the issue is due to a broken shear pin. The pin is made of two layers of metal from what I see, instead of solid metal piece. I found a temporary solution for now (ground prong of plug somehow fits the hole pretty well) and after putting everything back, slide-out works ok now, but still noisy and can't seem to stop by itself.

So I still need to keep digging and hopefully find out the underlying issue
which caused the failure of the shear pin in the first place. (also need to source a ragbox eventually)

Thanks again.
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by renhui View Post
Thanks again Mike.

I ended up gaining easier access to the motor by removing the cabinet frame underneath the fridge, but the top screw is still a lot of work to undo, so will definitely try your suggestions later.

Turns out the motor/actuator assembly is good, opened up the actuator and don't see any stripped teeth of the plastic gear.

Then I went on to take apart the ragbox, and eventually found out that the issue is due to a broken shear pin. The pin is made of two layers of metal from what I see, instead of solid metal piece. I found a temporary solution for now (ground prong of plug somehow fits the hole pretty well) and after putting everything back, slide-out works ok now, but still noisy and can't seem to stop by itself.

So I still need to keep digging and hopefully find out the underlying issue
which caused the failure of the shear pin in the first place. (also need to source a ragbox eventually)

Thanks again.
Make sure the gear cluster shafts on the equalizer mechanism (the Rack and Pinion along the frame and visible when slide is extended) are well lubricated with a drying silicone type spray. The end plates on each gear cluster have bronze bushings in them and unfortunately are exposed to water and road grit when driving in lousy weather. The extra drag from lack of lube may well have put strain on the "shear pin" and caused it to fail.

Here's a video from Lippert on how to maintain and lube the gear cluster (gear pack).

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Old 11-25-2022, 07:58 PM   #7
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Awesome, Mike.
I'll try to lubricate as the video shows.
Would it make sense to lubricate the rack and pinion as well with dried silicon spray?
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Old 11-26-2022, 02:01 PM   #8
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Awesome, Mike.

I'll try to lubricate as the video shows.

Would it make sense to lubricate the rack and pinion as well with dried silicon spray?
Only lube the shaft and bearing bushings as shown in video. (I lube mine before every trip just before retracting slide. Area's exposed and shaft turns while still wet with lube so it can work in).

As it states, do not lube rack and pinions. Not necessary as there's little friction there and you want to prevent any possibility of attracting dirt/grit.

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