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Old 09-28-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
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Auto Steps On My Solera

Steps quit on me on my trip west. Lippert "Coach Step" model, two stepper. Examined it in my shop and found the little gear motor that positions the steps to be shot. Got to thinking about installing a new one myself and can picture the output gear of the little gear motor having to be installed in exactly the right position on the gear plate that is attached to the steps. Is a bit of a timing problem it appears.

Anybody ever attempt this job themselves, who might give me a pointer on it. I would think the steps have to be in the all-the-way-out position, but even in this position, I could easily install the gear motor out of position a tooth or two or three. May have to take it to Forest River shop, huh...heck, Lippert may not even sell me one directly anyway, haven't checked.
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Old 10-02-2017, 05:05 PM   #2
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Ok, guess I didn't need your help on this. Found answer on my own. A lady mechanic YouTube-er showed how to replace a Kwikee step gear motor for a two step Kwikee (or was it a three step, can't remember), The steps have to be in the all-the-way-extended position to install the replacement gear motor. It helps to not jack the steps into a tight extended position though, helps to be sort of in a relaxed state so you can more easily install the gear motor bolts, three of them. Also, there is a center bolt on the flat plate that has gear-teeth that the gear-motor operates; the teeth are on its side. This bolt is an allen-head bolt, and it needs to be loosened a bit to provide some additional slack for reinstalling the three gear motor bolts. Another important consideration: When you get the gear motor up and bolted in, don't plug it in until you are clear of the step mechanism. If you are in the way; the closing steps could easily break a finger or bruise a hand, foot or leg. Lippert does not call this a gear motor; they call it a step motor. The part number for my Lippert Coach Step step motor is 300-1406, and it is the same step motor that most Lippert Coach Steps use. Stromberg Carlson part number SP1636669 is an equal. Get a new step motor from Amazon and ebay, or of course, Lippert.


If this is in the wrong place, may the forum boss-man could move it to the right place?
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Old 10-04-2017, 04:41 PM   #3
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Didn't say, but my two-step Lippert Coach Step is on the Lippert recall notice to take action to prevent step failure for a broken "Fan Bolt" (don't know where they got that name, guess the gear plate must look like a fan to someone). It is my plan now that I have replaced the step motor (my 2010 Solera is out of the warranty period) and have my step working again to schedule a visit to a dealer for the recall. Their fix on my particular model of Coach Step is to install a plate as a bolt retainer plate to prevent the bolt from falling clear out if it shears. That may prevent an accident but it doesn't prevent the bolt from shearing. Why do they not replace the offending too weak "fan bolt" with a stronger one on the recall?

The bolt may still fail and have to be replaced...and since mine is out of warranty, I know who will have to replace it...yours truly...smile..
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:26 PM   #4
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And being that Lippert doesn't make steps anymore (they bought kwikee) when it does break finding a replacement might be a challenge. Yes, the plate is to try and prevent the steps from collapsing by keeping the bolt in the fan gear and engaged with the motor and yes, it has a high probability of breaking again.
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Old 10-04-2017, 06:50 PM   #5
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Exactly....
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:49 PM   #6
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Lippert Coach Step Further To Replacing Step Motor

After replacement of step motor which succeeded in getting the steps to work:

I checked into where I could get the possible fan bolt shear recall "fix" done. Nearest Forest River service is 60 miles away. Their response was "bring her in and we'll take care of it". I offered the Lippert case number to them so they could get the parts in hand before I brought her in. "No, no, we don't need that, just bring her in" I said to myself...bull hockey, I know how this is going down. I will have to drive the MH in with my toad, disconnect and leave the MH there. Then it will sit there for two or more weeks waiting on parts. Then they will install the parts, probably taking another two weeks, and I will have to drive back there with my toad and bring both vehicles back.

I said to self...I is a mech-a-nickle-in-gin-ear; I'll take the steps off and come up with a fix, probably a better one than the Lippert fix, and avoid all the hassle appearing in my crystal ball (and maybe even the setup of them finding something else "that just has to be fixed").

I replaced the bolt that may shear with a much stronger bolt, full 5/8" dia all the way, with fine threads, and I spot welded the nut to the bolt so it wouldn't come unscrewed and fall out. Real simple fix, BTW. In the process I discovered that the flexible, adjustable link going from the step motor to the ear on the shaft that extends and retracts the steps was not adjusted right. The result was on extending the steps, the step "stop" was being reached well before the gear motor "stop" was reached. The linkage is supposed to be adjusted so the step "stop" is reached at or very near the point at which the step motor reaches its "stop". After the step stop was reached, the step motor kept operating and the gear plate would travel about an inch further before contacting its "stop". This put the steps (including the fan bolt and linkage) in a horrible bind. No wonder the old motor went out. The new gear motor would have gone out in a couple of trips too. I don't know whose fault this is, FR or Lippert, but I wonder if improper linkage adjustment is the root cause of fan bolt shearing, linkage breakage, and/or step motor failures on these Lippert Coach Steps.

Additionally, would Forest River have noticed the linkage maladjustment? I think I know that answer.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #7
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ID:	154641Pics of my fix for Lippert Coach Step 2-step steps:

The pic having two bolts shows the fan bolt I replaced (on right) which is the bolt that sometimes shears and causes people to fall off the steps. the bolt next to it is what I used to replace it with. Is full size 5/8" grade 8 bolt with NF threads. It will withstand a much higher shear load. Reaming an existing hole with a 3/64" oversize 5/8"drill bit is required to be able to install it.

Another picture shows the fan gear at its "stop" position when steps are extended. This is the position the fan gear has to be in when installing a new gear motor (steps are all-the-way extended). This is also the position that the fan gear must be in to properly adjust the linkage going from fan gear plate to the "ear" of the step-extending and retracting shaft that is part of the step assembly. The adjustable linkage is shown in the third picture.
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