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CoachStep REPAIR INFORMATION - FIXED - MOTOR


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I have not had any issues with my original CoachStep electric single step....other than the controller must have gotten wet early on and that was replaced in 2014 or so.  When the tech plugged it in....it worked fine.  When I got home.....intermittent.  I then plugged and unplugged the power connections (4 wire) and the motor (2 wire).  Worked like a champ since then.  No "FAKE" Step Out light which was the issue. 

BUT, as always.....vibration and use take its toll.  Step stopped working.  It would run part way (either way) and stop mid way.  The steps would also not "LOCK" into position....which is a safety issue.  Been HOT.  I got back from our trip and decided....It is ME or the STEPS.....knowing that they might win.

Bottom line....I had READ a lot over the years.  I know that there are many aftermarket motors from E-Trailer and also the autoparts stores (Many have published the PN or the item number).

Today....I figured it out.  I am attaching the CoachStepElectric  (ORIGINAL) Brochure with the simple trouble shooting instructions.  Once you read them (it took me a time or two....) they make sense.  I also have included the NEW LCI CoachStep service guide as well.  I liked the CoachStepElectric but BOTH tell you what to do and how to test....

I did the following...  Tested for Voltage.  FINE...

I checked for Ground.....FINE.

I checked the "Door Switch" as it is called.  FINE.

Now WHAT is missing is the "What does the door on the wall do?" instructions.  I always leave mine in the STAY OPEN....unless the Engine is running mode.  That is NOT covered in the manual.  BUT, if you follow all the trouble shooting guides....it does not matter.

I got down to the part about the Amber Light coming on.  My light never worked as it fills with water and I never bothered to fix it.  BUT, the way it is SUPPOSED to work....OPEN the door (so the steps EXTEND)....the light is supposed to come on and the motor is supposed to run.  I took a thin ice pick and probed the wire on the back of the Light Socket (Cover off).  Then I tested the circuit.  When the motor was trying to run.....and the door was open....as in you WANT the steps to EXTEND.....I got 12 VDC.  That is what the instructions say....

Then they go into details about the controller.  I finally decided that every time I unplugged the 4 pin harness, the motor tried to run.  I decided that the motor had to be the problem.

I cut two short lengths of stranded #12 hook up wire and grounded one....and then put the other into the "Red Wire" incoming terminal in the 4 wire connector.  Motor just RAN and RAN and that was that....  

Pulled off the THREE screws that holds the motor.  There are 6 (2 per bolt) standoff bushings to hold the motor in the correct position.  One of mine was split.  Being an old Fastener Chief Engineer....I recognized Hydrogen Embrittlement.  SO, a buddy is turning me a new bushing.

Took the motor out (you do NOT have to remove the plate at the bottom, it just rotates out of the way and has enough "Play" to not be an issue.

Took off the cover.  There is an other plastic gear.  There is also  an inner plastic gear that must drive the metal gear.  I say MUST as in all i had was a teaspoon of ground up plastic.  SO, the inner gear went south.

The original CoachStep was in a state of flux.  Circa 2005 or so, Lippert bought CoachStep of Texas.  The ORIGINAL CoachStep PN was 733-0001.  CoachStep did NOT Pot or seal the controllers and they failed.  Lippert moved it to IN.  They changed the PN.  The LCI (Lippert) Number is 165032.  

The Motor Number on my Lippert (IN) Step is 300-1406.  You can find the motors on Amazon for around $175.  E-Trailer has the in the same range.  AM (the windshield wiper company) makes a replacement for around $130.  BUT, there is a LOT of them on Ebay as Close Outs.  I bought one for around $72.  There are three different PN's that they go by.  BUT, they are all interchangeable.

The tech had originally used bulb grease on the terminals to prevent corrossion.  That was say 6 years ago.  There was some "Green" stains in there.  I used contact cleaner and got rid of that.  I also put t small dab (very small on the end of a toothpick) of the OX-Guard or AlumiNox....that is a conductive paste.  I had HOPED it was a low voltage issue or contacts.  NO JOY.  When I reassemble, I will put on the Bulb Grease....but leave the Ox-Guard in place for conductivity.  He also had sealed the back of the connectors with RTV to prevent moisture from penetrating.  They tech was an old time (25 years experience) Electronics/Electrical Tech that worked for Lazy Days and then relocated to NC.  He is well known by many.

Hope this helps folks in the future.  

FWIW....if you have an older CoachStep, and the motor and controller go south....you will spend almost $400 or so.  You can buy a new step (Kwikee) for about $100 - $150 more from E-Trailer....may be cheaper elsewhere.  The step MAY have the same bolt holes....if not, the bolts (at least on mine) are easy to get to on the top.  Once you have broken then loose.....and use a Floor Jack for support, I think that swapping out the steps would not be that much harder than replacing the motor.  SO.....my thought was....buy an OEM Motor.  If i have future issues or a controller craps.....then a new step is for me...

I get the distinct feeling that Kwikee may have copied CoachStep or Vice Versa.  The overall sizes of the steps is about the same .... but not having a print on the Kwikee, I could not compare the holes.  Worse case would be to bolt on a 1/8" or so steel plate to the runners....and then mount the step to the plate.  

I AM replacing all the bolts and the two "drill point" screws for the wiring harness (one is a Ground).  You need to use Loctite on the 4 bolts as well.  

 

ccd_0001619.pdf CoachStepElectric - Instructions - Stromberg Carlson.pdf

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/4/2020 at 8:47 PM, Frank McElroy said:

Tom - Thanks for the info.  I added the manuals to the files and will update the parts list.

New Tom here,

I was able to buy a replacement for mine by asking auto parts clerk for a window motor for 1995 F150 (looks like might be same for all F Pick ups for about 10 years) left and right are different so she brought be both to choose from.  

The mount points on the UP SIDE were too tall,  by 1/4 inch.  They were plastic to two seconds with a grinder and bingo.  $32 Chinese motor replacement.  Lots of plastic but hey now I know $32 bucks anywhere I travel is cheap.   Only thing wrong was the inner plastic hex interface to drive the outer Metal gear was stripped.  Could fix with a 1/16 inch drill and piece of 1/16th diameter nail or wire so I kept the old one for future parts

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I am usually a FIX it at the lowest cost.  BUT, I did find out a few things.  All the "Motors" out there may not be the same.  I ordered an Ebay 300-1406.  The eBay ad had it labeled with the OEM tag an label.  What I got were NOT IT.

I got a generic motor.  OK....shiny and new....but hey....let's try that....

First up.  There ARE differences in the motors.  TomV48, your fix works.  My 2 hours of frustration were not acceptable.  I am usually tenacious....in that it was designed and it was working before.  IF I put back in the SAME OEM motor, it should work.

I finally gave up.  When you put in the gear shaft into the pivot plate or the teardrop shaped lower plate....then mated or meshed the gears, you have to do some funky things.  I got the shaft in.  I meshed the gears.  I used a small screwdriver and had the bolt holes lined up.  I used a medium flat blade screwdriver that then seated the top and bottom bushings.  NOW....I realigned the holes.

If you are looking up and from the bottom and directly under the step, the three locating holes are on the front.  SO....the gear shaft is like the center of a clock.  You have a hole at 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00.  I started the bolt and engaged, barely, the 12:00 bolt.  BINGO, the plate then rotated a few degrees.  SO NOW the 3:00 and the 6:00 holes are not lined up.  I used a screwdriver and awl and got them centered.  BUT, the holes in the NEW motor or the meshing of the gears makes the two hole....off maybe 0.050".  They are wider and also not on the same radius.  I fussed and fumed and was NEVER able to get the bolts to engage.  I am an old Manufacturing Engineer and I would have specified "pilot point" bolts.  NOPE....they are not even tapered threads.  If the bolt is not in the dead center of the welded threaded insert....no engagement.

I notified the vendor.  OH...he said.  Does YOUR motor have the black plastic or rubber cap on the end?  Yes it does.  OK, then the motor that I sent you MIGHT NOT WORK.  NO LIE....

Bottom line....I did NOT want to drill out the motor bosses nor the holes in the mounting plate.  I did not want to take OFF the mounting plate.  It came off easily and I slipped it back in.  IT LINES UP.  

Then, I lucked out.  Camping World has the OEM motor....or it shows on the webpage.  I called my local CW guy.  YES...it is on SALE.  OK...$150 is more than the aftermarket, but I don't want to fritz around with it.  I want it aligned and centered as if it works loose, then you have a sloppy motor moving around and the steps will be unreliable.

SO....I chose.....Put in a REAL OEM motor.  CW says they have it.  The cost of the labor is $135.  Guess WHAT......they get to see if THEIR motor works for less than $300.  I am usually pretty handy and also a "gee....what does it take to make it work...." type of guy.  But, after staying under there for about 3 hours and no JOY..... I quit.  So, CW gets their shot.

That's my solution now......as the say.... I ORDINARILY DO IT MYSELF....but sometimes I have "People" to do the jobs that I don't have time for or just want done...

I can hold my own with electrical, electronics and general "wrench turning".  If had had the time, then maybe....but i don't want to ever crawl under that step again and spend that much time only to have to drill, ream, cajole, etc....and then it is comes loose or is not properly in place....have the steps be sloppy.  On the road.  When CW fixes it in a few weeks, will report back.

Thanks for all the insight....

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On 7/4/2020 at 1:30 PM, Tom Cherry said:

FWIW....if you have an older CoachStep, and the motor and controller go south....you will spend almost $400 or so.  You can buy a new step (Kwikee) for about $100 - $150 more from E-Trailer....may be cheaper elsewhere.  The step MAY have the same bolt holes....if not, the bolts (at least on mine) are easy to get to on the top.  Once you have broken then loose.....and use a Floor Jack for support, I think that swapping out the steps would not be that much harder than replacing the motor.  SO.....my thought was....buy an OEM Motor.  If i have future issues or a controller craps.....then a new step is for me...

I get the distinct feeling that Kwikee may have copied CoachStep or Vice Versa.  The overall sizes of the steps is about the same .... but not having a print on the Kwikee, I could not compare the holes.  Worse case would be to bolt on a 1/8" or so steel plate to the runners....and then mount the step to the plate.  

The Coach Step 725-0072 on my 2007 Signature is the same as the 2008 Patriot Thunder.  The Thunder was in an accident so we replaced it with a a Lippert 376003 (Kwikee 904239090) which has the mounting ears on the bottom whereas the original mount was on the top..  We used 4 long aluminum blocks, drilled for original mounting holes and drilled and tapped for step ears.   It works but I just do not like the new Kwikee step, when it extends it has sides to trip on.

My electric motor experience is that off brand  automotive window motors are of poor construction in that the drive gear is pressed on and tends to turn on the shaft.   A step requires more power than a window which I believe causes the failure.  OEM motors are probably OK.  I used to repair window motors when the plastic gears broke but eventually the lack of quality made it a wasted effort.

The last 202-3230 controller I replaced with a Stromberg Carlson SP164889

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I’ve spent many hours working on those steps. First, the motor failed to retract the step. I could hear it running, but step didn’t move. I removed the motor and opened it up. As you say, the plastic gear had broken into many pieces. Ordered a new one from Amazon for $88. Installed it and all was well for awhile. It then suddenly failed to work altogether. No noise no movement. I checked for power to module and it was good. No power was coming out of the module however. I checked the new motor by running wires from my toad battery, and it worked perfectly. So, it’s the module. I pulled it and open it up. The circuit board was damaged.  Checking the solder  lines on the board for continuity, I found several not working. (Why did Monaco place this electrical component unprotected from the elements?). Bought new module on eBay for way less than new and installed it. Sadly, this still did not correct the problem. After more hours of diagnosis, I found one of the magnetic door switches was bad. Bought new ones and installed and finally all is working. 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O9W90U6/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I plan to move the module to the fire wall in the generator bay, to keep it out of the elements. 

Edited by pduggs87@gmail.com
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A few years ago I replaced my original motor (when I got tired of tapping it with a hammer to get the armature to make contact) with a power window motor from a 86-95 Taurus/Sable ... AutoZone (Doorman) 742-277 with a lifetime warranty.  About a year later I replaced that under warranty.  A few months later that started to skip internally (plastic case and I assume pressed plastic internal gear).  A few months later the next replacement started doing the same thing.  All made in China.🙄 but what isn't these days...  If just gave the step a little boost from the outside when closing, I would retract fine.  Going out was never a problem with these Chinese replacements.  So I decided to add a spring assist.  9 inch spring about 2 lbs force.  Works again.  The spring gives it a little assist getting started on the retract.  Not sure if I'll go to the bother of another AutoZone warranty claim until it quits again, but at least AutoZone is easy to find across the country . I think the Chinese use to much plastic!

Anyway, some pictures of the installed spring ... FYI

We like the original flat step to walk in/out from any angle, the other steps with the side lips/raised edges would be a safety hazard tripping us!  Happened several times with a Country Coach with that design. And other steps just don't feel anywhere as solid to walk on.  YMMV

IMG_20200731_094824.jpg

IMG_20200731_094743.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK.....UPDATE.  Had the Camping World in Garner replace the dead Stromberg Carlson (Lipper Label) motor yesterday.   The motor was on sale for $144.97   The labor was $148.50   SO, with my "CW SUPER DUPER DISCOUNTS", the Labor and Materials....without any add on's was $293.47      NOW,  we ALL know that we have "Surcharges" and such....   SO here they are...

PPE Surcharge - COVID19                                                                         >>> $8.71

Shop Charges (ALL shops have some)                                             >>>   $26.73

NC, thanks to our Legislature   7.25% tax ALL ITEMS              >>> $23.85

OUT THE DOOR......                                                                                     >>> 452.33

I am HAPPY.  I was looking at $78 for just an "Aftermarket" Motor and it was supposed to be OEM.  WAS NOT....WOULD NOT FIT.....DROVE ME CRAZY.....  Amazon had the motor for around $17 MORE.  It was the LIPPERT PN which was supposedly the SAME.   OK....today, it is on sale for LESS....at $129.34.  Guess I will have to call and find out.  BUT, E-Trailer is $238.

EDITED 8-14-20.  Did not have time to call CW until this AM.  Took all of 3 minutes to get the $!6.XX credit for the additional sales price reduction.  Therefore, it was around $436 out the door.  Pleasant surprise from CW.....

Meanwhile....back to the original post...

BOTTOM LINE.  IT IS FIXED and my DW is a happy camper.....in that she did NOT have to hand me tools.  I also did NOT have to get out in the afternoon heat to fix it.  The tech put on LOCTITE and Bulb Grease as I requested.  This is the 5th time (memory) that I took something apart and could NOT get it BACK together (after I figured out WHAT was wrong or had the replacement Part)....so I don't feel bad....and that dates back maybe 68 years or so as they kidded me that my first words were TAKEE APART.  I can remember watching my uncle upgrade my grand ma's treadle sewing machine with a rawhide belt and motor.....and I was about 3 then and he explained to me WHAT he was doing and why it worked....

YES....this is also my SECOND happy experience with a CW Dealer.  SO, that might be a miracle.  I can RECOMMEND Michael Reyes, the Service Writer, at the Garner, NC CW.....  He is first class.

END OF DRAMA.  I tested it in all modes and it works like a champ and we are happy....

 

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