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Old 10-02-2018, 01:43 PM   #1
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THOR #2408
Steps making ratcheting sound

When the steps fully extend there is a loud ratcheting sound that lasts a couple of seconds (seems like five minutes ��). Any thoughts?
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
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Mine is doing that too. I'll keep checking to see what you find.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:29 PM   #3
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THOR #2408
What do they say about "misery? ��
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Old 10-03-2018, 02:58 PM   #4
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It seems like no one is touching this one so lets stir the pot with some speculation....since I am not a step expert in any way. We will assume that the chassis battery (which powers the steps typically) is fully charged and that the step ground connection and connector is clean and solid too.


You say that the steps are fully extended, so I assume you mean that the motor seems to continue running for a few seconds after the steps actually stop moving? I believe that when fully extended (assuming the steps are not binding somehow) the gear motor arm hits pin stops at the end of travel in either direction (in or out) which stalls the motor and causes operating current to jump at which point the motor stops. Likely there is some electronics inside the motor which senses the running and stall current etc. I assume this is not done by the step controller electronics since steps without controllers must also have some mechanism to detect end of travel (exposed end of travel switch contacts for that purpose would likely get plugged with road grime etc). So either the steps are “not” actually fully extending (close but not full – binding late in the travel) so the motor has not quite reached the stop pin so it keeps running a second or two longer before current rise shuts it off.......or ........perhaps the end portion of the motor gears may be slightly worn or damaged so the current rise is delayed slightly?



If you disconnect power to the steps (for your safety) and then disconnect the motor pivot arm from the stairs......can you manually prove that the steps are not binding anywhere in their full travel? There is a video (link attached) that shows how one fellow moves the portion of gears used in the motor for step operation.......maybe worth a try if the steps are not binding?


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Old 10-03-2018, 03:56 PM   #5
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I will check mine for freedom of movement. The steps seem to go in and out fully. I get the overcurrent protection as a means to stop the motor at the end of travel or if they are blocked by an obstacle, the motor stops trying after a few seconds. It may be a stripped gear that is making the buzzing/grinding sound. BRRRRRRRP! (excuse me) But it only occurs in the same spot at the full out position.
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Old 10-03-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
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THOR #2631
It would be interesting to disconnect the steps from the motor pivot arm and operate the motor to simulate extending the steps to see if you get the same noise at end of its travel. The video shows how to do this safely so the pivot arm does not whack the side of the motor/gear box. The fact that this happens only at the extend steps end of travel might also seem like the gears in that portion of travel are worn or damaged somehow. Moving to another portion of the gears (per video) might make the difference. If it works it saves (or defers) a motor/gearbox replacement.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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This is why I joined!

Thanks Javelin - really great information. Tomorrow I will be following the instructions in the video you linked. Will let you know how it turns out.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:22 PM   #8
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Followed the instructions in the video.. Now the noise happens in both directions currently have removed the power to the motor and wired the steps in the retracted position. Guess the next step is to order some parts.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:17 AM   #9
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Too bad that video did not help resolve your situation. I suppose on the positive side you were able to prove the steps were not binding and the gearbox seems to be a likely culprit (assuming you could prove the motor is OK). Perhaps more gear teeth were damaged than first thought.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:46 AM   #10
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Yep - the steps definitely weren't binding. Motor seems to be fine so must be a gear issue. Do appreciate your interest and suggestions.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:51 AM   #11
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THOR #7279
Replace Step motor and gear box

Kwikee Step Motor Gearbox Upgrade Kit - 44-8127

My steps were making the same noise and I replace the motor and the gear box. The noise was coming from the stripped gears in the gear box.
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWelsch View Post
Followed the instructions in the video.. Now the noise happens in both directions currently have removed the power to the motor and wired the steps in the retracted position. Guess the next step is to order some parts.
The video says you may have to move the gear several times to get to the good gears. Did you do this?? Or only moved the gears once.


Mine just started do the ratcheting noise when closing and wont stop. SO ill be working on it in the next day or two.


Jerry
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by halfprice View Post
The video says you may have to move the gear several times to get to the good gears. Did you do this?? Or only moved the gears once.


Mine just started do the ratcheting noise when closing and wont stop. SO ill be working on it in the next day or two.


Jerry
I followed the information in the video, tried several times and only succeeded in getting it to make the noise in both directions. Definitely not what I was hoping for, do am ordering a new motor/gear assembly.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:40 PM   #14
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Followed the video to move the gears three different times. Did nothing. I still get the racheting noise when pulling the steps in

After removing the motor the first time I found some metal shavings that looks like gear teeth. Looking into the gear box the teeth look fine

So I'll assume the gear box is bad. The motor looks good


Jerry
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Old 10-17-2018, 04:37 PM   #15
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I called LCI this morning and they confirmed the motor is bad. He said the plastic gear in the motor is bad. Ordered a new motor from Amazon. Will be here tomorrow

Jerry
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Old 10-18-2018, 08:31 PM   #16
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Well the drama continues. Got the motor from Anazon, hooked it up and I still get the racheting sound.

Call LCI tech support again. Tech said since its a new motor the control module must be bad. He said its not reading the amps which causes the unit to stop.

So he sending me a new control box for free.

I asked if the gear box could be bad. He said that's a possibility but he believes its the control box

So hes sending a new gear box also for free

It will take a couple weeks to get the parts. Control box is not in stock. That's OK since I'm heading out for an 8 day fishing trip. I'll install it when I get home.

Great customer service from LCI

Jerry
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:26 AM   #17
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I posted this on my thread but ill post it here since this thread is just about the step


Step update.

Got the new control box and gear box from LCI. There cs guys were great.

Things have been kind of hectic around here with the fishing trip and other personal issues

But today i changes out the control box. Easy job maybe 20 minures max.

Step still making the ratchet noise. DAMN

Called LCI before changing gear box. Looking at the new gear box i couldnt see anything that could possibly break

CS guy was great again. Discussed every possibly so he said change gear box

There are only 4 parts to the step
1 step
2 motor
3 gear box
4 controller

He then said check the step. Mainly the bar that has the bracket that attaches to the step and to the motor arm. In the pic You can see the gear box arm, which is detatched from the step. The bar runs above this arm. Very hard to see To see it you have to look under the step.

Well i found the weld to the bar had broken. The weld is at the end of the bar at the side of the step housing. Its not part of the moving step. It looks like the outside top pivot point goes into the bar. Hard to tell ill know more when everything s removed

So what is happening is the step retracks but because of the broken arm it doesn't lock or move 100% back. So the controller doesnt kick off the motor

The step is closed when looking at it. That small fraction of play is the problem

Called LCI again for suggestion. CS rep said to replace step. My suggestion was to weld it back in place. He couldnt or wasnt allowed to agree with me

Nothing to lose by welding it. I have to remove the entire step assembly either way. So ill have my buddy weld it. If it works, great. If it doesnt hold ill get a new step

Pics of new controller, gear box and motor and some if the step. Dont know if youll be able to make out the weld

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Old 11-15-2018, 01:56 AM   #18
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Great information - today I pulled the motor and inspected the gears that are visible and saw no issues. Will check the welds tomorrow as there seems to be more play than I expected. Glad to hear that you had good support from the CS guys.
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:10 AM   #19
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All CS guys say the racheting is caused by an internal plastic gear in the motor that cant be seen

Im the exception that its a broken weld

Jerry
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:55 PM   #20
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Replaced the motor, problem solved. $81 on Amazon. Ten minute job, wish I hadn't bothered with trying to move the gears just to extend the life of the motor.
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