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Old 09-01-2014, 08:35 PM   #1
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Lippert Electric Stabilizer failure

A while ago I had a problem with my rear stabilizers where I needed to take the motor apart and clean things up. On my past trip, the jacks failed to operate electrically. I removed the cover to the motor and noticed that the inside of the motor was wet with rusty water. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the motor's lower brush tension spring had completely rusted which didn't allow the brush to contact the communicator any longer…. which caused the motor to cease operation.

Using a MacGyver technique I was able to use the elastic string from a child's party hat wrapped around the brush electrical wire looped around the top mounting screw and held away from the communicator with a plastic bread tie, which made the stabilizers function as I don't have a manual crank handle (I think).

Well it got me through the weekend and I have notes out to both Lippert and the motor manufacturer (Klauber Machine & gear) for either a warranty motor or a new brush assembly.

If I get no where, I think that I will attempt a repair with the spring from a click type pen. This seems to be a popular issue and if I go that route, I'll put together a writeup on the repair as I am certain it would be a helpful money saver, and it doesn't seem hard to fix either.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:34 AM   #2
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Interesting repair? I have been looking over mine for ways to prevent problems after 3 years of trouble free use.

Please keep us posted.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Any idea how the water gets into the motor? Since you had the motor apart earlier I'd bet whatever had it sealed up (paint?) was compromised. Maybe something like permatex to seal up the end plates would keep the weather out.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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The first time it had water in it too, I should have added that part. I think that where the wires enter the housing there's a leak. When I get to the repair, I will silicone it up really good, maybe put a weep hole in the bottom too?
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #5
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So here's a picture of the inside of the unit with my remedy to get me through the weekend. It's really 2 screws to get to this part, and if you're daring maybe take yours apart and check for liquid. Maybe even put dome dielectric grease on the spring to keep it from rusting and check the seals. It's an expensive little motor.

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Old 09-03-2014, 09:59 AM   #6
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A couple of notes. First about Lippert customer service. Since my camper is a 2011, I was pretty sure that the stabilizer was out of warranty. I wrote to Lippert customer service and have had very constructive dialog with them. I found them to be very helpful and understanding and I appreciate all they have done to help me with this. They are A1 in my book!

I will be removing the motor from the camper likely next week. I think that the water entered through the wire opening. Once the water enters, there's no way for it to escape. When I have the final repair on this one, I think that I'll add an extra layer of heat shrink to the wiring just to be sure.

When the permanent magnet housing mounts to the end cap, there is a rubber o-ring which you can see in the picture. Removing the 2 screws should enable you to inspect the internals to see if you have the potential for an issue. I think that I will add some dielectric grease to the springs to help protect them from corrosion, and will annually disassemble the motor to inspect.

I don't recommend anyone doing this, it's just what I plan to do going forward.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:27 PM   #7
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Due to work, I didn't have a lot of time to work on the stabilizers, but I did get the motor removed from the jacks. There are 4 cap screws, 2 accessed from the front and 2 from the rear. The very first one I tried to remove broke, the other 3 came out fine. The one which broke was the top right accessed from the outside. I thought that the stabilizer plate was threaded so I began to drill out the screw. While drilling, the nut on the other side fell off (doh!) so I used a hammer and punch to remove the broken screw and nut.

The nut was glued to the stabilizer, and I suspect some of that glue hit the threads. The wires are held on by waterproof wire nuts. I think that these have silicone which will make them have to be cut off not twisted off. When it's light, I'll verify how to remove the wire nuts and the motor will be out and the repair can commence.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for keeping us updated Karl. I have never had this problem but after your experience, I am going to double check my rear motor. Front motor is inside storage area and should not have that problem. Thanks again for your well documented eplanations.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
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Well, the repair is complete, and the rear stabilizers are working like new again. The final fix was a new motor because I got an offer from Lippert which I couldn't refuse. The new motor has a different cover which better protects the wiring which I think is where my water came in. Couple of tips:

1. The top bolts have nuts on the back of them. Remove or loosen the nuts first, then remove the bolts. I accidentally broke the first bolt not knowing this.

2. The wires are not joined by a waterproof connector and it is NOT a wire nut, you can not twist it off. I was able to squeeze the connector to have it release without cutting any wires.

3. The factory bolts are plated and should be good for a long time. I have a habit of replacing any exterior bolt with stainless anyway, and that's what I did here as well. Because the top bolts are tough to tighten, I drilled out the threads on the stabilizer and tightened the bolts with a nylon lock nut. This will make it far easier to remove should it need to be in the future.

I am going to repair the original motor, and if anyone's interested I can document that as well. I think that I can fix it by installing a new lower spring on the brush. The spring will likely come from a pen so it'll be almost a free repair.

Maintenance? Check your motor, specifically where the wires go in. If any of the weather proofing is missing or broken, I would take the motor off, disassemble it to check for water, use dielectric grease on the brush springs and insure that the unit is sealed where the wires enter (silicone sealant?)

A final thank you to Lippert. Their customer service department was amazing with their communication, and I enjoyed our notes.

added note: I tried to buy parts from the motor manufacturer and they do not sell individual parts for this motor. Really a shame because it is such an inexpensive repair and silly to replace the entire thing!
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #10
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lippit

Did you get a picture of the new motor end cap so we can compare
to our existing motor to see if we have the improved one or not. I have
a 2013 rig did lippert say when they started to ship the newer type
motors?

Jack
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