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svimes

Powrtouch Classic Problems

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We've got a few issues with our mover:

  • noisy in reverse (one side)
  • very hard to engage
  • does not stay engaged (one side)

 

I spoke to Powrtouch a while back about the noise - they suggested it was bearings but that it could be in one of two locations. I've forgotten exactly what they said about diagnosing it but will call them back. In the mean time, does that sound familiar to anyone and what kind of money are we talking for new bearings?

 

I've been having a look at the Powrtouch guides today and am getting more familiar with how the mover is set up. I'm guessing my engagement issues will be down to a the wrong wheel offset and / or problems with Cam Pin or Hex Shaft.  I intend to get under the van tomorrow and really get to know it but again, just wondering if anyone has any handy tips?

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So I had a look today.

 

I think it's a Model 3.

 

I think I need new rollers. They are the bumpy metal type ( not ridged) and have smooth bits. The roller gap seems about right, if anything a bit tight but they still slip. I had one roller off but couldn't see how to get the end plate off it. Any tips? Are the newer type rollers a good bet?

 

I gave it a good grease and it now seems to engage better. 

 

It's still noisy. LH mover in reverse. It's a bit noisy when not engaged but very noisy when engaged. I see Powrtouch do roller bearings. Is this what I need? I can't see instructions on how to change this, anyone else done it?

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Don't know if you got it fixed but make sure about which model it is.  I bought the wrong rollers for mine and had to send them back.  Mine is a model 3 and the rollers won't come off unless you take the gearbox cover off (easy) and remove the locking screw in the centre of the gear.  The rollers come with the bearings.  I replaced both the outer end caps because some of the bolts were corroded in and broke off.  Mine was making horrible crackling noises because the bearings had collapsed.  This caused slipping also because of the changing gap.  

 

I also swapped mine from the old sandpaper type to the aluminium splined type.  Mine is fine now and I have both reversed and driven it up and down my very steep drive several times.  Make sure the gap is 20mm (on the model 3)

 

It sounds like you have two separate problems.  On the engagement side make sure the large spring is not missing or broken and the sliding mechanism is free. 

 

After I had replaced the rollers I managed to break the internal drive coupling by stupidly operating the mover with the handbrake on.  I have fixed this also now but that's another story! 

 

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53 minutes ago, Tintaglia said:

Don't know if you got it fixed

 

Many thanks for your post. To answer the question: not really.

 

First the good news.

 

The greasing really helped the engagement. Red faced for not doing it in the previous three years!

 

I've got one roller replaced. I figured out the removal, including the Allen bolt ok but getting the existing bearing out of the gearbox housing (you have to as the new rollers come with a bearing fitted) proved tricky. I found an old post on here that recommended using a socket to push it through but I didn't have one of exactly the right size. In the end I was able to tap the old roller in to the hole from the wrong (gearbox) side, the spigot on the old roller slotted into the bearing and the roller pushed out the bearing.  Took about an hour to figure that out!

 

The new roller then went on fine.

 

The less good news:

 

The new rollers are bigger than the old one. They are closer to the 45mn diameter that Powrtouch specify meaning my old ones must have been undersized. I haven't adjusted the mover yet but the gap's probably only 15mm now. I assume I can do one side at once?

 

The worse news :

the Allen bolt on the other side is much harder to access (shock absorber seems to be slightly differently aligned) and may be rounded off. I gave up on the job once it got to 8pm and light was dimming. I think I'll have to take the shock off at least and may need to get the van up on proper ramps as opposed to 5" of blocks. I'm hoping it's just the Allen key itself that is rounded and not the bolt as I guess I'll have to drill out and source a new one if that's the case?

 

Worst News!

it still makes the noise on the side where I replaced the roller! I guess that means it's the motor bearings?  I did read a post where someone had swapped these but I think it may be beyond me. Powrtouch say they don't do bearings and it's a new motor (£150). If that's the case I'll probably use it until it stops completely!

 

 

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Re. your rounded Allen bolt.

 

Before you get the drill out, get a Torx bit that’s slightly oversized for the Allen recess and hammer it in before trying to unscrew. Very often works.

 

If not, have you got space to access the bolt head to file a couple of spanner flats on the sides of the head, or cut a slot across the head for a large screwdriver or flat metal bar?

 

Drilling a bolt out with a hand held drill and not damaging the threads it’s bolted into isn’t the easiest task and would be a last resort for me.  You’ll need a new bolt regardless, so it’s worth a try. 

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Allen bolts are high tensile steel so if you want to drill them out, use good quality brand new drill, revolve slowly and use coolant and lubricant. WD40 and cool your drill in a cup of water. Plenty of end force.

 

But tis the last resort so explore all other options first. 

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1 hour ago, Fireman Iain said:

Re. your rounded Allen bolt.

 

Before you get the drill out, get a Torx bit that’s slightly oversized for the Allen recess and hammer it in before trying to unscrew. Very often works.

 

If not, have you got space to access the bolt head to file a couple of spanner flats on the sides of the head, or cut a slot across the head for a large screwdriver or flat metal bar?

 

Drilling a bolt out with a hand held drill and not damaging the threads it’s bolted into isn’t the easiest task and would be a last resort for me.  You’ll need a new bolt regardless, so it’s worth a try. 

Those are some very good tips and much appreciated. It's countersunk so rules out spanners but I can try the others.

46 minutes ago, WispMan said:

Allen bolts are high tensile steel so if you want to drill them out, use good quality brand new drill, revolve slowly and use coolant and lubricant. WD40 and cool your drill in a cup of water. Plenty of end force.

 

But tis the last resort so explore all other options first. 

 

Again, thanks for the tips. Very good information

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Re difficulty engaging. I had this. Turns out you need to periodically lubricate the sliding parts. Makes a huge difference to the effort needed to engage / disengage the motors

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Re difficulty engaging. I had this. Turns out you need to periodically lubricate the sliding parts. Makes a huge difference to the effort needed to engage / disengage the motors

This is the advice I was also given by a Truma service engineer who recently replaced the controller (under warranty). Spray light oil (he suggested chainsaw oil) behind the length of the top of the covers every six months or so. No need to remove the cover as sufficient oil will penetrate the gap.

Edited by CliveB

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23 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Re difficulty engaging. I had this. Turns out you need to periodically lubricate the sliding parts. Makes a huge difference to the effort needed to engage / disengage the motors

You are not kidding! We bought a new caravan in 2005 and had a truma manual engage mover fitted. I retired (effectively) December 2007 and was overweight at nearly 14 sones. Over the next 3 months I dropped 3.5 stones easily with regular walks and no snacking. I found the motormover hard to put on with the socket and lever provided and initially put it down to my reduced weight. After the next trip of about 7 sites that April/May I sprayed with motorcycle chain lubricant. Next usage it was so easy that I nearly buried my nose into the tarmac. Every time it went for its annual service I added lubricating the motormover and the spare wheel carrier (not charged but both were done). No problems afterwards.

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54 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Re difficulty engaging. I had this. Turns out you need to periodically lubricate the sliding parts. Makes a huge difference to the effort needed to engage / disengage the motors

 

Yep! Found this out myself just last week! I guess it's not a service item which is my best excuse for missing it!

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Posted (edited)

I don't think that bolt will be that tight, make sure to try an allen socket if you didn't rather than an allen key which are useless for bolts.  Don't drill unless you are desperate.   If all else fails, strike a sharp centre punch mark off-centre on the bolt head and then, using the punch at an angle, try and punch the bolt around.  You will need a new bolt as said above.

 

Mine has no linking bar between the two actuators but even if yours does you will only be moving the mover by a few mm to adjust the gap so you can do one at a time.

 

Re the continuing noise, the motor bearings themselves are unlikely to be the fault.  I wonder if you have a motor coupling that is breaking up as mine was.  It is two aluminium dogs with a rubber cush drive in the middle.  You can see what happened to mine below.  It's possible that it broke because the bearing had collapsed like yours and the roller momentarily seized.   You just undo the two motor bolts and pull the motor off the reduction gearbox to get at the coupling.  The reduction gearbox is a sealed unit.  

 

The coupling is not available separately from Powertouch, it only comes complete with the motor but I found a plastic version for a golf cart.  Because of the reduction of the gearbox it seems it is up to the job.  I have given mine some serious testing up a very steep slope!

 

The only problem is you have to take the whole mover off (on my caravan) because one of the two motor bolts can't be got at.  Yours might have more room.  But it's not a big deal to take the whole thing off.  If your roller spins freely and the gears have no slack it's well worth checking.  I have bought a spare coupling in case the other side goes because it will not drive for long once it has broken up.  They are about seven quid delivered. 

 

Here is a link to the page, you will need to scroll down to near the bottom.  Note that although I measured my  motor shaft at 8mm, the 8mm version when it arrived was very loose on the shaft even looser than the original however the 7.5 version was a perfect snug fit.  If you do decide to check the coupling it will be an ideal opportunity to get at the stubborn bolt in full view on the bench!  https://trolleys4golf.com/id51.htm 

 

 

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Edited by Tintaglia
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Svime

I'm not an engineer, but someone I respect with much more experience told me that, although counter-intuitive, if he encountered a difficult bolt he always tightened it a little before unscrewing. Apparently works best for steel bolts in an aluminium housing.

I have done this on a number of occasions since and it has generally been successful.

 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, CliveB said:

Svime

I'm not an engineer, but someone I respect with much more experience told me that, although counter-intuitive, if he encountered a difficult bolt he always tightened it a little before unscrewing. Apparently works best for steel bolts in an aluminium housing.

I have done this on a number of occasions since and it has generally been successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Must admit that's a new one on me too. I'm hoping the other tips, better access and the right tool will see me right! Doubt I'll get chance to do this for a week or two as we are away in the van all next week and both weekends!

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8 hours ago, CliveB said:

Svime

I'm not an engineer, but someone I respect with much more experience told me that, although counter-intuitive, if he encountered a difficult bolt he always tightened it a little before unscrewing. Apparently works best for steel bolts in an aluminium housing.

I have done this on a number of occasions since and it has generally been successful.

 

 

Its also one I use, tighten to crack the oxidisation then give a squirt of freeing oil and go for a cup of tea or do something else then go back when its worked.

 

If its bad and I'm stuck for time, I tend to use a freeing oil that freezes as well as lubricates.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Paul_B said:

 

Its also one I use, tighten to crack the oxidisation then give a squirt of freeing oil and go for a cup of tea or do something else then go back when its worked.

 

 

Certainly a method that I used when I used to work on vehicles a lot and I would think one commonly used and it often did the trick.

Edited by Easy T

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Posted (edited)

I've never tightening a bolt to free it but a smart tap on the top with a screwdriver (or allen socket) engaged definitely works.  I used to use that with brake drum screws all the time.  I had a big old phillips screwdriver with a metal handle for the purpose.  It sort of briefly 'shocked' the thread. 

 

Edit- I forgot to say the best releasing fluid by some way is 'Plus Gas'.   

Edited by Tintaglia

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Posted (edited)

Yep used the sharp tap but when working on motorbikes I seem to remember making use of the old fashioned impact screwdriver as well on the phillips style heads on some of the Jap bikes - damaged easily otherwise if not careful

Edited by Easy T

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Ah yes, I remember those cheese-headed screws on my early 70's Yamahas!

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44 minutes ago, Easy T said:

Yep used the sharp tap but when working on motorbikes I seem to remember making use of the old fashioned impact screwdriver as well on the phillips style heads on some of the Jap bikes - damaged easily otherwise if not careful

 

I still have old impact screwdriver, but not used it since air powered hit the market, now I have battery powered :)

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