Clicking electric lift on 2011 Coleman Utah

Discussion in 'Lift Systems' started by Douglas Capella, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Douglas Capella

    Douglas Capella New Member

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    Hello all,

    Man what a road it has been with my popup! Initially took her out and had a lift cable snap. Had a heck of a time getting someone to do the work to replace the cable but several weeks and 900 bucks later the cable was sort of repaired. Took it out to pop it up and noticed that the corner that was "repaired" was sagging lower then the other three. All the while my lift motor really strained to lift the roof and it would stop from time to time and just click. It would lower just fine with the clicking but really strained on the way up. I take it back to repair shop, they repair the line and level the roof (for free) but tell me my lift motor is shot. I ask them how much to replace motor and he tells me the part itself is 700 dollars...I go ahead and order it myself from coleman popup parts for 249 as the installation is 3 screws and a plug. I get the new motor in, hook it up and it does nothing. Panic begins to set in but I gather myself and check the battery. It was relatively new (5 months old) but it is as dead as a door nail. I purchase a new battery, hook up the new motor, and the motor just clicks, and spins slowly. From there I am guessing that the power lift limiter is shot so I order a new one from ebay, and before I totally install it I splice the red and black wires to the existing red and black from old limiter (not unhooked yet) and still get just the clicking motor with little spin. I check the battery and it is putting out 12+ volts. I don't mind replacing the motor and lift limiter because they were both in excess of 10 years old so probably getting to the end of their life cycle but now I am at total loss as to how to trouble shoot. When I took the camper in, the motor would at least spin and move, albeit stopping and clicking from time to time, but now it just clicks and spins slowly. I am guessing that there is some sort of voltage issue involving tracing wires from the battery to see where the dead spot is. I am going to lift it this weekend with my drill and hard wire the new lift limiter into the electric box also but open to suggestions to see what others may say. I am fairly new to the motor replacement world and it appears as though the old limiter was good (which I will keep along with old motor) but not sure where to start so I can get this bad boy up and running like new. Again:
    New battery (putting out 12+ volts)
    New motor
    New electric lift limiter
     
  2. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Well-Known Member

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    The motor is clicking because it isn't getting the necessary current/voltage to raise the roof it in its current state.
    There are several potential things going on here:

    Battery.
    Just because it is "new" doesn't mean it's fully charged. A fully charged lead acid battery should be in the neighborhood of 12.6 volts +. Do you have a battery charger? A volt meter to check it?

    Factory wiring.
    The wiring from the factory is undersized. And it runs all over, potentially spliced, so by the time you get to the current limiter, voltage drop can be an issue. Many here (including myself) have run direct, fused, 10g or better wiring from the battery to the current limiter. This solved my issue (until recently, more below).

    Whiffletree.
    Your trailer has a whiffletree lift. This consists of a drive screw, a block that rides on the screw, a cover plate, and four cables. This unit must be maintained periodically by cleaning and re greasing the drive screw, block, and cover. Many new owners find mice nests, old contaminated grease, or other debris resisting the ability of the drive block to ride along the screw to pull the cables to lift the roof. Get the service manual (available here on the Portal in the Manuals section) and read about whiffletree maintenance.

    My bet is that it is a combination of all three.
    I have recently run into an issue with my Niagara. The lift clicks upon start up every time. I have a fully charged battery (solar panel connected 24/7). I cleaned and re greased the whiffletree 2 years ago. I re wired the trailer with 10g landscape wiring direct from the converter 4 years ago. I discovered that if I put the manual crank in and just. barely. nudge. the crank, it starts and runs perfectly. So my issue now is that the start up current/voltage isn't enough until I give it that little nudge. This tells me that I either have a voltage drop issue (bad splice, corrosion in the connectors) or I have a whiffletree maintenance issue (bad grease, blockage). To fix it, I am going to re wire the current limiter to come straight from the battery (shortening the distance, and cutting out 1 connection) and clean and re grease the whiffletreee.

    The steps I would take to fix this, in order, would be to:

    1)Charge the battery fully.
    2)Clean and re grease the whiffletree, block, and cover plate.
    and if that doesn't work,
    3) re wire the current limiter so there is a straight run of at least 10g wire directly from the battery (with a 30a auto re-setting breaker) to the current limiter.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  3. Douglas Capella

    Douglas Capella New Member

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    Update:
    I charged the battery and it was giving off 12+ volts, I replaced the 40amp breaker at the battery and I disconnected the motor from the whiffle tree to see if I could eliminate the dirty whiffle. I hook up the motor to the lift limiter and again it just clicks and spins slow. I measure the volts when I press the button on the electric lift and it drops to 10 volts. I am at a loss as to what to do at the moment. The battery is new, the motor is new, the lift limiter is new, the amp breaker is new and still the motor just clicks and spins and drains the volts to 10 when I press the lift button. It clicks going up and going down?
     
  4. McFlyfi

    McFlyfi Well-Known Member

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    Did you clean and re grease the whiffletree?
    If yes, then it's the wiring...jump the battery straight to the current limiter (jumper cables, short pigtail) to see if that solves it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021

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