Powertouch motor mover roller replacement.

Those of you that follow my exploits on Twitter will know that I recently had to change the rollers on my Model 3 Powertouch motor mover. I did initially think of vlogging it but to be honest it was a job I was not looking forward to and the last thing I wanted was the added complication of filming - never mind trying not to swear!

Ideally I would have happily paid someone to do it, but when it first started playing up I called a mobile engineer that covered the area I would be in. He was not available for a month and whilst it was certainly possible to get the caravan back in it’s storage spot without the mover, the yard’s owners had a strict no servicing or maintenance policy on site. Ideally I needed to get it sorted whilst on the road.

Powertouch said they would arrange for an engineer to get in touch with me to arrange fitting, but having chased up numerous times I decided to bite the bullet and order the parts to fit myself. I never cancelled my request for an engineer but, to date am still waiting.20190802_175034

Fortunately instructions were available on their website but, perhaps unsurprisingly it didn’t quite go according to plan, so I thought I’d write a blog post about the whole process in case anyone else finds themselves needing to do the same thing. You will find the instructions I used HERE but what I’m going to do is repeat them below, then add my own comments but it’s worth explaining first why they needed to be changed:

The bearing on the offside roller had completely disintegrated and whilst I may have been able to just replace the bearing, the rollers did occasionally struggle in wet weather anyway, so the newer fluted design would be a worthwhile expense.

1) Remove the 3x M6 screws(10mm hexagon head)

No problem, handily I had a 10mm spanner but the adjustable would have been ok.

2) Remove the roller end cap

No problem on one side, although it turned out that the remains of the bearing came with it. The other side refused to separate from the roller until that had been removed too.

3) Remove 2x M6 screws from the secondary gearbox cover and remove the cover

Again, 10mm, easy enough to undo but quite awkward to see clearly due to limited clearance and having no way of jacking up the van. I was glad I had some latex gloves knocking about as there was lots of grease inside.

4) Remove the gear located on the inner end of the roller by firstly unscrewing the counter sunk screw using a 3mm Allen key

Easy enough to undo the screw but the gear did not just come off. It would not shift by hand but yielded eventually by using a brace and tapping firmly whilst someone operated the mover, rotating the gear in short steps. This was perhaps the hardest bit, not least because of lack of space and vision.

5) Remove the roller drive gear and keyway

When the gear eventually yielded, the keyway came with it.

6) Remove the roller

Again some brute force was required to get it to shift. Due to the chassis it was impossible to strike directly with a hammer. On old large drill bit came in handy, one end being help against the inner end of the roller, the other being hit with a hammer.

7) Insert the new roller into the housing and gently tap the outer end by using a soft faced mallet to fully drive the roller home.

No drama here, although a hammer and folded cloth were the nearest I could get to a soft faced mallet. I’m assuming this is to protect the bearing in the end of the new roller.

8) Replace roller end cap and re-tighten the 3x M6 screws 20190805_100843

I had to bypass this step. The remains of the old bearings stubbornly refused to separate themselves from the end caps despite considerable effort from a caravanning friend. I ended up having to order new caps as well.

9) a) Replace the keyway in the roller slot, then slide over the gear locating the keyway in the gear.

Fiddly, not least because of above and the roller still being free but with someone holding the outer end firm I was able to position the keyway and gear, then hold in place whilst tapping the outer end of the roller until it was firmly in place.

9) b) Fit the countersunk screw and re-tighten

Yep, easy enough.

10) Re-grease as appropriate using general purpose grease

Funnily enough I didn’t have any to hand! However to my untrained eye there seemed more than enough as loads had gathered in the corners of the gearbox cover. I made a point of smearing that over the three gears as liberally as possibly and it’s something I can do at some point in the future.

11) Refit the gearbox cover and tighten both M6 screws (10mm hexagon head) to 7.5nm

Whilst I had a torque wrench - to check the road wheels - I didn’t have the necessary socket so tightened them to what seemed appropriate.

20190804_140739I ordered new endcaps that afternoon and to Powertouch’s credit they came very quickly indeed. These needed to be tapped into place - again using a folded cloth and hammer, before fastening with the three M6 screws.

Right, some figures. The rollers cost £60 for the pair, the end caps were £15 each. Delivery was included in both cases, so total cost was £90. All in all it took me about four hours including a much needed coffee break. I don’t doubt for a minute that it could be done much, much quicker by someone who had more of an idea what they were doing! I was extremely grateful though for the help and support of friend Rob and my cousin Andy, particularly when things were not going well.

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