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-   -   Removing the electric step (https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=52865)

ptheland 01-02-2017 05:47 AM

Removing the electric step
1 Attachment(s)
I purchased my 2013 Sprinter to modify for transporting my wheelchair bound family. One thing that needed to be done was to remove the electric step under the sliding door on my van to make room for the wheelchair lift. Most of the job was pretty easy. The final step may involve a wallet cleaning at my local Sprinter dealer.

Here's the right (front of the van) side of the step. You can see two of the 8 torx screws across the front of the step, and the bracket at the back. The wiring for the step in on this side as well.

ptheland 01-02-2017 05:52 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
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Here's another shot of the right (front) side showing the whole support bracket. There's one bolt at the top of the bracket that will need to come out.

ptheland 01-02-2017 05:56 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
1 Attachment(s)
One more shot of the right(front) side of the step, with a better view of the wiring. The connector at the top of the photo is for the step. You'll also need to cut all of the zip ties visible in this photo. I chose to separate the step from the bracket, then remove the bracket. So removing the two zip ties on the bracket is necessary. You also get a good view of the DEF tank.

ptheland 01-02-2017 06:01 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
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Here's the front edge of the step - with the step extended - showing 4 of the 8 screws holding the outside edge of the step. These screws go into captive nuts attached to the seam along the bottom of the van.

ptheland 01-02-2017 06:03 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
1 Attachment(s)
The left (rearward) side of the step with it's bracket. This side of the step is much simpler.

ptheland 01-02-2017 06:18 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
With the above overview in mind, the removal process is pretty straightforward.

First, I took care of the wiring. Cut the zip ties and disconnected the connector.

Next, support the step. I used a floor jack so I could easily lower the step once all of the bolts were removed.

I took out the two bolts on each side attaching the step to the brackets, and the 8 bolts across the front edge of the step.

That frees the step. I lowered it on the jack and rolled it out.

With the step out of the way, removing the one bolt at the top of each support bracket is easy, and the brackets can be removed.

Lastly, I covered the electric connector with appropriate tape to keep water and dirt out of the connections.

The step itself isn't overly heavy, perhaps 70 or 80 pounds. But it is bulky. It was handy to have two people available to move it.

You can also see that Mercedes was pretty clever with the support brackets. They are identical, avoiding the issues and costs of making the brackets mirror images of each other.

There is one final step I haven't done yet. The van is not happy about having an appendage removed. When the sliding door is open, I get two different but simultaneous warning sounds. And when driving, the dash display lights up with a red warning about the electric step. Without the step attached, I'm sure the body control system is not getting the appropriate messages about the location of the step. The dash warning is undoubtedly a warning that the step isn't properly stowed for driving. I'm not sure why I get warnings when the van is stationary, but I know I didn't get them before removing the step.

There's a possibility the local Mercede$ dealer can reprogram things to reflect the missing step. But before I do that, I'll take a look at the step itself and see how it's wired. I'm hoping it's possible to easily simulate some switch or another to satisfy the van that the step is properly stowed for driving. I'll post a follow up to the thread on my findings.

ptheland 01-03-2017 04:53 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
I'm going to toss this here for my reference. Those of you who have been around a while probably know of it already. Here's a source for Sprinter wiring diagrams. http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/Wd It seems to be good for my 2013.

One thing I have learned is that the wire colors on the van side of my electric step connector do not match the wire colors on the step side. The above wiring diagrams show the van side colors.

ptheland 01-05-2017 05:59 AM

Re: Removing the electric step
In a small triumph of man over machine, I have managed to shut off one of the two warnings I was getting about the step. But first, let me share what I have learned about the factory step.

There are six wires going to the step. A careful reading of the wiring diagrams found at the link in the previous post taught me that two of those wires are power coming through relays (pink and violet), one is called the retracted switch (green), one the extended switch (blue), one is an anti-pinch switch (yellow), and the last is a ground (brown). The colors are those on the body wiring harness. The step itself has different colors (mine are black, white, blue, violet, green, and red, respectively.)

When retracted (or stowed) the retract switch is open and the extended switch is closed. These two reverse when the step is extended. I was not able to figure out how the anti-pinch switch works.

I'm almost certain that the pink and violet wires send power to the motor to extend and retract the step. One will run the motor to extend, and the other will retract. I didn't try to find out which is which. It didn't dawn on me to test that from the body side of things. You should be able to test for 12 volts on them with the sliding door open and closed.

The victory came from simulating the switches. When I stuck a jumper in the now empty connector in the van to simulate the closing of the extended switch, the van quit complaining about the step every time I started driving. I still get a warning when I open the sliding door, but even that can be cut down by pulling the fuses for the electric step (under the driver's seat, number 43 for the power and 45 for the controller).

I'm sure I saved a couple hundred dollars at the dealer to have them remove the step programming from the PCM. But the annoyance is down to a tolerable level, and I still have a little bit of incentive to figure out how to listen in on the CAN bus and perhaps learn how to reprogram the PCM myself. And I still have some dollars in my pocket to put toward an appropriate tool, rather than a one-time fix at the dealer.

pfflyer 01-05-2017 01:23 PM

Re: Removing the electric step
Good write-up. If you haven't already you should try selling your step here in the classifieds.

ptheland 01-05-2017 05:45 PM

Re: Removing the electric step
1 Attachment(s)
Here's a table of the wiring info I was able to figure out.

The electrical connector has the capacity for 8 pins, but only six are used.

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