Our step slide is usually open and while traveling we close the slide. Both open and closed positions have air pressure on the single air cylinder. Finding the air cylinder mountings a little difficult to reach to replace and figuring that air pressure is not needed to keep slide in open or closed position, we decided to install an air shut off valve to reduce wear and tear on cylinder.
A 3-way valve is mounted on air pressure hose into step slide control valve which is mounted behind our step. 12-volt power to 3-way valve allows air to flow normally to cylinder. Removing power drains residual air pressure from cylinder. We ran a pair of wires up through floor into our drink cup holder area and mounted a toggle switch next to the original step slide control switch.
Switch was purchased from Grainger, cost $53. We added a bronze filter to vent and all valve fittings are female 1/8” NPT. Valve is Ingersol Rand P251SS012DG / F1062. Photos show valve label.
The outside step uses air pressure to stay closed. Using the same 3-way valve to control both inside slide and outside step defeats our purpose to minimize when the slide cylinder is pressurized.
Using a time delay could work with slide, but would have to turn air pressure on before activating the open-close switch. You could also use a momentary push button that is held down before operating the Foretravel switch, but we found this took too much finger coordination, so we changed from push button to toggle switch.
We have to turn on our new 3-way valve to fill the cylinder with air pressure a few moments before operating the Foretravel slide switch. The Foretravel 4-way step and slide valves have an adjustable filter / air flow restrictor on the exhaust port. The slide and step cylinders normally would have air pressure on one end or the other. When the Foretravel 4-way valve changes position from open to closed & vice versa, air pressure on the 'other' side has to be exhausted, and the adjustable restrictor prevents the slide and step from slamming open or closed. Turn restrictor clockwise to slow down, turn counter clockwise to speed up.
We found that if we change the Foretravel slide switch and THEN activate our new 3-way valve to let air pressure move slide, the slide slammed to the other end because there was no air pressure to be exhausted.
© Barry Brideau 2003-2017