Sportsmith Blog

StairMaster StepMill Preventative Maintenance

About This Video

One of the most import aspects when servicing or caring for a Stairmaster Stepmill is the Preventive Maintenance of the unit.This video covers the key components of Preventive Maintenance and the tools or supplies necessary to perform the maintenance procedures.

Tools Required: Rivet Fastener Removal Tool, 9/16” Socket, Ratchet Wrench, 3/16” Hex Wrench or Bit Socket, lithium grease, clean rag

It will be necessary to remove the plastic covers in order to perform the Preventive Maintenance steps covered in this video. It takes approximately 5 minutes to remove the plastic covers.

Once the plastic covers are removed, the first thing to do is visually inspect the step chains and step assembly. The step chains should not have any visible slack. If there is too much slack in the chain, it can create a downward slope in the steps. If the slack in the chain and sloping steps are not addressed, this creates potential for problems. (Some of the older models, such as the 7000PT, the location of the power input harness was 11 inches lower than its location on the SM916 allowing for the sloping steps to rub against the power input harness causing damage to the harness.)

If upon inspection you see slack in either step chain or the downward slope in the steps, you need to adjust the tension of the step chain. First, loosen the 9/16” bolts of the pillow block bearings for the upper and lower sprocket assemblies. Now to adjust the chain tension by using the 3/16” hex wrench or bit socket and tightening the allen head screws located on the upper and lower pillow blocks. You want to be sure that the allen head screws have equal number of exposed threads on both the upper and lower pillow blocks. Once you have made this adjustment and the number of exposed threads is equal between the upper and lower pillow blocks, you can retighten the 9/16” bolts of the pillow blocks bearings.

Inspect the newly adjusted chain to ensure the downward slope of the step assembly has improved and that there is no longer any visible slack in the step chain. There step assembly should have only minor deflection. If slack in the step chain or the downward slope of the step was observed on the other side, repeat this procedure on the other side as needed.

Another point of focus for preventive maintenance is the step hinges of the step assembly. Over time, the hinge is exposed to a lot of sweat and warrants inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. Wipe away any dust or debris from the step. Apply a bead of lithium grease along the step hinge. Run your finger along the step hinge to spread the grease. Perform this procedure on all 8 step hinges.

The next area covered is the bearing plate and step shaft bearings. Run a bead of your lithium grease in along the visible area where the bearings have tracked along the bearing plate. Again, run your finger along the bearing plate to spread the grease. If you have excess grease, apply the excess to the step shaft bearing. The main purpose is to provide a layer of grease on the bearing plate that the bearings can pick up as the track around. The bearing needs to be lubricated since it is constantly turning on its shaft. Repeat this procedure on the other side.

Inspect for any dust or debris that may have built up on the inside of the frame and plastic panels. After freshly applying grease, you want the inside of the unit to be as clean as possible to keep anything from contaminating your new grease. Wipe the inside of the unit with your clean rag to remove any dust or debris.

The drive chain (located on the user’s left of the machine) and step chains should be inspected. Both chains should be free of any major debris buildup and the links should move freely. If a chain appears to have a frozen link, you can lubricate the chain with 30w motor oil. If this does not remove the kink in the chain, it may be necessary to replace the chain.

Another point of inspection for preventive maintenance is the alternator belt. You should inspect for any cracks or fraying of the belt. If the belt has an appearance of fraying or cracking, the belt should be replaced.

Lastly, the drive chain tensioned by an idler sprocket; the idler sprocket should have free movement to keep tension on the chain. You should be able to lift up on the idler sprocket and it release tension from the chain. When you release the idler sprocket, it should spring back into position applying tension onto the chain.

This covers the steps of preventive maintenance for the Stairmaster Stepmill.

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