Introduction: Repairing a Motorized Lazy Boy Recliner

About: relaxed pic

My neighbours were getting a new recliner and asked if we would like the old one. The reason for their new recliner was that their dog had chewed up the the remote cable and the low voltage power cable of their old recliner. We said sure, when we brought it home I removed the two damaged cables and repaired them, some soldering, wire connectors and heat shrink did the job. As I was connecting the cables back, with the recliner on its side I noticed one of the two linear actuators was not connected to anything at one end. This needed fixing and is the basis of this Instructable.

Step 1: The Problem

In the first picture you will see the two linear actuators, the lower one that isn't broken moves the back part of the recliner, the broken one is the one that lifts the leg rest.

The next two pictures are of why it failed, the "white metal" part fractured for some reason.

The next picture is where the other end of the linear actuator connects to the lifting mechanism.

Step 2: Finding a Part to Repair It With

I took off the linear actuator, copied the part info and did a quick internet search, not finding the same one, I decided to check out the Lazy Boy chair store in the next town. They said that I would have to open a service request to even talk to one of the service people. Too many hoops to jump through just to talk to someone.

I then decided to make a "part".

I measured the unbroken one, recording the dimensions and did a search at a local hardware store.

But first I would have to remove the broken old one.

Step 3: Cleaning Up the Actuator

The broken piece of the former part had to be removed from the linear actuator carefully so as not to damage the end any further. It would not unscrew, so I decided to remove it piece by piece.

Using a junior hacksaw blade with no handle, carefully cut two notches without going two deep into the threads. Then that piece was pried out. Another saw cut and another piece to pry out. Continued doing this about every 1/8" until every piece was removed. I then noticed that there was some lock tite substance on the threads, this is why it would not unscrew.

Pictured is the way the cuts were done, the saw blade and the bits removed.

Step 4: First Attempt

I purchased a polypropylene "T" manufactured off shore.

Measured for length, 1/4" hole drilled, fitted into actuator, then because the "repair" piece didn't have threads I drilled a 1/8" hole through both pieces and put a cotter bin in it to hold it in place.

Reinstalled the linear actuator in the the chair, hooked up the low voltage power supply, flipped the chair up and was ready for a test.

Leg rest lifted up as it should with no issues, sat in the chair feeling pleased with my work.

FAIL! when I pushed the button to lower the leg rest, it started to go down, then a loud bang and the leg rest dropped.

Step 5: What Happened

The Polypropylene part had failed, and sheared right off.

Step 6: Second Attempt

I went to a different hardware store to find a better part. I found an inline connector of similar style, but made in Canada out of nylon.

Using the broken part as a template, I measured drilled and cut the new piece to size. Installed it and it has been working flawlessly now. We now have a perfectly operating leather recliner.

Thank you Gary and Marg for the recliner.

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