Double hung vinyl window hard to raise

I've gone through the usual steps of cleaning the tracks and spiral springs, then lubricating them with a silicone spray, paying particular attention to the springs. Still too hard to raise from the fully closed position. Fairly easy to raise once the sash is open about three inches. The sash maintains its position when I take my hands off it, implying that the springs are under proper tension.
I removed the lower sash. Tilting the sash inward to remove it causes the shoes at the bottom ends of the springs to expand and wedge into the sides of the track, so the shoes don't snap upwards. This is explained at time 1:46 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xetCnemp9GA

I then used a screwdriver to twist the center of the shoe 90 degrees, which releases it and retracts the spring. If I now use the screwdriver to force the shoe all the way down, it remains in the down position even when I remove the screwdriver, instead of snapping upward. Once I move the shoe about three inches above the fully down position, it snaps upward as it should.
I can't understand why the shoes (both sides) are so tight when fully down. I used plenty of lubricant on all three sides of each shoe. Any ideas?
Thanks for your insights and suggestions.
R1
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<stuff snipped>

ideas?
How old are the windows? Is the house settling? The back of my house is settling so the windows on the side of the house are becoming harder to operate because the frames are no longer perfectly rectangular. The back and front windows are fine because the settling doesn't affecting their perpendicularity.
Scrupulous cleaning and lubrication help somewhat but if the settling continues, the options get ugly. Probably the only way to fix it is to pop all the trim and insulation and to reshim the window back to being perfectly square.
--
Bobby G.




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On 6/18/2013 11:44 AM, Robert Green wrote:

Building is probably 50 years old. Next time I'll take a square with me and check it. But that really doesn't explain how or why the shoe binds at the bottom inch or two of the track, even with the lower sash removed.
There's a window company near my home. I'll visit the installer tomorrow and pick his brain.
R1
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Rebel1 wrote:

First, that's an interesting overall video about double hung vinyl windows. I saved it for future use since I participate in a couple of real estate investor association online discussion groups and people often post questions about fixing window problems.
I don't know the answer to your question, but it does seem like the pivot shoes are getting stuck in the track in just one area. Since it is on both sides, it makes me wonder if it is somehow supposed to be that way, or if there is a common problem on both sides that is compressing the track near the bottom of the window -- like a window sill pressing on and compressing the track on both sides(?).
I happen to live near a window and door parts place called Swisco in Camden, NJ, so when I get stuck I sometimes just go there in person and ask them. They also have a good website where people can diagnose problems, ask questions, find parts to order online, and watch instructional videos.
I don't know if any of this will help, but here are some of their website links to their home page, a video about the pivot shoe, and a list of their videos, and a link to their discussion group where people post questions: http://www.swisco.com/ http://www.swisco.com/videos/view34 http://www.swisco.com/videos/list1 http://www.swisco.com/discussions
Good luck. If you figure out what the problem is, let us know.
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On 6/20/2013 12:05 PM, TomR wrote:

Tom,
Thanks for the great links. The jamb spreaders are what I need if there are no cutouts to allow removing the shoes, but they are $149 a pair. (At that price, it's cheaper to call a pro who already has them.) With the shoes in my hand, I can sand them a bit to increase the clearance. I don't know if they are too wide vs too thick for the track, but next time I'm in the apartment, I'll simply wiggle the lower sash (when it's just a 1/2 inch from the closed position to allow finger clearance) in and out to see if the clearance is too small. Side-to-side wiggling might not tell much, because there can be clearance between the sash and the shoes, yet the shoes may be still too thick for their tracks.
Anyway, thanks again for providing new insights. I won't be in the apartment for a few days, but I will report back.
R1
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