Garage Door...again

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Ok, I had a company come out and look at our garage door problem. We moved into this house almost three years ago and I installed the opener on one of two wooden doors for my wife to use. It worked fine for 2 1/2 years but started getting cock-eyed as it went up and down and would stop and change directions. It's gotten progressively worse. I've posted this recently so this is a repeat.
Four possible problems: 1. springs need replacing 2. rollers need replacing 3. garage/house has shifted due to drought 4. some combination of the above
I got an estimate that seemed reasonable for replacing both the springs and the rollers. I had checked at Lowe's and even though they had the right color springs, the guy who came out said the diameter DID need to be the same and Lowe's were smaller. So, it seemed that even if I wanted to do it myself, I'd still have to order springs.
What shocked me was he also gave an estimate of replacing the door completely and that cost was about the same as replacing rollers and springs on the current door. Problem is, the new door wouldn't match the old so we'd have to replace both when one doesn't need it because I open and close it manually. 90 day warranty on repairs, three year on replacement.
I'm leaning toward just repairing the existing door and possibly still doing it myself. BTW, my current door has the parallel springs so they are easy and relatively safe to exchange. The new door that the service guy proposed has torsion springs so I'm befuddled as to how that can be the same cost as replacing parts on my existing door.
Brad
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Start with the springs. Have the rollers ever been cleaned/lubricated? If they havent' had a flat side worn onto them, just see that they get cleaned/lubed and are free to slide around in their mounts. Replace if necessary but I'll bet it's not.
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wrote:

    I would consider the door replacement simply because wooden doors tend to require more maintenance and are generally heavier.
Good Luck
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BradMM wrote: ...

Whichever side is high is either binding or the other side spring is weak relative to (or some of both).
In cold weather lubrication is more of an issue as old grease gets hard and stuff binds more.
Springs can be adjusted; I'd start w/ the lube/cleaning and make sure there's nothing binding/rubbing from 3) above and then go from there.
--
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Ironically, the guy who came out told me that lubricating the rollers at the bearings was one of the causes of them wearing out because it causes dirt and grit to stick which grinds them down. Only lube the shafts. I'd sprayed WD40 on them many times but didn't seem to make any difference. I wondered if that was the proper lubricant and he said use a silicon spray.
Brad
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BradMM wrote:

WD40 is primarily _not_ a lubricant. It works initially pretty well, but that is simply the result of the carrier/primary component being, essentially, kerosene. Once it evaporates, there's very little left. Silicone is good choice.
The problem w/ dirt is potentially a problem, granted; but... :) Running completely dry also causes wear altho a primary problem often is if they have had lubricant in the past it has hardened and especially in cold weather becomes a drag rather than an aid. Cleaning that out and some fresh, non-stick lube will help (and may well solve the entire problems if that's a prime cause).
--
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BradMM wrote:

WD40 is a total waste of time as a lubricant. It only contains light aromatics that quickly evaporate and leave gummy varnish behind.
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People that replaced my old wooden garage doors with steel ones told me to lubricate every 6 months with WD40. I also use it on guns and have never seen a gummy varnish left behind.
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Frank wrote:

Again WD-40 is not a lubricant. I use Teflon based spray lubricant sparingly. Also I dab springs with oil(automotive 30 weight) to minimize metal fatigue. After 15 years(house was built in '94), my door works as good as new. I had to replace a section in the insulated Steelcraft door because my kid and his friends put a big ugly looking dent with hockey puck.
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I had to replace a section in the insulated Steelcraft door

Bondo would have made it like new in no time. Think of the money you could have saved!
Joe
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wrote:

i was always told to use silicon. not wd40.
--
C.D


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You haven't done anything to eliminate No. 3 except walk around and eyeball it for major problems. A pro would do the following: a) check left and right openings for plumb on front and sides. That's four readings. b) Check the finished opening for square by measuring the diagonals. That's two readings. Total time, 5 minutes. If everything checks out, it's a door problem, if not, address your structural problems, then deal with the door. Seems pretty simple to do and eliminates an element of doubt.
Joe
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Good stuff, Joe but, with the house already having settled when we moved in, I still won't know how it might have changed in the past year when we've dropped to almost 20" below normal rainfall. Still, good suggestion and I'll take a look at it.
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BradMM wrote:

Just do a tune up and start from there. Manually open.close door and see what is going on.
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BradMM wrote:

Bother!
Door springs are like the One Horse Shay - they might break, but it's highly unlikely they'll "wear out."
Door springs can be adjusted to proved more or less tension - actually the attaching points, not the springs themselves. Try increasing the tension on the laggard side or decreasing the tension on the non-laggard side.
As to your possibilities: * Springs need replacing - If the springs are intact, they don't need replacing * Rollers need replacing - If they're round and roll, they don't need replacing * Garage has shifted - There ought to be other evidence: cracked sheetrock, cracked brick joints, etc. * Combination - Nah
Other possibilities: * Rollers binding due to gunk in the tracks, roller flat spots, twisted tracks, etc. * Opener not centered
Try this to diagnose the difficulty: * Disconnect door from opener and move the door by hand. Where's the problem?
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wrote:

??? Springs definitely get tired over time. Garage door springs spend most of their life under full tension, because that's what happens when the door is in the closed position.
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Great stuff! I have opened and closed it by hand many times and it's not smooth but I can't pinpoint anything specific.
The opener was centered enough for years but I'll check again.
We had piers installed on the back and sides of the house when we moved in - stabilized but not leveled - so I doubt that's the problem unless the garage corner can move more than I think it can with showing signs elsewhere, which it hasn't.
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wrote:

I guess I don't get why you are not doing the obvious. Unhook the drive and put yourself in place of it and manually open and close the door.
You'll be able to determine if the springs create enough counterbalance. You'll should be able to tell if the two counterbalance springs seem unequal. You'll be able to tell if there is a specific spot in travel that is causing the bind. You'll be able to tell if the door gets out of square. Multiple observations will track down the source.
Or you can do as the repair people want. You can replace everything and thus automatically fix your problem without ever having to go through the trouble of identifying it.
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On Jan 28, 12:47pm, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

I have done the obvious (see above).
The very thing you said about replacing everything without ever diagnosing the real problem is why I'm NOT having them do anything. I can change our parts or even install a new one if needed.
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Lubricate the rollers and the drive mechanism (chain / worm gear/ ?) on the garage door opener. I use engine oil on the rollers but you may find something better. If you still have a problem adjust the tension on the springs. Measure the length of the springs, assuming they are mounted the same distance from the door, then they should be about the same length, if not adjust.
Springs stretch out and loose their elasticity. You can usually get one or two adjustments out of a pair of springs before they need to be replaced. The correct adjustment should allow you to lift and close the door with one hand (with the Opener detached).
If you delay in repairing the problem, you may wear out/damage Opener.
Cheers, Jim
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