How to lube' garage doors


I'm almost embarrassed to ask this. I have two sixteen foot wide garage doors and both make a lot of squeaking and crunching noise when opened or closed. The one on the house attached garage has an opener which works fine except in cold weather (that's below about 40 degrees), when it opens fine but balks on closing. Opener stops, light blinks, etc. I may need to adjust the downward force. But first, I need to lubricate the doors.
That's my question. Just what do I lubricate and how do I do it. I'll tell you what I tried but doesn't seem to help.
Using a pump oil can, I squired SAE 30 oil around where each roller meets the shaft. I don't think a lot of oil actually gets inside the roller shaft area though. I love WD40 for some things, but don't think it is applicable in this application.
Should I lightly grease the outer surface of the rollers where they roll on the track? It seems to me this would be a dust magnet.
I appreciate any advice you guys have. Thanks in advance. Bob
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If it is a chain drive, lube the chain - SAE 30 motor oil works here. Wipe off the extra.
If a worm drive, use grease. Automotive ball joint grease will work just fine. Lubriplate is also good (non-migrating zinc oxide grease?).
Look at ALL the joints and rollers -- the door hinges, rollers in the track, etc. The oil will work itself in here with a few cycles of the door. The pump oiler lets you get it to the bearing.. I use SAE 90 gear oil here -- stays in place betters, and doesn't drip as much. Getting up on a ladder might be necessary to reach everything. Make sure to get the bearing in the spring system, as they are under a lot of tension and have a lot of friction.
About once a year does the trick, or when things seem to get noisey. I haven't found greasing the track to make that much difference, though it does help to cut down the "rattle" a little.
WD-40 is basically paint thinner (Stodart solvent) and a propellant. Good for loosening things up, but little or no long term lubrication qualities.
Your milage will vary...
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Everything you said makes sense but I go one further. Use wheel bearing grease on the last coils and hooks of the door springs. From printing press experience the bends and hooks fracture from heat and the grease helps distribute the heat .. maybe an old pressmans tale but it works for me.
Bill
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wrote:

You are absolutely right about the 'dust magnet' in the track..
You are doing it right by lubricating the shaft of the rollers, and the roller bearings. You missed the most important thing though..
Get on a 6' ladder and beat the torsion spring(s) with a hammer some to break up the rust and reset the springs in case it has some windings stuck. Then spray the hell out of them with lube. WD-40 is not the best - some old fashion 10-in-1 is better (or the 30 weight). Operate the door 4 or 5 times than re-lube. Don't soak it so much that it drips though.
You're going to like the results after lubing the springs.
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Bob wrote:

First you need to check the door balance (spring force) Make sure you know what you are doing there as some setups can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. You can lube all you want, but if the springs are not properly adjusted, it is not going to be good.

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Bob Wrote: > I'm almost embarrassed to ask this. I have two sixteen foot wide > garage

I use a product called Blaster GDL that I purchased at Menards. I was amazed at how quiet the door was, I have a 20" door.
--
uncablu

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If you have a screw drive clean out the old grease (spray solvent) & re-grease using a grease good for low temp
If you decide to "beat" on the torsion spring, I suggest go lightly.....no beating, maybe heavy tapping
I recommend against lubing the roller surfaces or the track.....they're supposed to roll not slide.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Once a year, I clean off all old junk with rags. Then I add a drop to each roller axle, wiping off excess. Then the rails/tracks get wiped down with oil. I leave no standing/dripping oil. Just everything gets cleaned and a nice very light coating of oil.
This works for me. If I had torque switches tripping, I might also check alignments of my doors.
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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I wouldn't beat on the springs. If you break one, you sure don't want to be near it!
I had the same problem two winters ago. The "real" problem is probably that something is somewhat out of alignment and requires more force than the door can manage in the cold. I temporized by putting lithium grease on everything. It has worked fine for a year now. I don't think it is permanent, but for the moment...
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I install overhead doors for a living. It is safe, otherwise I wouldn't have posted it. If it does break, it will just spin around the torque tube. However, safety glasses would be advised since there will be potential for rust and small particulate in the air.
Let me clarify what I meant by "beat", don't hit it so hard like you're pretending it's your worst enemy. Just give it enough to break up any windings that have rusted together and get any "bunches" out that may have developed.
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I made the same mistake; wasted a lot of time lubricating all the rollers. I subsequently found that the bearings in many of the rollers were shot. Replacing them was not a huge task but the lube effort was a complete waste of time. And greasing up the new rollers as I installed them was a heck of a lot easier than trying to push lube into the old rollers.
I'd suggest you examine the complete system thoroughly and then figure out a rational course of action.
In your case, it's quite possible that previous applied lubricant is part of the problem. If and when you do apply lubrication, make sure it's suitable for those very low termperatures.
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Bob wrote:

The first thing to do is unplug the AC cord from the opener or, if it's wired in permanently, turn off its circuit breaker (and make sure it really is turned off). An opener that moves unexpectedly can cut off a finger or catch your clothing or hair (and literally rip off your scalp).
Do not lubricate the outside surfaces of the rollers at all. Make sure they and their tracks are clean and free of grease. You're correct to lube the oller shafts with oil, and you're right that WD-40 is inappropriate here since it's essentially just kerosene. Also don't lubricate the shafts of plastic wheels used for cables, as they'll simply collect dirt and squeal (spray with brake parts cleaner if necessary).
Any pivot metal pivot points on the door or door opener should be lubed with grease. Lithium grease in a spray can is good for this (solvent helps grease penetrate but then evaporates, leaving only the grease). If you have a chain or belt drive Chamberlain/Liftmaster/Sears with a "T" beam shaft, it needs to a thin layer of grease on top and where the trolly contacts it. For other openers, such as chain drives with a tubular shaft, use no lubricant at all on the opener mechanism and thoroughly clean off all dust and oil, although it's OK to protect it from rust with paste wax or dry spray lube. Screw-drive openers need a little lithium grease throughout the length of the screw, but use thin NLGI #1 grease, not the thicker NLGI #2 or NLGI #1-#2 or the opener may balk in the cold. Garage door opener grease is available but costs more than automotive or general purpose lithium grease. And before greasing anything, clean off the old grease. Any chain should be tightened so it sags about 1/2" to 1" in the middle; any less means the chain is way too tight.
Check and adjust the balance of the door. When it's free from the opener and held open approximately 1/3 of the way up, it should slowly fall, and when it's 2/3 of the way up it should slowly rise. The amount of opening or closing force will change with temperature, and higher force is often needed in the cold.
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Some good info and hints. You guys gave me several ideas to try. I never thought about the coil springs and shaft across the opening. Thanks for the response. Bob
I'm almost embarrassed to ask this. I have two sixteen foot wide garage doors and both make a lot of squeaking and crunching noise when opened or closed. The one on the house attached garage has an opener which works fine except in cold weather (that's below about 40 degrees), when it opens fine but balks on closing. Opener stops, light blinks, etc. I may need to adjust the downward force. But first, I need to lubricate the doors.
That's my question. Just what do I lubricate and how do I do it. I'll tell you what I tried but doesn't seem to help.
Using a pump oil can, I squired SAE 30 oil around where each roller meets the shaft. I don't think a lot of oil actually gets inside the roller shaft area though. I love WD40 for some things, but don't think it is applicable in this application.
Should I lightly grease the outer surface of the rollers where they roll on the track? It seems to me this would be a dust magnet.
I appreciate any advice you guys have. Thanks in advance. Bob
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