Is a single torsion spring garage door supposed to have a center bearing?

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Disassembling my first torsion spring setup, on my 8'wide by 7'tall garage door, I just found something unexpected.
My single-spring 7'wide garage door doesn't have a center bearing.

Is that normal not to have a center bearing?

I have a bearing on each end, but no center bearing?

The reason I ask is that the center, when hand spun, with no weight on it other than the loose spring, has about a 1/4 inch sag in the center.

Seems to me, I was expecting a center bearing.
Can it be that single-spring torsion systems don't have center bearings?
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"Danny D." wrote:

My 16-ft garage door has a center bearing (and two springs - one on each side of the center bearing).
For an 8-ft wide door, I wouldn't expect a center bearing.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:38:45 -0500, Home Guy wrote:

I think you're right because, digging up all I could, I found this: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/single-tsreplacement.php
Where it says: "Some garage doors are installed without bearings. If you have no bearing in your spring anchor bracket, grease the shaft where it will be rubbing inside the cones."
So, I'm moving forward in the other thread on winding the torsion spring for the first time ever in my life!
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 12:57:35 -0800, Oren wrote:

Thanks for taking the time to look & write. You're a saint.

Oh oh. I had called up Dan Musick today (800-383-9548) and I told him there was no 'bearing' (but I didn't mention a 'bushing'). He said he's seen 'more' problems from a middle bearing going askew than not having a bearing at all - but now I realize I didn't clarify that I have neither a bearing nor a bushing.
I think it matters because the 9 foot bar actually MOVES!
Yes. Apparently, from my observation anyway - the overdoor bar slides to the right (standing in the center of the garage and looking at a single right wound spring on the left side of center) about an inch as the door goes up (and back to the left as the door goes down).
Here is Dan's torsion spring replacement DIY for a single spring single- spring where he actually mentions the nylon bushing (not the bearing) in step #15: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/single-tsreplacement.php

Hmmm... I wish I had known enough to look before the spring broke!
Especially when you see these two pictures:
DOOR CLOSED:
DOOR OPEN:

Notice the 9 foot bar seems to be sliding an inch to the right when the door opens (and the bracket is pulled left); and then the 9 foot long bar is slid an inch back to the left (and the bracket centers itself).
I think, over time, this will break the bracket. No?
Do anyone see the same thing with your single-torsion spring door, right hand wound, mounted to the left of center?

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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 15:25:29 -0800, Oren wrote:

It also worries me how much it the bracket is flexing.
Upon closer inspection, there is only a SINGLE BOLT holding that plate against the wall!
Look at this picture (with the door closed):

Believe it or not, they have three BOLTS (not screws) holding the angle iron in place - which means those three bolts holding the angle iron in place were put in (from the outside) when the garage was built.
The weird thing is only ONE of those three bolts actually (also) holds the bracket in place. So the bracket is free to move more than I think it should be.
Guessing: It looks like they have some holes that are unused - probably because they only went into sheetrock - with nothing below - which is why it only has one bolt holding the bracket perhaps.
More data: I just screwed a long wood screw into two of the bracket holes and they both had ONLY gypsum board behind them. So that's why they didn't bolt the bracket with two bolts - but now I need to re-engineer how that bracket is held in place.
Note: I can see why garage door companies don't want to upgrade springs but this problem 'might' not even be due to the upgraded spring.
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 00:14:02 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Sure looks wrong to me. I don't fully understand the forces involved, but I do know bending a bracket back and forth isn't good. Mine have always been double spring with a center bracket/bearing. So the 2 springs cancel each others' attempt at lateral torsion shaft movement. And that would also mean the springs can't change in actual length, since they are locked at both ends and the shaft doesn't move. Guess that's why there's "spring engineers." Maybe.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 19:20:39 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:

I don't disagree.
Had I known about this bracket flimsiness ahead of time, I would have simply replaced my one spring with two springs.
It's easy to figure out what springs to use for that purpose.
The DDM Door site conveniently has this tutorial: How to Convert from One Garage Door Spring to Two http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/two-spring-garage-door-spring-conversion.php
It says that, as the garage door opens, the spring loses 7 coils of length - so that must be what is twisting the bracket inward.
What is supposed to happen is that the shaft is supposed to pull through the stationary bracket - but in my case, the bracket is moving inward - instead of the shaft (apparently).
The explanation says if I had a second spring, it would cancel out the forces. In addition, it says it's a bit safer. And, the winding of any one of the two springs takes half the force.
Using this spring calculator, I can convert to two springs: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/springs/standard-torsion-springs.php
OLD: 2"IDx0.234"x26.5" RH ($36.58, 13,000 duty cycle) NEW: 2"IDx0.187"x17.75" RH & LH ($21.08 each, 17,000 duty cycle) NEW: 2"IDx0.187"x17.5" RH & LH ($20.84 each, 16,000 duty cycle) NEW: 2"IDx0.192"x19.75" RH & LH ($23.50 each, 23,000 duty cycle) NEW: 2"IDx0.207"x28.25" RH & LH ($34.29 each, 63,000 duty cycle) NEW: 2"IDx0.218"x36.75" RH & LH ($45.88 each, 141,000 duty cycle)
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 16:56:04 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren, Thanks for the ideas.
The flexing bracket is a weird problem - which might have been there all along - or - as you intimate - it may have been exacerbated by the thicker longer heavier spring.
I'm gonna send some photos to Dan to ask what he'd do. As you noted, I can de-tension the spring another quarter turn. Or, I can simply squish the spring a quarter inch or so.
In fact, following instructions, I had moved the spring OUT (to the left) about 1/4 inch initially AFTER it was wound (as per instructions) - so maybe - just maybe - I moved it out to the left too far.
I will try to squish that spring to see if 'that' minimizes the bending of the poorly mounted bracket.
Note: I pounded with a hammer and do not see any wood below the bracket. That's weird that they picked such a lousy spot.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 19:05:46 -0800, Oren wrote:

Now that I know it doesn't matter WHERE the bracket is mounted, I guess I could move the angle iron to ANY location where there is an existing stud.
I looked at my other two garage doors - and neither has this problem.
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 12:30:33 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren,
I see that 2x6 vertical stud - which I envy - as mine is just in gypsum board. That picture gives me an idea to copy - except I'm a bit worried about the extra 2 inches, having never installed a garage door opener before.

Interesting. You have that "cripple stud" on the rollers too. If I cut the sheetrock out, I might gain the 2 inches that I lose.

The roller in that picture looks bigger than the track!

Very sturdy. I don't have that. Mine just have the track brackets but not that nice steel vertical support. I envy your setup!
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 17:27:08 -0800, Oren wrote:

OK. Thanks. I haven't looked at the geometry of the opener just yet as I've been concentrating on the spring.
It's interesting how much we DON'T know about simple things, until we have to fix 'em.

BTW, here's what I found when I was snooping around.

A nice big fat black widow spider!
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Danny D. wrote:

Very dangerous. That is where all the energy 'rests'. Screw in another 3" lag screw and get yourself a bearing/bushing.
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 11:49:55 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

I agree it's dangerous, especially in the door-open position:

There is NOTHING below the gypsum board the ENTIRE length of the angle iron which the spring anchor plate is bolted to (by that one bolt).

So, the only thing I 'can' add is another short bolt which simply keeps the spring anchor plate mounted to the angle iron.

The angle iron itself if bolted (or screwed) at the very top and the very bottom to something inside the wall.

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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 22:42:56 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

I just looked at my 7 foot door. It has a center bearing. IMHO they should all have a center bearing, or at least a bushing. The bearing combined with the rod prevents the bending you are seeing on your flimsy metal center spring base support bracket. Your spring seems too long to me for a 7 foot door. However, a longer spring means more coils, which means for the same amount of rotation the spring "winds up" less, as a proportion of it's total windup capacity. I'm guessing that the spring you have is for a taller (not wider) door which naturally needs to wind the spring more as the taller door moves thru it full up-down range. My double door simply has two springs that each appear to be0 the same size as the one spring on my single door. I think you are fooling yourself by thinking that the "bigger" (i.e. longer) spring is providing you with extra "power". It may or may not be since power is a function of materials, diameter (of the wire as well as the spring), number of coils, amount of twist, and probably some other stuff.
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On Sat, 17 Nov 2012 18:39:13 -0700, Ashton Crusher wrote:

I don't disagree.
Thanks for looking. I appreciate that since I only have my doors to go by.
I may end up putting either a nylon bushing in there, or better yet, a steel bearing. I think the original installer cheaped out, saving himself a couple of bucks - but the homeowner loses.

I think it would prevent the 'sagging' of the one-inch hollow rod that goes across the door. I don't know if the bearing would prevent the bracket from bending 7 coils inward when the door is open - simply because the bracket is supposed to be stationary.

It's calculated

I didn't count the coils - but the new spring is thicker gauge wire - so - any one coil is thicker. The reason for the thicker gauge wire is merely for duty cycles.
Since the wire is thicker, to lift the same door, the spring will be either longer, or a larger ID. Since I kept the ID at 2", the spring has to be longer to lift the same door.

You're absolutely right. I would be fooling myself if I thought that. The 'only' reason for the longer spring is I opted for a thicker gauge (0.250" rather than 0.243").
The only way you can get the same force with the thicker gauge wire is to either opt for a larger ID or for a longer spring. I opted for the longer spring.
But it should have the same force as the shorter spring with the thinner gauge. It should only have a longer duty cycle (by far).
Of course, it's ironic if this longer-duty cycle spring tears the mounting plate off the wall. Certainly, I need to find a solution.
For the next person who replaces their garage door spring, I suggest looking first BEFORE it breaks, to see how it's working.
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 12:43:02 -0800, Oren wrote:

Mine seems more than slight. Seems to me mine NEEDS a bushing. I called today to Home Depot & Lowes but they didn't even know what I was talking about.

I think it also might prevent the shaft from 'catching' on the bracket. Maybe if the shaft SLID sidewise (in a bushing) better, it wouldn't be bending the bracket?
I will buy the 1" ID (2"OD) nylon bushing as soon as I can find a local supplier. I might have to visit a garage door company on Monday.
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Here's my single door's center bracket. As far as I know the door is original to the house, so it's about 57 years old. The torsion spring was replaced something like 10 years ago, but not by me.
To be honest, I don't know if that's a bearing or a bushing, but the bar is definitely supported in the center bracket by whatever that is. The bracket is mounted with 2 lag bolts, one into the header and the other into the cripple stud. It does not move at all as the door goes up and down..
Bearing or Bushing:
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-13121-1353209104153.jpg
Bracket Mounting:
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/photobucket-31615-1353209023586.jpg
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 03:36:17 +0000, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Wow. I envy how STURDY your spring mounting is (compared to mine!).
Your first picture showed a nicely installed bearing. And your second picture shows a sturdily bolted plate.

It's a bearing. A bushing is (apparently) simply a piece of nylon.

Thanks for the update. I envy you. And learn from you!
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There's a family owned garage door company in my area. I've had 2 problems with my garage door in the last ten years. One was a busted torsion spring, the other I don't remember what it was...I think it was a cable.
Both times i called them, left them a key to the side door of the garage and when I got home from work, the problem was solved for a reasonable price. You can see the quality of work that they do, so it was money well spent.
I still see their trucks on the road and have recommended them to a number of my friends and co-workers.
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On 11/17/2012 1:17 PM, Danny D. wrote:

there would be no need for one in a 7 or 8 foot span.
--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
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