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

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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 09:44:26 -0600, Steve Barker wrote:

I'm going to see what Dan Musick thinks - I hope he responds to my email on Monday.
I see three options at the moment: a) Shore up the bracket (somehow) to that it doesn't move b) Add a nylon bushing or steel bearing & see if that helps c) Convert the one spring to a two-spring system
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On Sun, 18 Nov 2012 12:51:47 -0800, Oren wrote:

Thanks for the advice of the priorities.
One thing I tried today was MEASURING how much the spring grew to the left when I installed it.
So I unwound it - and measured the growth to be 2 1/4 inches:

One 'complication' is that I do NOT understand WHY the Dan Musick instructions say to add an extra 1/4 inch to the normal growth of the spring AFTER it has been wound the extra 7 turns.
I 'think' I might have pushed the spring out MORE than 1/4 inch when following those directions (although I don't understand them).
QUESTION: Do you know why Dan suggests adding the extra 1/4 inch?
Here are Dan's instructions: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/single-tsreplacement.php Notice step #72 (actually #70 to #73).
I don't understand why we need to "GROW" the spring any more than it grows on its own (and I wonder if I grew it too much)???
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 00:16:51 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

I just realized I have about an extra inch of leeway by pushing the hollow rod left or right BEFORE I mount the spring.
However, I'm a bit confused which way (left or right) would be best to push the rod by that inch before I put the spring on.
It's new to me that the rod moves back and forth side to side, and I'm not sure why we move the spring left after it grows, so it's kinda confusing to me which way will put the least side-to-side stress on the bracket.
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 03:26:18 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

Upon closer inspection, I think the rod does NOT move!
I took my torsion spring off yet again, and moved both cable drums inward a bit and tested it out and it STILL bent the spring end plate when the door opened.
Here is a video showing the spring end plate in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNAfZP1bMQM

And, notice how loose my end bearing plates appear to be:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHKjGDqz9wE

Using a hammer and nail, I found there is NO STUD underneath not only the spring end plate mounting bolts, but also no stud underneath the cable drum mounting points above the door!
Here is a view of the right side end plate problem:

And, here is a view of the left side end plate problem:

Methinks this garage door was badly hung - but it lasted for decades - so it should be relatively easy to repair.
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I just got off the phone with Dan of DDM Doors (he's a saint!) who said that the ONLY way that the spring end plate could be moving like that was if the two bearing end plates were allowing it to move.
So, he said, I can secure the spring end plate, but that in and of itself would NOT solve my problem:
Here is a picture of the spring end plate logistics:

I have to secure the bearing end plates:

Dan is going to send me some parts for me to do the job right.
I'll let you know what happens - but I wish I really better understood what is making the spring end plate move like that!
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 12:16:26 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren,
See this picture which shows the geometries:

I'd agree with you that moving the spring mount bracket LEFT 18" works best because it leaves room to add a second spring (if needed, later).
Moving the bracket right 12" doesn't allow for the second spring. However, moving the bracket left only leaves me about 8 inches before the spring hits the cable drum. (Keep in mind my new 0.250" spring is 10 inches longer than the old 0.234" spring.)

I wish I knew. As far as I can tell, there is NOTHING behind the sheetrock. I punched fifteen 3-inch long nail holes into the sheetrock and the only thing I ran into was the two studs mentioned above.
There is no header. I would have expected a huge beam above the garage door - but I am strongly suspecting there is a steel beam at the ceiling level instead.
Look at this picture. Look at the very top right of the pic:
Do you see those four huge nuts? I think that's a beam.
You guys know better than I how they build these things. But it sure looks like there isn't any wooden header!
What do you think those four bolts are way up at the top?
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On 11/19/2012 6:09 PM, Oren wrote:

Could be. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show but barely any of the area of interest. Would be easier to diagnose if actually had an area in the picture of interest and perhaps the outside and another w/ the door open looking at the opening overhead...
--
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:55:18 -0600, dpb wrote:

Here is a better picture taken just now:

If you look closely, you can see where I still have nails in the gypsum board to the right of the right end bearing plate.
I also left the nails in the stud I found a foot to the right of the spring end plate and another stud a foot and a half to the left of that spring end plate.
Those are the only studs I have to tie to. I have no idea what the four nuts are in the top near the ceiling but I have to assume there is a steel beam at that level.
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Danny D. wrote:

Why don't you cut away some sheetrock to take a peek?
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:13:52 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

I pounded about fifty nails and figured out what is below the sheetrock.

Now it makes sense why there is air below both the end bearing plates and below the spring anchor plate.
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:08:38 -0800, Oren wrote:

Here is a picture at full strength.

You can see all the nails I left in place (which hit studs) and you can also see the nail holes which didn't hit studs.
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On 11/19/2012 11:59 PM, Danny D. wrote:

You don't show that you tried at the elevation of the (presumed) beam at the level between the bolts to determine if, indeed it does span the opening (can almost guarantee it does but it would tell a lot if you knew that for certain).
It appears to me they spanned the opening at that level below the trusses/joists and then just infilled the opening above the door w/ conventional framing. I also presume there are complementary bolts on the other end hidden by the storage platform????
I've not read this thread--wo I don't know what you're attempting to accomplish here on this part...if you're trying to center up the mounting hardware, as Oren says just pull everything down out of the way, open up the cavity and add blocking as needed then reinstall surface covering.
--
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 09:59:03 -0600, dpb wrote:

Here is a panorama picture of the garage door with red showing wood below the gypsum; blue shows steel; and white shows air:


There 'is' a two-inch thick piece of wood directly over the door as shown in this picture. The red-painted nail heads sticking out hit wood while the white painted nailheads went into air.


Actually we originally thought the spring anchor plate near the center was badly mounted above air - and it is! But, the real problem appears to be both side bearing plates are also mounted above air!
In the picture above, red is wood, yellow is air, & blue is steel.
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On 11/20/2012 1:42 PM, Danny D. wrote: ...

You don't seem to hear the answer--open up enough of the cavity to put in sufficient blocking where it needs to be and then go on.
You _could_ use like 3/16 steel plates mounted on the surface at the top and bottom and mount the hardware on them but overall it's likely simpler to just add the blocking.
--
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:19:15 -0800, Oren wrote:

With the new longer spring, there is only about 8 inches of clearance to the cable drum if I move the spring mount bracket to the LEFT by 18 inches to be on a cripple stud - but that should be enough clearance.

That's a good idea. I'll wait for Dan Musick's part to arrive from DDM Garage Doors before taking the next step - but I have to remove everything anyway to put the new spring bearing in so that's when I'll do it.

I agree. I wish I had looked at the bending of the spring end bracket BEFORE it broke ... to see if the thicker longer spring made any difference.
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 13:51:21 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren,
You are astute in that you noticed that moving the spring bracket 18" to the left actually puts it CLOSER to the center of the door than it currently is. I agree. The original installer should have done that - and I will do that (and post pictures).
I'll wait for Dan Musick's parts to arrive though, as Dan said the spring bracket and any stud below it will get ripped out of the wall if I don't also secure the two bearing end plates.

I'll snap a picture of what Dan sent when it arrives. My understanding of what he suggested was to brace the end bearing plates against 'something'.

It's a right-turn spring - but the one bolt is just crazy. That one bolt is ONLY holding the bracket to the angle iron. I guess it lasted 25 years - so - the installer got away with it - but all of us agree it's a pretty lame setup that I must fix, especially with my longer heavier spring.
I only wish I had looked prior to the spring breaking to see if the spring bracket was flexing that much with the original spring (which was 9.5 inches shorter than the new one).
I also wish I had opted for a two-spring system, which would have made a difference - but Dan Musick told me that it still would have had a problem if the end bearing plates are flexing.
The funny thing is that I don't see any flex in the end bearing plates. But Dan said it must be there because the spring end plate can't flex unless the end bearing plates allow it to flex.
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Danny D. wrote:

The opener front mount is secured to something. Likely there is a 2x6 bolted to the steel header going all the way horizontally for the vertical studs to be mounted to.
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On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:12:30 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

You are correct. I just checked by driving some nails. There 'is' wood under the steel beam as shown in this picture.

Apparently the garage door opener trolley is attached to this wood as is the top of the angle iron that the spring anchor plate is bolted to (by a single bolt).
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On Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:09:06 -0800, Oren wrote:

I did that. Close to the metal, the nails stop. Everywhere else, the nails go only through the board and then inches of space.
The outside wall is stucco - so there's nothing on the outside.
I think the metal header is at the ceiling and not at the garage door. Above the garage door seems to be just a two by four.
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On 11/19/2012 7:03 PM, Danny D. wrote:

What's the construction? Block garage wall is visible, is the whole structure block or is it frame above block? Where's the break if the latter? There has to be a header over the opening to support the block--either a cast prestressed or sometimes they use a preformed metal that looks somewhat like an inverted 'T'...
Or, maybe the opening above the door is conventional framing between the block walls on either side???? Would be rather unusual but might explain the apparent hollowness...
As noted in other response, need more pictures of the area in question specifically instead of the door...
--



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