Need advice on garage door torsion repair (bearing, roller, drum)

I need advice! Q: What's the trick to get the new bearing into the bearing end plate?
Q: How would you get the bottom roller back onto the garage door?
Q: Do you think a disintegrated bearing caused these cable tangles?

DETAILS: A friend of mine asked me to help her with her garage door today:

Apparently the cables had slipped off & it tangled on the right drum:

I put both cables back on but the door wasn't going up all that well. Then I noticed the cable was, strangely, hung on a nail head:

So, I banged in the nail and put it all back together. But it hung up again! Even worse.

I then noticed the left drum (red) bearing had disintegrated:

And, the bottom roller basically twisted off the door as it fell:

Since there was only a plastic spacer in the spring anchor plate:

I bought her three new bearings & one new (red) left drum:

But now, I can't, for the life of me, get the bearing into the plate!

I bang and bang and bang. I'm gonna ruin the bearing if I keep this up.
QUESTION: What's the trick to get the bearing into the bearing end plate? How would you get the bottom roller back onto the garage door? Do you think the disintegrated bearing caused the cable tangles?
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Danny D. wrote:

What you really need is the "bearing blaster"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NlRIrSSCWI

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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 02:02:44 +0000, Ripple Whine wrote:

I'm trying to help a single mom out who doesn't have a lot of money, and I'm just a regular guy - who just happens to have worked on his garage door.
This "bearing blaster" is very nice. http://www.allworldinc.net/products.html
I'll call http://www.allworldinc.net tomorrow (360-815-5346) to see how much it is ... but I suspect it's pricewise out of my league.
In my own garage, I installed a bearing using a simple hammer. Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5Je43D8ix44

But it's just not working for THIS bearing. It's that tight!

I'm heading to the hardware store to get some pipe to see if I can use pipe as a jig in my vise to hold the bearing plate and bang in the bearing.
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Ripple Whine wrote:

Here is a garage door bearing blaster advertised for $135.
http://www.stardoorparts.com/Garage-Door-Bearing-Blaster-p/den-t-bringblaster.htm
I can see the advantages for the professionals (e.g., you can remove and replace bearings without removing the bearing end plates); but for homeowners, it's too costly (IMHO) for such an infrequent task.
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:15:10 +0000, Zen wrote:

I googled like crazy, and could only find 2 DIYs for removing & replacing the bearing on the garage door bearing end plate.
This text-only bearing replacement DIY didn't make much sense: http://www.gobi2.com/how-to-reinstall-garage-door-end-bearings
The tools needed for that text-only DIY were: a. 1" long by 2.25" diameter pipe b. 1.25" collar with an outer edge of at least 2" c. Claw hammer (used sideways)
Luckily, DDM Garage doors has this End Bearing Replacement tutorial: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/end-bearing-replacement.php
The tools the DDM tutorial used were the same as in the text-only DIY: a. 1" long by 2.25" diameter pipe (i.e., wider than the bearing OD) b. 1.25" collar with an outer edge of at least 2" c. Claw hammer (used sideways)
The strange thing is neither DIY explained if the diameters were inside or outside diameters - so I presume we need the following: 1. 1" long by 2.25" ID pipe (the OD presumably does not matter) 2. 1" ID collar with an OD of at least 2"
I'm going to see what I can find in my basement & let you know how it works out as my friend is without a garage door, and with small kids, in the rain, it's a bit inconvenient - so I hope to fix this by tomorrow.
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 08:27:27 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

Wow. The bearings are in the end plates, but that was a PITA.

a. There was NO WAY I was going to do this away from my shop! b. It's nearly impossible without the right tools! c. Even with the right tools, I'll bet it's not easy.
Without the right tools, I tried so many ideas that failed:

Every "bottom" collar I tried moved around too much:

Finally, I made a jig by drilling a 2 1/8" hole in the right spot:

This kept the hole on the bottom from moving away from me:

The top collar wasn't so easily created!
I tried wood, metal, pipes, clamps, etc. You name it, I tried it:

Finally, I hit upon the idea to use my OLD spring stationary cone! It was exactly the right size for the OUTSIDE of the bearing.

Sure, it's fragile cast aluminum ... and it was still a PITA:

Finally, I had both bearings snugly pressed into the end plates!

My advice to the next person attempting to push a bearing into the bearing end plate?
Definitely buy a 1.25" ID collar, about 1/2" long, with an OD of at least 2"!
I wish I had!
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 18:56:05 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren, I was wondering when you were gonna help me out! :)
This is good advice. If only I knew then what I know now.
I tried to make my own bearing press (of sorts) out of wood:

But, that was one of a half-dozen attempts doomed to failure.
BTW, WHAT PART of this bearing SHOULD we hit, and what part of the bearing should we NOT hit?

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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:12:54 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren, Now you tell me! :)

I plan on rebuilding three AO Smith 220V pool motors, so I just might be needing that machine shop when spring rolls around.

Dunno yet. Even though I was up 'till 4am getting those bearings in place, she was too busy today to be home for me to finish the job.
So, at the moment, everything is on her garage floor ...
I'm worried about two things: 1. I 'hope' the reason for the crooked door was the bad bearing, 2. I 'hope' I can replace the bottom roller without problems.
I did email Dan Musick at DDM Garage doors. He doesn't recommend replacing bearings as the plates with bearings don't cost a whole lot more. So that's yet another lesson learned.
It's amazing how much you learn on just the first & second time you do something new to you!
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:52:53 -0800, Oren wrote:

Thanks. She's a single mom, with twin kindergartners to raise alone.
I met her at a restaurant where she works as a waitress, so she doesn't make all that much, so if I can save her a couple day's pay, it's the least I can do to help.
I really want to finish this soon though, because I'm worried about WHY the door was so crooked.
Here's a picture of what I found when I had arrived.

She said it was making noise, and then just stopped.
If anyone is good with garage door forensics, maybe you can help explain how a bad bearing on the left side (looking from the inside) would cause this (because I don't understand it yet).
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Glad someone is looking out for the single moms.
Real shame that they make such bad decisions.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Thanks. She's a single mom, with twin kindergartners to raise alone.
I met her at a restaurant where she works as a waitress, so she doesn't make all that much, so if I can save her a couple day's pay, it's the least I can do to help.
I really want to finish this soon though, because I'm worried about WHY the door was so crooked.
Here's a picture of what I found when I had arrived.

She said it was making noise, and then just stopped.
If anyone is good with garage door forensics, maybe you can help explain how a bad bearing on the left side (looking from the inside) would cause this (because I don't understand it yet).
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On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 14:45:38 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Looks like another single-spring door. Pretty sure that lopsided look was explained on one the sites referred to earlier when you were doing your door. As I recall, lateral movement allowed by bad bearing let's the cable escape the spool. If one side is spooling the cable differently than the other, you get a cocked door. You're just making conversation. You know this by now. Yes. I was paying attention. Mostly.
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On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 09:42:28 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:

You give me more credit than I deserve, but, perhaps I should apologize for not giving you enough credit in return. :)
I don't know whether the bearing was bad to start with as it only fell apart after I started to bang on the 1-inch torsion bar in an attempt to remove it to untangle the cable mess.
But, assuming the bad bearing was the initial problem, what you said makes good sense if this is what is going on.
Here's a full-sized closeup of the bad bearing, in situ:

This is what I think you are suggesting might have happened: 1. Bearing on left side goes bad (see pic above); 2. Spring, in middle, is trying to compress when door goes up 3. Bad bearing (presumably) allows the torsion bar to slide left; 4. That pulls the right (black) drum to the left; 5. That knocks the right side cable off the right cable drum; 6. The right side stops lifting (and stays on the ground); 7. The left side still lifts for a while until the door crooks.
The only problem conceptually I have with that bad-bearing scenario (which fits the evidence) is that the torsion bar can't slide all that much to the left even with a bad bearing since the left cable drum would smack against the bearing end plate.
So, it can only side, oh, about an extra quarter inch (i.e., the amount the bearing sticks out) or maybe a half inch (at most) to the left. See closeup of the bad bearing next to a new bearing.

However, that might be just enough to cause the right side drum (which 'can' slide to the left) to unspool itself.
I am heading over to her house now, armed with the bearings, to put it all back together.
As you had mentioned, this is a single-spring system. I considered converting her to a dual-spring system, but the spring is only two years old according to the paperwork she showed me, and she (understandably) balked when I discussed her buying two new springs.
The parts so far were so cheap, I won't ask her for to reimburse me (the garage door place simply said offhand to give 'em $15 cash for the three bearings & one drum, so I didn't even bother getting a receipt).
As always, I'll provide an update to be a good nntp netizen.
PS: I enjoy discussing technical things so I appreciate your response.
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On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 17:32:27 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

Look at this closeup picture of the left bearing plate!

Notice the scratch marks? They're NOT on the right bearing plate.
Those scratch marks are evidence you are (probably) correct!
Simplified, this is what (might have) caused those marks! a. Garage door torsion spring compresses as the door opens; b. Broken left bearing allows left (red) drum to move left 1/4"; c. Torsion rod can't move any further left as drum rubs against plate!
I'm not sure why the cable didn't originally slip off the left drum, but if the left drum moved left a quarter inch, so did the right drum.
That might be the real reason why the cable slipped off the drum!
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On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 09:42:28 -0600, Vic Smith wrote:

That was it!
The bad bearing must have caused the cocked door!
Thanks for the advice & diagnostic help.
Here's a picture of the completed setup:

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On Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:39:43 -0800, Oren wrote:

Hi Oren,
I ran my hand along the right cable & found one spot where the wire had nicked enough to feel in my bare hand.

So I replaced both cables, and learned a lot because the new cable was twice as thick as the old cable - so I wasn't sure if it would fit... but it seemed to fit just fine.
It turned out to be pretty easy to replace the cables. Here's a DIY, of sorts.
1. Remove the old cable from the bottom fixture post:

2. Measure the length and thickness of the old cable:

3. Purchase the closest alternative lift cable you can find:

4. Notice the new cable is twice as thick as the old cable:

5. File off the edge of the crimped lead so that it won't rub:

6. Loop the cable onto the cable drum and secure in the slot:

7. Tighten torsion bar by hand & vise grip & wind spring:

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Danny D. wrote:

Replacement of the bottom roller is NOT INTUITIVE! In fact, the "obvious" way to do it is WRONG WRONG WRONG! The bottom roller is also the MOST DANGEROUS roller to repair! http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-replace-garage-door-rollers
So heed the warning in this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MqzfN-nFL80#t
4s
And read the DIY here. http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/bottom-roller-replacement.php
You manually bend the track outward to make room to insert the roller. http://www.youdoitstore.net/pdf/replacerollers.pdf
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On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 01:50:29 +0000, Danny D. wrote:
FINAL UPDATE ... LESSONS LEARNED:
The evidence leads us to conclude a bad left bearing caused the torsion bar to shift 1/8" to 1/4" laterally leftward when the 16-foot wide by 7 1/2 foot tall steel Wayne-Dalton Foamcore garage door opened.
That tiny lateral slip apparently caused the steel cable to slip off the right cable drum & then to tangle around the torsion bar, halting movement of the garage door on one side, causing about a foot in tilt.
In summary: a) Both bearing end plates steel bearings were removed & replaced. b) The left cable drum was damaged so it was also replaced. c) Both 1/16" x 8'5 3/8" lift cables were replaced (w 1/8" thick cables). d) The spring nylon bushing was replaced with a steel 1 3/4" bearing. e) Both bottom bracket steel rollers were straightened and replaced. f) An additional lag screw was used to stiffen each bearing end plate. g) The entire job had to be done with the door static, on the ground.
Total out-of-pocket cost was about $25.
No need to read further for a summary; however, there were many lessons learned - some of which are detailed below (with explanatory photos).
Undoing the tangles took effort because I had to unwind the spring and then lift the door by hand and support it on the ladder, as I manually untangled the cables.
Initially rewinding the cables onto the drums and rewinding the spring and manually operating the door, twice, caused BOTH cables to tangle on the drum within a minute or two of hand operation.
Paradoxically, the torsion bar could not be twisted by hand without adding leverage, which lead me to inspect the left bearing, which was (later) found to have disintegrated. These semicircular scrape marks were a clue that only later did I understand the significance of:

The 0.250x35x1.75LH spring, which was recently replaced (May 2011), took only 27 1/4 quarter turns to unwind, but re-winding it took 29 quarter turns (go figure) to balance the 6 1/2 foot tall door with 4" cable drums.
Inspecting all parts, I noticed a deep gouge was left in the torsion bar from the tangled cables, but I had no access to a new torsion bar.

Removing the spring revealed the torsion bar had been crimped vastly too deeply, which caused problems later on because neither the new steel bearing for the spring anchor plate nor the winding end of the spring would pass the deformed section (so everything had to be assembled from the left side).

A few rollers were mangled & had to be removed & replaced. This turned out to be easier than I at first thought it would be. After some experimentation, I found the easiest way to R&R the bottom bracket and cable with the door closed (hence limited space) was to simply flip the bottom bracket UPSIDE down as shown in this photo below:

Inspection of the bearing end plates showed that the left drum had scraped against the steel end plate, and, in the end, with some difficulty, I pressed out the old bearing and inserted new bearings.
In hind sight, the bearing R&R would have been tremendously easier had I the right tools, which consist of a 1.25" ID x 2"OD half-inch tall steel collar and a 2" ID inch-tall steel pipe or 2" hole cut into wood.
Or, better yet, the lesson learned is to simply buy two new bearing end plates with the bearings already inserted. Duh. The bearings were NOT replaced when the spring was put on professionally in May of 2011, so the lesson learned is always replace the bearings when you replace a spring.
Inspection of the spring anchor bracket showed a nylon bushing which was replaced with a steel bearing, but this was not a necessary step.

One cable was found to be very slightly frayed as shown in this photo:
So both cables were replaced. The length of the new cable was about 5/8" longer and twice as thick as the original, which, much to my surprise, did not seem to cause any adverse effects when wound on the cable drums. Time will tell.
Replacing the cable was, at first, problematic, because I didn't know how to get the cable onto the bottom bracket. It took about ten minutes to figure out the easiest way was NOT to try to fit the loop over the post with the bracket in place - but to remove and flip the bracket upside down, and then loop the cable onto the post and replace the roller at the same time.
The deep dimples in the torsion bar prevented the spring and bearing from sliding from the right, and in the process of removing the torsion bar multiple times, I accidentally punched a hole in the garage wall.

The bearing end plates each only had one lag screw on the supporting wall, so I added a second lag screw as my prior experience indicates problems can occur when bearing end plates move laterally (long story).

A vise grip was handy for keeping the torsion bar in the spring anchor bracket while assembling parts repeatedly (preventing the 17-foot long torsion bar from falling down).

The spring had to be bent in order to fit it onto the torsion rod with the limited side-wall space in this cramped garage:

It's hard to see in situ, but there was originally some slop in the distance between the cable drums and the bearing in the end plate flags - but this photo of the bearing pressed against the cable drum shows how it is supposed to fit once on the torsion rod (there is not supposed to be any room between the bearing and the drum):

Keying off a lesson learned in the past, a red line was painted on the spring AFTER it was wound 29 quarter turns, so that, over time (years?), any fatigue in the spring will show up as a slowly forming spiral (at least that's the plan):

Having two ladders (three would be even better) made a huge difference in convenience, as was having good lighting all around (I bought and installed new fluorescent tubes just so that I could see better).

A trick I used to ensure I only tightened the set bolts 1/2 to 3/4 turn after hand tightening was to paint one of the four flats with nail polish, so that the movement of that one flat was easily noted:

Normally, the torsion bar is centered so that an equal amount is sticking out of each bearing end plate - but to move the spring winding cone set bolts away from the deep dimples in the torsion rod, I pushed the torsion rod to the right an extra inch or two:

Well, that's about it for lessons learned in this, my second torsion spring style garage door repair. Hope this helps others NOT make the same mistakes I did.
In summary, since the spring was replaced less than two years ago, I fault the installers for NOT replacing the bearings at that time, which if they had, none of this would have happened.
However, I'm not without blame, as I really should have replaced the torsion rod, and, truth be told, I feel badly that I didn't convert the single spring to a two-spring setup - but that would have taken more time and money (about $80 extra or so).
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