Noisy garage door opener

This Sears model 139.53603, 10+ years old, makes a chattering noise when going in the "door down" direction, even if the door is disengaged. (The door is perfectly balanced; will stay at whatever position I release it.)
I've cleaned the track (using a carburetor cleaner), removed the chain and soaked it in the same cleaner and used a toothbrush to aid cleaning. In the control unit, I used the same cleaner to remove the old grease off the plastic gears and relubed it with white lithium. I sprayed WD-40 on the high-speed parts, like the motor bearings and the shaft that drives the gear that the chain wraps around.
There are no obvious defects in the plastic gears (like chips or missing teeth). The only odd thing I notice is that the motor shaft moves back (toward the gears, and away from the door) about 3/16" when the the door is going down.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Ray
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Subject: Noisy garage door opener Newsgroup: alt.home.repair => Ray K <= wrote:>This Sears model 139.53603, 10+ years old, makes a chattering noise when

Ray,
What's the problem? Is it just the noise?
Look at the gear set, see if there is plastic residue accumulating in the cover plate bottom. Since it's a 10 Y/O install, I assume the trolley is installed correctly (not binding) almost vertical. Could the rail be out alignment?
What is a 'chattering noise'?
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G. Morgan wrote:
> What's the problem? Is it just the noise?
Yes. Sounds like something is about to fail, even though there are no odors and the door and chain move smoothly without binding.

The cover has been off for a few days now, but I don't remember cleaning anything off the bottom when I first removed it. Most likely, any residue would have caught my eye.
Since it's a 10 Y/O install, I assume the trolley is installed

I'll double check tomorrow that nothing has come loose over the years.

Hard to describe. Almost like the chain isn't fully engaged with the gear that drives it and is slipping. I've adjusted the chain tension from very loose to too tight without any effect on the noise problem. As I recall, even with the chain removed I have the noise problem in the one direction.
Thanks,
Ray
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It's normal for the motor shaft to move back & forth slightly.
How tight is the chain? With the door disconnected & the carriage at mid travel (half way open) the chain should sag approx 1/2".
The two points that parts wear out (after the gear) are the bearing plate on the motor head that the drive shaft goes thru & the bushing that the motor shaft goes thru.
Check the motor shaft bushing that is stuck into the black steel plate to make sure it isn't oblonged out. The bushing comes in the gear kit assembly.
Remove the opener chain & check to make sure the shaft is fairly rigid. If it moves easily back & forth the bearing plate is worn out. The plate comes in an assembly w/ the drive shaft & the drive sprocket.
Doordoc www.DoorsAndOpeners.com
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:

I've varied the tension from too loose to too tight. No effect. The loud noise in the down direction exists even with the chain completely removed. So it's not an issue of door balance or binding or dirty chain or carriage.
When I cleaned the carriage a couple of weeks ago, it was quiet for a few up/down operations. Then the noise returned.

I'm having trouble locating those points. There is a diagram at www3.sears.com, but I can't give a link to it. To see it, you just enter the model number, 139.53603, in Search Models.

Again, I'm not sure of the location of this bushing. I assume you mean the plastic/nylon gears, not the metal one that engages the chain.

I'll have to try this tomorrow. The garage is only about 36 degrees now.
Thanks,
Ray
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The bushing (1st part on right of the ones in group #18) is on the motor shaft (the one that moves in & out 3/16") right in front of the worm gear and goes into the motor mount bracket (part #17).
The bushing is pushed into the brkt by hand & a collar holds it in place. There is a small tab on the bushing that goes into a slot on the motor mount bracket to keep it from spinning.
As the bushing wears the motor shaft will start to bounce & is quite possible that it may bounce more in one direction then the other.
Doordoc
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net wrote:

I've examined things more closely; the play is more like 3/32. I can't take it out by setting the helical screw closer to the bushing, because the screws that hold the helical fit into slots, not holes.
As someone else pointed out, I used WD-40 on some of the parts instead of a silicone lube. I'll buy silicone in a day or so and hope for the best. Otherwise, I'll just replace everything when the noise gets even worse. If I catch a sale right, should be around $150.
Many thanks,
Ray
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That's exactly what mine was doing right before the whole thing fell off the ceiling!
Steve ;-)
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just a comment: WD-40 is not a lubricant. Use a good silicone lube instead.

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My kids have come to rely on the noisy garage door opener... it gives them an extra 30 second warning when my wife and I get home... so they can ditch the evidence of them eating in the TV room.
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Get a ratchet socket wrench and tighten up all the nuts. Whether that cures the noise or not, it is part of regular maintenance.
wrote:

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