Oil those garage door hinges!

I think of myself as being pretty good about maintaining things around our home, but I sure missed this one.
One of our 27 year old multipanel single width garage doors equipped with an equally olde Craftsman chain drive opener started acting "funny" occasionally for the last few weeks.
It would close OK most of the time but every so often it would get about 3/4 of the way down and reverse back to full open. And once I caught it stopping about half way up when it was opening.
I tried cranking the up and down "force" potentiometers on the opener to "full", but that didn't help.
I figured I was probably in for buying a new opener but decided to remove the opener's cover have a look just in case the problem was caused by an insect building a nest inside the opener housing and interfering with a photoelectric motor speed monitoring gizmo as had happened once maybe fifteen years ago.
Everything looked OK, so I put the cover back on the housing.
Then it hit me. I had dutifully oiled the door's roller wheel bearings every couple of years but I never thought to oil the dozen panel hinges on the inside of the door.
I put some oil on each of the hinges and presto, there was much less noise from the opener when it was running and no sign of it reversing during closing or stopping while opening.
The "thwock" you may have heard a couple of days ago was me, giving myself a "dope slap" to the head. I would have felt even more stupid had I bought a new garage door opener and went through the work of installing it, probably with it having the same unoiled hinge problem.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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On Monday, June 2, 2014 12:29:49 PM UTC-4, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

What oil/lubricant do you recommend for the hinges and for the roller bearings?
BTW, brass rat 78 here too.
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trader_4 wrote:

Nothing fancy, I use my "all purpose" trigger operated squirt can which I'm pretty sure I last filled with 10W-30 motor oil.
BTW, my graduating class had only a dozen gals in it. When I attended my 55th class reunion a couple of years ago half of the undergraduate graduating class were ladies. We weren't learning things like biotech and such back then, which likely explains that change.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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On 6/2/2014 1:23 PM, Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Sounds like it works better than dry friction?
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Christopher A. Young
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On 6/2/2014 1:11 PM, trader_4 wrote:

A friend showed me a spray can of garage door lube, and I saw something at Home Depot, labelled as such. Beyond that, not sure. I'm also curious.
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A few months ago I was lubing up my garage door as part of a Saturday morning general maintenance session. For years I had been listening to a rattle as the door went up and down which I knew was coming from the chain. I thought it was just the chain bouncing against the GDO rail as it moved. This time, while I was up on the ladder lubing the rail, I noticed that the chain was actually rubbing on one of the nuts from the bolts that hold the 3 sections of rail together. The rattle was the tick-tick-tick as each link went over the nut.
I grabbed a piece of 1 x 2 PVC trim from the scrape box, rounded off one end of it with my bench top sander, and then cut it so that it was just a bit "taller" than the nut. I drilled a hole in the flat end of the piece so that it fit snugly over the nut that the chain was rubbing on. The chain now glides over the rounded end of the PVC as it moves and the chain's tension holds it firmly against the rail. The whole system just sounds so much smoother and quieter now.
The other noise reduction step I took many, many years ago was to cut 2 short pieces of rubber conveyor belt material to use as hangers for the GDO. I attached an L bracket to the joists and to the top of the GDO, and used the conveyor belt material to isolate the GDO from the structure. It cut the noise into the room above the garage at least in half. The boys could actually sleep through the up and down operation of the door after that.
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Jeff:
I agree that it's a good idea to lubricate both the hinges and rollers on your garage door.
But, I think you missed the mark again by suggesting people use OIL on them. Airborne dust sticks to oil making the grime you see so often on the underside of your car's engine. A better choice would have been DRY GRAPHITE in an aerosol can. You can buy this stuff at any hardware store. Locksmiths also might carry it, but locksmiths prefer to use powdered graphite in a small blow gun because it's less messy. I prefer the aerosol because it delivers more graphite and the graphite gets all over everything inside the lock.
The reason they call it "DRY" graphite is because the propellant in the can evaporates completely, leaving only the graphite behind.
Graphite is a natural lubricant because the carbon atoms in graphite are arranged in a hexagonal pattern in "plates", and those plates slide over each other easily. Airborne dust won't stick to graphite and graphite is unaffected by temperature, so it's lubricating properties are just as good at -40 deg. Celsius as they are at +40 deg. Celsius.
Also, if someone is reading this that doesn't know whether friction is causing problems with their garage door or not, but are concerned that lubricating the garage door may be a messy task with no reward, buy some glycerine at any pharmacy for $3 a bottle. Apply glycerine to your rollers and hinges. Glycerine is in fact a low volatility alcohol, but it behaves very much like a light oil, like WD40 say. If you get a noticable improvement in the operation of your garage door, then wait for the glycerine to evaporate in a few days, and then apply graphite from an aerosol can. If you don't see any difference, don't worry about having added glycerine; it will evaporate completely without leaving any residue.
--
nestork

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nestork wrote:

Thanks for the useful tip nestork.
I do have a can of spray on graphite but I'm not sure it can wick its way into tight and likely slightly corroded crevices like those on the garage door hinges, so I prefer to use a moderate weight oil.
I did "clean house" after oiling the hinges by wiping any excess oil off the exposed surfaces, though I don't think many folks would rub up against the inside of my garage door and soil their clothing very often.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Graphite is not a good idea. You wnat black streaks all over aking it dirty and messy looking? I use white Lithium grease spray or Teflon spray sparingly once a year or so. When was last time you adjusted the chain tension?
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Tony Hwang wrote: When was last time you adjusted the

The last time it needed it. That's when the chain begins to sag enough to touch the horizontal part of the GDO rail.
Jeff
PS GDO still working fine, no unwanted reversing or stopping.
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
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'Jeff Wisnia[_9_ Wrote:

The aerosol can should have come with a small tube so that you can inject the graphite into small crevices (like the keyway of a lock).
Working with aerosol graphite can be messy, tho.
--
nestork

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In wrote:

it also works great on weatherstriping and tires
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Jeff Wisnia posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

Not if you aimed right...
Could you come and oil my joints? They are extremely painful lately.
--
Tekkie

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Tekkie® wrote:

Then easy on your drinks(beer, wine) and BBQ'd meat....
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DerbyDad03 posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

They weren't sleeping, they were educating themselves with your Playboy mags.
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Tekkie

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Never needed mags. How do you think the boys were made?
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