Toothless Holiday...

I was looking forward to enjoying a day away from the office today on Presidents Day. Perhaps catching up on reading the three books I've started.
It didn't quite work out that way because when SWMBO and I came home from an enjoyable evening out last nite and I hit the transmitter to open the garage door it opened only about halfway and stopped there. I got out of the car and could hear the opener motor running with a rasping sound.
Knowing what the inside of the Craftsman opener I installed 24 years ago looks like, I figured the most likely failure was that the plastic worm gear drive had given up the ghost. I released the door from the opener, closed it manually and we went to sleep.
This morning my expectation was confirmed when I removed the opener's housing and saw the condition of the worm wheel accompanied by a significant amount of white plastic "sawdust" scattered all around inside the unit.
The worm wheel looked like this:
http://home.comcast.net/~jwisnia18/temp/toothless.jpg
About half the gear's teeth were about 80 percent worn away and the remainder were worn so badly they just rubbed against the worm.
I weighed the options: Buy a new opener and an extra transmitter for our second car for about $175 or see if I could find and buy a replacement gear set quickly. I figured that if I could get the parts the time I'd spend putting them into the old opener would be about equal to what I spend removing that old opener and assembling/installing a new one.
Wonder of wonders, My first phone call located a replacement gear set kit at a Sears service center not far away and for about $25 I bought a plastic bag containing a new set of gears, plus a tube of grease for them and numerous little hardware items to enable fitting the gears into a wide range of Craftsman/Chamberlain openers.
About an hour after I returned home with the parts the old opener was working just fine again. I wonder how the original gears would have fared if I'd thought to grease them a few times during the past 24 years. <G>
It feels good when things do work out, doesn't it?
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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