Wayne-Dalton iDrive garage door opener

We have had a Wayne-Dalton "iDrive for torsion springs" opener for a little over three years. We had problems with it initially, but W-D sent a replacement controller board and light unit.
Other than the unit having forgotten its settings a couple of times and having to be "re-trained," it's worked OK.
Right before Christmas it started giving trouble, first merely buzzing without moving the door, later starting to move the door but then making a "ratcheting" noise without moving the door any further.
Had somebody come and check out the door today. He said it was not significantly out of balance (but he adjusted one spring by half a turn anyway) but said the opener appeared to have stripped the gears.
This afternoon went to a "real garage door company" to look at new garage doors (the old one is wooden and getting waterlogged). While I was there I heard somebody mention the word "iDrive" in deprecatory tone of voice. It turned out that this was somebody from the Wayne-Dalton distributorship, and he told me that even they try to steer people away from the iDrive.
I'm going to see if I can get the iDrive replaced under the 5-year warranty and use it with the new garage door that we probably will buy soon. Otherwise this was a $250+ lesson on the perils of buying fancy new technology.
Perce
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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Hi, You must have their older version iDrive which was battery hog.(you're losing settings). I heard newer version works much better. Naybe you should get a replacement?
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On 12/29/08 08:03 pm Tony Hwang wrote:

The guy from the distributorship said that W-D has sometimes simply shipped people new units, but I haven't quite figured out how to take advantage of that. The warranty info. in the owner's guide says that warranty claims must be made *in writing to the dealer*; the store where I bought it no longer deals with W-D; one of the nearby places listed on the W-D Web site as handling the iDrive is in the process of being taken over and doesn't know which end is up; another said that since they didn't install it I'd have to pay their labor charge to take it down and examine it. W-D is closed this week.
I downloaded the service manual for the iDrive, but only a few parts are listed as replacements. The worm gear looks as though it's integral with the motor shaft (the motor is available), but there's no sign of the pinion as a replacement part. It may be that even the dealer/service dept. couldn't repair it, only replace it.
Perce
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On 12/30/08 05:36 pm I wrote:

I managed to get in touch again with the company that was in the midst of a merger/takeover when I called before, told my story, and within 10 minutes got a call back to say that W-D was shipping them a complete new iDrive for me.
Perce
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I had a IDrive installed in my parent's home 5 years ago with an IDrive door and it works well still. Just had 3 installed in my garage. 2 needed a special adjustment because the factory hadn't matched the gears right but so far all a working well and are significantly improved over the 5 year old one. In particular I like the way it slows down just as the door closes so it closes it gently.

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Although ours was purchased only about three years ago, it was in fact a 5-yr old one, according to the Date of Manufacture label: 0903.
I know that at some point during those two years they changed the light-activation mechanism from infra-red to radio-frequency. Also the wall-mounted control gained some new features: e.g., the lock-out switch.
Perhaps during those five years they have made mechanical improvements as well and the replacement will last us for many years.
Perce
On 01/09/09 11:28 pm Art wrote:

<snip>
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Actually the salesman (it was the same guy who sold me the unit 5 years ago) told me that they had made dozens of improvements. They are also coming out with a slightly more powerful unit that integrates with their wireless control system. In any case the new units have been working fine for me but I would want Wayne Dalton to install it. I would not dare do it my self. And as I said two units needed a synchronization fix of the gears because the locking arm was coming down at the wrong time as delivered by the factory. By the way the motor is in the moving arm.

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I have the new one now but have not yet installed it -- waiting for a new door to be installed. The only *visible* changes are the different wall-mount control and the hard-wired power cord instead of being removable at the opener end.
I do see that the new wall control is claimed to be compatible with their Z-Wave system, but I haven't read up on that yet to know what advantage that offers.
Perce
On 01/10/09 08:52 pm Art wrote:

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They've long since stopped advertising iDrive in the WD ads around here. Now adays the ad shows a standard looking garage door and fine print that mentions a standard screw type opener.
Too bad - I always liked the iDrive concept, but I guess they never got the engineering right.
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On 12/29/08 09:33 pm Robert Neville wrote:

The iDrive is still at the top of the "opener" page on the W-D Web site. The "traditional" openers are further down.

Chamberlain has a model (LiftMaster 3800, I think) that works similarly -- driving the shaft rather than pulling/pushing the door -- but it mounts alongside the door rather than above it and is more expensive than the iDrive.
Perce
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