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Old 10-07-2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


I replaced the plastic gears in my Sears garage door opener about three months ago, and they're already completely worn out again!

Anyone seen them wear out this fast before? I lubed the "driveshaft" when I replaced the gears. My garage door is not heavy - it's light enough to open fairly easily with one arm. The door doesn't appear to be going too far up or down - it's not "struggling" against anything - at least it doesn't seem to be.

Any ideas? I want to make this next gear kit lasts.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:04 PM   #2
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


How does your door operate without the opener? It should open easily. If not then the door is too heavy for the opener and causing extra strain on the gears.

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:09 PM   #3
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


It opens pretty easily. Of course, I've been opening it manually since it failed again. My guess is it requires ~ 25 lbs of upward force to move it. Think that's too much?
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:00 PM   #4
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


The words "plastic gears" come to mind..

Seriously though, make sure that the track for the opener's carriage is parallel to the tracks that the door runs in. If they're not, it could bind up opening automatically, but not manually (as you're probably disconnecting the door from the carriage when operating manually).

Also, ensure that the carriage runs smoothly when not connected to the door. If it looks like it's slowing down somewhere, or you hear the motor struggling, then you may have debris in the track, malformed/damaged link(s) in the drive chain (or a malformed/damaged screw if it's screw driven).

If you inspect all that and it looks clear, couldn't hurt to grease the track and the wheels on the carriage (if applicable). I'd use a standard automotive grease, but not sure if that's the right thing to use. Either way, don't glop it on.

That's what comes to mind.. Well, it could be something is not right in the "drive train" of the opener unit (another gear is damaged, something is binding up, etc).

Anyway, troubleshoot and operate as many components individually as possible.

(Just my 2c.. I've installed one garage door in my life, so I'm no expert here).
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
The words "plastic gears" come to mind..

Seriously though, make sure that the track for the opener's carriage is parallel to the tracks that the door runs in. If they're not, it could bind up opening automatically, but not manually (as you're probably disconnecting the door from the carriage when operating manually).

Also, ensure that the carriage runs smoothly when not connected to the door. If it looks like it's slowing down somewhere, or you hear the motor struggling, then you may have debris in the track, malformed/damaged link(s) in the drive chain (or a malformed/damaged screw if it's screw driven).

If you inspect all that and it looks clear, couldn't hurt to grease the track and the wheels on the carriage (if applicable). I'd use a standard automotive grease, but not sure if that's the right thing to use. Either way, don't glop it on.

That's what comes to mind.. Well, it could be something is not right in the "drive train" of the opener unit (another gear is damaged, something is binding up, etc).

Anyway, troubleshoot and operate as many components individually as possible.

(Just my 2c.. I've installed one garage door in my life, so I'm no expert here).
Good suggestions, thanks. I will take a closer look at the carriage.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:14 AM   #6
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Make sure you are buying the right replacement gear. If the gears don't mesh right you will have premature failure. Also make sure the springs that help the door up are adjusted right, Those springs actually lighten the door depending on the tension. You would have to refer to the doors manual to adjust it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:09 PM   #7
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottR View Post
The words "plastic gears" come to mind..

Seriously though, make sure that the track for the opener's carriage is parallel to the tracks that the door runs in. If they're not, it could bind up opening automatically, but not manually (as you're probably disconnecting the door from the carriage when operating manually).

Also, ensure that the carriage runs smoothly when not connected to the door. If it looks like it's slowing down somewhere, or you hear the motor struggling, then you may have debris in the track, malformed/damaged link(s) in the drive chain (or a malformed/damaged screw if it's screw driven).

If you inspect all that and it looks clear, couldn't hurt to grease the track and the wheels on the carriage (if applicable). I'd use a standard automotive grease, but not sure if that's the right thing to use. Either way, don't glop it on.

That's what comes to mind.. Well, it could be something is not right in the "drive train" of the opener unit (another gear is damaged, something is binding up, etc).

Anyway, troubleshoot and operate as many components individually as possible.

(Just my 2c.. I've installed one garage door in my life, so I'm no expert here).
Plastic gears and rail rollers should not be greased unless the grease is specifically designed for the application. Regular grease will eat up the plastic. This very well could be the reason your gears are failing prematurely.
The alignment of the gears is the most important thing to consider along with the grease.
Check for the manufacturers suggestions on lubrication. My garage door say's right on it "do not use grease on rail wheels or track".
I'm no expert either. But I did read the manual on my the door.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:42 PM   #8
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


JV makes a good point about reading the manual.. And agreed, I wouldn't just stuff grease into the drive gearbox.

Didn't mean to make a blanket statement about the track, but from my own experience I greased a track and rollers quite a few years ago in my parents' house, and the door still rolls fine. BUT, I believe that their hardware was all steel. Plastic might be a different story indeed.

Err, now that I think about it, grease on the track will attract dust b/c it's open to the air. I'd probably still do it all the same, but especially if you use your garage as a workshop, sawdust build-up could be an issue.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Quote:
It opens pretty easily. Of course, I've been opening it manually since it failed again. My guess is it requires ~ 25 lbs of upward force to move it. Think that's too much?
A properly adjusted door should feel like it balances between lifting up on its own and falling down when raised about halfway.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


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Originally Posted by skipjack View Post
A properly adjusted door should feel like it balances between lifting up on its own and falling down when raised about halfway.
Thanks for that tip. As of now, it requires less downward force to move than upward force at the halfway point. I'll try to balance it better.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:16 PM   #11
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Don't mess with your garage door springs on your own! Call a professional. Those things hold a tremendous amount of tension and have been known to maim and kill when they let loose.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:56 PM   #12
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


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Originally Posted by skipjack View Post
Don't mess with your garage door springs on your own! Call a professional. Those things hold a tremendous amount of tension and have been known to maim and kill when they let loose.
Of course - I won't touch the springs - I think they're fine anyway. I think friction is more the problem than tension. I'll be sure to lube everything better this time.

I got my new kit in the mail and read the instructions more carefully this time, and realized that I should have lubed the teeth of the gear - I think I lubed the shaft instead. That probably would have made a difference.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:41 PM   #13
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Garage Door Gear Wearing Out Fast


Here's an update. I got the new gears installed (much easier the second time) and it's not showing any sign of wear. I think my forgetting to lube the actual teeth of the gears was the primary reason for the quick failure before. There's no "snow" coming out of the drive train any more. Thanks, everyone, for your advice!

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