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Old 01-28-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


So over the summer we had a spring break on our 2-car garage door, and hired someone to come and replace it.

Worked without a hitch for a while, but as of a few months ago it's gotten to the point where the spring seems to be rubbing up against the bar it's on (making a horrendous "SCREE! SCREE! SCREE!" noise as the door comes down), and the door also seems to "catch" repeatedly on the way down causing it to sort of shudder as it closes, and at one point was catching near the bottom, and then releasing with such force that the safety sensor thought the door was hitting something and would raise it right back up again.

I've tried just dousing the spring & the "guide bar" (which seems to be what is getting "caught" as the door comes down) with WD40 and that works for a while, but wears off after a couple of weeks at most and it goes right back to shuddering again.

I have *zero* experience working on garage doors so I have no idea if the workings are supposed to be greased? If so what do I buy to lubricate it?

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


Nope,.. They don't really need much greasing or oiling...

It sounds like you might have some frost shifting things about abit...

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Old 01-28-2011, 11:09 AM   #3
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


A door really doesn't need much lube, I wouldn't use WD40, light weight grease on drive bar, depending on what kind of drive (screw, belt or chain), light oiling of the roller bearing, I wouldn't use grease in the guide track, as this just attracks dirt.

Sounds like you may have an alignment problem or a clearance issue.

First step of diagnosis, disconnect from door closer and work it by hand, see it you can identify where it is hanging up and why. Then repair that problem.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


When they changed the springs they changed the alignment of the pulley. It's now rotated and rubbing against the track. If you watch the door come down, you will see what I mean.
The spring needs to be rotated so the pulley is away from the track.
Another possibility is that they moved the spring hook to a different hole in the angle iron dropping the sring closer to the track.
Ron
The spring(s) might not have been adjusted correctly.

Last edited by Ron6519; 01-28-2011 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:11 PM   #5
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


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When they changed the springs they changed the alignment of the pulley. It's now rotated and rubbing against the track. If you watch the door come down, you will see what I mean.
The spring needs to be rotated so the pulley is away from the track.
Another possibility is that they moved the spring hook to a different hole in the angle iron dropping the sring closer to the track.
Ron
I guess it would be good to know what kind of spring system is being used.

Torsion or extension?

Torsion would have caused the repairman to remove the cable pully

Extension would have caused the repairman to possibly replace the spring to a different location.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


This does sound as if a tension set-up to me. The note about releasing the drive unit and raising and lowering it by hand is the first step in diagnosis, IMO. This eliminates the drive unit from the equation and you can tell by "feel & listen" for any points which cause problems. I do NOT work for a door company, I install them for customers of mine and have done probably over a hundred or so. I DO NOT lube/grease the tracks, as posted. I will occasionally lube the springs with a very light-weight (5w) oil to keep the coils from having friction. Your note about "when they changed the springs, they changed the alignment of the pulley" tells me that the pulley which the cable rolls through is not in correct alignment, and does indeed need to be aligned properly. Moving the spring hook to another hole only increases/decreases tension, but IMO--both should be in holes an equal distance from the end. The cable length would need to be adjusted properly to balance this. The door "catching" coming down needs to be analyzed without the opener attached. Look for track mis-alignment first. "Frost shifting" ? Sorry, it just doesn't get that cold down here for this problem to come up, would be interesting to see this.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:25 AM   #7
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


Sounds like Ron is definitely on the right track here, extension springs relocated so they now drag against the track or hardware, although extension springs are noisier in wintertime due to the metal being cold and stiffer as it extends and contracts. I spent 6+ yrs installing/servicing residential garage doors and you do have to be careful, especially w/ extension springs.

For the most part WD40 or light oil in very small doses occasionally, just enough to keep away surface rust, is sufficient. The whole assembly should be balanced and move easily enough that it doesn't need to be "greased through the tight spots". That only makes a mess and attracts dirt. The door should stay level and move smoothly through its run balanced by the springs, not dragged up or forced down by an opener.

With the door fully up, enough so that the springs are relaxed, make sure they are the same. Measure the overall length of the spring itself (not including the end loops), the diameter and the wire gauge- quick way to do this is count off ten coils and measure that and compare the two rather than trying to precisely measure the wire itself. Then, with the door fully closed, check with a level, raise the low side a tad to level and lock a pair of vice grips under a roller to keep it there, and measure the extended length of the springs. As long as the springs are the same size and type, the extension is the critical factor. Often you see a replacement spring of a different size/gauge over/under-extended to compensate for a different pull.

A REALLY good investment for anyone w/ extension springs would be safety cables. A length of wire cable is attached at the back and runs through the middle of the spring and then connected at the front at a location that allows the spring to extend and contract with rubbing on the cable. Plastic-coated cable gives you some abrasion protection if there ever is any contact. If the spring or cable ever breaks, this controls the resulting spring from flying back uncontrolled. I've seen cars seriously damaged and rafters split like kindling from springs breaking. People tend to be quite dismissive of garage doors but they are the largest moving object in your home and have a substantial amount of energy stored in springs.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:44 AM   #8
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


If the OP ever comes back with answers to the questions we've asked would be a start.
Ron
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


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If the OP ever comes back with answers to the questions we've asked would be a start.
Ron
I noticed this happens all the time here, OP gets some info, puff gone. Would be nice to know how it turns out in the end.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:02 AM   #10
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


Maybe I'm just cynical but I really see a lot of these turning out something like "*PTWANG*-crack!- OWowoweeeeee........................I'm not tellin' those guys about this..."
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:07 AM   #11
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Maybe I'm just cynical but I really see a lot of these turning out something like "*PTWANG*-crack!- OWowoweeeeee........................I'm not tellin' those guys about this..."
LMAO..........Kinda like hey Mildred, watch this..........

Oh but on a serious note, I do all my own work, but when it came to a broken torsion spring on my door, I called a door guy, probably because I didn't want to buy the special adjusting rods to tension the spring, knowing that I would use them like once in my life.

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Old 01-30-2011, 09:09 AM   #12
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


Do not use WD-40 on the Garage door mechanics. They actually make a lube specifically for Garage Door mechanics or use White Lithium grease, and if chain drive, Bicycle chain lube works better than oil.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:38 AM   #13
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


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Maybe I'm just cynical but I really see a lot of these turning out something like "*PTWANG*-crack!- OWowoweeeeee........................I'm not tellin' those guys about this..."
Yeaaaaaah... don't worry, I do a lot of my own work around the house, but I got *plenty* of warnings about not messing with springs if I didn't know what I was doing, so I don't mess with it.
Mainly the goal here is to figure out if the door is doing something it's not supposed to (which is sounds like it is based on multiple people saying it shouldn't need lube), and then hopefully how to get an idea where the problem lies for when I call an expert out to check it out.

Unfortunately I'm not sure I'll be able to do the "unhitch it from the track and then lift it by hand to see where it catches" trick as this door is REALLY heavy (masonite, I think?). Me and my fiancee together were barely able to lift it up together to get our cars out when it first broke. I suppose I might be able to just open & close it with the opener and try to get an idea of where it's catching at.

BTW as far as what type of springs these are... torsion, I think? They wrap around a bar that is mounted sideways above the door, and from what I gather build up tension when the door is closed and then use that to help take some of the weight off the door when the opener needs to pull it up.

I'm also wondering now if something in the system may have gotten damaged when the spring first broke and the opener was no longer able to get it more than a few inches off the ground - I noticed the track bowed a bit from all the weight it was suddenly supporting that it didn't normally have to. It doesn't *look* bent or anything but who knows.

So it does look like I'll have to have somebody come out and look at it again, mostly I just wanted to see if it was something I would feel comfortable with messing with before calling in somebody to do it.
Ah well - once it warms up enough that the guy won't have to freeze his junk off working outside, I'll see if I can get somebody out to check it out again

Thanks for all the responses, guys
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:05 AM   #14
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Does a garage door need to be greased/oiled etc?


Torsion is way better, even if it is harder to DIY. If you disconnect the opener and open it by hand, and it doesn't easily open and close with one hand, then you really have an issue somewhere. The spring assembly should balance the door through its transit. Yeah, it IS heavy with a broken spring but shouldn't be now. Kinda hard to diagnose from a distance, but I can suggest a couple things.

It is very possible that the opener got ghanked when it suddenly took the full weight of the door sans spring. Trying running it without the door connected and observe, is it noisy? Balky (stop-n-starting)? Does the opener itself move sideways when trying to operate? Obviously bent out of line? That won't help any, a torsion door will try to track straight and if the opener pulls it off-center it will object.

Pick the door up a little and put a level on the top edge of a section, is it level? It is quite common after a spring replacement to have a repair guy just set it to the floor rather than having it level. If that's the case the door will run out-of-square through the tracks and bind wherever it is tight. It is simple to fix but not something I'd recommend to just DIY. The shaft assembly could have been misaligned after spring replacement as well, so that the carrier bearings bind as the shaft will be bowed. Quick check, if you have room, get on a ladder and see if you can see through the length of the shaft. You will easily be able to tell if it is straight or not. Look for bare metal wear on the door ends and tracks to try and narrow down where the problem is. Check the hardware to make sure it is all snug. Look for rust on spring itself, sometimes the coils can "lock" and not uncoil properly, which could make the thing kink and rub against the shaft. Has the door absorbed moisture and gotten heavier?

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