Garage Doors - repair or replace

kwburn Posted By kwburn, Sep 1, 2007 at 1:33 PM

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  1. kwburn

    kwburn
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Loc:
    Connecticut
    We have two garage doors, both same age, around 20 years old. They are heavy wood 7ft x 9ft. Both have electric openers on them.

    Usually about once a year I need to lube up the hardware to keep them happy and working ok. I did this a month or so ago and things were ok for a bit but one of them was quickly back to straining to get up and down. The chain on the door opener is not lose, springs,etc all seem ok but it still strains at times, sometimes pausing for a second or two on the way down to push through whatever is holding it back. Going up is fine by the way.

    Any thoughts on things to look at to get it working again? I've told my wife to stop using that side until I figure it out. Don't want to over-strain the opener.

    I see that I'm about the last one on my street that hasn't replaced their garage doors with newer non-wood versions which I'm guessing are much lighter (all our houses were built around the same time by the same builder). No idea what those cost but should I be considering just doing that at this point? The panels in mine are a partical board material which are tough to maintain and are about due to be painted again as well.
     
  2. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk
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    Nov 29, 2006
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    This is a tough one, but I'll take a stab at it.

    You have to check the alignment on everything, then check individual pieces for wear. I'd first start by looking at the tracks and examining them for any metal to metal contact, rubbing etc. Make sure the tracks are smooth and aligned arcoss the frame of the opening. Inspect the rollers one by one for bad bearings. Last but not least, is the door itself warped or tweeked in any way?

    Also, what are you using for lube?

    -Kevin
     
  3. kwburn

    kwburn
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    ok, i disconnected it from the garage door opener allowing me to open/close it manually and it definitely stiffens up at certain stages when pulling it down, so its not the opener starting to die.

    don't see any kind of warping/misalligned hardware at least at first glance. i could be missing something though.

    ok lube. i may be in trouble on this one. i've always used wd40 but wondered if the rollers actually take grease. wd40 always brought things right back to being smooth and quiet after using. BUT, the last time i did them i didn't have wd40 so instead I used a silicon based lubricating spray that i had. the can said it could be used for just about anything if i remember right but who knows. could that be the problem?
     
  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us
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    Feb 27, 2007
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    Personally... I would just go down to either of the "big box stores" or any Overhead Door dealer and buy two new springs (assuming you have springs and not a 'wound tensioner') and start there. One of the biggest reasons roll up doors start to fail is weak/uneven counterweight becuase of bad spring tension. After so many years and so many cycles the springs "just aren't what they use to be"...
     
  5. kwburn

    kwburn
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    took me 3 months to get around to figuring this out. i was just about to buy new doors which is something i didn't want to deal with in winter. but then i read a website that discusses troubleshooting poorly performing doors.

    the first thing it said to check was the pulley's. sure enough one was totally shot so i went ahead and bought 4 to replace all of them on one door. WOW, what a difference. i could then open and close the door with one finger when disconnected from the opener. works great with the opener too.
     
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    Dec 5, 2005
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    These are the rollers that are attached to the door?
     
  7. kwburn

    kwburn
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    there are 4 pulleys located up above along the tracks which are wheels (mine are 4" each) that have a roller in the middle with ball bearings. there are wires that loop around the pulleys so they turn while the door goes up and down. the rollers that are attached to the door that roll inside the tracks are different (i think there are about 10 of those on my door)
     
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