Garage opener - replacement advice wanted

Greg__RFebruary 10, 2013

I have a 15yr old Liftmaster 1/2HP chain drive opener that recently broke. The plastic gear has stripped out and I could just replace the part ($5-$6 or so). However, I previously (3 years ago) had to increase the "strength" of the lift with the adjustment screws on the opener. I keep the rollers and track lubricated so I'm wondering if it was a poor install on the door (runs OK in summer, locks up in winter due to temp changes). It's also a cheap, noisy unit. So, keeping in mind the unit's age, which of the following options do you all recommend? -->

1) Just replace the gear and re-lube everything. It should last another 10 years or so...
2) Replace the gear & worm drive & re-lube everything. (worm gear is not broken but since I'm in there...)
3) Replace gears and all the rollers. Which roller style and brand is recommended (nylon, steel, ???)?
4) Replace the entire lift unit & rollers. Make any track adjustments if required. What's recommended for 1/2HP lifts? My door is ~24' wide and fiberglass (not heavy). It looks like Chamberlain Wisperdrive is the best option (even though all the residential stuff is cheap)?
5) Replace everything (opener, door, door rails, etc.). Asked another way: If the door panels are OK, do the metal rails ever wear out?

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Have you checked the balance of the door?
Disconnect the door from the GDO and check to see if the door is in balance with the springs by raising the door about 1/2 way to see if the springs hold it there. If not, an adjustment is in order.
Also, while disconnected from the GDO, run the door up and down manually several times to see if there is any sticking or any looseness in the hardware. Loose rails can be tightened and bad rollers can be replaced.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Yes, I've tested the door. It slides freely but there is definitely some play in the door/rail interface. The balance appears to be fine.

There is a sizeable gap (2" or so) between the top of the door and the exterior of the house. The gap from the sides of the door to the house is maybe 3/4" or so (door overlaps the opening but is slightly offset from the opening). I'm assuming that this will never be airtight but should I try to get it closer? My rails do not appear to be adjustable (cable reels are already very close to the wall) so I think I'm stuck with the situation.

For the $15 or so for a set of new rollers I'm thinking it would be worthwhile if I'm already replacing the opener.

Any thoughts on gear replacement versus replacing the entire unit?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 2:53PM
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