Wayne Dalton i-Drive vs. Belt Drive vs. Screw Drive

rogerohNovember 9, 2006

Hello All,

I am looking to install 2 new garage door openers at a new construction.

I am having difficulty choosing between the three options listed above.

iDrive Torsion -> Seems like it would be the quietest, but reports say it sensitive if door is not perfectly aligned or level. don't know if this is an issue with me since it's a new construction.

Out of the three options what should i get. Things that matter to me..

#1 Quiet/Low Vibration

#2 Low Maintanence

#3 Cost Willing to spend up to $300 each

Reccomendations are appreciated.

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I have never seen an I-Drive on a door although I have seen them advertised. My opinion is if it is Wayne Dalton it is junk. Screw drive openers, no matter what brand, are high maintanence. If you don't keep the screw drive lubricated it is louder than heck. Also the opener rail is aluminum and if it gets bent or kinked it is junk.

I would recommend the Liftmaster belt drive. This is the opener I install for everyone and it is quiet and virtually maintanance free. Once or twice a year you should grease the bottom of the opener rail and that is it. Vibration is going to depend on how well it is mounted to the ceiling and how well the door is balanced. With new doors I don't think you will have a problem. Make sure it is mounted with decent gauge angle and not coat hangers and thin angle that comes with craftsmen openers.

Last thing is if you want the door to be extremely quiet, get nylon rollers and keep the hardware and springs lubricated on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:36PM
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I agree with most of what doorguy says. Run as fast as you can from Wayne Dalton. Calling their openers junk is giving credit where none is deserved. Everything about the belt drive opener is designed for quiet. Even the motor is isolated from the chassis. If you are going to have them installed look for Liftmaster. If you intend to do the job yourself look for Chamberlain. Same opener same manufacturer just different names for professional install or DIY.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 4:40PM
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Wow did not know Wayne Dalton had such a bad reputation. The iDrive stuff just seemed very "high-Tech" and cool since you didn't have to install a rail.

Well I guess I'll take a look at the belt drive options unless anyone else has differing opinions.

Thanks again for those that responded, and those that may :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:44PM
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I've also heard bad things about the iDrive. But what about the Liftmaster Jackshaft opener? It's similar to the iDrive in that there's no center rail. I came across it on the net, but I haven't been able to find much other info on it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:07PM
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You can get information on the Liftmaster Jackshaft opener at this site.


This is a new product and I have never seen one but Chamberlain Mfg Co which makes Liftmaster is a class outfit and I wouldn't hesitate a minute to purchase one. I expect the price to be high. Comes with a battery backup for power outages.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 5:21PM
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I was look for pricing information on the jackshaft, but was unable to find the info.

It doesn't seem to be able to available at lowes/home depot.

i guess i'm leaning towards the belt. but i still like the idea of the wall mount idrive...


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 3:00AM
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You must call a Liftmaster dealer (found in your yellow pages) to get prices on the jackshaft. It is not a DIY opener.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:05PM
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I have not installed the Liftmaster jack shaft yet. I had a buddy who did and he said he was not that impressed. I think the price for one is over $300.00.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:50PM
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I have the iDrive (for torsion springs) -- installed Jan. 05. Overall I have to say I'm somewhat happy. It's pluses were ease of installation, noise level, and no vibration. The first one made a strange grinding sound. Wayne Dalton was nice enough, sent out a replacement. My only complaint there was that it took ten days to get here, including 5 days for them to slap a shipping label on a box. It worked fine until last month when it started not closing correctly. Again Wayne Dalton helped me troubleshoot the unit and sent me a new control board (quicker this time). Easy enough to put in.

I'm not sure I'd run out and buy another.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 6:34AM
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Maybe I'm just lucky.

Put in two I-Drives on 8x7' doors. Work great, quiet, no complaints. They're on the TorqueMaster springs, not the torsion ones.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:34PM
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We have 2 iDrives, 2 years old. They work great for us.

When the installer was here, he mentioned that half of his house calls were to fix the DIY jobs. Probably not a good DIY project.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 6:55AM
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I just installed three Wayne Dalton doors and did consider the I drive openers. I talked to the installer at the door dealer and he was not sold on them yet. His opinion was that they had more problems with them then the old reliable chain drives. Another thing he pointed out was that I drives are not THAT popular and IF they were discontinued, parts could be harder to get. They do look neat and are a lot cleaner set-up. Just make sure that you plan ahead and have a electrical plug near the I drive.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2006 at 3:06AM
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Do You know of any class action law suit on the I-Drive? I would like to be part of one. Don't buy the Wayne Dalton I-Drive. I've had three of these system replaced, and part of my garage door due to damage from the I-drive. After the last system replace on 9-9-06 ,it die again.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:50AM
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I have two iDrive TorqueMaster openers that I installed on my new Wayne Dalton 9700 series doors in 2004. They work great - never have had any problems with them. Very quiet and work with the HomeLink in both my newer cars. Would I buy them again - ABSOLUTELY!!

HOWEVER, they use small, low-torque motors, so door alignment and ajdustment is critical, which probably makes sucessful installation of these beyond the ability of 90% of DIYer's and 75% of "professional" installers. I bought mine at Lowe's, but they have since discontinued selling them because so many people bought them, then brought them back when they couldn't get them to work.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 1:46PM
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There are exceptions to everything. Even when it comes to pure junk.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 7:13PM
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Since posting on this thread I have worked on a number of i-drives. Customers all told me the same thing worked great at first. Give it some time.

FYI they are a pain in the rear to work on.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 5:31PM
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I have a LiftMaster belt drive and love it. Never had any issues and it is very quiet

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 10:48PM
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I just heard Wayne-Dalton announced a new idrive opener last week at the International Door association show in Las Vegas. Thew new openers claim to have more lifting power and are now equipped with Z-Wave home automation technology. I had two idrives installed in my home in Ohio back in 2002. The company owned stored installed them. Awesome concept. Never had a problem and one of my doors was a heavy 18x8 door.

I moved to Georgia about a year ago. Opener in the house was a Chamberlain. Everytime the door opened the room upstairs rattled and waked up my kids. Had an idrive installed and now they can't hear me comming home. The new opener sounds smoother than my older units and the radio range is frankly too much. Homelink works great on my wife's van. I'm going to see if the company will sell me an upgrade for Z-Wave. I heard the new opener can control lights, thermostats and alarms as long as the other items have the z chip in them.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 11:25PM
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I was nervous about the IDrive but liked the concept so I bought one from a money back guarantee web site, just to be safe! I called and spoke with them at length and they said it the new version that re-calibrates itself every time you use it, where the old one you had to manually do it yourself every month.

I have to say I installed myself and it works great. My main concern was my door was not the best and looked like it was installed by an epileptic with a crow bar (nothing against epileptics)but it is working flawlessly. It opened up my garage space wise, is quieter, and wireless. No complaints.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 12:10PM
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My idrive failed 2nd times in 5 years.

Went thru the phone diag with support guy (nice guy, talked to the same one last time). Hefound the motor is failing, sent me a replacement unit.

I check the instruction. It is too complex to do it myself. Call dealer and find installation will cost me $255.

Decide to rip it out and replace with Genie screw drive instead. Have it for 10 years before (install myself). never an issues until I change to iDrive. Enough is enough.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Heres my story. Two doors, each purchased directly from WD local store (company owned). First installer shows up, its her 2nd job since being hired! I ordered IDrive ( HUGE MISTAKE) She had never installed an IDrive before, or a Wayne Dalton system. She had worked for other door companies. After 3 hours a 2nd installer arrived. He was to be with her orginally, but overslept (or somthing to that effect). Ok so by 3:00 pm the have the tracks in and the door panels installed. Inform me that the next day the opener guy will be here to install IDrives! Two days pass...still no installer. Finally, after rearranging my schedule they guarantee me he will be there. Since I have a garage full of tools ( more on that later) I make arragnements to have someone at my home. Again a no-show. Finally I call WD corporate. Within an hour I get a call from the local store: He will be there first thing in the morning. Another day lost, as I am unable to have someone at my home to cover for me. Well at least he shows up. Within 15 minutes he askes me who installed the doors? WD , I say, and he begins to argue with me! Turns out the install was so far out of plumb and that the I drives, he said, would not work. Mostly it turns out the overhead tracks needed to be fine tuned and raised/lowered. How do I know this? Heres where it gets fun. I tell the guy how upset I am about the service and he goes banannas on me. Ranting and raving, complaining about his drunk manager and on and on. I finally tell him he has to leave.

I take pictures of the install and the subsequent repairs. I then redo the install myself. I complain to WD headquarters but to no avail - its a local issue and they will have a district manager call me.

After about four hours I have the door tracks perfect. I have the openers still sitting there so since no cooperation from WD I go ahead and install them. Not that difficult to do and overall I'm pretty satisfied. Now about the refund for WD failure to install.

Make a long story short: Small claims court, pictures are invaluable! Local WD must pay me for my time etc.! Corporate has to cut the check. I get a call from the office asking why they were cutting me a check for a court ordered settlement? Check you own phone records and complaints. To say they were rude isn't even coming close. They send the check ( yes it cleared). Three months later the west door IDrive acts up. I call customer service and a very knowledgeable lady walks me through the set up and viola - works perfect. Two months later the east door acts up. I call again (since I hadn't written down the entire sequence). Again the door works but she asks what part number on the circuit boards I have.

Turns out WD knew that an entire production lot was faulty and I have the faulty circuit boards. They agree to replace one. This means I must use the orginal installer -their own company store. Guy shows up, muttering about IDrive crap and POS they are. Within 40 minutes he has the board installed and its working OK. He then trys to collect a service call fee from me. 20 minutes of arguing he learns this was under warranty. And he is ticked at me!

Two months later...yep you guess it; the other door fails. I call WD. This time its entirley different. They have my phone number attached to technical service calls. And due to my sucsessful small claims action against they, they bar me from any help! Even their technician was stunned. So much so, he told me, once again what to do and sends me a new circuit board, under warrnaty. He tells me that they have nothing but problems with IDdrives etc. He was sorry that I had been treated so shabbily. He actually apologized for his coporate bosses actions!

I install the board upon its arriveal (took about 20 minutes) and for a year both doors worked fine. Then, once again the west Idrive fails. I call tech service ( why bother with the local store?) and they tell me they are not allowed to provode me with any help (phone number). OK..I say - no problem. I wait a week and call from my neighbors house, and with the information taken from the 2nd circuit boards I am able to talk with a service tech. I am told that lot of boards was defective and that I could get a new board under warranty from the local company owned store. I had to chuckle, as the tech had no idea what I had been through. Of course I tried to get the borad from the local store and they refused. Oh I am still, as of this writing under warranty. For the past year one IDrive does not work. I am having the same reocurring problems with the second unit. Fortunately, I only need 1 side of my garage to open.

Recently I called the local store and talked with the secretary. She knew who I was and I asked if there was any way I could get the door repaired. She informed that the manager had been fired, and she would figure a way for me to get it serviced as she knew how screwed I had been. She said aI would have to pay a $75 service call though. I described the problem: the motor is running but no engagement: thus no opening or closing. Local gal is qutie familiar with this problem too - motor shaft most likely has broken. "Happens all the time". Oh and before someone says the door is out of balance... its not.

I have held off as I am planning on remodeling my home and will address the issue by going with another brand.

Now the kicker: I am a licensed General Contractor in two states, Florida and California. I have over 30 years experience in all phases of construction. I have never had to take any supplier to court - ever! In fact, I have never had a lein filed on me, or been sued, and only once have I fired a subcontractor during the course of a project (drinking on the job). 30 years of business!

The way I was treated by Wayne Dalton was disgusting. I urge you not to buy the IDrive - it is a piece of junk - even their own employees know this, and for that matter any Wayne Daltin product - period. To this day I am unable to get customer service to assist me via phone; a clear violation of their own warranty and guarantee. Despite WD firing the manager (who was resposnible for the faulty install) and the subsequent small claims suit - they hold me responsible.

Remember their corporate philosophy that Wayne Dalton has for its customers.

Thanks for reading this. Oh and by the way, our company no longer uses Wayne Dalton products, and I have convinced several other builders ( the local builders assocation) to not use their products. That wasn't all that hard to do --thanks WD.

Somewhere in Florida....

As for what we've been installing: Liftmaster. No customer complaints or call backs. Average home value of install: 3.2 mil. Way to go Wayne Dalton!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 5:08PM
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I replaced my existing damaged garage door back in 2003 with a Wayne Dalton fiberglass (9' x7")along with the "i drive" torgue master spring driven door.
The unit has worked flawlessly ever since. Have had no issues as it was professionally installed. This is critical for proper operation. I am quite surprised after reading the issues that have taken place.

I always recommended this for ease of use, quietness, space saver. Never had to lub or adjust the tracks. Live in a cold climate -northern NYS where temps can be in the high 90's in summer and in the negative 15 to 25 below in winter.

I guess I am fortunate to have had one that is so reliable. I average between eight and ten openings per day. Eight years going strong and still purring--I just knocked on wood!!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 9:40PM
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I love my I-Drive torsion opener, although the first unit was a little noisey, it worked well for 5 years until the unit quit with a series of beeps. I called the new troubleshooting number and they sent me a new power head. The new unit is almost silent, the opening beep is louder than the unit, this is a wonderful unit, too bad it was "forced out of production". I love the design without all the "junk" on the ceiling.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:20PM
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This is an old thread, but to update my posting on WD iDrives that I installed in 2004, it is now 11 years and counting without any problems with the iDrive motor unit. The one problem I had was that the outdoor-mounted keypad failed after about 5 years, but since one came with each unit, I installed the spare one, which has worked fine since. My only complaint is that the wireless inside switch units are very difficult to pry open when the battery needs to be changed.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2015 at 4:21PM
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