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My neighbor installed a garage door opener, I think it's a Craftsman, not sure though, might eventually ask him but we're not in the best relations so I'd like to avoid it, for the moment at least. These things don't go for as much as I thought, not the ones I found at least. 17 Best Rated Garage Door Openers - 2020 Comparison & Reviews
After digging into the subject some more, I'm undecided cause I like some Chamberlains, but the Liftmaster models seem to be very praised online, at least. Any of you guys have experience with garage door openers? Can give me some info? I mention that I have a 7' tall, 9' wide door. Good day, fellas!
 

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As I have four garage doors, I am well versed in garage door openers. I have or have had Chamberlain, Genie and Craftsman. For a normal residential garage door, any of them will do the trick. However, be advised that depending on what model/year truck that you may own, the built in garage remote may not work with Genie.

I just went through this with a newly installed Genie and could not get it to program to my truck (LMM). Ended up changing out the garage remote in my truck to so that I could open the garage door with the Genie opener.

My favorite opener is the screw drive Genie as it is very reliable and opens/closes the door fairly quickly. However, as you will find, any screw type openers are very expensive as compared to belt drive openers.
 
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I have the LiftMaster 8500 Wall mount (also called jackshaft I believe) garage door openers and they are great. They are much quieter since the motor/unit bolts directly to the bar on the wall that’s attached to the door.

This also allows the garage door track to mount closer to the ceiling. Only downside is I believe these are a little more expensive than traditional types but superior and worth it IMHO.


 

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I have had almost 15 trouble free years from both my Liftmasters (belt drive) at home. We use primarily all Chamberlains at work - different models for different applications. Jackshafts seem to be the way to go now, but I believe you need a torsion spring across head of door - not the older springs that run along track. Personal opinion but I would stay away from Craftsman - not what the brand used to be.
 
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Another vote for the wall mount. I've been shopping for one or two for my shop. I put the Chamberlain WhisperDrive belt operated model on my garage door when I built my house and although I've been relatively happy with it, I'd probably go back with the wall mount model in my garage too if I had to replace it. I've put 2 plastic drive gears in the Chamberlain, very common problem with that style.
1075791
 

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My neighbor installed a garage door opener, I think it's a Craftsman, not sure though, might eventually ask him but we're not in the best relations so I'd like to avoid it, for the moment at least. These things don't go for as much as I thought, not the ones I found at least. 17 Best Rated Garage Door Openers - 2020 Comparison & Reviews
After digging into the subject some more, I'm undecided cause I like some Chamberlains, but the Liftmaster models seem to be very praised online, at least. Any of you guys have experience with garage door openers? Can give me some info? I mention that I have a 7' tall, 9' wide door. Good day, fellas!
Chamberlain is the parent company that makes LiftMaster, Chamberlain, Craftsman, and a few other private labels. Chamberlain branded operators are built to meet a price point for the big box stores. They're basically cheapened down versions of LiftMasters. You get a 3-piece snap together rail that is extremely flimsy. Chamberlain motor heads actually weigh less than the comparable LiftMaster because everything is a little thinner. LiftMaster operators are built for professionals to be more reliable. LiftMaster is the #1 professionally installed operator in the world. Mostly because of reliability. If you're going to DIY, skip the big box stores and go buy a LiftMaster from a dealer. Don't order online because you won't get the rail. One piece LM rails are too long to be shipped regular ground, they have to be truck shipped and will cost about $150 freight. The LM will cost a little more because the junk in the store costs less than LiftMaster dealer pricing for comparable models but you'll get a much better unit. The 8550WLB is by far my best seller and what I have on my own house. There's also a new one, the 85503 that has a camera on the bottom of the motor head so you can keep an eye on your garage. Now that the 8500W jackshaft is out I'm probably going to get one because it now has all the features of the 8550WLB. The jackshaft is expensive but it can be shipped ground so you might be able to get one cheaper online than buying an 8550 from a dealer.
 

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I have had almost 15 trouble free years from both my Liftmasters (belt drive) at home. We use primarily all Chamberlains at work - different models for different applications. Jackshafts seem to be the way to go now, but I believe you need a torsion spring across head of door - not the older springs that run along track. Personal opinion but I would stay away from Craftsman - not what the brand used to be.
Craftsman is made by Chamberlain and will be pretty much equal in quality to what you get at Blowes or HD, junk.

Yes, jackshafts require a standard torsion spring assembly. It will not work with Wayne Dalton Torque Master springs.

Extension springs which run along side the horizontal track aren't really old, they're cheap. They are still used today and I have seen torsion assemblies on doors from the 50's so they aren't new, just a better system.
 

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Another vote for the wall mount. I've been shopping for one or two for my shop. I put the Chamberlain WhisperDrive belt operated model on my garage door when I built my house and although I've been relatively happy with it, I'd probably go back with the wall mount model in my garage too if I had to replace it. I've put 2 plastic drive gears in the Chamberlain, very common problem with that style. View attachment 1075791
All residential operators use plastic gears except for really old ones that use belts. That includes the jackshaft. Metal gears would have to be in an oil bath and would be very expensive. For example, the reducer or gearbox from a commercial gear head operator, no motor, no logic board, nothing but the gearbox is over $300 dealer cost.

Those gears are good for 10-15 years depending on frequency of use and if the door is balanced. You could probably make them last indefinitely if you regreased the gear about every 5 years. I'm guessing that you didn't use the grease that comes with the gear the first time. I've seen DIYers do that before. I've replaced A LOT of those gears and I've never had to do one a second time.
 

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Glad to see so many of you answered! LiftMaster seems like the best at the moment, haven't yet fully made up my mind, but I'm getting there. Faster with your replies, too.
 

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All residential operators use plastic gears except for really old ones that use belts. That includes the jackshaft. Metal gears would have to be in an oil bath and would be very expensive. For example, the reducer or gearbox from a commercial gear head operator, no motor, no logic board, nothing but the gearbox is over $300 dealer cost.

Those gears are good for 10-15 years depending on frequency of use and if the door is balanced. You could probably make them last indefinitely if you regreased the gear about every 5 years. I'm guessing that you didn't use the grease that comes with the gear the first time. I've seen DIYers do that before. I've replaced A LOT of those gears and I've never had to do one a second time.
I wasn't really complaining about the Chamberlain, I've actually been pretty happy with it. I probably should have explained more. I probably got 15 years out of the first gear, really couldn't complain about that.

But the replacement gear that I installed was likely aftermarket, it didn't cost much. I greased it when I installed it but it still didn't last long. And I was surprised at the age of the door how well balanced it actually was.

When the opener quit, I pulled the opener release so we could open and close it manually. I expected it to be very heavy to lift after all the years but just like from day one, it was very easy to lift so I didn't bother with tightening the torsion springs. I was shocked with that.

It's an 18ft insulated door, steel inside and out. So it's a pretty heavy door, probably more than the opener was meant for.

All that said, I've been researching the jackshaft style for my 14 x 14ft overhead shop doors. They can get fairly violent when you try to throw them all the way up. I've actually have rollers thrown down at me before!

I tightened the torsion springs to help them go up easier, then they're hard to pull all the way down. So after 16 years of struggling with them, I'm planning to add jackshaft openers.

If I had to replace the Chamberlain belt drive in my garage, I'd go with the jackshaft too. Although it's not really in the way, I wouldn't miss the old opener hanging down in the center of the garage.
 

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Glad to see so many of you answered! LiftMaster seems like the best at the moment, haven't yet fully made up my mind, but I'm getting there. Faster with your replies, too.
I've been in business since 2006. I do almost no new construction. My work is retrofits and mainly service. I don't just see them when they're brand new. I make my living fixing all these operators and this has been my experience.

My personal preference is LiftMaster. My only gripe with LM is that they have cheapened down some things. The arm is not as strong, the photo eye brackets are more flimsy than they used to be. The higher end models came with black zinc hardware then they went to a cheap looking flat black fastener coating. The old 398Lm digital wall station was an epic failure that may have left a bad taste for some people but it's been replaced with a really good wall station. I can't think of any problems with LM that aren't just nitpicking. Some will say the inner slides get cut by the T-rail. Well, not if you apply the grease that comes in the damn box, most installers don't because it will outlast the warranty anyway so screw it, right? Ugh... Some end users have been turned off from LM when the new radio came out in 2011 and cars older than around 2012 with Homelink would not be compatible. That is easily fixed with an inexpensive repeater "Homelink Compatibility Bridge", only one required per garage, not per operator. The LM radio will give you the best range and zero interference issues of any brand. LM universal remotes are better than what comes with Genie and Linear.

Sommer is a very good brand. I don't use them because they lack the features LiftMaster has because LM usually comes up with things first, patents it, and then everyone else has to license the feature. Sommer won't do it. They also look very 'Euro' which I don't care for but that's nothing to do with reliability. However, I wouldn't hesitate to use them if I had a special application that required it. They have some unconventional operators that can solve installation issues.

Hormann is also a very good brand. I don't use them for the same reason as Sommer.

Linear is contractor junk. I have installed THOUSANDS of them when I was working for another company before going on my own. Easier installation than most but a lot of plastic parts. We had to keep some spare rail parts on the truck because we would open the box on the job and parts would be broken. A lot of problems with photo eyes and remote range.

Genie is GARBAGE. I've never liked Genie but I'll say they used to have some ok models. The Legacy and Phantom operators were pretty good. The old screw drives were noisy but they were simple and reliable. But, everything current that I'm seeing is gotten pretty bad. A lot of mechanical parts breakage. The 1024 (I'm pretty sure discontinued) had a lot of logic board problems. The old Excelerator (pretty sure discontinued) was pretty popular because it was fast. Well, garage doors don't like to be yanked off the floor and I've seen many doors with damage as a result. The worst part of the Excelerator was the force setting would go bad. When it went bad, it went to MAX force which is extremely dangerous for life and limb but also for the door should it encounter an obstruction. They've also always used really shitty capacitors. Run a Genie (with an AC motor) more than a half dozen times in a row in the summer and I can almost guarantee you blow the capacitor in spectacular fashion. I replace them with caps from LM when that happens. I wouldn't have a Genie if you gave it to me and paid me to use it.

Edit to add: Overhead Door Co. owns Genie so all OHD brand operators are private labeled Genies.

Marantec is another good brand but stay away. Although it's a quality operator, they are a bit obscure so parts availability and support is not great. If you need a replacement remote, good luck. They are probably the quietest operator I've ever seen but only because they are slooooooow.

Ryobi: ROFLMMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I wasn't really complaining about the Chamberlain, I've actually been pretty happy with it. I probably should have explained more. I probably got 15 years out of the first gear, really couldn't complain about that.

But the replacement gear that I installed was likely aftermarket, it didn't cost much. I greased it when I installed it but it still didn't last long. And I was surprised at the age of the door how well balanced it actually was.

When the opener quit, I pulled the opener release so we could open and close it manually. I expected it to be very heavy to lift after all the years but just like from day one, it was very easy to lift so I didn't bother with tightening the torsion springs. I was shocked with that.

It's an 18ft insulated door, steel inside and out. So it's a pretty heavy door, probably more than the opener was meant for.

All that said, I've been researching the jackshaft style for my 14 x 14ft overhead shop doors. They can get fairly violent when you try to throw them all the way up. I've actually have rollers thrown down at me before!

I tightened the torsion springs to help them go up easier, then they're hard to pull all the way down. So after 16 years of struggling with them, I'm planning to add jackshaft openers.

If I had to replace the Chamberlain belt drive in my garage, I'd go with the jackshaft too. Although it's not really in the way, I wouldn't miss the old opener hanging down in the center of the garage.
It's possible that you got a counterfeit gear. That is a well known issue and LM occasionally reminds us to watch out for it.

Garage doors should NEVER 'feel' heavy other than just initially getting the mass moving. Garage doors must be neutrally balanced from open to close for reliable and safe operation. We often see the wrong springs on doors because 1. Most garage door guys don't know what they're doing, they are just parts swappers. Most don't even keep a scale on the truck to weigh doors. They usually just copy what is already there which doesn't work if the old springs were wrong. 2. Like many other things, they just DGAF. 3. They want to use what they have on the truck so they don't have to make another trip. I make springs on site so I always have the right springs except in rare unusual cases.

There is a balance point where the roller is about 1/3 of the way into the radius on the horizontal track. If you raise the door one section height so the roller in the next section down is in that spot and let go, it should hold in place. It should do that for each section height that you raise it, from top to bottom. A perfectly balanced door shouldn't drift up or down. That is what all door operators are only designed to do. Operators are surprisingly powerful. They can rip your door out of the track while picking you up off the ground if you turn the force up. But they won't do it much before breaking themselves. I think most people don't understand that operators can destroy themselves or your door or both if things aren't right. At MINIMUM the door should sit on the floor, hold half way open, and then hold all the way open. If you're door doesn't do that, it should be addressed.

If the door is "hot" (too much spring tension) at some heights and gets heavy at others, the springs are wrong. If it's a little heavy all the way up, they may just need a little tension added but not more than maybe a half turn each unless they were just short on turns to begin with. If it's hot all the way from open to close, they have too many turns on them. For a door to balance right, the springs must have a certain number of turns, based on the cable drum and height of the horizontal track. Wrong springs are sometimes dangerous but are ALWAYS hard on the door and operator, and can cause catastrophic failures.

The door isn't too heavy for the operator if the door is properly balanced. Operators do not 'lift' the door. They only 'move' it. I've installed 8587 3/4 HP operators with I-beam rails on doors weighing over 1000 lbs without issue. It uses the same nylon gear as in your Chamberlain.

The jackshaft has been around for a little over 15 years and I have not seen many problems with them that were not the installers fault. Now that they have built-in battery backup and come with the 880LM digital wall station, they're even better, although more costly. The new 8580 drawbar operator is also made for heavy or tall doors and it looks great. I have my first one coming this week for a customer with a custom wood door that ways around 560 lbs.
 
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By the way, the guy with the 560 lb wood door, I'm replacing what started out as a really good operator because it was destroyed beyond repair because some dipshit put the wrong springs on the door. The customer was charged $2800 (not just springs) for maybe $1200 worth of work. And gave him the wrong springs AND wrecked his operator. Nice job, Jimmy! asshole...
 
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