What’s the worst that could happen?

The other day our garage door opener started making a horrible grinding noise and then stopped lifting the door. Crap…. Now that door is pretty important to me because that’s my ventilation when I’m welding. I know I can lift it manually and stick a chunk of wood under it to get some ventilation but I’m not going to do that for the rest of my life. I decided I’d see if I could fix it.

It was already broken. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make it more broken and it was highly likely that I would make it less broken 🙂 . I’ve learned over the years that I shouldn’t be afraid of things I’ve never done and even if they go sideways you always learn something and you feel good when you can accomplish something you’ve never done before. That being said I will give home dental surgery a pass (for which Heather is thankful).  I felt pretty confident with this though, so I opened up the case and this is what I found.

Evidence in the cover
Hmm. Could this be the problem?
Ground to a fine powder

The next step was obviously go on the intertubes and see what kind of a job it would be to get this working again. Turns out it looked pretty straightforward (well at least according to Youtube) and I was able to get a replacement assembly locally from Island Overhead Door. Turns out they’re the local parts depot for our Liftmaster garage door opener and even though the thing is quite old, they stock the parts.

The replacement parts kit comes with just about everything that could/would wear out so I decided to replace the whole works. The process didn’t seem that difficult and it really wasn’t.


I won’t bore you with all the details, but I got it done and back to work in a couple of hours. I replaced the old bushings, replaced the gear assembly, greased it all up and slapped it back together.


The most finicky part was putting the drive chain back on. Not difficult as such but it’s a long chunk of greased up bicycle chain so I had to be careful putting it back on without covering myself in grease. Once the chain was back on  and tightened up I checked the up and down function and we were back in business. Smooooth….

Ta da!!

My advice to everyone? Don’t fear the unknown, embrace it! Even if it is just a garage door opener.

Now to get back to projects.




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