Garage Door Opener Spring/Trolley Nut

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by vaman77, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    I just replaced my older chain drive garage door opener with a new belt drive. It works fine except for one thing.It fails the safety reversal test. It passes the the protector system test so I know the sensors are working. If I adjust the the down force the trolley moves to far and the opener rail starts to arch upward.
    I suspect it from the spring/trolley nut. I did something wrong and it is too loose;should be about 1 1/4 in long but is 1 1/2 in long. I am trying to compress the thing but have no luck. The nut ring moves around as does the trolley shaft. It's like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube.
    Any advice is appreciated.
    thanks
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    First thing is to disconnect the drive latch, and verify that the springs aren't worn too much, or are no longer strong enough. Repeated paint jobs really do add up, not counting the springs getting old. You should be able to have the door sit without moving when it is about 1/2-way down if you let go. If it falls, and you still have some adjustment on the springs, tighten them up to compensate.

    Another thing you can try if you have a bathroom scale, is to see how much the door weighs - with the drive latch disconnected, hold the door up with some clamps, disconnect the springs, then, with the help of someone else, lower the door down onto the scale. The springs are color-coded - make sure the ones that are there are proper. If they are, and they can't be adjusted to hold the door, buy new ones. If they're the wrong ones, don't try to stretch them more than allowed as that makes them more susceptable to breaking. If they're old, they may not have the safety cable threaded through them to contain them if they break. A breaking door spring can kill you! Don't deal with it if you don't understand or are uncomfortable about it...pay a pro. Some things just make a mess if you do it wrong...but this can kill you.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,480
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There should be "limit stops" to control how FAR the door travels, and the down force should just be enough to move the door down, and stop if it encounters an object. If you have enough "down force to arch the track upward" then you have WAY TOO MUCH downforce. There is probably NOTHING that would stop the door with that much downforce. You want as "little" as possible so the slightest restriction will stop the door. Have no idea about the spring /trolley 'nut', or what it is, so cannot tell if it has any relevence to your problem or not.
  4. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    So I disconnected the opener from the door and held the door open about half way. It does not stay open;am having same problem with other door.So I assume the springs are now too loose. These are side mounts Can they be adjusted or have to be replaced?I do by the way have safety cables on them.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    Yes, they can be adjusted, but there's a limit on how far they should be stretched. With the door up, have it clamped in place so it won't fall, follow the cable that goes through the pulley. At one end, it should be detachable. Shorten the cable to pull the spring tighter a bit. Do this evenly on both sides. Then test the door again. If you weigh the door, you can then pick up a new set, if needed.
  6. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,052
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Another possibility --

    When I replaced my opener I attached the plate to the drywall in my garage. Big mistake since it wasn't a solid-enough mounting point. When the door was being pushed down to closed position, the whole rail would bow up a bit since the end plate allowed the rail to twist upward.

    I ended up screwing a 2x6 to the wall to mount the end plate and problem solved.
  7. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    I looked at the spring and to pull it tighter, the next hole is 4" away;springs are currently in the hole farthest away from the door.So I just want to ask if it's OK to adjust them that much. These springs were replaced 5 years ago so that seems kind of soon if they need replacing.
    thanks
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    Try it and see. Note, though, that there's usually a block that the cable is wound through - you can loosen it, and adjust the length to anything you want.

    If you move it those 4", if the door gets pulled back up when you get it to half way and then let go, it's too much. If not, it's fine.

    When adjusted properly, the spring can hold the door there since it's only holding about half of the door. The goal is to use the springs to assist you when opening the door, so the spring tension and strength is critical. When the springs aren't providing enough support, it makes it hard to impossible to adjust the electric opener so it will properly reverse if it hits something. It can also make it tough to actually pull the door up as well. the thing is designed for a properly adjusted door, and really doesn't have all that much work to do.
  9. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Alright I advanced the spring up those 4" and door closes and opens fine but when I test the safety reversal with a block of wood it still doesn't function. So I am concluding the springs must be really loose and they need to be advanced more. Am I correct?
    thanks
  10. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    The trolley nut adjusts the tension between the belt and the trolley;right now its too loose and there is too much slack in the belt. The nut has a slotted nut ring that is held with a screwdriver during installation. Trolley nut is then turned clockwise and then the trolley nut spring is released. I figure if I turn the trolley nut counterclock wise it will tighten the belt but can't get the nut ring to remain stationary. That's my problem.
    I did get the down force adjusted fine so that problem is fixed.
  11. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    Think I replied in the wrong box. Anyway as I posted down below I tightened the springs as much as possible and still the reversal does not work. am I to conclude they are now simply too loose? They are 5 years old. Isn't that kind of soon for this problem?
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,888
    Location:
    New England
    If the door is heavier than the springs are designed for (not hard if the door gets painted, or wood and can absorb some moisture), you may not have replaced the springs with the proper strength - just replacing them with the same type may not have been correct. So, yes, they could have weakened enough in 5-years. It also depends on how often you use the door. If the springs are the proper strength, and they are adjusted properly, they should last longer than that. If they get overstretched, they'll fail sooner. But, who's to say where they came from, and if they were good quality in the first place. While China can make some remarkable stuff, their qa/qc isn't always the best. Take a simple thing like a roofing nail...buy a box of cheap nails at HD, I've had something like one out of 10 where the head just fell off! Their hack saw blades are so hard that they tend to shatter. If the springs came from there, all bets are off!

    The only way to know what spring you really need is to actually weigh the door as I described earlier. then buy the proper strength springs. Always replace them in pairs, and adjust their static length the same on both sides.

    It's possible that the opener is defective, but first, the door's springs must be properly adjusted...the opener expects that, and the internal adjustments and limits are all based on the door being properly adjusted first, then the opener's safety features adjusted.
  13. vaman77

    vaman77 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Location:
    NJ
    I'm having this problem with both doors; the one that has the brand new opener and the other has a much older opener. Springs on both doors were replaced at same time. So I conclude it must be the springs. I weighed the door and if I did it right it's around 119 lbs. The springs are yellow which I see is for 130 lbs. I do recall when the guy replaced the originals he remarked on the color used and did not use it;I think the originals were green. Can a spring designed for a heavier door be a problem? I wouldn't think so. The door is an insulated aluminum and has not been painted. Other insight?
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