Our value pick is the Chamberlain PD76EV. It costs about $50 less than our top pick, but it has most of the higher-priced model’s advantages. The PD76EV has the same lift capacity, horsepower, lift system and automation compatibility. However, it doesn’t come with advanced features such as a backup power source, close timer and keyless entry pad. If you can live without those, this opener is a great choice.
Winding "up" starts out easy. It finishes at the proper number of turns, by which time you are pushing against the maximum torque. Count the turns of spring winding from when the springs are slack. To be sure you're winding the right direction, all you have to remember is that proper winding makes the spring smaller in diameter and longer in length as it twists "in". On the standard door (most common), this means you push the winding bars up to wind up the spring, which is an easily remembered rule. This is very apparent and should be verified during the first few easy turns. You can also think about the correct winding direction in mechanical terms, namely which way the reaction of the spring will torque the shaft and drums, which in turn will lift the cable. This should all make perfect sense before you attempt the manipulations.
Another recent innovation in the garage door opener is a fingerprint-based wireless keypad. This unit attaches to the outside of the garage door on the jamb and allows users to open and close their doors with the press of a finger, rather than creating a personal identification number (PIN). This is especially helpful for families with children who may forget a code and are latchkey kids.
The prior clamping of the set-screws tends to have pressed a dimple into the hollow shaft and to have distorted the shaft's roundness into an eccentric shape. While releasing the set-screws, I was careful to loosen them enough to let the cone swing around any such distortions. I was also careful to observe any binding of the old cones on the eccentricity or burring on the shaft. The fit of the cone on the shaft is supposed to be loose enough to avoid binding, but if it were to occur one would have to be careful not to assume the spring was unwound when in fact the cone was just stuck on the shaft. If I had a stuck cone that I could not unwind with a little extra force, then I would have called in a technician to deal with it. In the worst case, I suppose the spring must be deliberately broken with some hazard, thus releasing it for a forceful disassembly, and the shaft and some other parts replaced. But this is an unlikely situation and in this case was not necessary.
Lift cable placement: On the standard residential door mechanism, the loops at the lower ends of the two lift cables loop over the two bottom roller shafts which project from the bottom bracket on the door. The upper cable ends fasten to the drums using one of the methods described above. The drums are positioned along the torsion shaft such that the inner edge of each drum is approximately over the edge of the door. The cable winds onto the drum from outside in, so at the top of travel the cable is winding onto the inner edge of the drum, vertical from the edge of the door where it is looped over the roller shaft. As the door is lowered, the cable winds out to the outer edge of the drum, and thus is a bit out from the vertical, but the cable still falls in the gap between the guide rails and door edge. My cables rub and slap on the rails a bit, but after 30 years and many 10,000s of cycles, they don't seem to have worn at all.
Here are the new replacement springs I ordered from a distributor, which I found using a Google search for "garage door supply" (search that phrase now). You certainly won't find these at Home Depot or Lowe's (although last I checked Lowe's does carry the less daunting extension spring replacements). I also have a list of some suppliers at the end of this page.
While many sites may encourage you to save on garage door replacement costs by installing the door yourself, this is severely discouraged due to safety concerns and the installation techniques and tools required to properly and efficiently replace a garage door. When installing a new garage door, the range of prices also includes the labor performed by the professional garage door technician. These costs can include: