Technical Support

Obsolete Garage Door Seals

Friday, April 20th, 2018 at 6:51 pm by Dan Musick

Over the years a number of customers have asked us to if we carry a seal to match what they have on their door. All of the weatherstripping we carry is on our Garage Door Seals page.

Below are a number of seals that are no longer available. If the seal you need is pictured below, we suggest you search for your seal on Google Images. Just drag a picture of your seal into the search box and a number of images will show up in the results.

Below are pictures of images that we cannot find, and which appear to be no longer available.



How to Replace TorqueMaster One Springs

Friday, February 23rd, 2018 at 7:11 pm by Dan Musick

This week we posted our new TorqueMaster Spring Replacement video on YouTube.

This was created to use in conjunction with our written Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster Torsion Spring Replacement instructions with pictures and animated gifs.

It took a while, but I believe the quality was worth the wait. Do-it-yourselfers can now watch the video and determine if they want to buy TorqueMaster Springs and replace them without having to pay, in some cases, outrageous fees to have an outside contractor do the work.

I wrote the script, and Chris David shot and edited the video. Way to go, Chris!

We spent a lot of time showing how to remove the plastic liner from the tube. Over the years this has been a problem with many of our customers.

At DDM Garage Doors we wish those of you who view the video all the best.


New Products: Shaft and Strut Kits for New Shipping Restrictions

Friday, February 16th, 2018 at 6:33 pm by Dan Musick

In my January 19 blog, I explained the changes FedEx and UPS had made for shipping boxes that are over eight feet long. One inch of extra length would cost more than six times as much to ship.

Last week I showed a solution for shipping garage door seals to accommodate products that are over eight feet long.

This week we are showing a way to serve customers who need steel shafts and struts that normally ship in boxes over eight feet. The solution: Junction Kits.

Above you see one of our Shaft Junction Kits from our garage door shafts and couplers page that will fit into boxes that are less than eight feet long. This SH-011-16K Shaft Kit will allow us to ship a shaft for a 16′ wide door in boxes that are less than eight feet long.

Another new product is our Strut Kit. We had earlier developed strut junction kits that are available on our garage door struts page. Pictured above is our strut kit for nine foot wide doors. We have also developed these for wider Clopay doors.

Introducing Ray Bansal – Phoenix / Scottsdale / Tempe, AZ Doors

Friday, January 26th, 2018 at 6:43 pm by Dan Musick

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of personally training men to repair residential and commercial garage doors and openers, along with steel rolling doors and dock levelers.

This week I had the honor of training a true tradesman and businessman, Ray Bansal. He hails from England and he began as a software man, but he prefers hands-on business. Over a number of years, he built and ran a glass company. He sold that business and later built and sold an entrance door company.

Now he’s beginning a third venture – selling, installing and servicing all types of doors and dock equipment.

He scored very high on the mechanical test we give, and he demonstrated extremely quick learning, often running ahead of me in my instruction. Training him was a real joy; I threw everything at him and he soaked it up like a sponge. He’s as agile as a 20-year-old.

He’s honest and hardworking. Unlike many professionals who charge the customers for their learning, Ray understands that with every business there is a learning curve, and he will not bill that to the customer. That has been my philosophy over the decades, and that sense of fairness is not common.

The name of his company is Prostar Doors. In coming days you’ll find his site at Until then you can reach him on his cell phone at 408-210-4780. He gets a lot of spam calls just as I do, so if he doesn’t answer, I would recommend leaving a message.

Tell him you read about him on Dan’s blog, and wish him all success in his new business.

I am expecting great things of you, Ray! May God bless you as you serve your many customers in the Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale area.


Tips for Ordering PowerMaster Operators

Friday, January 12th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Dan Musick

Ordering the correct PowerMaster Operators can be simple if you begin with the correct details. Here is what you’ll need in order to order one of our hoist operators.

  1. Voltage. These are normally 115, 208-230, and 460 volts. Check the voltage on your existing operator or the voltage readily available in the building.
  2. Phase. The 115-volt operators are all single phase; the 208-230-volt are either single or three phase; the 460-volt operators are all three phase.
  3. Horsepower. If you are replacing an existing operator, and if that operator worked fine, you can replace the operator with the same horsepower. If you are installing an operator where there was not one before, you can check our horsepower chart to determine the best operator for your application.
  4. Height. This is needed to determine the hand chain length. Measure from the floor to the center of the operator. On standard lift doors this dimension is usually the same as the door height. On vertical lift and high lift doors the operator will be mounted higher.
  5. Shaft Diameter and Key Size. Most sectional doors use one-inch shafts with 1/4″ keys. Steel rolling doors use a variety of shaft sizes and key sizes.
  6. Mounting Side. As you look at the door from inside the building, determine the side on which the operator is mounted. The drive chain is mounted closer to the door and the hand chain is mounted further from the door. On sectional doors you can normally install the operator on either side, but on steel rolling doors the operator can be installed only on the drive side.
  7. Steel Rolling Door Mounting. If your door rolls up around itself like a window shade, there are a variety ways to mount the operator. Let us know how you plan to mount the operator; it needs to be built to fit your framing. This Steel Rolling Door Ordering Sheet should help.
  8. Special Situations. Please advise of any special situations such as space limitations, center mounting, international voltages and cycles, special accessories needed, and whether the operator needs to be water-proof or explosion-proof.

Spring Anchor Bracket Alignment

Friday, November 24th, 2017 at 4:05 pm by Dan Musick

Most installers eyeball or guess at where to install the spring anchor bracket. As a result I’ve seen many where the the center support bracket is mounted one or two inches too high. Doors will work for years this way, but the the poor installation may result result in the torsion shaft binding or fatiguing and actually breaking.

The most logical time to realign the spring anchor bracket is when replacing the springs.

Proper alignment is also necessary when converting from Extension Springs, EZ Set Springs, or Torquemaster Springs to Standard Torsion Springs. The torsion tube should run parallel to the top of the door. Here is the easiest way to accomplish that.

The first step is to install the end bearing plates if you are converting from a different spring system.

Next, center the bottom of a torpedo level in the center of the end bearing. Mark the bottom of the other end of the level with the bubble centered.

Next, measure from the mark to the top of the garage door at both ends. If the measurements differ average the measurements.

Then, go to the center of the door, and measure and mark the same distance from the top of the door to the header above.

Last, locate the center of the bracket and line up that with the mark. Plumb the bracket and screw the bracket to the header with 5/16″ X 1 5/8″ lag screws with washer heads.

Sometimes there is no header board behind the drywall and it is necessary to support the bracket with angle.

Sometimes the framing will not support the screws so it may be necessary to support the bracket with angle iron.




Garage Door Sections

Friday, September 29th, 2017 at 4:49 pm by Dan Musick

Most garage doors consist of sections that are connected with hinges. The end hinges and fixtures have rollers to allow the door to roll up into the tracks.

History of Garage Door Section Construction

In the early decades of door construction most sections were made of wood. There were four main types.

Wood Flush Sections

These sections had exterior skins of hardboard or thin plywood that was glued to internal rails. The surface was kept uniformly flat with styrofoam strips.


Fully insulated flush sections were also made, but the temperature difference between outside and outside often caused the sections to bow.

Masonite Panel Sections

These sections consisted of horizontal rails and vertical stiles that were pinned, glued and nailed together. Inside these components were grooves that held the hardboard or plywood panels.

Wood Panel Sections

These were designed like the hardboard panel sections, but the panels were made of redwood or fur. As the redwood trees in California diminished the cost of panels increased and soon were no longer available.

Cladwood Sections

These sections were developed in the 80’s to replace the wood sections that rot and delaminate. Cladwood doors were made of a resilient wood chip product that could be molded to imitate the raised panel design. The material would not rot. These panels were held in place by metal rails on top and bottom. Vertical stiles helped tie the sections together as well as providing material for installing the hinges.

Steel Sections

There are two basic types of steel sections. Pan doors were made of rolled steel with the skins secured to stiles which allowed for installing hinges.

Garage door buckes can be corrected

The more popular sandwich doors like the one pictured below have higher insulating R-values.

A third type of section is found when a surface is added to the exterior of the door. This is the construction of the popular carriage house doors. This exterior surface is glued and screwed to wood or steel sections.

How to Make Wood Replacement Sections

Manufacturers stopped making wood sections about 10 years ago. The only option for replacing a section is to replace the entire door with a steel door.

There are, however, those experienced carpenters who are perfectly capable of making sections.

Many years ago one of my customer needed sections for a type of door that was no longer made, and which had to match the adjacent door.

Here’s how I made the door.

First I made an inside frame out of 1 X 3 lumber. To the frame I glued and screwed outer skins of 1/8″ lauan plywood. Then I routed the edges for the meeting rails. Adding styrofoam will help with insulation as well keeping the section skins smooth.

Here is a picture of a similar door that Andy Hodenius made a number of years ago.

More information is on our garage door sections page.


How to Install Garage Door Locks

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 5:12 pm by Dan Musick

Garage door locks are normally installed in the center of the section just above the bottom section. Here are instructions on how to install the two most common lock assemblies we sell.

The more common lock assembly uses a cable to connect the outside lock keyed T-handle to the spring latches. The cable runs from the spring latch on one side through the center inside release handle and on the other side where a track bolt and nut secure the cable to the spring latch. On single car doors there is often only one latch.

The other system uses two sash chains and small S-hooks to link the inside handles and spring latches.


If you have a foam-filled door with steel on both sides the metal on each side will compress when you tighten the screws that secure the outside handle to the inside handle. To prevent this from happening you will use the two red spacers above.

The order of installation is as follows.

I. Install the outside keyed handle and the inside release handle. 

Drilling for the lock will be a two-step process. First, three holes will be drilled with 3/16″ bits. This is key to a properly aligned and functioning lock.

After drilling these holes, larger 5/16″ holes and a 3/8″ hole will need to be drilled on the outside skin of the section only, but not on the inside. Sometime the 3/8″ hole needs to be enlarged slightly.

Most steel doors are either pan doors with stiles joining the edges of the sections, or sandwich doors with steel on both sides bonded to the insulation.

Instructions for Installing Locks on Pan Doors

1. If you have a pan door, locate the center stile and the holes punched for the lock. These may be centered, as you see in this insulated pan door . . .

or slightly below center, as you see in this hollow, or non-insulated door. Notice how the lock lines with the holes.

2. Drill three 3/16″ holes from the inside using the holes in the stiles as a guide. The drill bit must be centered in the holes and perpendicular to the section and stile. Check the outside of the section to make sure the holes are evenly spaced.

3. Drill the three larger holes in the outside skin only of the door. Faster speeds are better because slower speeds tend to rip the thin sheet metal.

3. Insert outside lock T-handle.

4. Install the inside release handle.

5. Install the two long screws that connect the inside and outside handles.

Instructions for Installing Locks on Sandwich Doors

Locate the outside stile where you want to install the lock. This would normally be in the center of the section. On odd-size doors it will be off centered. The outside T-Handle can be installed vertically or horizontally as shown below.

2. Drill three 3/16″ holes from the outside and into the inside skin of the section. The drill bit must be perpendicular to the outside of the section. After drilling, check the inside of the section to make sure the holes are evenly spaced.

3. Drill the three larger holes in the outside skin only of the door. Faster speeds are better because slower speeds tend to rip the thin sheet metal.

4. Cut the red spacers so they are flush with the outside skin of the door section and install them over the two posts that go into the 5/16″ holes. Insert outside lock t-handle.

5. Install the inside release handle.

6. Install the two long screws that connect the inside and outside handles.

II. Install the spring latches in the center at each end of the lock section.

1. Screw the the latches to ends of the sections.

2. Connect the latches and center release handle with the cable or sash chains. Pull them to tighten them. The lock will not work if the chain or cable is loose.

3. Test the outside lock handle.  If the latches don’t pull when the handle is  turned, remove the inside handle and turn the outside T-handle 90 degrees.

III. Install the lock strikers.

1. With the door closed align the striker with the spring latch and secure the striker with two track bolts and flange nuts.

2. Drill additional holes as needed.

3. Test the lock to assure it works.

4. Lubricate the latch and inside release handle.

Here’s how the striker and latch align. Some installers bend the latch to get better traction.



Garage Door Training

Friday, September 15th, 2017 at 5:40 pm by Dan Musick

“We help people fix their garage doors.”

That was written on the first flier I printed back in 1980.

My plan was to provide training for maintenance personnel to repair their commercial and industrial overhead type doors. This was for the bigger companies in Chicago such as Honeywell and Wrigley, the chewing gum company, but I also did some quite effective training for a smaller company, Volvo / Honda of Lisle, IL.

That part of the company did not grow as quickly as I had hoped, but I did discover that many of the companies needed parts, and even more would prefer to have an outside contractor service and install doors. From there I built a catalog business along with a service and installation company that later became Dortrak which I sold around 1990. Later I started what became DDM Garage Door & Dock Services which was sold and became Matt’s Garage Doors. The overhead door training part of the business has always been part time.

This is one part of our business that I will never sell.  I can train men to fix garage doors, but I can’t train someone to train others. It carries the highest risk and liability. It’s our most challenging service and, because of that, it’s also the most expensive. There are men who are qualified to train, but they’re tied up with the more profitable task of running the larger traditional service and installation companies. It’s hard for me to justify the time away from our bread and butter business, but my greatest incentive is the transition I normally see in the trainees from fear and trepidation to a genuine sense of accomplishment.

Next week I’ll provide training for USPS workers in Stamford, CT. A few years ago I trained for the second time the postal workers at the Wallingford, CT facility. The first time I was there I made the mistake of promising to make a manual for the men at no additional cost, and I held off on invoicing them until the notebook was finished. Duplicating the notebook would have cost many times the price they paid for the training.

I guess we all live and learn.


BarCol Doors

Friday, September 1st, 2017 at 6:34 pm by Dan Musick

Those of us who have been in the business for a while remember the old BarCol doors. This name is short for Barber Coleman.

The biggest difficulty we remember is accommodating the incompatibility of torsion hardware. While all the other door companies used 1″ shafts, the early shafts on BarCol doors doors had a 1 1/16″ outside diameter. This spring anchor bracket above identifies the larger shaft, and trying for many hours to get parts to fit on the shaft was part of our initiation into the door business. We filed, we beat, we yelled – all to no avail. We learned to carry 1″ shafts or a 1 1/16″ drill bit to get the standard winding cone to fit.

The old BarCol system also used unique 1 13/16″ inside diameter springs that were hooked on the ends. The cones would slide into the cones and hook either the bracket or the raised edges on the cones. The cable drums were also bigger. Many service technicians never noticed the difference and they left behind a trail of heavy doors because of the drums’ higher moment arm.

The newer BarCol doors used brackets with 1″ bearings for 1″ shafts. Many of these used the hooked cones, but the new 1 3/4″ standard screw-in stationary cones would secure to these these compatible brackets.

In the early years BarCol also had special rollers that were tied together with hinge straps. As the door closed a plate welded to the curve of the track would catch the top roller and raise the hinge straps.

These straps would, in turn, pull the straps and rollers  along the full height of the door to force the ends of the door against the jambs and header.

This method of pushing the door against the jambs was designed because Overhead Door Corporation owned the patent to the wedge design that incorporates graduated hinges and pitched vertical tracks.

Unmatched Support. The Right Part. DIY with Confidence!