Dan's Garage Door Blog

Overhead Door Preventive Maintenance & Inspection

Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 3:26 pm by Dan Musick

The following checklist is for maintenance technicians who can work from some type of lift. If you are working from a ladder you will alter some of the steps. Exercise caution when servicing any type of overhead type door as there are many dangers in servicing them.

For safety, close the door and turn off the power to the operator is one is present.

Maintenance from the Floor

Begin maintenance at the bottom left side of the door.

• Inspect the seal across bottom of door.
• Inspect bottom of jamb to confirm that it is straight and secured to floor.
• Inspect bottom of vertical track angle to confirm that it is straight and secured to jamb.
• Inspect bottom of vertical track to confirm that it is straight and secure. Check for loose track bolts and nuts.
• Inspect bottom of cable for frays, corrosion and rust.
• Inspect bottom fixture for damage from section being hit and for scrape marks from misalignment.
• Inspect bottom roller and confirm that the wheel can be turned with fingers. Check for wear.
• Lubricate the bottom roller stem, wheel and bearing.
• As you spray with your right hand, with your left hand inspect the next roller up for wear and to make sure it turns inside the track.
• Inspect the first end hinge from the bottom for cracks, wear, bends, and damage. Check the screws to make sure they are tight. Lubricate the first end hinge and roller from the bottom. Spray both hinge points, and spray lube the roller stem, wheel and bearing.
• Repeat this process as you work your way up the left side of the door going as high as you can, usually eight feet. Inspect jamb, track angle, track, hinges, rollers and fasteners as you go. Lube and each roller and end hinge as you go up the side of the door.

• Move to the first row of inside hinges. Starting at the top lubricate the hinge and inspect for loose screws, wear and damage.
• Move down the door lubing and inspecting each hinge.
• Move to the right and, starting at the bottom, lube and inspect each hinge as you rise to the highest hinge you can reach.
• Move to the next row of hinges, and starting at the bottom, repeat this process until all the hinges are inspected and lubricated.

• When you reach the right side of the door, move up or down and inspect the jamb, angle, track, cable, bottom fixture, hinges, rollers and fasteners. Lubricate the hinges and rollers.

Maintenance from the Lift

As you rise on the left side of the door, inspect the jamb, angle, track, cable, hinges, rollers, top fixture, and fasteners. Lubricate the center hinges, end hinges, and rollers.

Rise to the Left end of Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the end bearing plate to assure it is plumb and secured to the jamb.
• Inspect the end bearing for wear.
• Inspect the shaft for wear and assure that it is straight.
• Inspect the cable for frays. Check to assure the end of the cable is properly seated in the slot of the cable drum, and that it follows the outside groove of the drum.
• Inspect the drum for cracks and wear. Check to assure the neck of the cable drum is touching the race of the end bearing.
• Inspect the key to assure it is properly seated between the drum and shaft keyways. Tighten the cable drum set screws.
• Lubricate the end bearing on both sides and allow some of the oil to get between the shaft and the race of the bearing.
• Moving to the right, inspect the winding cone but DO NOT TOUCH THE SET SCREWS. (These rarely come loose, and it is good to avoid the danger of accidentally turning a set screw the wrong direction.) Never touch a set screw without first inserting a winding bar into the winding cone.

Move to the Center of the Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the spring anchor brackets to assure they are plumb and secured to the pad. Never replace or secure a pad or the spring anchor bracket without first unwinding the spring.
• Inspect the stationary cones for cracks.
• Inspect the bearings for wear.
• Inspect both sides of the coupler, keys, and keyways for wear.
• Tighten the coupler set screws. Check to assure there is a lock nut on the setscrews that are tightened to the key and tighten these lock nuts as needed.
• Lubricate the bearings and the shaft inside the bearings that are inside the stationary cones.
• Lower the lift, inspect and lubricate the upper inside hinges.

Move to the right side of the Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the cable, drum, end bearing & plate, shaft, and key. Tighten the cable drum set screws and lube the bearing as you did on the left side. Inspect the spring winding cone of the torsion spring but DO NOT TOUCH THE SET SCREWS!

• As you lower the lift on the right side of the door, inspect the upper jamb, angle, track, cable, hinges, rollers, top fixture, and fasteners. Lubricate the center hinges, end hinges, and rollers.

If the Door has an Operator

• Tighten and check all the collar and sprocket set screws.
• Tighten and secure drive coupler or drive chain and sprocket as needed.
• Lube the chains and bushings.
• Test the operator clutch and adjust as needed.
• Adjust the operator travel or limits. If you are servicing a door in a part of the country where there is snow in the winter, be sure to leave some coast as the operator ends its close travel.

Check the Overhead Door Balance

• Disconnect the door from the operator and check the door balance. Adjust the springs as needed so the door will stay at any point in its travel without having to hold it. Re-engage the operator.


Free Garage Door Hardware

Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 5:20 pm by Dan Musick

On our Standard Garage Door Torsion Springs page we include a special offer for free hardware or free winding bars.

Since we started this we have had a number of requests for substitutions.

For example, someone purchasing one of our torsion spring conversion kits will sometimes ask to deduct the value of the free hardware from the kit.

We have also had requests for part substitutions, for example offering the better Freeway brand end bearings which cost significantly more than the standard bearings that come pressed into the end bearing plates.

As much as we like to help customers get the parts they need, we regret that we are unable to substitute parts.

Garage Door Hardware Kits

Friday, May 25th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Dan Musick

Hardware kits are available for customers who build their own sections as well as for those who buy the sections already made. We’re starting to see iron garage doors imported from other countries. These are much heavier than is typical.

On our website, you’ll find all the parts needed for your door. These include the hardware kit with all the hinges, rollers, and fixtures that tie together the sections and allow them to roll in the tracks. Wider doors need struts to keep the sections rigid when the door is open so the door can close easily.

Doors also need tracks, so we have the 2″ tracks for the lighter doors and 3″ tracks for heavier doors that typically weigh over 500 pounds.

To counterbalance the door weight a torsion assembly is needed. This includes the springs, shaft, bearing supports, cable drums and the cables.

Garage door seals are also normally ordered with the kits.

Last is the opener with the drive and motor to raise and lower the door. For the 1,000 pound doors these can cost as much as $1500 to $2000.

The easiest way to view all the parts you’ll need is to follow the links at our Garage Door Parts page.

To get prices for a complete kit, you can fill out our Door Hardware Order Form or contact us and we’ll help you find the parts you need.

New: Wholesale Prices for Garage Door Dealers Only

Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 5:07 pm by Dan Musick

Now here!

Over the years we’ve had a lot of wholesale customers come into our shop to pick up parts. As a result we finally put together a list to better serve them.

Here is the link to our wholesale garage door parts prices.

Prices on the Rise

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 12:34 pm by Dan Musick

Due to the recent tariffs added to Chinese imports material prices across the board are rising. This is especially true in our industry.

Many garage door parts such as rollers are made only in China and, as a result, costs for these are directly increased.

We hope to limit the increase in our garage door parts prices to around eight percent.

The same increase of about eight percent is true for our dock leveler parts as well.

All of our garage door springs are made in the United States, but because of competition with imported steel, prices for the US-made steel torsion springs have risen twice this year. As a result on Monday, June 18, we will be increasing our prices about 15 percent to cover these two increases.

We regret this unfortunate turn of events.

We wish you all the best in these changing times.

FedEx and Walgreens Team Up

Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Dan Musick

In a recent bid to offer even more options and convenience to customers, FedEx has partnered with Walgreens to provide FedEx Ground and Express package pickup in every Walgreens nationwide. As an internet retail company, we are always quick to extend these benefits to our customers.

Starting April 27th, 2018 this shipping option will now be available for eligible orders. Restrictions include:

  • Dock leveler parts
  • Orders under $20 (before shipping/handling)
  • Select spring orders to California on Wednesday/Thursday (Drop shipped from our supplier)

When filling out the order online, enter your name in the customer box. In the company box enter “C/O Walgreens.” Then enter the address for your local Walgreens. If you are ordering by phone, just provide the address of the store. The person whose name is on the order will need to bring identification when picking up the packages.

Once the tracking indicates that the package has been delivered, head to your local Walgreens . . . 

Go to the photo/service desk . . . 

Provide photo I.D. and pick up the package.

Normal package delivery to your home is always available, but here are some advantages to picking up your packages at Walgreens:


  • Pick up the package on your own schedule, while out running errands, driving home from work, etc.
  • If you know you will be out of town when the package is delivered, you can have it waiting for you at Walgreens instead of relying on a neighbor to bring a package inside.
  • Kill two birds with one stone – pick up other items you need while in the store.


  • Packages are held securely, not left out on the porch or driveway.
  • If inclement weather is expected, you can keep the package out of the elements. This is especially helpful since many of our products like radio controls or garage door springs can be damaged by excessive moisture.

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.



Red Paint for Safety

Saturday, April 14th, 2018 at 3:13 pm by Dan Musick

Over the years manufacturers have sought to build more safety into their products. In addition to warning labels, garage door manufacturers often powder coat products with red paint to alert technicians of potential danger.

Probably the most dangerous component is the winding cone on a garage door torsion spring. Many people have been injured by these because they did not have the correct information to do the work. Painting the heads of the set screws has helped prevent many injuries.

All the new Cable Drums come standard with the red set screws. Loosening setscrews on a cable drum can be extremely dangerous.

Manufacturers are also powder coating their spring anchor brackets red. I once fixed a door for a man who loosened one of these brackets because the wood to which it was attached was splitting. The bracket spun around numerous times, breaking his arm in 14 places and he almost died. He was in the hospital for a month.  Here is Raynor’s new residential bracket.


Raynor’s earlier commercial and industrial brackets were galvanized and silver colored, as you see in this older bracket.

The new Raynor Spring Anchor Brackets are red, and also longer on the bottom to provide for more torque on the springs.

Spring tension is transferred from the winding cone to the shaft, to the cable drum on each side, and down to the bottom of the door where the cable is attached to the bottom fixture, as you can see on this CHI garage door.

Because of the tension on the bottom fixture, removing the fixture without first removing the tension is extremely dangerous. One of my customers removed one of these and I think the doctor sewed up his head with about fifteen stitches.

Garage door work is dangerous, and we are thankful to all who are doing their part to make it safer.


Future Employees

Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 4:36 pm by Dan Musick

This morning I heard that the unemployment rate was around four percent, which is about as low as I can ever remember it being. Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that there is a shortage of workers in the Midwest. This week one of our employees provided a solution for our shortage of qualified help: birthing children.

Meet Lilias Ohrid Worley, daughter of Maggie and Daryle. Daryle is one of our salesmen. Lily was named after Lilias Trotter, an artist and missionary to Algeria. Her middle name is from Lake Ohrid in Albania where Lily’s parents met while working with youth in Albania as part of the missions ministry at Grace Church of DuPage.

Congratulations Daryle and Maggie!

To help advance Lily’s career we will be starting her with a special toy. Mothers think babies like soft blankets and cuddly stuffed animals. But we know better. We’re getting her a nice, hard and shiny Irwin brand vise grip.

This is the only brand of grip we use in the garage door business. Not many months pass where we don’t bet our lives and well-being on these grips. And, you can fix anything with a vise grip, even a broken heart. I bet some dentists have also discovered how handy they are.

Vise grips should be the key tool in MacGyver’s tool chest. They fall into the special class of panaceas. Those who have had to improvise know what I mean. Take, for example, WD-40. No more squeaks – and I heard you can fix a bum knee by rubbing the stuff into your knee. Duct tape is another panacea. I also understand it helped get some of the astronauts back from the moon. And what about bailing wire? No skilled doorman can honestly state that at least one time bailing wire was the best solution for a  particular application. Why, I heard once that a bunch of that stuff was used to help pull an elephant out of quicksand. 🙂

Good Friday & Resurrection Sunday

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 at 10:11 am by Dan Musick

Two of the greatest events in history:

Good Friday – Jesus died to forgive the sins of all who would believe in Him!

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:6-10, NKJV)

Resurrection Sunday – Jesus rose from the dead!

“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:1-7 NKJV)

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