Installing a LiftMaster 8500 Opener on Low Headroom Doors - DDM Garage Doors Blog

Posted August 10th, 2018 at 5:14 pm by Dan Musick

Customers frequently ask us if it is possible to install a LiftMaster 8500 Opener on doors with low headroom.

The answer, depending on the situation, is “yes,” “no,” and “yes, if you are mechanically adept.”

However, the answer is “yes” if, by low headroom, you mean a garage door with the double roller top fixtures.

An image of a low headroom garage door.

The answer is also “yes” on some low headroom doors with double tracks. This is only true if the cable drums are mounted inside the end bearings, as pictured below.

A view of the drum and tracks on a low headroom garage door.

These shafts turn the normal direction, and the change in cable pitch does not affect the opener.

The answer is “no” if you have the more common type of double low-headroom tracks, and the cables come off the tops and insides of the drums.

A view of a low headroom garage door drum on which a Liftmaster 8500 Opener would not work.

Why It Would not be Safe to Install a Liftmaster 8500 Opener

The main issue with installing a Liftmaster 8500 opener on the above door is the shaft turns the opposite direction. As a result, the safety sensors would not work, and it would be dangerous.

Notice the pitch on the cable above. The second issue with installing the LiftMaster 8500 Opener on this door is that the cable pitch is at a 45-degree angle when the door is open.

An image that shows a vertical cable on a garage door drum that may interfere with a Liftmaster 8500 Opener operating properly.

When the door closes, the cable is vertical. The cable tension monitor would have problems adjusting to the angle of the cable.

The answer is “yes” in some situations if you have a high mechanical aptitude. Liftmaster 8500 openers work on doors if the cables come off the bottom of the drums, as pictured below. However, the answer is “no” if the cables come off the tops of the drums. Installing a Liftmaster 8500 opener would not be safe in that situation because the shaft turns the wrong direction.

A view of a garage door cable that comes off the bottom of the drum.

When the cables come off the bottoms of the drums, the spring tube turns the same direction as a normal door, and the pitch of the cable stays the same throughout the travel of the door. Even someone who is mechanically adept may find it challenging to create cable tension monitor brackets and figure out how to mount the opener.

On all low headroom doors, we do recommend installing spring bumpers. We explain how to install them on our blog titled “How to Install Push Down Spring Bumpers.” In addition, we have a Tech Tips video on YouTube titled “How to Install LiftMaster Jackshaft Operators” that may be helpful to view. If you already have cable problems with your jackshaft operator, we have a blog post titled “Solutions for Cable Problems on Doors with Jackshaft Operators.”

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