Torsion spring garage door systems use several bearings along the shaft. The bearings normally have an inside diameter of just over one inch, and an outside diameter of two inches with a raised 1/16" lip to position the bearing in the bracket or cone. On residential doors there is usually one bearing in the middle of the shaft, and one at each end next to the cable drums. On industrial and commercial doors, if the shaft is split there may be two bearings in the center, and if there are more than two springs there will normally be a bearing in the stationary cone of each spring.
Bearings often wear. When they are installed inside the stationary cones they can be removed with your index finger. If the bearing is stamped into a plate, and if you have an arbor press, you may prefer to keep the plate and replace the bearing. On other occasions, however, the end bearing plates or the spring anchor brackets need to be replaced because they have been bent or broken. Since many of these bearings are stamped into the brackets, it may be necessary to replace both the bracket and the bearing.
Bearings are specified based on the long term use and door weight.
The BE-010 nylon bushing (lower right) is for light duty use only in center support applications where the combined weight of the springs is less than 30 pounds, though higher weights don't seem to impact the wear.
The end bearings support the door weight and heavier bearings are needed.
For doors weighing up to 250 pounds with standard usage of up to 2,000 cycles per year, our standard bearing, the BE-110 (middle row on the left) should last 20-30 years with minimum lubrication.
For doors weighing over 250 pounds, or for higher cycle doors weighing less, we recommend the BE-100 Freeway bearings (middle row in the center). These bearing have a proven track record of superior performance over the decades in both residential and commercial and industrial applications. Garage door service technicians still find these bearings in excellent shape after many years of service as shown on this 30 year old 22' X 14' industrial door made by Northwest Door in Elgin, IL in 1982.
Bearings with higher ratings than the Freeway include the flanged radial bearing (BE-150, pictured bottom row in the middle in the picture above the old bearing plate) and the precision flanged bearings such as the BEF-UCF100 (upper-right). These would be recommended for doors weighing over 1,000 pounds and cycling over 10 times per day. We also recommend these on medium to high use doors weighing over 500 pounds that use chain-driven end-mounted jackshaft operators. For very high use doors such as parking garages we recommend the precision flanged UCF bearings because because of the grease fittings, though in colder climates this could be a liability.