The Craftsman-LiftMaster Guide: How to Replace Stripped Gears if the Garage Door Opener Won’t Open or Close

Garage door openers are durable home devices that can withstand the test of time. Usually, an opener with normal use can last more than 10 years. With the right care and maintenance, it can also last up to 20 years or more. However, you may be encountering more problems and issues with an old opener.

One of the most usual problems with old garage door openers are stripped gears. This is one of the causes for openers that stopped working, specifically if the door won’t open or close. If you have stripped gears, you may hear grinding noises from inside the motor. Make sure that you have checked other possible reasons for your garage door opener and that it is really caused by stripped gears.

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image via homedesignideasplans.com

You don’t need to replace your entire system if you have stripped gears. All that you need to do is purchase the replacement part and do the actual work.

This tutorial is best for those with Craftsman or LiftMaster garage door openers.

Prep first. Purchase the right replacement part by checking the model number of your garage door opener. You can find the serial numbers on the actual garage door opener. So, have these numbers ready prior to your purchase. Once you have the necessary replacement parts, unplug your garage door opener so you won’t get shocked. Make sure that you have all your basic tools ready, like your screwdrivers, wrenches, and ladder.

Take off the cover. Remove the plastic cover on your garage door opener to expose the parts inside. This is where you will see the condition of the gears and if it is really worn-out. You will also see shaved plastic on the cover from the worn-out gear.

Remove the stripped gear. If this is your first time to fix your garage door opener, then you might be overwhelmed by the amount of parts inside. The gear is usually found behind the screw. Getting off the gear is actually very simple. Remove the screws that you see on top of the gears. Then, remove the clip at the bottom of the worn-out gear and slide off the smaller gears that secure it. The screws on top of the gear keep the sprockets on top of the opener in place and also locks down the chain or belt. Once the gear is free, remove the chain or belt and slide the gear up by pulling the sprocket.

Assemble the new gear. With your new replacement kit, you can find the new gear, special grease, bearing and washers, and other accessories. You may opt not to use the other parts that came with the kit especially if yours are still in good shape. Just make sure that you inspect the rest of your opener to see which ones need to be replaced.

Replace the old gear. Remove the pin from the gear. You can find both pins at the top and bottom of the gear. Just remove the one at the bottom. Slide it out by hammering it. Once it’s free, you can already remove the gear and replace it with the new one. Just reinsert the pin after. Apply grease into the threads of the gears. Be liberal with the application and make sure there’s no dirt or debris on the grease to prevent it from wearing out faster.

Reinstall the gear.Put back the gear into the unit and into the bracket. Reinstall the chain on top of the sprocket and put back the screws and the smaller gears in place to lock down the gear. Replace the cover and you’re done. Do not forget to test your garage door opener to see if everything is working properly.

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