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Friday, February 23, 2007

Cam This Thing

Coming in from work Tuesday, I hit the garage door opener, and saw the door twitch and stop. Figuring I just didn’t hold the button down long enough, I did it again and this time it worked.

Then it turned out to be the last time. After that, it would move an inch or so one way or the other, then stop.

Mrs. Fetched took it better than usual; inconvenience usually puts her in a foul mood. She seemed to enjoy the sight of Daughter Dearest and her boyfriend holding up the door as she backed Barge Vader in & out of the garage, though. But she told me (on several occasions) where to find the manual for the opener, and asked me to fix it (if possible) before they got back from Savannah.

With she, Daughter Dearest, and Barge Vader safely out of the way, I got the ladder and had a look while the boyfriend pushed the button. It quickly became apparent that a bumper (attached to the chain) was in the wrong place. The arm that connects the door to the mechanism was pushing alarmingly far, so I figured something had jumped the track somewhere. Getting out the manual, this is what I found:

Top view of garage door opener mechanism

The “down limit cam” (circled in the above drawing, in the position where it should have been) was instead all the way around the pulley, where the red X is. Figuring the “up limit cam” was similarly shifted, I had the boyfriend hoist the garage door so I could measure the amount of necessary travel. I moved the cams where I thought they should be and tried again.

This time, the door stopped going up about two feet short. That cam was in the right place to begin with, it seems. After a few iterations, I got the cams in the right place and drove my car back inside for the night.

If only paying off the mortgage were so easy.


  1. Heh. When you live around here, you have to know how to do a little of everything.

    Good to see you here, O!

  2. Hi FARfetehed

    Wished I had your skills with fixing things. I've finally learned to leave things alone around here because unfortunately I've broken more than I fixed. :)

  3. Solar: Hey bro, hate to say this but I'm guessing it's going to be a temporary fix at best. If the "stop" bumper moved, than most likely the chain slipped, which means a stretched chain or worn gears or both. Unless the bumper moved on it own, but I've never seen that before, but there's always a first time.

  4. Yeah, Solar, I thought maybe something had jumped the tracks. I’m guessing the opener is about 30 years old, like the rest of the house. I guess we’ll use it until it craps out for good and then replace it.


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