This Chamberlain® belt drive garage door opener product review is continued from Part 1.
Drive Belt Installation
After assembling the rail and trolley, I propped the rail on the garage door strut which was more or less even with the motor head. The drive belt is threaded through the rail and the belt pulley fastened with a bolt. A screw driver is inserted in a hole through the rail to prevent the trolley from moving as the drive belt is attached and tensioned. Note that I have released the outer trolley and moved it to the right out of view.
A nice feature of the Chamberlain belt drive garage door opener are the slick white plastic wear pads inside the trolley – meaning you never have to lubricate the rail. No oil or grease means there’s nothing to collect dust/dirt and interfere with the trolley movement.
Drive Belt Attachment Tightening
The next steps are:
- The trolley connector is hooked to the trolley.
Note that I’ve disengaged the outer trolley and moved it off to the right out of view in the next image.
- The drive belt is run along the rail and looped around the motor sprocket, then back to the trolley.
- The threaded rod is attached to the belt connector with a snap-on master link.
- The spring trolley nut is threaded onto the rod by hand until it is finger tight.
Please refer to the factory installation manual for details.
The only “trick” is to release the spring and snap the nut against the trolley to set the proper belt tension. This is done by holding the nut ring in place with a flat head screw driver and tightening the trolley spring nut about 1/4 turn with a wrench. The spring will release and force the nut ring to the right against the trolley, setting the proper the drive belt tension.
Closeup of the trolley spring nut after the spring is released. Chamberlain provides an orange tag illustrating the before and after configurations:
Garage Door Header Bracket
I could have reused the old wall bracket to anchor the rail, but it was a bit off center and higher than necessary, so I removed it and filled in the screw holes with caulk. I centered the Chamberlain bracket a few inches lower on the 2×6 head board while maintain a minimum of 2″ clearance (my actual clearance is about 4″) above the maximum height of the door as it’s raised, drilled 3/16″ pilot holes for the lag screws and fastened the new header bracket to the wall.
Hanging the Garage Door Opener
My helper held the motor head while I attached the rail to the header bracket with the included clevis pin. Then I sat the motor head on top of the step ladder. I climbed the step ladder and held the motor head against the ceiling bracket to check center alignment and clearances as the door is manually raised. The ceiling hanging bracket was the correct length, however the motor was about 1″ off center to the right. I moved the bracket arms one hole to the left to center the motor head with the door.
The hanging bracket is now centered and the garage door opener attached with included hex bolts. The ceiling bracket only carries the weight of the motor head and rail.
Closeup of the trolley, header bracket and emergency release rope:
Sectional Garage Door Reinforcement Bracket
Section garage doors require a reinforcement bracket distribute the load of the door bracket.
The prior homeowner (a goober) failed to grasp this necessity and botched the job by fastening the old door bracket directly to the door with two hex screws, a pan head sheet metal screw, and of all things – a drywall screw! He apparently never wondered why the door bracket was wider than the door rib.
The absence of a door reinforcement bracket caused the door rib to bulge outward somewhat because it was not designed to take the door opener load in a concentrated spot. The top hex screw was carrying most of the stress and raised a 3/16″ nub in the door rib as it tried to pull out.
Clopay® Garage Door Opener Reinforcement Bracket
Chamberlain recommends checking with your garage door manufacturer for a door reinforcement kit. I purchased a Clopay® 21 inch Operator Reinforcement Kit (a.k.a. “Opener Reinforcement Bracket”) that fit my sectional garage door perfectly. The top section of my door is 21″ high which matches the length of the 21″ Clopay Reinforcement Bracket.
I removed the old garage door bracket and am ready to install the new Clopay 21″ reinforcement bracket. The Clopay bracket is well made, very rigid and provides for direct attachment of the door arm. The Clopay bracket includes a matching clevis and cotter pin.
The Clopay reinforcement bracket slides under the top door strut and fits over the the hinge leaf. I removed the four hex screws from the strut and hinge leaf to fit the bracket on the door:
The Clopay bracket has generous pre-formed holes to remount the hex screws in the existing holes. The exception was the off center hole in the horizontal strut for which I drilled a 3/16″ in pilot hole through the Clopay door bracket to match.
Here’s the installed Clopay bracket. What an improvement!
Minor item: I broke the head off the 1/4″ hex screw in the top strut, so I drilled a new 3/16″ pilot hole in the door strut and Clopay bracket to set a new screw.
The Chamberlain belt drive door arm is attached to the built-in Clopay door bracket using the provided clevis pin and cotter pin:
This review is concluded in Part 3.
Thanks for reading,
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