My neighbor called me and asked me to come check out a problem with her garage door opener. When I went over, the problem was obvious. The drive end of the chain was lying on the floor, and the drive sprocket was still in the chain.
Worse, the drive shaft stub was still in the sprocket. The shaft was cut off clean as if by a lathe cut-off tool. As I checked into the problem, I couldn't find a bearing to support the shaft where it exited the drive module. I looked all around the floor hoping to find it, but had no luck. The shaft was supported only by the edge of the sheet metal frame. The pull of the chain had slowly, over time, completely severed the 1/2-inch shaft.
It was a well-known garage door opener brand. I had one just like it, so I examined my opener. Sure enough, mine also had no bearing. The shaft on my opener was cut about half-way through. It was still intact, but it wouldn’t be for long.
How could any designer or quality inspector accept and improve such a design screw-up? It wasn't that the brass bushing was missing during assembly. It appeared as though it was missing from the design itself.
Since the openers were both out of warranty, my neighbor and I both replaced our openers with other brands.
This entry was submitted by Robert Nepper and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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