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Wayne Dalton Torquemaster and iDrive self-Install (Long)

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Old July 3rd 03, 07:35 PM
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Default Wayne Dalton Torquemaster and iDrive self-Install (Long)

I just self installed one of these doors and opener. I did not find a
great deal of information on the net so perhaps some of this info will
be helpful.

First, gotta say that the door and opener work great. The iDrive is by
far the quietest garage opener I have seen and the torquemaster spring
system is really the way to go. It was more difficult taking the
tension off the old springs for removal than it was to tighten the

Getting the door/opener:
The left hinge on our old garage door failed causing the solid,
one-piece door to wedge about a third of the way open. It is a big
door, 17' wide and 7' tall. It broke late on a Saturday night but I
had visitors here and left the repair process until Monday. That
morning, I called our only garage door dealer out here and asked them
to come and give me an estimate on a repair. They told me the soonest
them could even do an estimate was 10 days!

"So, assuming I like your estimate, how long until someone actually
comes and fixes the door?"

"Two weeks."

No way was I going to wait nearly a month to be able to get into and
out of the garage! This was plainly going to have to be a
do-it-yourself fix.
Some background:
I live out in the middle of the desert about 90 miles from the nearest
home center. There is a Home Depot going up, but it won't open for
another 4-5 months. Nobody in town stocks garage doors of any sort,
including the dealer I mentioned. They ship everything in and the wait
time is 7-10 days just to get the parts.

So I started looking on the web to see what sort of garage doors were
available and what the lead time was. Everywhere I looked, stores did
not actually stock the doors, but had to order them in and ship them,
drop ship, whatever, all leading to what I considered excessive delay.
In my searches, I came across the Wayne-Dalton iDrive opener. I have
to say, the idea of placing the opener directly above the opening and
freeing up all the overhead space in the garage bay was appealing. I
decided that since I was going to have to do it myself, I might as
well get this cool new door and opener combo.

Lowes handles Wayne Dalton doors and openers, but when I called
several SoCal stores, they all told me that they do not stock any
doors, just the openers. So I called the Wayne Dalton distributor in
Chatsworth, CA. The guy there told me that they only sell to
dealers/contractors. THEY had the door I wanted, but would not sell it
to me. More checking to see if ANY store had them in stock -- no

Finally, I called the Wayne-Dalton distributor back and asked him to
give me the name of the dealer closest to him who would sell me a door
and opener and have it right away. Economy Overhead doors was the
dealer. So I called the guy and he agreed to have one waiting for me
the next day at his shop in Canoga Park, about 150 miles from where we
live. I have a pickup, but there is no way a 17' door was going to fit
on that without a ladder rack, which I don't have, so I borrowed a
friend's trailer and towed it down to the city. No problems picking up
the door, the dealer had everything I needed right there at the agreed
upon price. He even threw in a couple of pieces of angle iron for the
rear mounting brackets. Frank, you're a good dude!

Old door removal:
The old door weighed a ton. It was really a well-built old thing and
had lasted 18 years, but one-piece doors require quite a bit of
clearance in front in order to open. More than once I have hung up the
door on a car bumper or truck bed. The decision to replace rather than
repair was fairly easy. One piece doors of the sort we had use pairs
of coil springs on each side for counterbalance. The left hinge had
collapsed and the springs had fallen so there was no tension there to
worry about, but with the door about a third of the way open, there
was still quite a bit of tension on the right hand springs. In order
to get the tension off, I hooked up a come-along (Hand powered cable
winch) from the rafters in the garage to the upper spring mount. Once
I had them pulled tight, I disassembled the hinge bracket and then
slowly let the tension off the springs. Next was removal of the door
itself. I unbolted the door from both hinges and then removed them
from their mounts. My old Landcruiser was in the garage, so I just
leaned the old door back on the bumper of the cruiser. Next I got a
sawzall and cut the door into 4 sections that I could load on a
trailer for disposal.
Total time: 4 hours

Opening preparation:
Looking through the directions provided with the new door, they said
to refer to the "opening preparation sheet" enclosed. The also quite
helpfully mentioned that if there wasn't one in the box, to contact
Wayne-Dalton and they would happily provide one! You guessed it, no
sheet. Great, another weeks delay! So I just decided to prepare it
like I thought it needed and press with the install. The old door had
the hinges mounted on 2X6s that protruded into the garage about 2".
They were pretty gnarly, especially on the left side, so I pulled them
both out and replaced them with new 2X6 jambs, but this time I ripped
both of them so that the inner surface was cut flush with the inside
door facing. This left a flush surface around the entire inside
opening. I figured I could work with that. It turned out to be just
what was needed for the install.
Total time: 2 hours

Door Install:
I am going to give the Wayne-Dalton folks a C-minus on their
directions. They are profusely illustrated, but the illustrations are
out of a 3-D rendering package that did not transfer well. Colors and
shading are so poor that you will sometimes have difficulty seeing
where the bolts go because the contrast is so poor between separate
objects. Additionally, the directions were not comprehensive. (I
already mentioned the non-existant opening preparation sheet) For
example: The jamb brackets that hold the vertical rails against the
wall were not anything like the directions indicated. They were
bolt-ons while the ones on the instruction sheet were made to
twist-lock into the vertical rails. So I just used the ones I had and
bolted them to the rails using carriage bolts. (I later checked with
WD tech support and they said this was correct -- "you must have
gotten the JM-1 brackets" !!!)
I didn't mention the obvious "so why didn't you put that in your

The way the system goes together is that the vertical rails are topped
with brackets called flagangles. These brackets are crucial to the
operation of the door. They hold the torquemaster spring tube and the
spring winding gears. You put the vertical rail/flagangle assemblies
against the inner door frame after putting down the bottom section of
the door and resting it in the opening. You have to level that bottom
section. Luckily, my concrete is quite level there so I did not need
to shim the bottom section. Next you attach the rails/flagangles with
only a couple of lag screws so that they can be moved for adjustment.
One step I would add is to take a measurement of the width of the
upper door section -- edge to edge -- add 1-11/16" to each side (or
3-3/8" total)and then make sure that your flag angles are at least
that far apart from each other. Also, even after you are sure that you
have at least that amount of room between them, anchor the flagangles
with plenty of room in the slots for adjustment to the outside. The
reason for this will become clear in the next section.
After attaching the vertical rails/flagangles, it was a simple matter
to stack the remaining sections into the rails, inserting the rollers
as we went. For a 17' door, this is definitely a two-man job. The
sections are not that heavy, but they are plenty ungainly. As you
stack the sections, you use the provided hardware to bolt up the
hinges. I liked the way this worked. WD already attaches the hinges to
the top edges of the sections. All you have to do make sure they are
folded down and out of the way, stack the next section on, and then
flip them up and screw them into the bottom of the upper section. It
goes fast, especially with cordless drivers (how did we ever get along
without them?)

After slapping in the last section, you then attach the top (or
horizontal) rails. These are the parts of the track that have the 90
degree bend. At this stage, getting perfect alignment wasn't critical,
but I was not comfortable just having them hanging there in space at
the back, so I grabbed a couple of bungie cords and lashed the backs
of them to the rafters just to help hold them.

This was about all the work I wanted to do for one day, but it was
pretty good. Old door out and at least a new door in place (not
operable yet, but it still looked better than my old thing hanging
there partially open and wedged.

Total time: 6 hours

Torquemaster and iDrive installation:
I had gotten the old door out and the new one in place in one long
day, but Monday was a work day so I had to do the stuff sort of
piecemeal in the evening, but I just got done and have a good idea of
the time I spent.
After getting the door in and semi-held in place, it was time to put
up the torquemaster spring tube. Before putting it up, you have to
take the iDrive and slide it over the right hand side of the tube. You
definitely have to play with it to get it on. The fit is quite tight.
I found that a little jiggling back and forth got it almost all the
way through the opener, but there is a nylon bearing at the right side
of the opening that just did not seem big enough to allow the tube to
pass through. What I did was to center the tube up perfectly in the
opening and then rap it sharply with the palm of my hand. That did it.
All Wayne-Dalton would have to do to make this easier is to simply put
a minor bevel on the right side of the tube and it would slide right
on without difficulty. Even a bit more careful deburring of the edge
would probably work as it was just the uneven nature of the finish cut
that was hanging up in that last bearing. Anyway, I got it on and it
was time to hang the tube up in the top of the flagangles.

You have to have the drive shafts/torsion springs protruding from the
ends of the tube on both sides in order to properly hang the tube.
They just float around inside the tube freely once you have the
protective rubber end caps off the tube. This is a problem! You tip
the tube one way to get it up above the rails and into position and
then the shaft on the upper side slides back into the tube! A real
pain. I solved it by tipping the tube so that a spring/shaft came out
of one end, then I used a tie wrap to secure it so that it could not
slide back in, then I tipped it the other way and did the same to the
other side of the tube. (keep in mind, some of the smaller doors only
use a spring on one side, so you may only have half of my problem, but
I still recommend using a tie wrap to keep the shaft from sliding into
the tube.)

Okay, now we have a torque tube with shafts secured on both sides and
it is time to set it into the cutouts on the tops of the flagangles.
Up she went without too much difficulty. Next, you slide on the cable
roller end caps at both ends. Again, I had trouble. The cap on the
right would not go on without the help of a hammer. I gently tapped it
on, but since I had to take the tie wrap off on that side I succeeded
in knocking the shaft back into the tube! Blast! So finally, I decided
to lower the right side down with the cap in place and try to use
gravity to get the shaft out though the cap and bearing. It worked!
Shoot, that wasn't so bad. I tie wrapped the shaft again so it would
not slide back in and just left the right of the tube hanging there in
the cable while I went to get a tie wrap to repeat the process on the
left when, horror of horrors, the cable slipped completely out of the
right side end cap!

There is a little warning sheet inside the torquemaster hardware
warning the user not to let the cable come out of the end cap as it is
very difficult to replace! Oh brother, what had I done! Time to start
over. So I gently tapped the end cap off the tube and took a look at
it. The thrust bearing is pressed into place and the cable has to wind
through the inside in a fashion that makes it impossible to get the
cable back in without removing the bearing. So I took the end cap over
to my vise and using a drift punch, gently tapped the bearing all
around the edges until I got it out. Threading the cable back in was
not difficult once the bearing came out. Once I had the cable in, I
used a wooden block and a hammer to replace the bearing. All was back
together. This time I tightened the setscrew just enough so that the
cable could not come out again, but not too tight. Putting the endcap
back on was easier this time, and the shaft came though the bearing
okay. One tiewrap and it was secure in place. Putting the endcap on
the left side was easier, and I was sure to have that setscrew secured
just in case. Alright, both caps were on and it was time to set the
whole assembly into position.

It didn't fit. I had carefully measured the 1-11/16 clearance at each
side of the door, but it still wasn't quite enough room for the
flagangle notches to rest perfectly in the grooves in the shafts at
each end. That is why I mentioned earlier to make sure that you have
3-3/8" + door width + a little fudge room. The slots through which the
flagangles are bolted to the door frame have some adjustment room in
them, but mine were right out at the edges and the flagangles would
not go further out. So I had to put in a lag bolt on a lower hole on
the flagangles, go down the vertical rails on both sides and loosen
the attachments to the doors, and slide the complete assembies over
about a quarter inch. If you have to do this, be careful that you do
not knock a roller out of the track. I did. Luckily, it was faily easy
to get back in place by loosening the jamb brackets on that side and
gently twisting the rails slightly.

Total time: About 6 hours, most of it having to do with the
endcap/cable issue and the repositioning of the rails.

Rear brackets and miscellaneous:

The horizontal or overhead rails have to be perpendicular and level.
They also must meet smoothly at the tops of the vertical rails or the
door will have trouble "making the corner" on its way up and down.
Fortunately for me, I have this great tool called a robolaser. It is a
self-leveling gizmo that shoots out laser beams top and bottom and at
both sides. This made it really easy to get the rails set perfectly. I
put the robolaser on a ladder at a height that allowed one of the
beams to hit the top rail right where it emerged from the turn and the
other beam at where the back end of the rail needed to be. From there
it was a simple matter of lifting the rear of the rail to the proper
height and attaching it to my homemade rear brackets. (These were
fairly easy to make, I just followed the drawings in the
instructions.) Once the brackets were tight I went around the doors
making fine adjustments here and there to get everything square and

Total time: 2-3 hours about.

Spring gear drives:
These were easy. The instructions were good and it all went together
well. You just turn the shaft until the setscrews in the end caps face
you. Pull the excess cable out and tighten the setscrews. You cut the
excess cable off, and believe me, it was tough. I have a large set of
dykes and they could barely get through the stuff. I almost used my
big set of tinsnips, but I didn't want to wreck them. That's some
pretty stout cable you guys have there, WD. After the cable is pulled
through and cut off, you have to assemble the gear drives and
brackets. As I said, it was cake. Lube the gears, slide them on, pop
on the brackets and lag screw them into the wall, slide on the counter
gear and dial indicator on both sides and you're ready to tension the
thing up. You tension the springs, believe it or not, by using your
cordless drill. A 7/16" socket and drive are all it takes. You put the
socket on the adjuster and start cranking. A little dial moves telling
you how many turns you have put in the sping. My door was happy at 16
turns (the instructions said 16.5, but that was a little too hot for
my door.) Finally, a garage door that opened and closed easily!

Total time: 1 hour

The rest of the story:
About all that was left to do was firmly mount the iDrive opener. All
this time it was just loosely resting on the center mounting bracket
with the flange nuts finger tight. I did some last minute adjustments
to get the shaft perfectly straight (so it would not wobble as it
turned) and firmly bolted it into position. There was no outlet over
the top of my door frame. (my old conventional opener's outlet was
back toward the rear of the garage bay) So I bought a heavy duty
extension cord and weaved it through the rafters to the front of the
door. The hardware kit with the opener includes a couple of wire
hold-downs if needed. Next it was time to figure out how to use the
remotes. All of the controls for this drive are wireless and battery
powered. You have to install the battery for the main wall control and
attach it where you want it. The back plate gets firmly attached to
the wall using anchors if needed (I did) and then you slide the
circuit board into the back plate and then affix the cover. Pretty
easy. The next thing was getting it to work. Why do they make the
simplest things hard in instructions? Here is how you get the remote
to work, in plain english:

1. Press and hold the light button for 10 seconds until the light
blinks fast.

2. Press and hold it again for 5 seconds until it blinks fast.

3. Go over to the iDrive and press the program button.

4. Within 30 seconds, press the door opener button on the control.

5. There isn't a 5th step, you are done.

Getting the in-car remotes and the optional outside access combo dial
controller installed was a snap after wading though needlessly verbose
instructions. All the remotes pretty much work the same way. Activate
them, then program them. It's a piece of cake.

Finally it was time to test the door. I bought the next-to-the-top of
the line residential model door, the 9600 to be precise. These doors
have pinch resistant joints at the sections and when combined with the
iDrive opener, do not require optical safety sensors across the door
opening. The door automatically reverses itself if it hits an
obstruction and it would be pretty hard to get a finger caught in the
joints due to their design. But the key to the process of testing is
to be sure the door does sense when it hits an obstruction. To do this
you put a 2X4 wide side down on the floor under the door and try to
close it on the obstruction. The door should stop and reverse. It did,
no problem. Next, I decided to try the Scott test, which was to put me
under the door and let it hit me to see what happened. Sure enough, it
hit me and then reversed. Not even a bruise! I am not sure I would let
your chihuahua stand under the thing, but the pressure I encountered
was not excessive, nor the delay in reversal of direction.

Total time: 3 hours, mostly messing with the directions.

And that about corks it. The operation of this door is supremely quiet
and smooth. It looks great, and I have another foot of clearance above
my head in the garage bay. Perfect for hoisting, what have you. Aside
from the incomplete instructions, Wayne-Dalton has engineered a slick
door/opener system with a counterbalance spring setup that has to be
safest and easiest on the market, particularly for do-it-yourselfers.
I could have this door up in a day easily now that I know the
peculiarities and imagine that any competent homeowner could install
one with the proper tools and a little patience. One thing to
remember, most of this can be done with one person, but you really
will need two people for the door sections.

Sorry for the length of this, but I hope the information helps any
prospective buyer of this door.

Door model: Thermogard 9600
Opener: Wayne-Dalton iDrive
Dealer: Economy Overhead Doors -- Canoga Park, CA
Old July 4th 03, 03:32 AM
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Posts: n/a
Default Wayne Dalton Torquemaster and iDrive self-Install (Long)

Thanks for the info!
I wont be going thru quite what you are
but I will be getting 2 WD doors to install
soon..I looked at Overhead doors products
and they had miscolored trim pieces, doors would shake in the wind, really
bad..Friend just had 5 WD doors installed
on his garages and boat house, look
and work great too.
Old March 1st 05, 11:33 PM
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Caution for Wayne Dalton garage door buyers. I also self installed a
Wayne Dalton roll up door and was pleased with the product. That is
until the TorqueMaster torsion shaft broke. I contacted Lowe's, who
referred me to Wayne Dalton, who referred me to a local distributor,
who referred me to a local door installer. The door installer happily
informed me that I could purchase a new TorqueMaster shaft assembly for
a mere $325.00. That seems a little steep considering the entire door
runs for $597.00 and an entire set of conventional springs (4) can be
had for about $80.00. Can the original TorquMaster shaft assembly be
repaired? Or is there distributor for this kind of product?

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Old March 2nd 05, 03:34 AM
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Have you emailed Wayne Dalton site to verify? If that price is accurate and
the only alternative, that sucks. But here is a link to one of their


Seems to me it depends on the definition of the word "springs". Just about
everything else is a very long warranty so I presume the spring is
replaceable without replacing the shaft and if the shaft has to be replaced
it should be free.

"DH@OMAN" wrote in message

Caution for Wayne Dalton garage door buyers. I also self installed a
Wayne Dalton roll up door and was pleased with the product. That is
until the TorqueMaster torsion shaft broke. I contacted Lowe's, who
referred me to Wayne Dalton, who referred me to a local distributor,
who referred me to a local door installer. The door installer happily
informed me that I could purchase a new TorqueMaster shaft assembly for
a mere $325.00. That seems a little steep considering the entire door
runs for $597.00 and an entire set of conventional springs (4) can be
had for about $80.00. Can the original TorquMaster shaft assembly be
repaired? Or is there distributor for this kind of product?

DH@OMAN's Profile: http://homerepairforums.org/forums/member.php?userid=73
View this thread:
This post was submitted via http://www.HomeRepairForums.org


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