High lift garage door conversion

ShadowDo

Franck
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What's your experience with high lift conversion?
Is it a DIY thing or better to leave that to a pro?
I'm getting some quotes anywhere between $900 and $1600 at the moment.
Any recommendation?

Thanks!
 

ShadowDo

Franck
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My door is at 84", some lifts have poles up to 83", so that's not bad, but that still limits how high I can get the car up.
This is a quick sketch of the setup if I don't raise the door, it doesn't leave much room under the cobra.

1614283430491.png
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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I converted mine to get the additional 1 foot clearance, so I could more easily work on my truck. I didn't try to do it myself

Before:
20150224_101603.jpg

BEFORE
F250 on 4 post.jpg

AFTER
20150402_151534.jpg

AFTER
20150225_145932.jpg
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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MY GARAGE CEILING IS 12', SO I CAN STORE A CAR ALMOST AT THE TOP OF THE LIFT NOW

Resized_20190309_152827_9782.jpeg
 

Hot Rod

Vic Chambers
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My ceiling is at 11.5 and I would highly recommend getting a jack shaft garage door opener if you don't already have one. They are a lot more expensive than a regular garage door opener, but the high lift put too much stress on both the door and non-jack shaft opener. In my case the opener won and folded the door in half.
 
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Scott "Elder" Harrison

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Not sure how Vic's opener was attached to his door, but the Jack shaft uses 2 cables. One at each end...

door openers.jpg
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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The high lift standard door opener pulls from the center of the door with the tension cables at either end. Without that steel bar across the top, the door might buckle.

DSC05165 crop.jpg
 

Tom Wells

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Here's a bit more about how these work:

I have one. It gets rid of the center pull mechanism which results in max clearance. My door is wide enough that the side tracks are outside the lift area. I put in a tray ceiling above the lift for more clearance.

Not difficult - if you've installed these before, but if not, they can eat your lunch. Those torsion springs store a surprising amount of energy that you don't want to get in the way of.
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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Not difficult - if you've installed these before, but if not, they can eat your lunch. Those torsion springs store a surprising amount of energy that you don't want to get in the way of.
I can attest to that when I relocated my garage doors to an addition on a former house. The doors had the torsion springs. These had to be released from the shaft using a winding bar and alternately tightening and loosening the set screws. Then do the reverse when reloading the springs
.3 Mahwah NJ house garage door springs.jpg
 

ShadowDo

Franck
Member
Ok thanks, I watched videos and read DIY documents about those torsion springs and they're the dangerous part.
As you said they store a lot of energy.
Tom, all the installers also recommended the Liftmaster 8500 as well, I guess I'll have to get that as well.

I'm gonna have to sell a car to fund that install with the lift.... but won't need a lift if I sell a car :))
 

InProcess

Ken Caniglia AKA Superfly
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If you have some basic skills you should be able to do yourself with a high lift kit. Most critical part is unloading torsion springs then reloading. Parts should include high lift track extensions (they not only extend vertical track, but pull the door away from the wall), pulleys, cables and springs (?). I believe that's it. Also, the 8500 is plenty strong. I had to install and modify mine to hug the ceiling, Home Depot said i bought the wrong kit and wanted me to buy whole new track system, times 3. Luckly i could use stock springs because i used high lift pulleys (variable diameter vice constant diameter) and just re-angle upper tracks. If you install yourself, trick for springs is to paint stripe on relaxed spring then as you preload you will see the turns, which is what you use to get the starting point. Pic of mine:
20210303_102909.jpg
I believe this is the guy that helped me.
 
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Scott "Elder" Harrison

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So what Ken is saying here.... DDM garage doors installed the opener while he watched and gave free advice!::)

BTW, Ken what's up with that blotchy paint job? :knuppel2:
 

InProcess

Ken Caniglia AKA Superfly
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I installed and modified the doors and openers myself. DDM helped with recommendation for high lift pulleys and adding preload to springs first before buying new ones. They were a good source of info on high lift doors. Again Home Depot screwed up my order and they wanted me to buy 3 new track assemblies/springs. WRT paint, assume ceiling, had some internal mositure issues. Waiting for warmer weather to clean.

OBTW remember i designed and built most of garage myself :knuppel2:
 

ShadowDo

Franck
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DDM was the site that got me thinking "maybe I can do it", they sell complete kit and that'd be around $900 for me and so many hours and the risk of getting my head chopped off by the spring :)

Scott, how did that work for you having the high lift and the regular overhead motor?
My door is a 2 door garage, so the motor wouldn't be on the way and I still don't quite understand why it shouldn't be able to pull the door.
I'm tempted to "just" move the whole drum assembly 1 foot, extend the vertical rails, install longer cables and raise the motor 1 foot as well, but everybody is recommending the Liftmaster.

This is an old picture, with the old motor, but the mechanism is the same:

1614953882961.png

and the double spring:

1614954072049.png


1614954124148.png
 
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InProcess

Ken Caniglia AKA Superfly
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Call DDM for advice! When talking high lift, sometimes this means the door is still vertical in the open position. If this is true then you need more spring tension. If the door is still fully horizontial in the open position, then you should be able to use existing springs. If you can get track extensions to move horizontal tracks up the wall and also the torsion spring assembly, then you might get away with wider pulleys, longer cables and existing springs. You might have to add a little preload. If you use the 8500 door opener, you will have no problem. Springs are suppose to handle most of the door weight, just like when you manually lift the door.

WRT setting spring tension, you need two rods that fit snug in collars and about a foot long. Make sure there inserted and be careful.
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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Scott, how did that work for you having the high lift and the regular overhead motor?
My door is a 2 door garage, so the motor wouldn't be on the way and I still don't quite understand why it shouldn't be able to pull the door.
.....

The original configuration worked fine with the standard motor. By using the liftmaster side mount motor, I gained about another foot clearance which was important for working on the truck as you can see in the photos above. You don't have that problem since the track and motor would be next to the lift and cars.

BTW, Ken's configuration is unique in that he has the weight of the door on the springs when raised. Your configuration will have the door in a horizontal position when raised. But you will need a longer door arm or extension.
 
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Scott "Elder" Harrison

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I'm tempted to "just" move the whole drum assembly 1 foot, extend the vertical rails, install longer cables and raise the motor 1 foot as well...

This should work fine IMO. You may also need the longer arm or extension.DSC05165 arm.jpg
 
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Hot Rod

Vic Chambers
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I still don't quite understand why it shouldn't be able to pull the door.
I'm tempted to "just" move the whole drum assembly 1 foot, extend the vertical rails, install longer cables and raise the motor 1 foot as well, but everybody is recommending the Liftmaster.
Because the door stays vertical longer with the high lift and more stress is put on the door. Mine worked for a little while, but I had a 1/3HP motor. Switched to a 1/2HP when that one gave up the ghost trying to do the high lift. Then that opener folded the door. I tried to keep the stiffener tight, but in the end the opener won. I have a double door like the one you have as well. I'm suspect Papi's worked better because he had a single door. Fortunately, mine stopped before the door was pulled off the tracks and fell on any cars.
 

Scott "Elder" Harrison

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You're only raising the track another foot. That cross beam across the top should not bend. If you have a door with glass in it, it will be much heavier, which may have caused Vic's problem,
 
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