The Third Stall - Updated 11pm

I have a three car garage.

When we moved in - There were a few items I did not want the builder installing. I did so because those items would then be forever (or at least for the next thirty years) financed through my mortgage.

For example - Appliances, central air conditioner, and garage door openers (among a couple of other things...) I purchased my appliances outright, had my air conditioner installed after we moved in, and installed a garage door opener on the double door (the stall where we park our cars). This way I am not paying for these items over thirty years (with interest) through my mortgage

Well, it has been just under eight years now, and (while always intending to), I never got a garage door opener on the third (single overhead door) stall.

I had been "half-heatedly" watching craigslist for an opener (as I half-heatedly watch craigslist for a bunch of items... (fish house, ice house, patio set, cartop carrier, bicycles, bench grinder, welder, etc..) just waiting for the right combination of need, and extra money...)

Well, due to a recent upgrade to his garage, Ed offered me up a barter I could not refuse! Ed was going to give me his old garage door opener (underpowered for his new "Mega Garage Door"). I told him I could not just "take" it, and we worked out a deal that involved a garage door opener for some cigars and Jagermeister... (I have yet to deliver on my end of the barter - so Ed, if you are reading this, I have not forgotten!) When I was up at his house helping him roof, he sent me home with the opener.

It has been sitting in the garage all disassembled and boxed up since then. Today (my last day off before having to return to work) my goal is to have a working garage door opener on that third stall.

If nothing else, it will be a good excuse to spend the day in the garage, smoke a cigar (or two), have a beer (or three), and listen to Ron & Fez on XM!

It is now 0900 hours. Wish me luck. (And watch for an update.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

It is now 2235 hours (10:35 pm).

In the usual "Father-of-five" fashion, things went "less than ideal".

I did log off at 0900 this morning, and headed upstairs to get started. I found the aftermath of Hurricane "My Children" in the kitchen, and so - by the time FEMA and I were finished cleaning up, it was pushing 1000. I went out into the garage, and since the third stall is where the kids keep their toys, I also had get involved in another "disaster recovery" site.

I did get the (disassembled) opener assembled. I was able to attached the non-motorized end up against the garage header, and I started find where the best places for my angle iron, and straps - when I heard the distinct sound of one of my children crying. By the time I was able to degrease my hands (remember.. it is a used garage door opener), and comfort Melissa, I had to use my CSI skills to decipher what the other hoodlums children where up to in the house while I was outside in the garage. I had them clean this mess themselves, and realized it was time to get them lunch before our 1 pm appointment.

Between 9 am and 3pm (by the time I came home from my appointment) I had a total of 1 hour and 5 minutes of actual work done. Thankfully, by now, my wife was home and could care for the children - so I started right in.

From 3pm - 5pm - Everything that could go wrong did. Little things, like dropped tools, lost hardware, and raging heat - to big things - like a misaliged chain (that crammed the slider into the motor, and required some disassembly (of what I assembled this morning), to a misfeed and then completely detached garage door cable. By 5pm my wife had dinner ready, and I had all that I could have for the day. I lowered the door, latched it shut and called it a day.

After dinner (and cooling off a bit) I decided to investigate the problems. A couple of quick adjustments to the spring and the cable drum, and the door was realigned and back on track! Building on that success, I decided to actually try to realign the cable/chain/shuttle, and on the first try - everything lined up with about a 95% success rate. I did have to make a few last minute "tweaks" but even that went well!

Although the day started out badly, it ended up on a good note. The opener is installed and operating perfectly. I have a few small things to finish (routing the sensor wires, installing the sensors, and routing the main button wire), but these are (for the most part) cosmetic in nature, and should pose no problems what so ever.

Back to work tomorrow afternoon, and I will (again) be training a new dispatcher. Wish me luck.


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