BY ROBERT BROOME, OWNER
I have written this article for homeowners with Wayne Dalton I-drive openers that may need to be repaired or replaced. In recent times, many Wayne Dalton franchises have begun to discontinue the I-drives and no longer carry parts. Below, I will outline the benefits to upgrading your Wayne Dalton opener to a Liftmaster.
The Liftmaster 8500 was designed in the mold of Liftmaster commercial jackshaft garage door openers. The 8500 is an ultra-quiet, space-saving, wall-mounted jackshaft opener which is perfect when you need to save space or have an oversized door or cathedral ceiling. It mounts on the wall beside the garage door, so ceiling space is freed up for maximum storage. This unique system offers the added option of our Battery Backup system to let you in and out of your garage even when the power is out.
In the residential market, there are very few choices in garage door openers for special applications. The two most popular being the Wayne Dalton I-drive and the Liftmaster 8500. There seem to be those that love the I-drive for it’s aesthetic appearance, but there doesn’t seem to be much debate when it comes down to service, options, and overall power. In my opinion, the Liftmaster 8500 wins easily.
The biggest flaw that we have seen in the past with the I-drive is that it seems to lose cable tension, and this allows the cables to come off of the drums. This can easily damage a door, and is a typical service call for our technicians at our company. Personally, I believe that this is down to a design issue. When I first had the chance to repair the I-Drive, I noticed that the opener did not have a cable slack sensor, or force adjustments. This is a standard feature on the Liftmaster 8500. The addition of these features would have made the I-drive a much better opener.
The next issue I’d like to cover with the i-drive is it’s motor, and how it compares with the Liftmaster 8500. The I-drive has a ½ hp AC motor that seems to do well on lighter steel doors. We have worked on these in the past with custom wood doors, and they struggled a bit to get the door moving. The Liftmaster 8500 has a powerful DC motor with an optional battery back up, and these work well on large doors of up to 14’ tall. The down side to this opener is it’s large size when compared to the i-drive. Overall, neither are bad openers, but it you are looking for performance, battery back up capability, and easy access to expert technicians the Liftmaster 8500 is the way to go.
To discuss these products further, please feel free to leave a comment below. If you’d like to schedule a visit with one of our technicians to see if a Liftmaster 8500 is right for your home give us a call today.