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iDrive versus Liftmaster 3800

Mr. Cheng,

I read with great interest your article on the Wayne-Dalton "idrive" garage door opener. Although, the Gear Hack website only shows a portion of your article, I can tell that you are thoughtful and think through a problem like an engineer.

Given what you know today, would you still recommend the idrive over the Chamberlain Liftmaster 3800? Both attach directly to the torsion bar and are available on Amazon.

Thanks very much!

Paul Fong
Sun, 03 Aug 2008 01:36:18 +0000

First of all, I don't have a Chamberlain Liftmaster 3800, so my answer is definitely partial, and maybe even biased. Second of all, the only comparison I did was look at both products and reviews on Amazon (see "Related Links" below) as you've mentioned.

After looking at both of them, here are my analysis . . .

The LiftMaster 3800 costs $65 more.

The LiftMaster is really ugly. I don't know about you, but I liked good looking products. Functionality is definitely key, but something with both function and form is definitely a winner. I haven't seen the LiftMaster clicker. But the remote that comes with the iDrive looks like a modern car remote. It's extremely impressive compared to the boxy 1970's click that other garage door openers are still distributing.

The LiftMaster works on really high doors (up to 14 feet high). I don't remember the iDrive being able to work up to that high. If I remember correctly it works up to about 9 to 10 feet. It might be your only choice if you have really high doors. One reviewer mentioned he as able to hack the iDrive to work with high doors, but has drawbacks.

The LiftMaster has more wires. The iDrive has more wireless parts. Based on the review the LiftMaster 3800 has a wired remote, whereas the iDrive has the wireless remote. The wireless remote really impresses me. It shows me that Wayne Dalton thought forward with this revolutionary product.

The LiftMaster has an optional battery backup. The iDrive does not. Based on my experience, this is not necessary. As you can manually open the door with the quick release. The optional battery backup costs more money and more maintenance. The battery will probably need replacement every few years. I have never had to open the door manually, so far, due to power outage.

The iDrive is 1/2 HP. There is no indication on how many HP the LifterMaster 3800 has. If it has more, then it might be worth considering, if you have a really heavy door. I have a really heavy insulated door that is difficult to balance..

It seems to me that Chamberlain produced the LiftMaster 3800 to compete with the iDrive, not because it was passionate about moving technology forward. You can see that through the review that talked about technical support; they weren't ready to support it. In addition, the wired remote shows me that they want to keep the LiftMaster 3800 as close to their current product line as possible. The looks is also the same old clunky feel that traditional garage door openers has.

On the other hand, the iDrive was produced out of passion. Even though it has its problems, most of them were due to door balance issues and unfamiliarity with this new type of garage door opener installation. The Wayne Dalton technical support was fully aware of the iDrive system and has a systematic approach to troubleshoot the problem.

Overall, I'd pick the iDrive over the LiftMaster 3800 (maybe because I'm biased?).

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 04 Aug 2008 17:51:13 +0000

I am not very knowledgeable about the Wayne Dalton IDrive system since we do not install anything with the Wayne Dalton name on it due to past issues.

I do have some knowledge about the 3800 LiftMaster Belt Drive. The statement reguarding a wired remote is false, the unit has a wireless modern looking remote control as well as a wireless light fixture. There is also a bolt that slides thru the garage door track system when the door is in the down position to prevent anyone gaining access to your property.

The battery back-up function is a great feature. If you are out and about, return home to find that the power grid in your neighborhood is out your garage door will still open using your wireless remote control. These days very few people carry a key to their home with them when they have a garage door opener. As with the Wayne Dalton IDrive you can pull the emergency release cord, but how do you pull it if you can't gain access to your garage? It would seem to me that feature alone is well worth the extra monitary investment in the 3800 LiftMaster Belt Drive.

Kevin Kodama
www.RepairGarageDoors.com

Kevin
Mon, 04 Aug 2008 20:47:10 +0000

Kevin, it's either you are mistaken about the control console being wireless or you are plain lying. I am rather surprised you'd be mistaken, since you claim to have knowledge about it and being a professional in the field. It's bad for business in either case.

The control console is obviously wired based on page 10 of the Chamberlain LiftMaster 3800 User Manual, which you can download directly from the LiftMaster web site via this link: http://www.liftmaster.com/consumerweb/pdfdocs/114A3268.pdf
I've also attached a copy below, just in case the user manual disappears one day. The control console does look fairly nice.

However, the wireless modern looking remote control doesn't look modern at all (page 5 of the user manual). It still looks like the old clunky clicker that is three to four times larger than the ones Wayne Dalton included with the iDrive. Chamberlain sells the mini-remote that looks more like a modern remote separately as an accessory (page 31).

I don't know if you come here to do some viral marketing for Chamberlain's LiftMaster or not, but you certain look that way, based on my web site log, from how quickly you were able to find my web site and from how you get here. I see Chamberlain viral marketing attempts all over the web as well. It seems like where ever people talk about Wayne Dalton, there would be Chamberlain viral marketers dissing it.

I don't mind if you post true and relevant information concerning products you sell, but I definitely will not put up with lying and deceitful intentions. Please consider that carefully before posting again.

Attached File: Chamberlain LiftMaster 3800 User Manual.pdf (4 MB)

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 04 Aug 2008 21:52:07 +0000

While Kevin may be mistaken about the Chamberlain Liftmaster 3800 being belt-driven, he is accurate regarding its wireless control console. Page 31 of the owner’s manual lists an optional model 378LM Wireless Door Control which is wall-mounted.

As for “viral marketing,” be mindful that Wayne-Dalton markets and supports Chamberlain Liftmaster products. Its customer assistance line (888-827-3667) takes calls for “a Doormaster, Chamberlain, Liftmaster, Wizard or Challenger garage door opener.” My local dealer, Wayne-Dalton of Southern Colorado, states that the Wayne-Dalton corporate office warns against using the Torsion iDrive for wooden garage doors and recommends the 3800 for that application. Wayne-Dalton of Denver also recommends and sells the Liftmaster 3800 for wooden garage doors.

Wayne-Dalton dealerships have explained to me that wooden garage doors in northern climates tend to absorb moisture, warp, rub against the door jambs, and vary in operating force requirements. The Torsion iDrive has no cable slack sensor and no force adjustments. It appears to be designed for metal or fiberglass doors that do not absorb moisture, do not warp, and do not vary in frictional force as it slides along the door jambs. In contrast, the stronger ¾-hp 3800 does have a cable tension monitor and force setting adjustments.

I do appreciate your sense for aesthetics. The iDrive’s location on the torsion bar saves wall space that would be otherwise occupied by the “ugly” 3800. Having no rail means that I can finally install a loft in my sloped-ceiling garage. Its space-saving location, wireless design, and minimalist approach endorse the adage that “form follows function.”

I am cautiously optimistic that the Torsion iDrive can operate my 8-foot and 9-foot wide wooden garage doors. The doors are partially protected from the elements by a generous roof overhang and two 4-foot wide brick walls that jut out from both sides of the garage. A sloping driveway carries rain away from the doors. Rubber strips protect the bottom edges. My 23-year old particle board garage doors with redwood exterior siding have never warped and have never suffered water-damage. They have outlasted a torsion spring that broke after 15 years and a Sears Craftsman opener that worked until a few weeks ago. The only service call that I have ever had to make in 23 years is to replace the broken torsion spring.

If anyone in the Snow Belt has successfully operated his wooden garage doors with a Torsion iDrive, I’d like to hear from you and receive your advice. By successful, I mean one service call every 15 years. Thanks in advance!

anonymous
Thu, 07 Aug 2008 04:20:29 +0000

Oops! I forgot my signature. I submitted the request above for your experiences with the Torsion iDrive on wooden garage doors in the Snow Belt. Thanks again!

Paul Fong
Thu, 07 Aug 2008 04:23:32 +0000

I have some pre-purchase questions about the Wayne-Dalton iDrive for Torsion Springs:

• Does the iDrive remote control still have a 2-second delay?

• Are both the keyless entry control and the wall station illuminated?

• The first question in the Wayne-Dalton iDrive Q&A section (http://www.wayne-dalton.com/faqsdetail.asp?topic=1) deals with the necessity of cable snubbers or cable drum wraps. What are they and why aren’t they included with the iDrive?

• There are reports of the iDrive causing the drums to unspool the counterbalance cables when the door hits an obstruction when closing. I thought the iDrive should sense this and reverse itself. How long does it take the iDrive to sense the obstruction? What would cause the iDrive not to sense the obstruction?

• Do you have the cable keeper assemblies installed on your garage door? Do they always succeed in keeping the counterbalance cables within the spools when the door hits an obstruction?

• What improvements were made to model 3652-372 of the Torsion iDrive which was released in 2008?

Thanks in advance!

Paul Fong
Fri, 08 Aug 2008 10:13:54 +0000

iDrive for Torsion Spring Manuals:
- 305871 Rev10 7-16-2008 (Models: 3652-372)
- Includes models: 3651-372

If the LiftMaster 3800 has a 3/4 HP motor, then it's worth considering. I feel that with more power, it may be possible for the garage door opener to overcome slight unbalances in the garage door, especially in heavy doors. It might even overcome small jams and mitigate risk to motor damage.

Following are my response to your bullet points regarding the iDrive for Torsion Spring.

1. 2-second delay???

2. The remote for cars are not illuminated. I believe the keyless entry is illuminated. "I believe", because I remember the buttons by heart and don't use the illumination, so it's hard to remember. The wall-mounted remote (in my version) is not illuminated. Looking at the manual, the newer versions comes with a different wall-mounted remote, so I don't know if it is illuminated or not. Mine is a small horizontal wall-mounted remote with 5 buttons that only uses one battery. I like it a lot.

3. I don't know what is a "cable snubbers" or "cable drum wraps". If someone can show me a photo or a better explanation, maybe I can understand it better. I just know my cables are wrapped around a cable drum with grooves. Well . . . "cable snuubbers" didn't turn up anything on Google. But "cable drum wraps" turned up Drum Wraps. It seems to be a part on the WD TorqueMaster Counterbalance System, which probably doesn't apply to torsion springs.

4. Based on my observation, the whole concept of the way garage door opener understands "open" vs. "close" is through mechanical sense of the obstruction. When you profile the opener, it opens all the way up until it senses no resistance. Then it closes all the way down until it senses obstruction. At this point, it remembers the "close" obstruction so that when it detects resistance before getting to the "close" position, it reverses itself. Technically, it detects an obstruction every time it closes. So by definition, the obstruction sensing works, if your garage door opener opens and closes properly. At least this is based on my observation and I can't imagine it working any other way without more advanced sensory.

5. I vaguely remember the "cable keeper assemblies". However, I didn't install them. After looking at my garage door assembly and the included cable keepers, I didn't feel a need to use them. I've always been prepared to install them if necessary, but so far, 3 years and 1 month later, I still haven't needed them. So now, I kind of forgotten them until now.

6. I don't know what's new with 3652-372. Hopefully someone else will be able to answer your question. I'm sure it's an improvement in some way and wish I have it. Mine is basically second generation; a year after initial run. Throughout the three years, I notice that WD makes a lot of revisions to its circuit board. By now, I would suspect the product is in its third, fourth, or maybe even fifth generation.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 08 Aug 2008 17:51:01 +0000

There are reports that there is a 2-second delay between pushing the remote button and the garage door opening. True or false?

Does the Torsion iDrive have only one speed or does it slow down during the initial opening phase and during the final closing phase?

Do you have a wood door or a metal one?

Paul Fong
Fri, 08 Aug 2008 18:00:26 +0000

No, there isn't a two second delay before pushing the button and the iDrive opener responds with chirp. The opener is set in motion immediately. However, on my heavy door, it takes about half a second to overcome the weight and another second to accelerate to full speed.

On the "Garage Door Operators" link I added below, it says, "Door Closing Delay Button - Gives the user 12 seconds to exit the garage safely before the door starts to close." I didn't even know this feature exists. Maybe it has something to do with this feature. By the way, that web page has a photo of my wall-mounted remote.

There is only one speed. If it does slow down or speed up at the final closing stage, it happens quickly and I don't notice it. The slower initial opening phase is a given based on the first paragraph of this message.

I don't know what is the material of my door. It's already there when I moved it. It's an insulated Clopay door that is about 1 to 2 inches thick. It's definitely not one of those thin metal ones. It could be wood, though I really don't know much about garage door insulation technology. If you have an idea what kind of door it is based on my description, I'd love to hear it.

Here is an extra data point for you . . . I live in southern California.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 08 Aug 2008 18:27:13 +0000

1. Without the cable keepers, have you had cables coming off the drums when your door hits an obstacle?

By obstacle, I mean a misplaced broom or garden tool that catches the door and keeps it from closing. When a closing garage door hits such an obstacle, its counterbalance cables will slacken. If the cables slacken too much, they will come off the drums. The LM3800 has a cable slack sensor that will signal the motor to stop or reverse. The iDrive uses cable keepers, cable snubbers or drum wraps to keep the cables in place until the motor senses the slack. Here are some posts about this problem:

http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=231584&h . . .
http://www.garagejournal.com/forum/showthread.php?p=174686&h . . .

2. Must the garage door be balanced such that it can close with gravity alone?

On one of my garage doors, the torsion springs are strong enough to spring open the door when it is disconnected from the opener. When disconnected, the door stays halfway open or about 4 feet above the garage floor. My current rail-mounted garage door opener is able to push the door closed but I’m not sure how the iDrive can do this.

3. How much space must be available on the torsion bar for the iDrive?

My torsion springs occupy most of the space on the torsion bars. On one garage door, there is only 27 inches available for the iDrive. On the other garage door, there is only 13 inches available.

Paul Fong
Sun, 10 Aug 2008 18:11:43 +0000

1. Nope. Cable has never came off the drum. I haven't placed an obstruction in place either. Though it has jammed a few times, due to unbalanced situations (see the other threads in tis forum); I think jamming is the same as obstruction, because the garage door opener stops or reverses itself, depending on the direction. As I said, end of travel is like an obstruction, so it happens every time it closes. Perhaps there is no cable slack at the end of travel?

If you are concerned, I suggest that you install the cable keeper. I don't know how often you get an obstruction to your garage door, but that hasn't, and probably won't, happen to us.

Haven't experienced anything that "ovilla" mentioned in the links you provided.

2. Well, based on the iDrive instruction manual, your door must NOT close based on gravity alone. In fact, the first test procedure that Wayne Dalton customer service will have you test is that your garage door stays still at 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 open position. Otherwise, they consider your garage door out of balance.

Balancing the door is the hardest thing for me, because of my heavy door. So far, it stays still at 1/2 and 3/4 open. But will not stay open at 1/4 position; gravity will pull it down. So far the iDrive still works in this situation. (I think this is where more HP is handy.)

3. The answer to this question is in the instruction manual, on page 5. Looks like you need 30-3/8" of space.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 08:23:10 +0000

Thanks very much, Chieh! I really appreciate your help with the Torsion iDrive. Your enthusiasm for the product is infectious. I’ll check to see what it takes to modify my torsion springs to accommodate the iDrive.

For those interested, the best price that I have found for the Torsion iDrive model 3651 is $279.99 from Ace Hardware Outlet:
http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/(o4o3wqud502pqlilaolmt045)/ . . .

Apparently, a newer model 3652 becomes available this month. It will be interesting to see what improvements come with the newer model:
http://www.waynedaltonstore.com/product/741714109558.html

Paul Fong
Mon, 11 Aug 2008 20:39:02 +0000

You are quite welcome. I'm glad I could help. Good luck with your GDO adventure.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 12 Aug 2008 17:14:03 +0000

I thought I'd throw in my comments. I have an 18' length x 10' Height insulated aluminium garage door with a Chamberlin Jackshaft 3800PLD. The idea of having no "hanging opener" was the motivation behind this as well as the technology. It is a new detached garage so why not?

The issues surrounding the opener are balancing - there is a fine line between having too much or too little spring tension. After having the installer out for a second time to adjust, I have come to the conclusion that the door might be just a bit too much for this unit even though the manuals say it can handle the size and weight. It helps to give the door some opening assistance via the "armstrong method" for about the first 5 feet. Once the majority of the door is in the horizontal position, the unit is able to handle the duties to complete the opening cycle. Closing is no problem. Prior to my last adjustment visit, the reverse of the above statement was true - the door needed help closing.

Consequently, I am now researching for a commercial medium duty cycle opener to replace this unit. I like the Chamberlin brand and they have what looks like good products. Personal preference for me does not require it to be pretty. At this point, function and performance is all I care about. I can always add a metal shroud over the works later and give it a coat of paint.

Jeff Sullivan
Sun, 24 Aug 2008 23:25:19 +0000

I owned iDrive for 3 years, it worked at first and it was slow responding to remote commands. You just don't feel confident when pushing button as it requires 2 tries sometime.

Recently it started to have problems with lowering door. I called master, he adjusted door - no luck. I then learned all this myself. Replaced shaft bearings, replaced all rollers, realigned door from scratch, it's very smooth. iDrive still won't work.

I bought 3800. Installed it and it works. It feels more powerful (don't know how many HP. It works nicely from first try. No delays, nothing.

Time will show how well it will work, but so far I'm done with iDrive and won't recommend it to anyone. It's pivoting lock also nice "engineering" is PITA to adjust and it doesn't work right all the time. I like how 3800 has deadbolt.

As far as wired control panel - I like it fine. And it's got more stuff on it. Clock, scrolling text and thermometer.

Ivan
Mon, 27 Oct 2008 03:29:00 +0000

Just installed an iDrive on a Wayne-Dalton torsion spring door (not the TorqueMaster). It was fairly easy to install. Most of it is pretty straight forward. There's numerous small inacuracies in the manual. Nothing terrible, but you can't blindly follow every step. I watched some of the video after and it it did help explain some things. Probably should have watched it first instead of relying on the manual. The cable keepers have proven the most difficult part though. On my Wayne-Dalton door, which one would expect to be setup to work with their own opener, there is a thick metel plate at the bottom corners. None of the pre-drilled holes in the places lined up with the cable keeper. I had to drill new holes in it, which I ended up breaking 4 drill bits doing. Also their suppled bolts couldn't stand up to the tough metel plates, and I ended up breaking 3 bolts. There was even a sticker on the door advertising the iDrive, so you would expect the stuff to just bolt on.
Another oddity was that the torsion spring on my door was on the right side, looking from the inside. All the pictures in the manual show the springs on the left side with the iDrive mounted on the right. There's a line that sates something like "If your spring positioning doesn't look like any of these pictures then you cannot use the iDrive opener on your door". I did a dry run of the installation process to see if there really appeared to be something that would prevent the iDrive from being mounted on the left side and didn't see any reason it wouldn't work. I did install it on the left and it seems to operate just fine.
Overall I've probably spent 10 hours installing it. I was really taking my time to try and do it right, and I did a dry run first which took some time. If you have a lot of room to work, don't have to dig around for tools and don't run into any issues you could probably install this in under 2 hours. If you had done a few before you could probably do it in an hour.
The motor is higher pitched than I expected. It sounds more like a remote control car motor than a garage door. It doesn't inspire confidence in its longevity, but just because it sounds funny doesn't mean it will be unreliable.
I agree with the comments other have made about the remotes not being great. They don't have a positive feel and it's unclear when you've pressed it enough. I don't seem to have the delay issue some people have had, but sometimes I press it and nothing happens. I press it again and it works. I just didn't press hard enought the first time.

Steve
Thu, 08 Jan 2009 14:54:29 +0000

Hi

I see that my last post got posted so I guess the forum is still up.

I have a couple of older Idrives. When I first saw them I thought they were the best things since slice bread. I got a package deal that included installation at a home show. They worked great for the first season. I had then started to store stuff in the garage and did not use them for about 1.5yrs. Clean out the garage and started useing them again-tried to! On would beep the other nothing. Tried everthing according to the manual for the one that beeped and could not get it to work. Phoned support and they recommended swapping fuse from the one that beeped to one that did nothing but still did nothing. They replaced both units.

One side is working but I can not get the motor to ajust properly to go up down to the lock position so I locked it in the upper position. The door has worked flawlessly since - about one year now.

The other replacement unit worked for a month then I would reopen all the time. I tried running it through the sequence again - check door balance and even put soft seals on the jams so no binding. Nothing worked. The door functions but now will stop 3 inches from the floor when closing even after running the uppper and lower sequence many times.

At this point I just want to replace the idrive with something else. I have been eyeing the Liftmaster 3800 jackshaft model. I have to go with one one of the newer shaftdrive models as I have put in upper shelving in the garage and I don't have clearance for the regular openers now.

So -- has put in the LM3800 and how do you like it so far.

Regards
Patrick

Patrick Mckowen
Sat, 24 Jan 2009 22:42:41 +0000

Can anyone comment on how quiet or not the 3800 is? I bought one of the original iDrives and used it on an uninsulated 7x9 steel door and it was very loud. The opener stopped working one day and they sent me out a new and improved controller board that I had to install. After installing it, I never put the opener back up because of the noise level. Now most of that noise comes from the the door itself which will get replaced this spring, but some of it is due to the speed of the iDrive. I'm about ready to order the 3800 and would like feedback on how quiet it is.
Thanks,
Jamie

Jamie Best
Thu, 12 Feb 2009 20:41:02 +0000

Ive been a garage dorr installer for aprox 8 yrs now, i know both units very well ! i have installed prob 30 i drives in the past and have rarely had one that did not have problems we warentied prob 20 of them and will not install ever again. the same goes with other door companies, they are prone for circuit board problems ,programming problems,and only work on a well balanced door.
- the 3800 on the other hand is a very smooth,quit powerfull unit. i have installed over 50 of these units with no problems at all, ive done up to 14 x 14 doors ,high lift doors and double loww headroom doors (not ideal for this aplication) but worked.they will even run poorly balanced doors , as u can set open + close limits open and close forces as well. the 3800 have a far superior wall console and remotes than the i drive garbage. cable tension sensor for obstructions ,but sould not be needed beacause unit should be sensive to reverse under normal conditions anyway.one othr problem with i drive is backing to mount to issues , not a prob with 3800 .

this my 2 cents i woulnt give an i drive to an enemy they suck, do yourself a favor buy a 3800

Dale
Sun, 15 Feb 2009 01:00:02 +0000

Just read little bit here but the idrive is not that great of a opener. Even WD knows this after they have changed the opener 7 times because there has always been problems with it. I have never seen one even work remotly as good as the 3800. I will give the idrive one thing it looks good and cheaper. Ok thats two things. But the 3800 it for the pro garage door guys. The idrive is based for the home owner to install them self. Dollar for dollar the 3800 is much better. I have yet to go bad on a 3800. The idrive mind you I have repaired and or replaced many times. I wont even install them because of the problems they have. But sure 3800 LM will have some but I have yet to run into any (3800 has only been out about 3 years).

Doorguy29
Mon, 23 Feb 2009 23:20:56 +0000

Do not get Idrives -- I have two -- they were both replaced and they and both were even worse. I am I have one working so so. I could not get the motor to track to the locking position properly so I locked it in the up position. Opens and closes fine but now I don't have the exter security of motor being in the down lock position. The other replacement moves slower then molases in winter and running the setup always leaves it at 2 inches from bottom - I gave up on this.

I am now looking for an alternative unit -- maybe the 3800 - I have to go with a modern unit like these as my overhead shelving is to low for the tradition unit now.

Patrick

Patrick
Tue, 10 Mar 2009 13:23:23 +0000

Note: The following deceptive post is written by internet marketers, who most likely works for Chamberlain. See two posts below for details.

As an installer of wayne Dalton Products for over 10 years, I have come to know the full product line of Wayne Dalton products. I have personally installed both the liftmaster 3800 and the I-Drive openers, both Torquemaster, and torsion spring applications, and having installed over three hundred and fifty I-Drives, I have had to either replace, repair, or remove at least three hundred and tweenty-five of these units! The one word that definately describes the I-Drive system is PROBLEMATIC!!!

I agree that the I-Drive system may be more astetically pleasing to the eye, however what consolation will that be when you have to enter your garage and the door opener either will not operate, only opens halfway, or will not close leaving your property unsecured?

Also, the service you get from thier 1-800 numbers is sketchy at best. If presented with an installation or repair question that exceeds the expertise of the operator answering your call, they will either put you on hold for prolonged periods of time, ask you for a return number so that a "qualified" technician can return your call, but never does, or just hang up on you. This could be a serious problem if you are in the middle of a repair or installation, and potentially damage not only your professional reputation, but most importantly, damage your sales!

As far as replacement of damaged or defective products, they will either give you credit, or a replacement unit, but will not reimburse you for the time and labor of removing the defective unit and replacing the new unit, so both the installer, and the homeowner are left with the additional expense, and who would want a replacement of an otherwise defective product? NOTE: They WILL NOT refund your money!

As an installer and company owner who has been in business for over tweenty-five years I have had the occaisional service call, but the rate of service calls dramatically increased when I started using the I-Drive system. That is why we no longer install them. I have also noticed a dramatic drop on service calls since we discontinued the use of the I-Drive system.

I do admit that Wayne Dalton does strive to be innovative and cutting edge in thier technology, however they are too fast to put an untried system on the market and leaving thier problem shooting to be done by the customes. Word of advice.....Throughly test a product before you put it on the market!!!

John Manville
Thu, 07 May 2009 19:31:32 +0000

Note: The following deceptive post is written by internet marketers, who most likely works for Chamberlain. See one post below for details.

John;
I have read your comments on the wayne dalton I Drive system, and from one installer to another, You hit the nail squarely on the head! Although I do not have the same amount of years as an installer (4 years) as you do, I have had nothing but trouble with anything Wayne Dalton! From shipping already damaged door panels, incomplete parts boxes, or the completely wrong parts period, you are absolutely right in your summation "PROBLEMATIC"! If I never see another product from this inept company, I will be a happy installer!
Steve

Steve
Thu, 07 May 2009 19:59:05 +0000

Steve and John . . . of course you guys concur. You guys came from the same IP address! The IP is 205.188.116.67 (AOL dynamic address), with the same browser signature:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)

And your comments came within 30 minutes of each other. I guess this is internet marketing . . . or bashing at its best. I take it that you work for Chamberlain. Knowing that, I know for sure neither of you worked as garage door installers for 10 and 4 years. Now I know for sure all of the Wayne Dalton trolling messages on the web are posted by internet marketers.

With a good understanding and strong proof of deceptive practices by Chamberlain, I will never ever buy Chamberlain's product in the future. Good thing I have never bought a Chamberlain product at this time. I strongly suggest everyone to boycott Chamberlain products.

I'm leaving your messages on here as examples for everyone to see.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 08 May 2009 00:08:50 +0000

Well I bought the WD about 2.5 years ago when the torsion spring on the old door failed and that killed my ancient Craftwman opener. At the same time I upgraded to an insulated aluminum door. The door is well balanced and easy to open by hand, but it's not perfect. It seems the strength of the springs or the viscosity of the lubricants varies with temprature. The WD unit is very sensitive and required constant spring adjustment. I had some success attaching a 5 lb weight to the door handle to help the WD close the door in cold months, and removing the weight in the sumer. After 2+ years of suffering I'm ready to give up and try something else. There is a bedroom over the garage so no room overhead, and noise is an issue. From this forum I gather I only have one other choice in wall-mounted openers. Are there others to consider?

(Chieh - I'm a computer guy not involved in the EDO industry.)

Thanks,
Bill

Bill in Chicago
Sun, 31 May 2009 22:21:49 +0000

Bill,
Besides the idrive there is the liftmaster 3800 opener. There is also the ZAP 815RLC opener which is a lot like the 3800 (Google "ZAP jackshaft opener"). I haven't read any reviews on it though. Personally, if I wanted a wall mount opener I would pick the 3800 or the ZAP opener over the idrive because they are designed like the openers that are installed on commercial garage doors so these companies know what they are dealing with where the idrive is a different concept. I would rather have a product that is "ugly" but works perfectly year after year instead of having a product that is "good looking" but has a lot of problems and is not reliable. I currently own a Chamberlain Electrolift opener that is original to the house (built in 1983) and it has never needed any repairs and has worked perfectly year after year. It might be considered "ugly" and it has really big and boxy remotes and wall control but it does the job.
Also, just because you have low headroom in your garage doesn't mean you can't install a traditional style opener. You can have the company that installed your door install horizontal low headroom double tracks which reduces the required headroom to six inches (based on CHI doors' brochure) or if that's not enough, you can install the same setup with the double tracks but mount the torsion springs in the back of the horizontal tracks instead of in the front. This will reduce the required headroom to about four or five inches (based on clopay's website). If noise is an issue, then a belt drive opener would probably be your best choice. You can even install rubber vibration dampers between the angle iron supporting the opener and the ceiling to further eliminate any noises and vibration.

Al
Wed, 03 Jun 2009 16:23:37 +0000

Anyone who actually works in the garage door industry will tell you to buy a 3800 over an I-drive. There are times that a 3800 won't work because of door weight, track or drum size. When a 3800 isn't the right operator for a job then a Zap from the UK usually fills the void. Commercial operators never legally should be installed residentally. Whenever someone asks me about I-Drive , I tell them to Goggle I-Drive problems then the choice will be clear. Professional installing garage door companies do not get repeat business from unhappy customers.

Matt C
Mon, 03 Aug 2009 22:23:08 +0000

I am shocked that the Idrive is getting hammered so bad on this web site. My neighbor owns his own garage door installation company and in 2003 when I built my garage recommended the Idrive to me. I have had mine since 2003 and have only had a couple very minor problems with it. For example had to reprogram a remote after the battery went dead. Also had to rerun the door limit program once. These two things combined took less then 5 minutes over a 6 year period. I can't say how well they would work for an old door that is in poor shape but, my door is 16x8 insulated which is the maximum size that my installation guide says an Idrive will run and as I have said I haven't had any real problems.

Charles Ronk
Tue, 08 Dec 2009 05:33:13 +0000

Hi guy,
thanks for Chieh Cheng to show me iDrive. worth considering, and both now $250+shipping on ebay. yet it needs more space than I have. I used to install Listmaster HD200 and it works fine, safety sensor is sensitive or pretty good.
Here is another idea that I'll try before use either iDrive or 3800: install HD200 at the side of the door, to save money. above door I have ~1" yet at the site the space has less limitation.

lastguy
Fri, 18 Jun 2010 14:38:58 +0000

I am not an installer but I have used the Idrive. I have a large beem that runs about 4" inside my garage door so I cant use a traditional opener. I have had to replace the Idrive twice, it worked for a few months and now it is not working agoin and the installer no longer wants to reapir it. The installer warned me about problems with the Idrive and told me that all the homes in my track came with the Idrive and many are having problems. He did recoment the Liftmaster but told me I would also have to replace my springs to convert the system. Like I said. Im not in the business but I am no fan of the Dalton system. It has been worthless to me.

Eric D
Fri, 03 Sep 2010 04:50:57 +0000

Chieh Cheng, you should install those cable snubbers -- you are asking for trouble. If the door encounters an obstruction on the way down and the cables slacken, the iDrive will partially unwind the cables from the drum, and this can lead to all sorts of problems. Some would be a minor inconvenience (service call) others could potentially be life threatening (heavy door cockeyed in the tracks, waiting to clobber someone from above). The snubbers are critical in preventing this scenario.

I have an iDrive that has been working OK for about 6 years. However, it has odd hardware failures every couple years. One was related to the cable snubbers I mentioned above, that nearly caused the door to fall out of the frame. Another time the motor actually fell out of the unit and was dangling by the cord (the mounting screws holding the motor to the pivoting arm had obviously loosened on their own -- I reinstalled with Loctite). And though my door is perfectly balance, I find that over time, the iDrive seems to be torquing the axle during the final closure action when the motor swings down. Now, I am finding that all plastic parts on the opener and light fixture are cracking and crumbling with age. I need to replace the motor cover / door lock as it's cracked and losing chunks little by little. The main unit housing has cracks around all screw holes. And upon changing the light bulb this weekend, I found that the light fixture plastic is cracked.

Overall I like the iDrive and the clever design. But I have never gotten a feeling of reliability or dependability from the unit. It's too ambitious and needs better engineering. I can see myself replacing it within the next year or so. The 3800 is high on my list.

As for worries about Liftmaster marketers spamming the board, I don't think they would even need to. One just need to google for iDrive problems to realize that the 3800 is significantly more reliable and respected in the industry. In contrast, most installers won't touch an iDrive anymore.

C. Hunter
Sun, 14 Nov 2010 22:59:05 +0000

as i read thru all these posts and know that wayne dalton is been sold to overhead door corp. i relize that the i drive may not been all what it was supposed to be specially after they replaced it with the pro series and now cant even get it at all my question is do i replace the spring and go with the liftmaster 3800 or wait to see if overhead door comes out with a replacement for that type of application (since i have no head room for conventional openers i have a cathedral ceiling and i have the door riding up as high as i can hugging the ceilling.)stumbles on what to do.

pdonisi
Fri, 01 Apr 2011 22:12:03 +0000

I had a torsion spring break in 2006, and that cooked the ancient Craftsman opener. It was installed between the floor joists of the bedroom above, so noise had always been an issue. I bought a whole new door for insulation & quiet. I need a low clearance EDO so I bought the I-Drive at a local discount store. Installation took a few hours, but I did a really nice job. The door was balanced nicely too.

It worked well until the weather changed, then the door would not open all the way- it seemed to bind. Operation by hand was easy enough, but I added a bit more spring torsion and the problem went away. Until the Spring, then the problem reversed. I note that the door faces West and on a sunny day, the I-Drive would not close, but on a cold, dark evening, it would not open. Still, no problem doing it by hand, and it most always did work on the first or second try. I became accustomed to rebalancing the door twice a year to make it as easy as possible for the opener.

After three years, the problem worsened, calls to Wayne-Dalton were no help, and I finally found myself faced with a door that would not budge, half open. After unbolting the EDO, the door moved smoothly by hand, so I pitched the damn thing and bought a LiftMaster 3800.

Installation was again easy, and after about two years of daily use, all is well, excepting the wireless light fixture has a mind of its own. I'm not sure why manufacturers think we prefer the less reliable wireless systems, but if I had a choice…

Anyhow the LiftMaster is a superior product, IMHO.

-Bill

Bill
Tue, 12 Apr 2011 01:27:16 +0000

I,m wanting to replace my I-Drive unit with the Chamberlin 3800. Will the Chamberlin unit attach to the egg shaped shaft that the Wayne Dalton uses?

Clyde Dale
Thu, 14 Jul 2011 16:55:53 +0000

Hi Clyde,

Unfortunately the Liftmaster 3800 will not work with the Wayne Dalton TorqueMaster springs your garage door was installed with. If you wish to replace your idrive unit with a 3800 unit, you will have to convert your garage door over to a torsion spring assembly. This includes 1 spring (single car doors) or 2 springs (double car doors), the torsion bar, cable drums, the counterbalance cables,and the end/center bearing plates. Cost for this is approx. $120-230 + tax, depending on the size and weight of your garage door. The results are well worth the expense if you plan to keep the door for a long time because the door will run better and the torsion springs will last longer than the average 10 years I have typically seen TorqueMaster springs last. After the torsion springs are installed, you can then have a 3800 unit installed on your garage door, which should again last you a very long time. Hope this helps!

Al
Tue, 02 Aug 2011 03:59:07 +0000

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