Convert a Belt Drive to a Screw Drive Garage Door Opener

What You'll Need
Screw drive conversion kit
Socket wrench
Step ladder

The screw drive garage door opener is just type of opener that is currently on the market for homeowners to choose from. This type of garage door opener is found in a lot of homes across the country as it is a cost effective way to automate your garage door. Some people have purchased a belt drive type of garage door opener, but have had some problems when they are remodeling their garage and want to install a heavier door. A belt drive opener, while it is quieter, does not have the lifting power of a screw drive operation. You can convert the belt drive over to a screw drive system very easily with a few steps.

Step 1 - Find Screw Drive Conversion Kit

Converting your belt drive garage door opener to a screw drive system is going to depend a lot on the ability to purchase a conversion kit. Depending on your particular model, you may or may not be able to do this. Some companies, like Chamberlain, does offer some conversion kits for newer units. Check your local hardware store, or go online to the company website. If you can not locate a conversion kit, then you will need to remove the old belt drive and replace it with a new screw drive garage door opener.

Step 2 - Be Safe; Use Ladder

Since the garage door opener is over your head, you will benefit greatly from the use of a ladder. Position a step ladder under the railing close to the power unit. Here you will remove the belt drive railing from the motor by removing the bolts that hold it in position. As you continue working on the rail to remove it, continue moving the ladder with you so that you have a stable work area.

Step 3 - Remove Belt Drive Railing

Once you have the belt rail disconnected from the motor unit you will then remove the nuts and bolts from the mounting brackets that hold up the rail. Make sure that you leave the end connected to the radial arm that hooks to the garage door. Lay the rail down until the tip touches the floor. Now you are able to remove the bolt from the door arm and completely remove the railing.

Step 4 - Convert Drive System to Screw Drive

Located within the conversion kit will be the parts that are needed to change the drive system on the garage door motor. You will need to remove the gear that turns the belt pulley that will turn the belt and replace it with a turning mechanism that will work the threaded rod.

Step 5 - Install New Screw Drive Rail

With the conversion kit you will also have been given a new rail with the threaded rod already installed. Generally, you will be able to install the rail with using the same mounting brackets. However, there may be some adjustments that need to be made. If you find that the old brackets are not long enough, or in the wrong position, spend some time readjusting them for a perfect conversion.

Step 6-  Complete All Connections

Once the rail is solidly in place you can connect the rod to the turning mechanism that is installed on the power unit. This will then allow the lifting mechanism to travel the length of the rail. Once it has reached the end of the limit you can connect the radial arm to it so the door will rise and close.