LiftMaster 8500W Wall Mount Garage Door Opener Review

Wall mount garage door openers go by many names including jackshaft, side mount, and direct drive. All of these names refer to the same type of opener. Furthermore, we compare the LiftMaster 8500W to the Chamberlain RJO70 wall mount opener in this article. Enjoy!

Wall mount garage door openers are gaining in popularity as new homes are built at a record pace and garage enthusiasts need more space above their vehicles. Now more than ever we are seeing standard garages being transformed into masterpieces with epoxy floors, custom cabinetry, overhead storage, and car lifts.

The Chamberlain Group offers two Wi-Fi wall mount garage door openers with battery backup. They have the LiftMaster 8500W which is part of their professional line and the Chamberlain RJO70 which is part of their DIY line. We will mainly be referring to the LiftMaster 8500W, but both units are very similar, and we discuss the main differences in the next section for anyone who is interested.

The LiftMaster 8500W garage door opener is called a wall mount, jackshaft, or side mount opener. The terms are interchangeable and have been used to describe this type of automatic opener for years. If you like the clean look or just need more room in the center of your garage, a wall mount opener may be for you. In this article, we will review the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener, answer common questions, and discuss what is required to install this type of garage door opener.

LiftMaster 8500W vs. Chamberlain RJO70 Wall Mount Opener

LiftMaster 8500W vs Chamberlain RJO70 wall mount opener.

One of the most common questions for anyone looking for a wall mount jackshaft garage door opener is what are the differences between the LiftMaster 8500W & the Chamberlain RJO70?

If you don’t already know, The Chamberlain Group manufacturers LiftMaster and Chamberlain garage door openers. The LiftMaster brand is sold through installing dealers, but you can find some of their product online, especially the wall mount openers, since they can easily be shipped. The Chamberlain brand is their DIY line that is sold online and through local home stores.

The only real differences you will find between the LiftMaster and Chamberlain wall mount openers apart from branding is the remote and control panel they come with. The LiftMaster unit comes with a three button remote, while the Chamberlain comes with a single button remote. The wall control panel mounted inside the garage comes with an LCD screen on the LiftMaster, while the Chamberlain does not.

The last important distinction between the LiftMaster 8500W and Chamberlain RJO70 wall mount openers has to do with warranty. While both carry the same manufacturer’s warranty which is 1 year on accessories, lifetime on motor, and 5 years on parts, it’s the labor warranty that differs.

If you purchase a LiftMaster 8500W from a garage door company and have them install it, they will come out and handle all your warranty issues free of charge for the first year. This includes parts and labor. Outside the 1-year point, most dealers will be able to handle your other parts under warranty directly with LiftMaster, so you don’t have to. Of course, I am speaking about the standard practices for most companies, so you will want to find out what the warranty is before choosing a company.

If you purchase a Chamberlain RJO70 wall mount opener online and have a servicing dealer install it, all they will offer is a 1-year labor warranty. If your Chamberlain opener has issues with a part’s failure, you will need to contact the Chamberlain company direct to resolve the issue. Chamberlain will only send replacement parts to a homeowner, not a servicing dealer. If you have to call the company back out to install a new replacement part, you will be paying that company a service call.

Differences Between the LiftMaster 8500 and 8500W

LiftMaster 8500 vs 8500W wall mount garage door opener.
LiftMaster 8500 vs 8500W wall mount garage door opener.

The two main differences between the LiftMaster models 8500 and 8500W is the “W” model has built-in Wi-Fi smartphone control and includes a battery backup that allows you to run the unit during power outages. If those are important to you, I would definitely go with the 8500W unit. The LiftMaster 8500 unit is essentially the same as the Chamberlain RJO20, which is the DIY counterpart.

Here are the main features the 8500W has over the 8500:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Includes backup battery in box (California SB-969 Compliant)
  • 1,500 Lumens LED light vs. standard light
  • 880LMW control panel wall button with LCD screen vs. no LCD screen
  • MyQ Diagnostics built-in to 880LMW control panel
  • A second automatic garage door lock can be added to the 8500W

Both wall mount garage door openers feature a soft start/stop motor, the timer-to-close feature, motion activated lights, and lock and light functions on the control panel. The 8500W is rated to handle a heavier garage door up to 850 lbs, vs. 650 lbs on the 8500.

External accessories can be purchased for the LiftMaster Model 8500 that allows you to add MyQ connectivity, which gives you smartphone control. Battery backup can also be added by purchasing the 475LM battery that mounts externally. Although, at the time of writing this, it appears that LiftMaster may have discontinued offering the 475LM battery.

Requirements For a Wall Mount Opener

The #1 most important thing you must have for any wall mount garage door opener to function properly is a garage door that runs properly when operated manually by hand.

A wall mount jackshaft style garage door opener can’t be installed on any type of door. There are specific requirements needed for the installation and proper operation. You need to check your garage to make sure you meet these requirements, or you will have to contact a trained door technician.

Basic Wall Mount Opener Requirements

  • electrical outlet within 6-foot diameter of the opener
  • residential use only
  • sectional door, only up to 14 feet high
  • must have torsion shaft
  • sectional high-lift door up to 54 inches of high lift
  • doors up to 18 ft. wide
  • doors up to 180 sq. ft.
  • not intended for use on low headroom tracks with outside drums

Torsion Shaft Requirements

  • torsion shaft is 1” in diameter
  • torsion shaft must extend at least 1 1/2 inches past bearing plate and be free of damage
  • distance between ceiling and center of torsion shaft is 3 inches or more
  • distance between garage wall that torsion shaft is mounted on and center of torsion shaft is 2 1/2 inches or more
  • a minimum of 8.5 inches between the side garage wall and the end of the torsion shaft

Drums and Previous Opener

  • drums must have a diameter of 4-6 inches
  • 3-3.9 inch drums may be used on doors up to 430 lbs.
  • previous installed garage door opener has been fully removed

All requirements above must be met. If your door does not meet these criteria, you must install a different model of opener. If your torsion shaft, power outlet, or drums do not meet the requirements, contact a trained door technician.

Chamberlain Group has provided a pre-purchase checklist that can be found here.

What’s Included in the 8500W Box?

Image credit: https://www.liftmaster.com/liftmaster-8500w-wall-mount-opener/p/8500WMC
Screenshot Credit: LiftMaster
  • (1) MyQ Remote LED Light (Model# 827LM)
  • (1) Battery Backup (Model# 485LM)
  • (1) Automatic Garage Door Lock (Model# 841LM)
  • (1) Smart Control Panel Wall Button (Model# 880LMW)
  • (1) 3-Button Remote (Model# 893MAX)
  • (1) Pair of Safety Sensors
  • (1) Cable Tension Monitor
  • (1) Torsion Shaft Coupler
  • Hardware bag for installation

The LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door opener comes with everything listed above, as well as the hardware required for assembly and the installation. They also include the safety sensors that must be mounted no higher than 6” off the ground and a red emergency pull rope, so you can disable automatic operation to run your garage door manually if needed. Below, we go into more detail about the final accessory included, which is the cable tension monitor.

Cable Tension Monitor

Cable tension monitor on LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.
Cable tension monitor on LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.

The cable tension monitor is an accessory that is unique to wall mount garage door openers. This device is used to monitor the tension on the torsion cables to make sure everything is good to go before opening and closing your garage door. Genie Company recently released their wall mount opener that does not have a cable tension monitor, but I have yet to install one to determine how their unit functions and operates with daily usage.

LiftMaster 8500W Features and Benefits

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

The LiftMaster 8500W is loaded with features and benefits that many have come to enjoy. The side mounted design frees up space in the middle of the garage for overhead storage, which has become a favorite with homeowners. Motion activated lights, battery backup, and smartphone control top the list as some of the most sought after features with this opener.

Wi-Fi Smartphone Control Built-in

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

LiftMaster has been manufacturing Wi-Fi garage door openers longer than anyone. Their software is mature and proven. The MyQ app is simple to use, and it can be set up to provide you with alerts when your garage door is opened or closed. The app is always on standby, so you can check the status of your garage door from anywhere in the world. We have been using the MyQ app on our personal garage doors for years, and find it to be one of our favorite apps we use daily.

Automatic Garage Door Lock

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

What most people don’t realize is the reason a wall mount garage door opener has a deadbolt lock, is so the garage door can’t be deadlifted. Huh??? What does that mean? Well, a traditional garage door opener has a pickup arm that is holding the garage door down, so somebody can’t walk up and lift the door to gain access to your home. A wall mount garage door opener is different.

Because the opener is clamped down on the torsion shaft with a coupler, the spring is locked in place. If someone wanted to come lift your garage door up, they could. Now, it will be very heavy to lift since the spring is locked in place and not assisting on the lift. But, it could be done. The automatic garage door lock throws a deadbolt over one of the rollers to prevent the garage door from being lifted. You can also add a second lock for additional security.

Battery Backup

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

If you live in an area that has frequent power outages or wildfires, a battery backup opener might be just what the doctor ordered. A small battery is installed inside the wall mount opener that allows for up to 20 open and close cycles within a 24-hour period on a standard garage door. This is a maintenance item that will need to be replaced every 2-3 years. The replacement is simple and does not require a service call from your garage door dealer.

Motion Activated Wall Console

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

Most homeowners love motion activated wall control panels, and it’s for good reason. If you frequently walk out into your garage to grab something, having a light automatically turn on and off is very convenient. Gone are the days of turning a light on when you enter the garage and leaving it on all night long because someone forgot to turn it off.

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

If you are working in the garage, you can manually activate the light to stay on until you’re finished with your project. This can be done from the wall control panel, or you can set it up in the MyQ app.

Timer to Close Feature

The LiftMaster 8500W comes with the LiftMaster 880LMW wall control panel, which features the timer to close feature in the settings. The 880LMW control panel has a digital LCD screen that allows you to set the timer to close anywhere from 1, 5, or 10 minute intervals or a custom setting up to 99 minutes. We don’t use the timer to close feature, but we also don’t live in a neighborhood where our garage is exposed. I set my garage door openers on a custom schedule in the MyQ app to close my garage doors every evening at 8pm.

Here is a link to an extensive article I wrote about Timer To Close.

1500 Lumen Remote LED Light

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

LiftMaster includes a 1,500 lumen LED light that can be mounted anywhere in the garage where there is an outlet nearby. This light is nice because there are never any light bulbs that need to be replaced. Also, the light can be added as a separate accessory in the MyQ app, so it can be controlled independently of the motor. This allows you to turn it on and off by itself from your smartphone. You can also add additional LED lights if needed.

PLEASE NOTE: The MyQ Remote LED Light must be installed for the Timer-to-Close or smartphone control to operate. We have seen some bad reviews left online because of this, but the purpose of this is for a deaf person to be able to see the flashing light to alert them the garage door has been activated to close. This is also referred to as Alert-2-Close or Unattended Close Operation.

Quiet Direct Drive Motor

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

Aside from being quiet, one of the best features of a DC motor is the ability to start and stop softly. For years, AC motors would go from off to full blast every time the motor activated. This instant surge of power would create a lot of noise, which only added to the louder hum found from copper wound AC motors.

DC motors in garage door openers have proven to be very reliable. This technology has been used all throughout Europe for years with great success. The additional speed control of the motor has been a welcomed feature among many homeowners looking for a quieter design.

Amazon Key In-Garage Delivery

Screenshot Credit: LiftMaster myQ

Amazon.com and LiftMaster has teamed up to offer In-Garage Delivery for your packages. This allows the delivery driver to store your packages in your garage using a one-time code they receive at the time of the delivery. This is especially useful for larger packages that you don’t want sitting on your front porch.

Advantages of a Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

There are far more advantages to a wall mount garage door opener than there are disadvantages. The space-saving design of these openers allows for more flexibility in your garage for storage and setup, especially for the extreme hobbyist.

Space Saving Design

Screenshot Credit: 8500W Product Brochure

Because a wall mount garage door opener mounts to the side of your garage door, it frees up space in the center for overhead storage. Overhead storage has become so popular recently. We have seen an insurgence of companies that start by installing overhead storage racks and eventually take their business to another level by offering epoxy floors, custom cabinetry, and upgraded lighting that transforms the garage into a showroom.

Wall Mount Openers Can Be Used on Hi Lift Garage Doors

Hi lift garage door tracks run up the wall and then make their turn closer to the ceiling.
Hi lift garage door tracks run up the wall and then make their turn closer to the ceiling.

A high lift garage door set up is when the garage door goes up as high as it possibly can and then makes the turn down the horizontal tracks, which are usually installed much closer to the ceiling. This is especially popular when someone is trying to install a car lift in their garage. If you have one of these set-ups, and you want an automatic opener, a wall mount is your only choice. Standard trolley style garage door opener do not work for high lift garage doors.

Increased Safety with Automatic Lock

LiftMaster 841LM automatic lock installed on vertical track. If the door is raised, the roller will hit the deadbolt.
LiftMaster 841LM automatic lock installed on vertical track. If the door is raised, the roller will hit the deadbolt.

The LiftMaster 8500W comes with the 841LM automatic lock that engages a dead bolt above one of your rollers after the garage door closes. This adds additional security for your garage door and prevents anyone from dead lifting your door to gain entry into the garage.

Disadvantages of a Wall Mount Garage Door Opener

The first disadvantage that comes to mind about wall mount garage door openers is they are more expensive. Because most of them are full-featured, you are going to pay more for the luxuries. They are also not produced on the same scale as a standard opener, which always increases pricing. Recent demand has not helped, as these units are gaining in popularity every year.

You Need Room on the Side of Your Garage Door

As you can see there is plenty of room between the side wall and the garage door tracks for the installation of the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.
As you can see there is plenty of room between the side wall and the garage door tracks for the installation of the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.

To have a wall mount garage door opener installed, you will need room between the side wall and your garage door tracks. Some newer homes built today are very limited on space as the builders are stuffing everything into the smallest footprint they can. This sometimes makes it impossible to have a side mount garage door opener installed.

You Need Power and Wiring to That Location

The power outlet and low voltage wiring is on the wall to the right of the LiftMaster 8500W opener.
The power outlet and low voltage wiring is on the wall to the right of the LiftMaster 8500W opener.

One thing most people seem to forget is you require a power outlet near the installation of your wall mount garage door opener. It is not very common to have power in these areas unless you specify it to your builder. They will also need to run all your low voltage wiring for your wall control panel and safety sensors to these areas if you want the wiring to be concealed inside the walls.

You Need Power for Your LED Light

LED light mounted on ceiling.
LED light mounted on ceiling.

The LED light included in the box for the LiftMaster 8500W is wireless, but it does need a power outlet to operate. You must make sure there is a power outlet where you intend to install the LED light in your garage.

LiftMaster 8160W Garage Door Opener...
LiftMaster 8160W Garage Door Opener Running Full Cycle

LiftMaster 8500W on Large Garage Doors

LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener installed on 18×10 commercial garage door.

One of the advantages of the newer LiftMaster 8500W over previous models is the weight rating on the wall mount opener. LiftMaster rates this opener to be used on garage doors up to 180 sq. ft in size or 850 lbs. in weight. Now, this doesn’t mean this garage door opener can lift 850 lbs. If you have a garage door that weights that much, it must be balanced correctly using the correct springs.

We installed a LiftMaster 8500W on our 18ft wide by 10ft tall commercial garage door, which is the maximum 180 sq. ft. rating for this opener. This garage door weighs around 300 lbs, which is well under the 850 lb maximum rating LiftMaster gives the 8500W opener. The reason I did this is that I wanted to see how this unit would hold up using it daily on a garage door this large. Four years later, I am happy to say it has been working great.

Like I mentioned in other sections of this article, I have had issues with the wall button and the automatic lock, but that happens on any size garage door. I have not had any issues related to the mechanics of the motor or drive system pulling this large garage door up and down several years later. The most important thing you can do with large doors like this one, or any garage door for that matter, is keep it well lubricated. You will be surprised how much better your automatic opener will run with a properly functioning garage door that is operating smoothly.

LiftMaster LJ8950W for Roll Up Doors

LiftMaster LJ8950W installed on roll up door

LiftMaster makes a light duty commercial wall mount garage door opener called the LJ8950W, which is designed for lighter roll up doors. It is essentially the same unit as the 8500W, except for the side chain sprocket that is included. We have one of these units installed on a 3 ft wide by 7 ft tall roll up door we use as our main entry walk thru door into our warehouse. This unit is used numerous times a day to open and close this roll up door, so we can gain entry into the warehouse.

The LJ8950W unit has a chain sprocket on the side that allows the unit to be mounted offset to the roll up door. This allows the chain to turn a larger sprocket that is mounted on the drum of the roll up door. This type of opener can be installed on all sizes of roll up doors and grilles up to 180 sq. ft. with a maximum height of 12 ft. and a maximum width of 18 ft. wide. It comes with Wi-Fi built in for smartphone control, and it includes a backup battery for when the power goes out. This unit has become a workhorse we have come to rely on every day.

Above is a video we made of our LiftMaster LJ8950W running on the 3ft wide roll up door we use as our main walk thru door into our warehouse. LiftMaster rates this unit at a maximum of 10 cycles per hour and fewer than 25 cycles per day.

How is The LiftMaster 8500W Opener Mounted?

Torsion shaft coupler included with the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.

The LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door opener is mainly supported by the coupler that clamps onto the torsion shaft. The unit comes with a heavy duty coupler that has set screws that clamp down onto the 8500W and the torsion shaft sticking out past the bearing plate. This is what allows the motor to turn the torsion shaft to open and close the garage door.

L bracket included that attaches to the side of motor housing for wall attachment.

The second attachment point is a small L shaped bracket that is screwed onto the motor housing which allows for lag attachment to a stud behind the sheetrock. This bracket can be adjusted a little if needed and it keeps the motor from swaying side to side.

Installation Tips for a LiftMaster 8500W Wall Mount Opener

Wall mount garage door openers rely on the natural fall of the garage door versus pushing it down like a standard trolley opener. Because of this, the garage door needs to be in good working order and running correctly. Here are some installation tips we have learned over the years when installing these openers.

You Must Have Good Rollers

If your garage door does not run smoothly when operated manually, you probably must replace the rollers. Garage door rollers are one of the single most important parts on a garage door. They carry the complete load of the garage door up into the horizontal tracks, and they can be the cause of many issues if not maintained. If you don’t have good rollers, have some 10-13 ball bearing nylon rollers installed with your wall mount garage door opener.

Spring and Track Adjustments

A torsion spring is required for the installation of a wall mount garage door opener. What most people don’t realize is the spring may need to be adjusted, so the garage door is not hot at the top. This way, when the wall mount opener starts to turn the torsion shaft, the garage door sections will start to fall easily, which keeps the cable tension monitor from tripping.

Another trick that is used by installers is raising the back of the horizontal tracks. This gives the garage door a running head start on the close cycle, which is usually when wall mount openers have the most issues. We have also seen pusher springs installed on the back of the horizontal tracks for heavier carriage house style door. When the up travel is adjusted, the installer will typically run the top section up into the pusher springs, so they are loaded and ready to push the door down on the close cycle.

Cable Keepers

Red cable keeper mounts to the bottom bracket and hooks the torsion cable.
Red cable keeper mounts to the bottom bracket and hooks the torsion cable.

If you have a finicky garage door that keeps tripping the cable tension monitor system on a LiftMaster or Chamberlain wall mount opener, you might need cable keepers. A cable keeper will always keep tension on the torsion cable, which eliminates slack that typically trips the cable monitor. Having these simple little parts installed might just be the thing that resolves this very frustrating issue.

Radius of Garage Door Track

The LiftMaster 8500W brochure says you should have 15” radius tracks. Most home do not have this. The reason they say this is that operation will be much smoother with 15” vs 12” radius tracks. We have installed many LiftMaster wall mount garage door openers on “standard” garage doors with 12” radius tracks without any issues.

LiftMaster 8500W on Amarr Classica Garage Door

LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door opener installed on an Amarr 18x8 Classica garage door.
LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door opener installed on an Amarr 18×8 Classica garage door.

The Amarr Classica garage door is unique because it only uses three sections on their 7 ft and 8 ft tall garage doors. A standard 7 ft tall garage door normally has four sections, while an 8 ft tall garage door will have five sections. Because the Amarr Classica only uses three taller sections, it makes them harder to make the radius in the track when closing.

Amarr Classica garage door sections on an 8 ft tall garage door are 32” tall, while a standard garage door will consist of 18” and 21” sections. That is a big difference in section height that has to make the radius on the tracks. Amarr does provide the taller 15” radius tracks for these doors, but they do still bind a little during operation when using a wall mount opener or running them manually.

This is normally not an issue with a standard trolley garage door opener because they use an arm to push the garage door closed. A wall mount garage door opener is different. Wall mount openers rely on the garage door falling smoothly and easily for everything to operate properly. If the operation is not totally smooth, you will most likely need to install cable keepers like we mentioned earlier, so the cable tension monitor doesn’t activate in operation.

This is what we had to do with the garage door pictured above because we kept getting slack in the cables every time we opened the garage door, causing it to stop mid-operation. Once we installed the cable keepers, the issue went away.

LiftMaster 8500W Mounts on Left of Right

Two LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door openers we installed in the same garage. One is mounted on the right side of the garage door and the other is mounted on the left side.
Two LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door openers we installed in the same garage. One is mounted on the right side of the garage door and the other is mounted on the left side.

The LiftMaster 8500W wall mount garage door opener can be installed on the left or right-hand side of your garage door. If your garage door doesn’t have the minimum 8.5 inches from the side wall to the torsion shaft on one side, you might have it on the other. There is no standard when it comes to how a garage door is installed or laid out in a home. We see all types of spacing above and on the sides of garage doors while making the rounds doing service calls. The 8500W wall mount opener has the flexibility of being installed on either side.

LiftMaster 8500W Issues

We have had very few issues with the 8500 and 8500W wall mount openers we have installed. They have been very reliable units that perform their daily duties without complaint. As good as they are, we have seen some issues from time to time. Here are the two issues that have been the most common.

Wall Button Issues

We have covered in great detail the issues with the 888LM wall button that was supplied with the LiftMaster 8500 garage door opener. The phantom operation some customers were experiencing is scary, especially when you leave and come home to an open garage door. The article I linked to above covers this issue and what to do if you encounter this problem.

LiftMaster 880LMW wall console that is included with the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.
LiftMaster 880LMW wall console that is included with the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener.

The LCD screen failed a few years ago on our 880LMW wall console that is connected to the LiftMaster 8500W wall mount opener we use on our warehouse door. The motion sensor on the wall button still works to activate the LED light. Because the wall button continues to work for opening and closing the garage door, we have yet to replace it.

The only thing we can’t access are the features on the LCD screen. The Wi-Fi on the newer 8500W units is built into the motor head, not the wall console, so our smartphone control of the unit using the MyQ app works just fine. With advancements in technology, you’re always going to have more issues to deal with.

841LM Automatic Garage Door Lock Issues

The reviews on the 841LM Automatic Garage Door Lock are horrible on LiftMasters website. It currently has a 1 1/2 star rating due to the frustration of homeowners, and I genuinely understand considering how expensive these units are. I, personally, have not seen enough failures to warrant a 1 1/2 star, but I have had to replace a few for customers and LiftMaster sent a free replacement to honor the warranty. The several automatic locks we have on our property along with some family members we have installed them for have never failed. But, it needed to be mentioned here because it is an issue you could have with your opener.

UPDATE: Funny Thing Happened While Writing This Article

The 841LM automatic lock on my LiftMaster 8500W opener failed while I was in the middle of writing this review. Yes, you heard me right. I wen’t to open my big 18×10 garage door and the dead bolt would not retract. The door went up a few inches and the roller hit the dead bolt and stopped. If you close the garage door, the dead bolt will lock, but it will not retract, so the door can open. It just makes a funny noise. The automatic garage door lock I have is a 2018 model, so it’s currently about four years old.

So, the wall button and the automatic lock have both failed on my LiftMaster 8500W opener in the four years we have had it installed.

Can the LiftMaster 8500W Run Without the 841LM Automatic Lock?

Yes, the LiftMaster 8500W will run perfectly fine without the automatic lock plugged in. Now, I don’t recommend this as the 841LM Automatic Lock is included for security reasons. Because a wall mount garage door opener does not secure your garage door with a trolley arm, it can technically be dead lifted from the outside. Now, an intruder would have to know you have a wall mount opener versus a standard opener in order to accomplish this. But, it’s something to keep in mind.

Let’s Address the Bad Reviews on LiftMaster.com

On LiftMaster's website the 8500W wall mount opener has a 2.5 rating out of 5.
On LiftMaster’s website the 8500W wall mount opener has a 2.5 rating out of 5.

Don’t pay attention to the bad reviews on the LiftMaster and Chamberlain websites. In order for a wall mount garage door opener to function properly, you need to know how to install it properly. The reason these people are having issues is that the company they hired does not have adequate experience with a wall mount jackshaft garage door opener.

On some garage doors, you can throw one up, and it will work fine. On others, you will have to make several changes and tweaks. We have seen on many occasions where customers were having issues due to the following:

  • torsion shaft coupler not set properly and spinning which throws off the travel limits
  • cable tension monitor not installed properly
  • cable keepers not installed
  • unit was installed on wrong type of garage door
  • garage door needs a tune up (adjustments, new rollers, etc.)
  • installed on garage door with wrong track radius
  • wall control panel failed

Yes, LiftMaster has had some issues with control panels going bad and automatic locks failing, which I have addressed in this article. But, for the most part, their wall mount jackshaft garage door openers are good units. The bad reviews you see online could also be from competitors who are trying to make the product look bad. This has become a big issue online in all industries. You should never believe what you read online until you have verified it with a trusted source.

LiftMaster vs. Genie Wall Mount Opener

Genie wall mount garage door opener.

LiftMaster has been making wall mount jackshaft garage door openers for ages. They make them for sectional garage doors as well as roll up sheet doors. There have been thousands installed in garages all over the world with great success. They make one of the best wall mount openers in the world.

Genie is new to the game. They recently released their new wall mount jackshaft garage door opener, so it has no service history. If you go by many of their other products manufactured today, I would stay away from it. It might be a great unit, but their traditional garage door openers have gone down hill when compared to the old screw drive models that would last thirty years.

We intend to get our hands on one of the Genie wall mount garage door openers for a review, but until then, go with the LiftMaster because I can recommend it as being a very dependable unit.

LiftMaster 8500W Warranty

LiftMaster offers a 1 year battery and remote control warranty, 5 years on mechanical parts, and a lifetime warranty on the motor part. Most LiftMaster installing dealers will offer you a 1 year parts and labor warranty on new installations. After the first year, your dealer will most likely just charge you labor if the part is under warranty.

You Could Pay More For Spring Repair

Because a wall mount garage door opener attaches directly to the torsion shaft, you will most likely be charged more when you need to have your torsion spring replaced. The reason for this is there is more labor involved with replacing the spring because the wall mount garage door opener will have to be released from the torsion shaft.

Another reason is there might be more fine-tuned adjustments required to get the wall mount opener to run properly. In extreme situations, the wall mount opener will need to be removed, depending on the configuration in your garage. This is just something to keep in mind while you’re shopping for a wall mount garage door opener.

Conclusion

LiftMaster has brought modern technology to a style of garage door opener that was once only found in commercial application. They went back to the drawing board and added homeowner friendly features like back up battery and Wi-Fi smartphone control for increased safety and convenience. The competition has been playing catch up to the industry leader for years.

While the LiftMaster 8500W is not perfect, I do feel it is one of the best wall mount garage door openers on the market today. LiftMaster has been manufacturing “jackshaft” or “wall mount” openers for years for the residential and light commercial spaces. They also make heavier duty commercial jack shaft units that are designed for higher duty cycles. If this type of opener fits your application, you would be hard-pressed to find a better unit that combines years of dependable service with first class modern conveniences.

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