LiftMaster Formula 1 Garage Door Opener FAQ’s

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The LiftMaster Formula 1 garage door opener is a belt drive automatic opener that uses a traditional 1/2 HP AC motor to drive the unit. This unit was extremely popular because it was sold in a deluxe package to dealers with two remotes and one outside keypad. LiftMaster also included their MVIS technology, which was their Motor Vibration Isolation System that is a floating motor design that helped eliminate vibration.

The MVIS technology along with the steel reinforced belt made the Formula 1 one of the quieter garage door openers on the market. The trend towards upscale garages was on the rise, and quiet openers have been in high demand in recent years. The unit also included two lights which provided better lighting in the garage, which was also starting to become more popular. Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions related to the LiftMaster Formula 1 garage door opener.

Interesting Note: The side of the model 3280 motor housing actually said, “Formula I” not “Formula 1”. When you glance quickly at the unit it appears to be a “1”, and since Formula 1 is really a thing, everyone just wen’t with it. We are going to refer to this unit as the Formula 1 in this article.

What Model Is the LiftMaster Formula 1?

The Chamberlain Group is the parent company to LiftMaster which is why it is referred to as Chamberlain LiftMaster.
The Chamberlain Group is the parent company to LiftMaster which is why it is referred to as Chamberlain LiftMaster.
  • 1280, red/orange learn button
  • 3280, purple learn button (included 1 remote)
  • 3280-267, purple learn button (included 2 remotes and 1 keypad)

The much older LiftMaster Formula 1 Whisper Drive garage door openers were the model 1280 which incorporated a red/orange learn button. The motor housing was more of a square design as compared to the more rounded design found in later models.

The most recent LiftMaster Formula 1 units were the model 3280 and 3280-267. These models both used the purple learn button on the circuit board. The only difference between these two models was how they were packaged at the factory. The model 3280 came with only one remote. The model 3280-267 came with two remotes and one outside keypad.

Which Remote Does the Formula 1 Use?

Chamberlain 950CD remote which is the same as the LiftMaster 371LM remote. Used for openers with a purple learn button.
Chamberlain 950CD remote which is the same as the LiftMaster 371LM remote. Used for openers with a purple learn button.

Recommended Remote for LiftMaster Formula 1: LiftMaster 380UT

The original Formula 1 garage door openers had a red/orange learn button and used the 971LM remote. Later units that were released had a purple learn button, and they used the 371LM remote. Both of those remotes have since been discontinued, but you may be able to find some on eBay.

LiftMaster 380UT Universal Remote
LiftMaster 380UT Universal Remote

If you need a remote for your Formula 1 garage door opener, you can purchase the LiftMaster 893MAX which works with LiftMaster, Chamberlain, and Craftsman green, red/orange, purple, and yellow learn buttons. Another option is the LiftMaster 380UT universal remote which works with all LiftMaster and Chamberlain garage door openers that have safety sensors along with a few other major brands.

Which Keypad Does the Formula 1 Use?

LiftMaster 878MAX Outside Keypad
LiftMaster 878MAX Outside Keypad

Recommended Keypad for LiftMaster Formula 1: LiftMaster 878MAX

The original LiftMaster Formula 1 garage door openers used the 977LM and 377LM outside keypads. Those were the native accessories for the red/orange and purple learn buttons. Since those models have been discontinued, you can purchase the LiftMaster 878MAX which works on all Chamberlain, LiftMaster, and Craftsman openers with a green, red/orange, purple, or yellow learn button.

LiftMaster 387LM Universal Keypad
LiftMaster 387LM Universal Keypad

LiftMaster also makes their Universal 387LM Outside Keypad that works with their openers, along with a few other brands. I would not recommend this unit because it is much harder to program, and it does not have an “enter” button. The “0” key is used as the enter button on this keypad, which causes lots of confusion for homeowners.

Which Drive Belt Does the Formula 1 Use?

Rubber cogs stripped off drive belt.
Rubber cogs stripped off drive belt.

LiftMaster Formula 1 Replacement Belt: LiftMaster 41A5434-11

This is probably the most common issue you will see on a LiftMaster Formula 1 opener. If you have a belt drive garage door opener, you can almost guarantee you will be replacing the belt one day. Even though they are steel reinforced belts, they do crack and fray, causing the rubber to come off.

The LiftMaster Formula 1 garage door opener uses the LiftMaster 41A5434-11 replacement belt. You must get the exact belt because if you purchase the Chamberlain equivalent, the terminated ends will not match up because they use different carriages.

Interesting Note: LiftMaster offered a lifetime warranty on their belts, so you may be able to call them up and have them send you a new belt under warranty.

Which Gear and Sprocket Does the Formula 1 Use?

Stripped main drive gear on LiftMaster garage door opener.
Stripped main drive gear on LiftMaster garage door opener.

LiftMaster Formula 1 Replacement Gear Assembly: LiftMaster 41A4885-5

The drive gears used in most LiftMaster garage door openers are plastic. When the white plastic teeth strip out, you will see white dust laying on the inside of the motor housing. At this point, you will need to replace the drive gear, and it’s best to replace the complete gear and sprocket assembly.

The LiftMaster Formula 1 opener uses the LiftMaster 41A4885-5 gear and sprocket assembly. This complete assembly will come with everything in one package including the spring washer, thrust washer, retaining ring, bearing plate, roll pins, drive gear and worm gear, helical gear and grease.

Where Can I Find the Formula 1 Manual?

Click here to download the manual for the LiftMaster Formula 1 Models 3280 and 3280-267 garage door openers.

Click here to download the manual for the LiftMaster Model 1280 garage door opener.

Where Can I Find the Formula 1 Brochure?

Click here to download the brochure for the LiftMaster Formula 1 Model 3280 garage door opener.

Can I Add MyQ to the LiftMaster Formula 1 Opener?

Yes, all you need to do is purchase the LiftMaster Smart Garage Control, which adds LiftMaster MyQ technology to all garage door openers manufactured after 1993.

Common Issues With the LiftMaster Formula 1 Opener

The most common issue with a LiftMaster Formula 1 garage door opener will be a stripped drive belt. Another issue you may have is a stripped drive gear, which usually happens every 8-10 years or so. Other common issues will be a blown starting capacitor or possibly corrosion on the travel limits. Blown capacitors are self-explanatory, you just replace the capacitor.

If your opener is going down too far, hitting the ground, and going back up, you will need to clean the travel limits. You can do this by removing the cover and scraping the metal contacts on the travel limits to remove any corrosion. Getting these contacts down to bare metal will make the unit ground out, therefore ending the travel at the correct location. Always make sure to unplug your unit before removing the cover.

Conclusion

The LiftMaster Formula 1 belt drive garage door opener was very popular because dealers and homeowners both loved the unit. Dealers got a great deal on them because they were a promotional unit from LiftMaster, and homeowners received a quiet, reliable unit with two lights that had everything you could want in an opener. Hopefully, this article answered any questions you may have about your LiftMaster Formula 1 opener, so you can get a few more years of service before having to replace the unit.

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