Replacing Garage Door Rollers and
How do I replace a broken hinge or roller on my garage
Replacing a defective roller requires you to unbolt
the affected hinge, tip the hinge outward from the door to disengage the roller
from the track, and reverse this procedure to reinstall with the new roller. You
will probably have to tap the hinge bolts out with a hammer before the hinge
will release from the door. If you do this, thread the
nut back on a few turns before tapping, or you may damage the threads on the
bolt. As an additional safeguard, you can also use a small block of
wood as an intermediary between the hammer and the bolt if space allows. The
door should be in the down position if possible, unless you are working on the
lower rollers. Read on!
When reattaching the hinge, tip the roller back
into the track, and position the hinge. Tap the bolts back through from the
outside, if possible. Garage doors use a bolt known as a carriage bolt. There is
no gripping surface on the bolt to hold while you tighten the nut. Rather, it
has a square lip below the smooth head that presses and locks into the wood of
the door. If you try to tighten the nut without tapping the carriage bolt in
first, it may not engage into the same square hole it made in the door
originally, and could strip out the wood and begin to turn. Then, you will have
to hold the end of the threaded part of the bolt with pliers while you tighten
the nut with a wrench. It's good for you to know this trick because older garage
doors often show some rot around the bolt openings, especially near the ground,
and the carriage bolts may turn no matter how careful you may be!!
Murphy's Law dictates that fate will occasionally
trash a garage door roller, or force it out of the track, when the door is in
the raised position. And, to compound our misery, the bottom rollers are
attached to the same assembly that the garage door cable is attached to, so
these rollers must be replaced with the door up! The repair procedure is
the same for all hinges... just be sure to remove the tension from the garage
door cable if doing the bottom rollers!
- Use any creative method at your disposal...
ladder, 2x4, significant other... to brace up the door panel before you unbolt
the hinge. Without this reinforcement, the door will at best sag and at worst
- If you are dealing with a bottom hinge, remove
all tension from the cable or disconnect it from the bracket. Remember that
the weight of the spring itself exerts a good amount of force, so, if
disconnecting the cable is too difficult (some cables are permanently attached
to the lower bracket, making replacement an art form), clamp the cable to the
track, leaving a little slack on the roller bracket side!
- Do the roller replacement routine described at
the beginning of this section.
- Once all bolts are fastened down, remove all
clamps, braces, etc., and test door manually a few times. Then, reengage the
garage door opener, if you have one, and make sure it works smoothly. The end.