Is your garage door getting harder and harder to operate? Although they may be small, hinges play an essential part in helping your garage door function properly. When hinges break or wear out over time, they can make opening a garage door very difficult, if not impossible. What’s more, broken hinges can cause serious damage to the door if they are left alone. Garage door hinges are subjected to a great deal of stress each time you open or close the garage, even more so if someone accidentally backs up into the garage. You should check for signs of deterioration and get those hinges fixed or replaced long before you are faced with an expensive repair bill. You should also check for any missing or wobbly screws and signs of cracking or corrosion. This guide will teach you how to install garage door hinges.
Best Type of Garage Door Hinges
Before rushing to purchase any type of garage door hinge, you should take care in selecting the best hinge for the job. Heavy-duty, full-size garage door hinges are the best type of hinges to buy, because they can cope with the wear and tear of opening and closing the garage on a regular basis. The best garage door hinges are made of heavy steel, which should last about 10 to 15 years of normal use. Though thin hinges are more affordable, they will not hold up as long.
Our garage door hinges will work for most overhead garage doors that are equipped with extension springs. They are made of 14 gauge steel for durability and long-lasting use. They also feature a zinc alloy finish for corrosion resistance. On most modern garage doors, every hinge bracket features a mount for a roller ball bearing that rides in a guide track on each side of the door to assist with raising and lowering the garage door. Ours are also made of high-grade steel.
#1 hinges are located between the first and second door panel sections
#2 hinges are located between the second and third door panel sections
#3 hinges are located between the third and fourth door panel sections
How to Install Garage Door Hinges
You may need a socket set, drill bits, a clamp, a level, an open-ended wrench, a Phillips driver bit, a hammer, safety glasses, and adjustable locking pliers to complete the installation of your new garage door hinges. You should take care in unplugging your garage door opener before you begin. There are many hidden dangers of replacing the hardware of a garage door, most importantly the weight of the garage door and the tension in the springs. Start your installation with the door in the “up” position, making sure that it is raised as well as properly supported and stabilized.
- It is best and safest to replace both hinges and rollers when the garage door is in the “up” position, because the spring tension will be minimal and naturally relieved. You can replace the hardware while the door is in the “down” position, but you can only safely do this if you raise the door, disconnect the springs, and lower the door first before you start. Once the repairs or replacement is complete, you must raise the garage door again and reconnect the springs for it to function properly, which can be very difficult to do if you have a heavy garage door.
- Stabilize the garage door by installing clamps just below the bottom rollers onto the garage door tracks. You can also wedge a long board beneath the garage door to help hold it securely in the “up” position.
- When you start removing the hinges, the door panels may be susceptible to sagging or even breaking. You can use any item or method at your disposal to hold them up and brace the garage door before you start unbolting the hinge. You might use a ladder, a board, or a second pair of hands. We recommend clamping boards to a ladder to keep them from slipping or falling down while you are replacing the hardware.
- Once the preparatory work is complete, you can safely start removing the hinges. Loosen the nuts from the hinge bolts. Try gently tapping the hinge bolts out with a hammer or mallet to release the hinge or you can use a socket set. To prevent damage, leave the nuts on the bolt unscrewed to protect the end of the bolt threads. Tip the hinge outward from the door to disengage the roller from the track. This procedure will be in reverse when you reinstall.
- Insert the new roller ball bearing into the correct hole of the new hinge’s roller mount. Tip the front edge of the roller into the track and position the hinge over the bolt holes. Tap the bolts back through from the outside through the hinge holds and tighten the nuts using a socket set. Repeat this procedure with all the other hinges and rollers.
- Once all the bolts are fastened, you can remove all the clamps and braces you used to support the door. Test the door manually a few times before plugging in the opener’s electrical cord into the outlet. Press the remote’s button to activate the opening function. If the door panels don’t align properly at first, you may need to reposition the hinges and double check that all nights are secured tight.
Now that you know how to install garage door hinges and rollers, you can search for the best replacement hardware. At HardwareSource, we have everything you need to get the job done safely and securely. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this guide or our product selection.