Diagnostic: anytime a garage door comes off the track or jump cables it has the possibility of bending or distorting the vertical track. Especially if the door is crooked in the door opening it may also damaged the horizontal track but in most cases the horizontal track is reinforced with steel angle to try and keep this from happening.
Cost: $50 ¬$100
Time to repair: 30 ¬90 min.
Tools needed: 3⁄8 ,7/16 ,1⁄2 wrench or socket. Impact drill (not necessary but recommended). Reciprocating saw with steel cutting blade. Vice grips. 6¬10 20d size nails. Drill with set of metal drill bits. Hammer drill (if project has concrete or masonry walls) before you attempt to replace your vertical track you half to make sure it is the exact same length as the vertical track that is on your door now. If your vertical track is so damaged or bent you cannot get a proper measurement tried to straighten it out as best you can and get as close as possible. Otherwise you can just measure from the concrete floor to the point where the vertical track meets the horizontal track right at the curve in the horizontal track. If you can find someone to sell you some vertical track then that would be the easiest route to getting your parts it should not be a problem if you are in the construction business. Some states require a contractors license to buy garage door parts if you live in one of the states you might have to revert to the internet to find your track. If you are in the construction business no matter what field and you have a business license and a tax number in most states you can purchase any parts you need from a garage door company with that info alone you do not have to be in the garage door business to purchase track. If you have no affiliation with a construction type business again you would probably have to revert to the internet to find your parts. In most cases you made not only need a new set of vertical track but you may also need new wall brackets these are the l shaped brackets that attach the track to the wall securing the track in place. You can easily tell by looking at your wall brackets if they are distorted and are not in the l shape that they came in from the manufacturer you will most likely have to replace them also. So just keep that in mind when you are gathering the parts you need for this project. The wall brackets tend to come in different sizes so be sure you have the right ones almost all wall brackets have a number stamped on them so try to match the numbers on the wall brackets you have with the new ones that you need to purchase. The only other possible thing you may need for this procedure are the track bolts that are used to attach the track to the wall brackets these are what you call carriage style bolts they have flat or rounded heads and they have 7/16 or half¬inch nuts that attach on the outside of the track sometimes they will have slots in them like a flathead screwdriver slot sometimes this can help you remove the old track bolts. But most of the times they will not have a slot in them they will just be smooth. Sometimes these boats can be difficult or impossible to remove with just a socket or wrench. When I come across this problem the first thing I reach for my reciprocating saw to cut the bolts off or if you can loosen it enough to grab the head of the carriage bolt with a pair of vise grips this may help you remove an old rusty or stuck on or even sometimes painted on track bolt.
Once you have gathered up all the parts that you will need to replace the vertical track. The first thing you will need to do is to nail a couple of the door sections to the wall this will keep the door from falling on you when trying to remove the vertical track because the vertical track is keeping the garage door in place removing it exposes the garage door to falling inside of your garage. You can secure the door to the wall with about three nails on each side just be sure there is one on the bottom section and one on the top section and one somewhere in the middle when you are nailing the nails you want to go to the far right or left edge of the door and drive that nail right along the edge of the door into the wall leaving about an inch or so of nail so you can bend that nail over the edge of the garage door securing it.
Step two –
Remove the old damage track but you should also take pictures before you begin just in case you need to be reminded of where things go. Remove all of the track bolts and lag screws that attach th e parts together is easier to remove the vertical track when everything is off it and it is bare. To make it a bit easier to remove the old track the fastest way to remove it would be to cut the track in a couple of different places and just remove it piece by piece sometimes it is a lot quicker than trying to remove the vertical track. This is because the rollers are still in the vertical track and can be hard to maneuver out but the easiest way to do it is to turn the vertical track clockwise about 30° or less. If it does not come off easily by turning the track and pulling towards you then just cut the track. Just be sure not to damage your garage door when cutting the track off.
Now you will need to grab your new vertical track and you will first need to measure the distance between the floor and the point where though horizontal curve track starts. If you find that you need to cut the track to fit it properly you have to keep in mind that vertical track in most cases can be used on either the left or the right side all you have to do is flip it. Garage door track is flat on one side and rounded on the other the flat side should always face the wall and the rounded side should face outward toward you or the back of the garage. If you find that you need to cut the track to fit it properly. After you have an exact measurement subtract one quarter of an inch and that will be the length you need.
Step four –
Now we need to reinstall the new vertical track the first thing you should do is remove all the hinges containing the rollers in the middle of the garage door do not remove the bottom hinge or the bracket that holds the roller at the very bottom of the right and left hand side of the garage door this could cause serious injury. Since you cannot cut the new track and put it back together it is easier to remove all of the hinges that contain the rollers also you will not need to remove the very top rollers you can leave these alone they do not go into the vertical track only the horizontal. Once you have removed all of the hinges and rollers slide the track into place on the very bottom roller and line your track up with the horizontal or curved track and insert your two tracks screws into the two holes or slots at the very top of the track do not lock down these bolts just finger tighten them so you can move the track around if you need to. Now we need to attach though l shaped wall brackets. Look for the holes that contained the lag screws that you removed earlier. Hold the bracket to the wall and screw in the lag screws to the wall you do not have to tighten all the way you just need them there for positioning. Now where the bracket meets the track there should be a long slot just mark with a pencil or pen where you may need to drill a hole into the track for the track bolts if there is already a whole there right where you need it you will not have to do this. But in most cases you will. Remember the wall brackets are labeled and stamped with a number the lower the number the lower on the track it should be in other words they usually start with a 4 or 5 and go up to 6,7 or 8. Once you have marked the track for both brackets remove the track and drill your holes. If you think you can drill the holes without damaging the track or bending it you may not have to remove it but it is safer to remove it. Before you put the track back up insert the carriage bolts with the flat or round inside the track and attach the wall bracket and finger tighten the nuts. Now slide the track back over the bottom roller making sure the roller is securely inside the track and reattach the two track bolts at the top of the vertical track and finger tighten. Now you will want to use your leg wood screws to lag the bracket to the wall and tightening this is where an impact drill comes in handy. This is the point where you will want to reattach the hinges and rollers that you previously removed back on the door remembering that starting at the bottom hinge should be a number 1 hinge and the next up should be number 2 etc. Also making sure to put the rollers in the correct slot some hinges have two slots you want to insert the roller into the slot furthest away from the door or closest to you. Once you have completed that step then we now need to tighten down all of the track bolts on the vertical track which should be about 4 bolts. First using your foot kick the very bottom of the vertical track holding it in place making sure it is tight against the wall and tighten the bottom track boat first now go to the two at the top of the vertical track and make sure the vertical track is lined up perfectly with the horizontal or curved track and then tighten those top two bolts down. Then all that is left is the bracket in the middle just tighten that one down and make sure the track does not move back¬and¬forth. As far as the distance you want between the edge of the garage door and the track is about the size of an index finger or a thumb depending on how big your fingers are.
You do not want it too close to the door and of course he did not want to track too far away from the door. If you see that the distance between the track in the door is a lot less at the bottom then at the top this most of the time is ok just as long as the garage door is not rubbing the track when it closes. It is a good thing for the track to be close to the door at the bottom without touching because this ensures that the garage door is in the same position every times that it is closed if the track is too far away at the bottom the door can move from left to right when it is opening and closing. Now we have to test the garage door to see if the work that you have done is correct sometimes it may need a little adjustment. Before you attempt to open the garage door remember to remove the nails that are keeping the door attached to the wall while you did the work otherwise you will not be able to open the door. If you have a garage door opener or installed in your garage do not open the door for the first time using the garage door opener you will need to pull down on the emergency release cord and then you will need to lift the door slowly by hand you want to look for your rollers getting caught on the track screws when the door is going up or down. Or it is not making a smooth transition when the rollers move from the vertical track into the curved horizontal track. If the rollers are getting caught in the vertical track bolts the track may be too close to the garage door and needs to be moved out a bit or the track bolts are not tighten down all the way and that is whats causing the rollers to catch on them. If you feel the track is too close to the door then loosen the lag screws on the wall you should have a quarter to half an inch adjustment left and right just move the track away from the door a bit and then retighten your leg screws. If you are seeing a problem in the rollers transition from the vertical to the horizontal track then what I usually do is lined up the flat parts of the two tracks and then tighten down my track screws.