Diagnostic – visible cracks or separation in the hinges or any visible rust and deterioration of hinges from that rust. Any distortion or bent hinges will need to be replaced.
Cost: $ 6 $15 each hinge
Difficulty – easy
Time to repair – 1 3 hrs
Tools needed – impact drill (not necessary but recommended), 3⁄8 socket or wrench, 7/16 wrench or socket, (ratchet wrenches work better than standard wrenches)
Before you start to replace hinges on your garage door there are a few things you need to know first. Not all garage door manufacturers use the same kind of hinges there are a select few who use a different system than all of the rest. Amarr, overhead door and Wayne dalton are the biggest ones. Some manufacturers construct their hinges into the door sections when they are manufactured and can be very difficult to replace. Your most common garage door hinges are diamond shaped and are stamped with a number one through 10 and sometimes even above depending on the height of the garage door and how many sections the garage door has. The numbering system is based on distance because the hinges on the left and right hand side of the garage door hold the rollers in place and should vary in size as you go up the garage door this gives the vertical track a slight angle back in order to properly open the door.
You must replace a number 1 hinge with a number 1 hinge or a number 3 hinge with a number 3 hinge etc. This is to make sure that the door will properly function when opening and closing. All the other intermediate hinges on the garage doors in other words the hinges in the middle of the door that attaches the panels together will almost always be number one hinges I have seen people replace the intermediate number 1 inches with a number two or number 3 inch because functionally it does the same job. The number 2,3,4 and above hinges have an extra slot this extra slot is further away from the garage door and this is where your rollers are inserted. Also if your rollers are showing a lot of wear and tear then a good time to replace them is when you are replacing the outer hinges on the left and right hand side of the door.
The process of replacing door hinges is pretty simple especially after you have done a few. When you are replacing hinges there are a few things you must know; first, there is a bottom and top of a hinge you can tell the bottom of a hinge because the hole is a perfect round hole and the top will have a slot for a hole this slot is for adjustment. The number of the hinge is always marked on the bottom half of the hinge. If your garage door is constructed of wood it will have through bolts holding the hinges on through bolts are threaded bolts that are installed from the outside of the garage door and tighten down with a nut on the inside. If your garage door is constructed of metal it will have metal screws that fasten the hinge to the door panel. When it comes to the intermediate hinges the number one hinges in the middle of the door you can pretty much just remove all of the old changes and replace with the new as far as the hinges on the left and right hand side of the door it is not a good idea to do this because the door could fall on to you.
So just to be safe just replace one hinge at a time preferably starting at the number one hinge or the top of the first panel on the bottom of the garage door. When replacing the numbered hinges one through four etc. Remove the hinge and then remove the roller then slide the roller back into the new hinge round slot. Making sure that you put the roller into the slot furthest away from the garage door or closest to you. The most important part is to make sure that the roller is properly inserted into the track before tightening down the new hinge. Now ones that you have properly replaced all of your hinges you may have to make adjustments and you will know because if you look at your garage door from the side the panels will have an accordion effect. It is sometimes almost impossible to do this with just one person so you might want to grab somebody to help you adjust the hinges. This is where the slots on the top half of the hinge comes into play.
Starting from the bottom section if the two sections are meeting and they are angled in toward you then you will need to push from the inside out to straighten them up and then tighten down the top two screws or nuts of course you will have to loosen them before you start the adjustment. Do not loosen the bottom two screws or nuts in this process. When the two sections meet and protrude outward that is where you’ll need a second person to go outside and push in on those two sections to where they are straight and then you would tighten down the top two screws or nuts on the hinges. Just to be clear you want to slightly loose in any screws and or nuts on the top end of any hinges before you start the whole process and then work your way up from the bottom section. If you have a wood panel garage door then you should at least once a year tighten up all of your nuts that attach to the hinges because wood panel doors are notorious for the nuts coming loose twice a year would be even better you will just need most likely a 7/16 wrench or socket.
If you have a amarr brand garage door then your hinges are going to be totally different than your common garage door because amarr uses a pinchless sections and hardware that can be quite different than your normal garage door hinges. Amarr hinges come in two different designs the intermediate hinges in the middle of the garage door are different than they hinge system on the far left and right hand side of the garage door which contains the rollers. The hinges on this kind of door should never have to be replaced because they are made of extremely sick gauge sheet¬metal I have never had to replace any due to normal wear and tear now if the garage door has been hit by a car or has jump cables and been some of the hinges that’s different. And you can absolutely not to use common garage door hinges on a aymar garage door they won’t work.
The hinges on the left and right hand side of the door where the track in the rollers are the intersection come into different pieces one piece holds the roller and the other one connects the two sections together using a different pivot point on the section allows the shape of the sections to be pinch less so that is why you cannot use common garage door hinges on these brands of garage door. Now if you have a garage door manufactured by clopay then you are dealing with a whole different animal. The hinges that they use on the residential garage doors are extremely thin and are notorious for breaking off or cracking under pressure just due to normal wear and tear it is ridiculous that they make their hinges out of such a thin grade of sheet metal. If you have one of these garage doors the hinges are pretty much the same diamond shaped and you can definitely use a heavier duty common garage door hinge on these doors and I would recommend it if you picked up a hinge at home depot or lowes it will be made of heavy duty sheet metal then the factory clopay hinges.
They also manufactured a hinge design years ago starting in the early 2000s and the hinge design was so bad that they quit manufacturing them if you have one of these garage doors you should replace it. I am not even going to explain how to replace these hinges because the door needs to be replaced with something more modern and better quality.
Two last things when replacing hinges number one on a metal steel garage door you must be extremely careful when replacing the metal screws not to strip out the holes because it is very easy to do if you feel like the screw is not grabbing and is stripped out then take a drill bit and make a pilot hole into a place on the hinge where you can grab some new metal even if you have to drill through the hinge itself to make a new hole. When it comes to garage doors constructed of wood it is most likely through bolted this means the bolt that holds the hinge is coming in from the front face of the garage door all the way through the panel if this is the case and you have rotted wood on your door panels it is most likely to be impossible to replace the hinges because once the wood rots away you cannot remove the nuts from the hinges to get the old hinges off because the carriage bolt is spinning in the wood is no longer strong enough to hold the carriage bolt this is especially true if you have painted the inside of your garage door and also have painted the carriage bolts that hold the hinges this makes it very difficult to get the nuts off of the hinges to replace them on the so when painting inside of garage door you should always not paint the hinges in the bolts that hold them together.