High Lift Garage Door Track

High lift garage door track is used to maximize the headroom above sectional overhead doors. Unlike standard lift track which curves back horizontally just above the opening, high lift track lets the door travel further vertically. High lift garage door track frees up a lot of space. This is useful for residential and commercial buildings where overhead doors in the open position are in the way.

Overhead doors are easily hit with fork trucks and other equipment in commercial applications. Storage facilities and warehouses that don’t utilize high lift track may find themselves routinely replacing garage door panels. Although a high-lift conversion kit may cost you money upfront, it will likely save you or your company in the long run. The main advantage to high lift track is the ability to maximize the space that was wasted by not getting a taller garage door.

Calculating Maximum High-lift

Finding the correct amount of high-lift track to install is fairly easy to calculate. Since the spring line on a high lift assembly uses about 12 inches of space we need to subtract that amount from our high-lift garage door track calculation. High lift applications use special drums that are much larger than standard lift drums in most instances. If you don’t give the drums enough space they will scrap against the ceiling during operation. The formula for calculating the maximum amount of high lift you can use is (Floor to Ceiling Height) – (Rough Opening Height) – (12 inches) = (Maximum High Lift)

  1. Measure from the floor to the nearest obstruction on the ceiling (ex. 144 inches)
  2. Measure the rough opening height of your door (ex. 96 inches)
  3. Subtract 12 inches from that figure to account for the spring line (144-96-12=36 inches)
  4. The most high lift you can use in the example above is 36 inches or 3 feet of high lift.

What Type of Garage Door Opener

Since high lift garage door track makes the door move up the header further before curving a standard garage door opener will not work. The rail or beam of the operator would bolt into the header and block the door from raising. Jackshaft motors avoid all of this trouble by mounting on the side of the door. High lift track applications require manual operation or jackshaft side mount operators.

The minimum recommended space to install highlift track is 24-inches. If you have less than 24 inches of space use 15-inch or 18-inch radius track instead of highlift. Installing less than 12 inches of high lift track is a waste of time and money. High lift kits range in price by the size of the door and amount of highlift that must be installed.  Call your local garage door dealer for a custom quote on this type of conversion. Most dealers offer free site evaluations and quotes for high lift installation.

Garage Door Guide Cal
Hello, I’m Cal – owner of Garage Door Guide LLC    

I write tutorials about garage door repair, installation and maintenance. With over a decade of experience in the overhead door industry I’ve learned a lot and I’d like to share my knowledge with you.

2 thoughts on “High Lift Garage Door Track

  1. Roy says:

    Hey cal thanks for the info. I’m putting in a high lift for my 10×8 door, total ceiling height is just over 11 feet. I have a dual std spring lift now and looking to replace the pulleys to high lift type. And because I built a stairway, there is a wall that stops the door from reaching full opening (8ft) but door opens approx 6 ‘ft high. But that is enuf to get riding mowers and such inside. The door is a GL4V clopay and I think radius is 15”. I can raise it by hand but the springs may not be adjusted right but know the pulleys need to be high lift, just don’t know which ones to get. I can lift door about 24” before it’s too heavy but can push it open alleay but hafta block it at full opening at about 6 ft. Anyhow thanks for your guide as it’s helped me somewhat. Blessings to you.

    • Garage Door Guide says:

      It may help if you can send pictures of the interior of your garage (door) where the track is (admin@garagedoorguide.com) or just text to my phone number…having a hard time visualizing your dimensions and setup. If the door is 8ft tall and the nearest obstruction is 11ft that would mean (3-1=2) 2 feet is the maximum highlift you could use. Remember 1ft must be left for the drums and springs to fit above the highlift adder.

      High lift only works on torsion spring door setups. If you have extension springs you can’t use highlift. If you do have torsion springs you have to adjust the springs, highlift adder, cables, drums, end bearing plates, center plate etc. Its more than just a few parts that get changed out.

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