Type of Garage Door Hinge?
Unplug your garage door opener so nobody runs the door while you are working on hinge replacement. With the door in the closed position, identify what type of garage door hinges are installed on your overhead door. Several types of hinges exist and will vary in metal thickness (gauge) and size. All hinges have an engraved number on the face to help you identify installation position. You can read more about garage door hinges on our other post. Wide body 14 gauge hinges are recommended for all residential applications and are most common and compatible. Heavy duty wide body 11 gauge hinges are recommended for large commercial doors. Some wide doors may have double end stiles and use long stem rollers. In this case two hinges are used side by side with a long stem rollers installed through both roller carriers.
- Hinge Numbering System #1 – #9 (number is engraved on hinge face)
- Hinge Gauge (thickness) 11 Gauge, 14 Gauge, 18 Gauge
- Hinge Type – Narrow Body, Wide Body, Half Hinge, Truck Door
Remove Old Garage Door Hinge
Remove the damaged garage door hinge with the door in the closed position. Only remove & replace one hinge at a time. The existing hinge will usually have anywhere from 2 to 4 self tapping 7/16″ tek screws that will need to be removed. Standard configuration is two screws above and below the roller carrier. A cordless impact driver is recommended to remove the self drilling screws. You could also use a wrench as a last resort as it would be more time consuming. 7/16″ is the most common size fastener used on top brand name doors. A matching 7/16″ magnetic bit for your impact driver is recommended. The magnetic tip on the drill bit will obviously keep the fasteners from falling on the floor after removal.
- Impact Driver or Wrench (7/16″ Most Common)
- 7/16″ Hex Bit (Magnetic Preferred)
Install Hinge On Door Stile Using Self Tapping Screws
Install the new garage door roller hinge. If you are replacing an end hinge you will need to put the roller in the correct hinge carrier and insert the roller into the vertical track. Again, make sure you match the stile, size and gauge of your existing hinge. Some garage doors have narrow middle and end stiles so they require narrow bodied hinges, but most doors have enough stile width to support the 14 gauge wide body hinges. You might need new self drilling 7/16″ tek screws if your old fasteners are worn out. All new hinges require at least two fasteners on the top and bottom of the roller carrier. Three screws above and below the roller carrier is best. Do not over tighten the self tapping screws as this will strip out the metal on your door stiles and cause the screws to loosen. It is recommended that the self tapping screws be installed in the garage door & hinge pre-cut holes. However, self drilling screws can be installed anywhere on the hinge and door stile if necessary.
Manually Test Door Hinge Operation
Inspect the newly installed hinge to make sure it is both aligned and holding tight to the door. Also make sure you have the correct numbered hinge in the right position on the door and that the hinge isn’t installed upside down. If the screws are loose after installation you will need to start new holes or use thicker diameter screws. Finally, lubricate the newly installed hinge roller carrier and test run the door by pulling the opener release cord. Raise the door up slowly from the floor (manually without opener) making sure the newly installed hinge is performing correctly. The most common mistake made during hinge replacement is installing the wrong numbered hinge in the incorrect position on the door.
This how to article is designed only for hinge replacement. For top and bottom bracket fixture replacement you will need to review a different tutorial. Top brackets need adjustment during installation and bottom brackets are under extreme tension from the torsion or extension springs. Do not utilize this article for bottom bracket fixture replacement.
Quick Step By Step Summary:
- Unplug opener with door in closed position
- Identify what hinge type & size is needed
- Find an impact drill or wrench to fit self drilling tek hex screws 7/16″
- Remove existing hex tek screws from old hinge
- Position new hinge on door stile (roller in carrier if end stile)
- Install at least 4 tek screws on the new hinge (Two on top & bottom of roller carrier)
- Lubricate roller carrier tube on new hinge
- Test the door manually (by hand without opener) making sure hinge is functioning properly.