Garage Door Rollers

Of all the parts of the garage door, there are few as important and as misunderstood as garage door rollers. Here at DIY Garage Door Parts Online, we would like to help you learn more about this crucial part of your door mechanism so that you can make smart decisions when it comes to repairing your door and repairing parts as needed.

What Are Garage Door Rollers Anyway?

The rollers would look to be very simple devices that serve to guide the garage door along the track, moving it smoothly along for the ride. Put simply, the rollers serve as tires for the garage door. If you do not have rollers or your rollers are not in good, working condition, your door will not move anywhere or it will creak and moan while it does so. Whether you have a manual or an automatic garage door opener, a good set of rollers is critical to keeping it moving and operating as it should. Proper maintenance is very important. Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of work to maintain the rollers, and even if you are not a handyman or you do not know a lot about garage door repair, you can take care of the basics and keep your garage door operating smoothly—potentially saving you a big repair bill if you were to allow the door to get in bad condition and possibly break altogether.

Roller Diameter and Stem Length – The Basics

In the garage door industry, there are three standard roller diameter sizes. These standard sizes are one, two, and three inches. You can determine which fits your door by measuring the face of the roller with a ruler or tape measure. It’s important to note that the measurements may be “off” a slight bit; for instance, a 3” roller may actually measure at around 2 ¾”. In addition to the diameter of the roller face, you also may need to know how long the stem is. This requires that you measure the length of the stem where the roller hits the stem. When you view a picture of the roller “off the track” it should be a bit more clear where the measurement will be. The shaft itself has a standard diameter. Once you have determined what size roller you are currently using, you will have a better idea what size roller you wish to order online.

What Are Garage Door Rollers Made Of?

There are several options when it comes to choosing the material for your garage door roller face and the stem. It is important that you understand the pros and cons of each material so you can make a smart decision for your particular needs.

The materials used in constructing a garage roller will influence how long the roller lasts, how it works in high and low-moisture environments, the quietness of the door operation, and how heavy the door is that the roller can lift.

First, make sure that the roller you choose can bear the weight of your door without breaking. One way to do this is by simply replacing your current rollers with the same material. However, if you wish to upgrade, you could look up the weight of your door and research the weight bearing capacity of a particular roller.

The next step would be to consider the ability of the roller to stand up to the moisture in the air. If you live in an area with high humidity or have a lot of water in use (such as if you operate a commercial car wash or related business), you may want to look at stainless steel or zinc as roller plating options. These are highly resilient against rust.

Finally, think about the life of the roller and how quiet you would like your door to be.  If you are looking for quiet garage door rollers, then probably nylon rollers or neoprene rollers are what you would want. They are quieter and will last much longer. The longevity is increased because of the better bearings like in our 13 ball bearing garage door rollers.  Steel rollers are built for durability and low cost but may be a little noisier. The key is to balance all of your needs and wants and choose the material that will serve you best now—and into the future too.

 

 

How to Identify Roller Problems

In many cases, the first sign you have a problem with your rollers is going to occur when you hear additional noises upon opening and closing your garage door. A little clunking or banging could mean that just one or two rollers needs attention, but serious screeching and noise may mean that it is time for a full replacement of all rollers. In serious situations, you may have rollers completely come loose and fall off the door itself. A problem with the garage door roller is not something you want to take a risk with—schedule some time to repair this problem right away, if possible.

Lubricating Your Rollers

If your rollers are currently in good repair but just a little creaky, you may want to consider lubricating them to keep them in good working order. This is a simple task and one that even beginning do-it-yourselfers will have no problem completing by themselves. Purchase a lubricating oil and add a few drops to the rollers to keep them moving smooth and steady along the track. Do not go overboard though—too much oil can cause problems for your track or leak onto your cement and cause a stain.

Can You Replace Rollers Yourself?

Yes. While replacing garage door rollers is not the easiest job you have probably ever completed, it is not terribly difficult, and the task is certainly one that you can complete if you have good instructions (preferably with video). The key is to have all of the equipment and supplies you need at the ready, as you will want to make this a “one day” project, since your door will be down and not operational while it is occurring.

The 2 Basic Ways of Garage Door Roller Replacement

1st Way - This is probably the easiest and fast is to use our video by clicking here

2nd Way - It is important to note that there are three main garage door rollers—replacing each is a little different, so each will be detailed below.

  • Replacing the Top Roller – First, you will remove the bolt that secures the roller retainer to the top fixture. Then, remove the roller and retainer by angling it towards the inside of your garage. Insert a new roller in the retainer and insert the roller in the track by angling it towards the track. Then, simply secure the bolt back on the retainer.
  • Replacing a Middle Roller – For this, you will remove the bolts that secure the hinge to the garage door. You will have to remove the hinge to remove the roller itself. You may need to angle the roller a bit towards the center of the garage to get it to pop loose. Replace the roller into the hinge (or, if you are replacing the hinge too, insert the new roller into the hinge and install the entire new section of hardware). Insert the roller on the track. Then, secure the bolts tightly to ensure that there are no loose edges that can harm anyone or cause the door to fall under its own weight.
  • Replacing the Bottom Roller - When you are replacing the bottom garage door roller, your task is a bit more complex. First, pull the bottom of the garage door toward the inside of the garage as much as possible and take loose the old roller from the door. If the roller is still on the track, you will need to bend the track. This allows you to remove the roller from the track. It is easier to replace the roller by raising the door a few feet off the ground. Next, find the two holes in the roller. If they are not perpendicular to the bottom bracket, the bracket is bent. Straighten the bracket using the roller itself.

Lower the garage door by hand just to the point where the roller is right next to the bend in the track. You will then insert the new roller into the bottom portion of the bracket. When you do this, you will pull the bottom section of the door toward the inside of the garage just as you did before. Use a hammer to straighten the rack, but do not hit any point where there is a roller.

Whether you decide it is time to replace the rollers on your garage door now or you are planning to simply lubricate your existing rollers, why not check out the options we have available at DIY Garage Door Parts Online? Not only do we offer a huge selection of parts at excellent prices, we give you help with the “how to” side of things too. Check out our videos or reach out to our team of experts to learn the tips and tricks on how to keep your garage door in tip-top condition. We can’t wait to help you do it yourself and save money along the way.

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