Whether your garage door uses steel or nylon rollers, sooner or later they'll get worn down after years of helping your garage door open and close smoothly. Replacing these rollers can extend the life of your garage door and help it operate smoothly and quietly. The following offers a step-by-step DIY guide for swapping out your old rollers with brand-new ones.
Changing the Top Roller
First, make sure the garage door is closed. For good measure, pull the emergency release cable for the garage door and unplug or otherwise disable the garage door opener. Locate the bolts holding the top roller bracket to the door and loosen these using your socket wrench. Once the bolts have been removed, carefully slide the bracket off the door. As you do so, angle the roller axle inwards to free the roller from the track.
With the bracket removed, pull the old roller out of its mount and slide the new roller inside. Once the new roller is in place, angle the roller so that the front edge slips back into the track, then swivel the bracket towards the door. Make sure the bracket's mounting holes line up with those on the door. Reinsert and tighten the bolts with your socket wrench and repeat the above steps with the bracket on the other side of the door.
Changing the Middle Rollers
With the garage door still closed, use your socket wrench to loosen the upper and lower bolts on the door hinge. Afterwards, pull the hinge off of the door. As you pull the hinge, you'll want to angle the roller axle so that the roller clears the track.
Once you've removed the hinge, pull the old roller out of its mount and push the new roller into position. Carefully angle the edge of the roller so that it slips into the track and then push the hinge towards the door and over the mounting points on the door. Reinsert and tighten the bolts on the hinge using your socket wrench. Once you're done, repeat the above steps for the remaining middle rollers.
Changing the Bottom Roller
The steps for changing the bottom roller are slightly different from those needed for the top and middle rollers. After making sure everything is back in place, you'll want to open your garage door and hold it open by placing a C-clamp on the track opposite of the side you're working on. Make sure the C-clamp is positioned just below the last roller on the door.
For added safety, you may want to place a step ladder in the center of the garage door opening. This will prevent the garage door from dropping completely if the C-clamps fail for any reason.
Next, you'll need to bend part of the track just below the 90-degree elbow bend. Use a pair of pliers to bend the track just enough to let the roller slip out of the track. Afterwards, you can move the door downwards until it is centered over the bent edge. Use a flathead screwdriver to pry the roller out of the track.
Pull the old roller out of its axle mount and slide the new roller into place. Next, push the roller back onto the track and push the door up until the roller is completely within the 90-degree elbow bend. Use a hammer to carefully beat the track lip back into shape. Afterwards, place a C-clamp underneath the roller and repeat the above steps for the other side.
Wrapping Things Up
After you've finished changing out the rollers, test the garage door and make sure it rolls smoothly without any snags or other balance issues. If you've installed steel rollers, you'll want to make sure they're properly lubricated before you start using your garage door again. If your rollers haven't already been lubricated from the factory, spray a small amount of silicone or white lithium grease onto the axle and roller bearings.
Refrain from lubricating nylon rollers, as the lubricant could wear down the nylon material faster and cause premature wear and tear. For more tips, or if you're unsure of your own ability to do this job, contact the professionals at a local garage door service.