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Can't remove sliding glass door from track. Saggy header?

Can't remove sliding glass door from track. Saggy header?

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  #1  
Old 05-20-17, 02:12 PM
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Can't remove sliding glass door from track. Saggy header?

I'm trying to remove a 4' wide sliding glass door from its frame, but it appears that the header has slightly sagged since the unit was put in 20+ years ago, as any part of the door that is at roughly the center of the frame can't be lifted above the lip of the bottom track. This is with the door rollers fully retracted. The primary reason I need to remove the door is to replace the stainless steel track cover (like this one):

80-103 8' Sliding Door Track Cover, Small : SWISCO.com

Also, I'd like to service/replace the bottom rollers while I'm at it, but that's less important.

Any tips? I understand that some people have used a bottle jack and post to slightly lift the top center of the frame, but I would like more detail/info on that process before I try that. It really shouldn't require too much lifting. About an 1/8" or so.

Also, I've toyed with the idea of trying to replace the track cover with the door in place, but raised up above the bottom track. I'm reasonably sure I can slip the old track cover out, but I'm skeptical that I can slide the new one in place without it getting jammed or hung up somehow. Then I'll have a worse situation on my hands.

Or how about cutting the track cover in half and installing one half at a time? Seems very doable, but I don't like the idea of a bumpy joint in the middle.

All help is appreciated!
 
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  #2  
Old 05-20-17, 02:22 PM
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You need to remove the interior trim, if there is any, and see if there are any shims above the door... or if the header is tight to the frame of the door. Usually what needs to happen is you need to use a sawzall to cut and remove the shims. Then drill pilot holes in the frame and install screws that will suck the head of the door up. Simply measuring the height of the jamb at several places to ensure it isn't sagging is a good method, but a straightedge, or a good eye will be able to get the head straight again.

In addition, if the header has sagged and the door has a nail fin you often need to remove exterior trim, expose the nail fin, and remove those fasteners before you can get the door frame to budge.

And then some doors were not fastened until the panels were installed... so you practically need to uninstall the door frame to get the out.
 
  #3  
Old 05-20-17, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for quick response, and great tips! I will definitely keep that in mind, if I decide to go that route. Seem like I could also drill a small inspection hole in the top track to see if I have an adequate gap for some uplift. If its tight against the header, then I could save myself from unnecessary removal of the interior trim.

Any thoughts about my idea of replacing the track cover with the door in place? Or cut in two?
 
  #4  
Old 05-20-17, 02:54 PM
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Not usually a good idea to cut them in two. Your hole in the top track won't necessarily help, if it is shimmed, and if the shims are every 2 ft or so... a void above the frame won't mean the frame will move up, you would have to remove the shims. Nowadays most door and window companies instruct you NOT to shim the head of the door or window for this very reason.
 
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