What will shortening vertical tracks do to door operation?


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Old 03-11-14, 06:30 PM
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What will shortening vertical tracks do to door operation?

I'm installing a 7' tall, multi-section, Reliabilt, steel garage door and the door hits the roof. I'm considering cutting 4" off the bottom of the vertical tracks to get the door to clear the roof. But I'm unsure what this will do to the door operation. Does anyone have experience shortening the vertical tracks to lower the height of the door during opening? Did it have any adverse effect on the opening or closing of the door?
 
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Old 03-11-14, 06:44 PM
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Yes it will, so don't do it. The top panel will act like it's 4" from being closed as the rollers won't allow it to seal up next to the jamb, it will be tipped way back into the curved part of the track at the top.

When you say "clear the roof" what exactly is the problem? Your roof is only 81" high?
 
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Old 03-11-14, 08:02 PM
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I'm doing this at my Mom's whose garage was built in the 1940's. It's what I would call a "A-frame" garage with the rafters running up to the ridge board at probably a 30 angle. I've already notched out the rafters (to be reinforced) so the horizontal rails fit horizontally; but, the top door segment's outside edges hit the ceiling above the rafter. There's plenty of headroom for the rest of the door: it's just the door's outside leading edges that are hitting.

Regarding the top of the door not being vertical if the vertical tracks are shortened, could the automatic door closer's arm be positioned in a way that fully closes the door?
 
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Old 03-11-14, 08:29 PM
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I don't think you understand. The ends of the door have rollers that HAVE to go in very specific places on the frame in order for the door to work properly. It's the location of the rollers that will prevent the door from going shut if you shorten the track. Imagine what happens to the top panel if you lifted the door 4". That's what will happen if you cut 4" off the sides and try and drop them down to the floor while the garage door stays sitting in the exact same place. Shortening the tracks does not shorten the doors. It also has nothing to do with the center arm at ALL.

I also cannot for the life of me figure out what you are saying about the framing. Is the ceiling so low that you have completely cut out the rafters? If that's the case, I would like to see how you plan on reinforcing it. So the garage door wants to hit the bottom of the roof sheathing when you go to raise it up, because the top of the door hits it when you start to raise it up, right? (or are you saying there are ceiling joists and a loft that it is hitting?)

IMO if the garage is that low, you ought to get some bottle jacks and jack it up, then block underneath it with 4x4's in order to RAISE the entire garage up 4".
 
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Old 03-11-14, 08:51 PM
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XSleeper: Thanks for your input. You gave me something to go on. I plan to go back and lift up the upper section of the door 4" so I can see what happens to the top rollers.

While I'm there I'll take some photos so I can show you what I'm talking about. I know it's confusing.

I know that shortening the vertical tracks does not shorten the door. Also, no way am I going to jack up the whole garage to solve this problem.
 
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Old 03-11-14, 10:59 PM
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They make special low headroom tracks for installations that can't use the standard track. I had it at my old place but that was fifteen years ago so I don't remember the details. It DID have a dual horizontal track and as I recall the top rollers on the top panel went into the upper track with the rest of the rollers staying in the lower track when the door was opened.

I could be mistaken as it WAS quite some time ago.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 09:27 AM
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Furd. Thanks for the input. In researching my problem on the internet I've become aware of the low headroom kit you mentioned as well as quick-turn top brackets, and Super Sneaky top bracket hinges. But, at this point I haven't been able to decide which would work. Also, I want to first make sure that there isn't something I can do with what I already have that would work, like cutting some inches off of the bottom of the vertical rails.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 11:11 AM
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Door

If you cut off the bottom of the vertical track, you would need to cut a like amount off of the bottom of the door. A questionable option.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 03:25 PM
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Photos

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Old 03-12-14, 05:01 PM
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First of all, take your 3 1/2" board out and place the top section down onto the previous one. And maybe tell us if you have a 15" radius track or a 12" radius track. For low headroom you should have the 12" radius. (24" diameter circle or 30" diameter circle... you should be able to figure out which you have with a framing square, if you can't tell by looking.)

Remove the lags from your top fixture and close the door completely. Insert the top fixture into the tracks and let it slide down until it contacts the door then raise it up slightly so that the roller is not too tight nor too loose and install a pair of lags into the door bracket, being sure the door is plumb and pushed out against a temporary stop on the exterior (if needed). Repeat on the opposite side. Raise the door and tell us if its still hitting.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 05:25 PM
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XSleeper: The radius is 12". I already tried positioning the top fixture lower on the door, but the door still hits the ceiling.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 05:57 PM
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Well I just ordered a pair of quick-turn brackets. They replace the top roller brackets and are supposed to lower the door by 2". They also allow vertical track shortening up to 1 1/2". So, if they don't do the trick, I should be able to lower the vertical track the 1 1/2" and get it to work.

Thanks all for your input.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 06:23 PM
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I didn't say to put it lower. In my opinion the roller bracket needs to be higher. The lower you put the roller bracket, the farther the top will protrude and the more likely it will be to hit the ceiling. Glad you can get the quick turn brackets. But try positioning the roller higher first.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 07:57 PM
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XSleeper: I see your point. But, with the current top roller bracket the door will still be about 4" above the rail. The quick-turn brackets will bring it down to 2" (the thickness of the door), plus if needed, I can remove up to 1 1/2" from the vertical tracks. So, that sounds like a workable solution.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 08:17 PM
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SO what you are saying is that you actually did what I suggested- dropped the door all the way, positioned the top roller brackets on both sides as high as they could reasonably go without pulling the door in too far... and then raised the door and you are saying it still hits the roof?

If it's just that one rafter that's in the way, I think I'd get rid of it for the time being and then head it off above that location and position a couple new ones to either side or lay some framing flat under either side of that header where it isn't in the way. Even if you had to head all the rafters off above the track, I bet it could be done. It would just be a little janky. er... a lot janky.
 
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Old 03-13-14, 05:33 AM
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XSleeper: My current plan to reinforce the notched rafters is to nail and glue sister 12" strips of 5/8" x 1 1/2" - 2" hardwood on each rafter face (two per rafter) above the notches. This will require cutting off some roofing nails to allow the edges of the strips to fit flush to the ceiling. I think this reinforcement method will be more than adequate, while taking me the least time.
 
 

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