Can You Install A New Garage Door On Old Tracks?

Jennifer Eggerton
by Jennifer Eggerton

Using parts from your old garage door saves time and money when you need to replace your old garage door. Most of the work for installing a garage door involves the tracks. Can you install a new garage door on old tracks?

Probably not. Tracks are designed to work with specific makes and models of garage doors. They are not interchangeable. If you must use the old tracks, check the length, width, thickness, and lift design of the tracks. Make sure they are compatible with the new door. Replacing garage door tracks takes about 30 minutes.

Let’s take a look at how garage door tracks work and considerations for using old tracks for a new garage door.

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What are Garage Door Tracks?

Garage door tracks are suspended from the ceiling of your garage. They are made from galvanized steel to hold the weight of the door. Also known as a roller assembly, the tracks of a garage door are essential for opening and closing the door. The garage door has a series of wheels and axles. The wheels fit inside the channel of the tracks.

Do All Garage Doors Have Tracks?

No, some garage door designs don’t rely on roller assemblies to open and close the door. Trackless garage doors include:

  • Roll-up doors
  • Hinged doors
  • Tilt-up, over canopy

How Garage Door Tracks Work

When you open your garage door, the wheels on the door slide along the channel of the tracks. The tracks are long enough for the door to fit inside the garage when it is completely open.

Types of Garage Door Tracks

Garage door tracks are available in different lengths and widths. Track lengths range from 6’ to 14’ 4”, and they are available in 1”, 2”, and 3” widths. The smaller width is typically used for commercial trucks. Residential garage doors use 2” tracks, although some residential garage door designs require 3” tracks.

Garage door tracks come in various thicknesses, as well. For residential garage doors, the tracks are 0.055”, 0.062”, 0r 0.075” thick.

Tracks are also designed with different types of lifts. Garage doors for homes use a standard lift track system that has a vertical track that are approximately 8” shorter than the door. At the top of the vertical track is a section of curved track that connects to a horizontal track. Vertical lift tracks and high lift tracks are used for commercial and industrial applications.

Do New Garage Doors Come with Tracks?

New garage doors come with tracks. This is because garage door tracks are not adjustable, and the tracks may not be interchangeable.

Can You Install a New Garage Door on Old Tracks?

So, let’s say that you buy a garage door that doesn’t come with tracks. Can you use the tracks from your old garage door? Possibly. The tracks need to be the correct length, width, and thickness for the door. You also need to make sure that the door will work with the lift design of the tracks.

4 Reasons to Replace Your Old Garage Door Tracks

Here are some reasons to consider investing the time into replacing your old garage door tracks.

Safety

The tracks of your garage door ensure that the door opens and closes properly. The tracks also keep the garage door securely in place. Tracks do wear out over time. Replacing the tracks when you install a new garage door prevents injuries and property damage.

Warranty Coverage

Warranties require that equipment be used as intended by the manufacturer. Using old tracks on a new garage door is reason enough for a manufacturer to deny coverage. Even if a defect in the door results in damage, the manufacturer can limit coverage because you used old tracks.

Package Deal

Garage doors come with new tracks from the manufacturer. You don’t need to purchase the tracks separately. The only cost to you is some time over the weekend to install the tracks.

Easy DIY Project

It takes about 30 minutes to install new garage door tracks. You simply remove the old tracks, and secure the new tracks in place. In many cases, the old attachment points on the wall and ceiling can be used for the new tracks.

How to Replace Garage Door Tracks

Here are the steps to follow to replace your old garage door tracks.

Step 1: Remove Hinge Pins and Rollers

Look for the hinge pins and rollers that are attached to the tracks. Remove these parts from both sides of the garage door. Some track systems use snap-in hinge pins and rollers. Others are held in place with screws.

Step 2: Remove the Springs

Your garage door is held open by a large spring. Remove the spring from the garage door assembly. Be careful. The spring may have some tension in it. Work slowly.

Step 3: Mark the Location of the Old Tracks

You need to keep track of where the studs are that support the old tracks. Mark these with a pen above and below the tracks. This simplifies the installation of the new tracks.

Step 4: Remove the Old Tracks

Garage door tracks are held in place with screws. Start at the lower end of the track, and work your way to the top. This keeps the track from falling as you remove the screws. Having a second person helps with this step.

Step 5: Install the New Tracks

Align the new tracks with the pen marks from the old track. Secure the tracks in place with screws. Start at the top part of the tracks, and work your way to the bottom section. Check the alignment with a level.

Step 6: Install the Door

You’ll need a second person to install the door. Line up the hinges and rollers with the track, and gently push the door along the tracks. Secure the door with the hinge pins and roller pans. Apply a thin layer of lubricant to the tracks. Test the door a few times to make sure it moves smoothly along the tracks.

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Related Questions

Do garage doors need maintenance?

Yes. Perform maintenance on your garage door at least once every 12 months. Lubricate the rollers. Replace weatherstripping. Look for damage to the door, roller assembly, and locking bars. Replace the batteries in your automatic opener.

Conclusion

You can use old tracks for a new garage door if the tracks are the correct length, width, and thickness. Replacing garage door tracks takes only 30 minutes, so it is a simple and worthwhile DIY project.

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Jennifer Eggerton
Jennifer Eggerton

Jennifer L. Eggerton loves being hands-on, whether it's with a home DIY project, making repairs, re-decorating a room, or keeping life organized. She enjoys helping people by sharing her knowledge, insights, and experiences, as well as her lessons learned. In addition to her work as a writer, Jennifer is a JeepĀ® overlander, self-published author, and nature photographer who loves being outdoors.

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