How to Replace the Top Strut on a Garage Door

Kenneth Crawford

Garage doors over 10-foot wide come with a u-shape bar across the top. The bar is a strut and helps prevent the top section from warping, especially when you have a garage door opener. Sometimes the strut will become damaged or become rusty requiring replacement. You must measure your door width when replacing the top strut on the garage door. This ensures you purchase the correct size. Replacement struts are available at home improvement centers and garage door dealers.

  1. Pull the garage door down all the way and engage the lock bar. If you have an opener, close the door with the remote or push button station. Disconnect the power cord from the ceiling outlet to prevent someone accidentally using a remote to open the door while you are working.

  2. Position a step ladder at the door and identify all of the hex head screws securing the strut to the top section. Some manufacturers use strut clips as well as screws. Clips are small pieces of flat metal that clip over the edge of the strut and the screw goes through the opposite end and into the door stile. Some struts are behind the top or bottom edge of the top fixtures on each end.

  3. Remove the screws securing the top edge of the strut to the door with a 3/8-inch socket wrench. If the strut is behind the top fixture, remove the fixture screw as necessary without removing the fixture. Place the screws and strut clips in a cup.

  4. Loosen and remove the screws securing the bottom edge of the strut, starting at each end and working your way to the center. Remove the center screw while holding the center of the strut. Pull the strut away from the door.

  5. Hold the new strut against the door section and line up the center bottom mounting hole with the screw hole in the center door stile. If your strut mounts between an edge of the top fixture and the door, slip the edge of the strut under the fixture.

  6. Thread the retaining screw into the mounting hole until hand tight. Attach the remaining screws along the length of the strut, and tighten with the socket wrench. If the new strut requires holes for the screws, drill them out with a 1/4-inch drill bit and install the screw. Plug the opner power cord into the ceiling outlet.