Garage door

Hi,
We have a "double wide" (17'?) *insulated* garage door. As such, the internal structure of the door is largely hidden.
Across the length of each of the "panels", a metal "stiffener" is attached. Essentially, like a metal 1x3 fastened "edge on" for greatest rigidity.
All of the fasteners to the door itself are large, but short, "sheet metal screws". There seem to be certain places in the door where "internal members" are present -- beyond just the sheet metal "skin". So, only screws installed in these locations can actually carry any load.
These seem to work their way loose over time. Making the INEVITABLE mistake of trying to lift (or lower) the door by grabbing onto one of these stiffeners invariably ends up loosening screws that attach it to the door panel.
As they are sheet metal screws *and* the interior of the door is inaccessible, there's no real way to tighten them; you end up having to move to the next larger screw size.
[There's a limit as to how far you can go with this!]
Short of putting carriage bolts *through* the door (the exterior is "smooth"), what other approaches can I take to secure the stiffeners, hinges and other hardware to the door panels?
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On Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:39:22 -0700, Don Y

You can use Loc-tite. Might help. But you should install a handle and stop using the stiffeners - or an electric garage door opener.
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On 9/1/2015 3:46 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

I suspect loctite would offer too little assistance. The screws are ~1/4" diameter with very coarse threads. They make 1/4-20 bolts look "fine"!
The stiffeners are rarely used -- they are just the obvious temptation when the opener is disengaged (perhaps once a year?). And, even ignoring the stiffeners, there is still the problem of the screws holding the hinges working themselves loose.
As there are only fixed places on the panels that are reinforced (i.e., capable of carrying any focused load), a handle would have to be mounted vertically:
-+ | | -+
instead of horizontally:
+----+ | |
and, only in one of the five places where the panels are reinforced (two edges, center -- which is where the opener carries the load -- and midway between center and edges)
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On Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at 4:39:04 PM UTC-5, Don Y wrote:

Mine is an insulated Masonite Phoenix brand...the 2 lower panels have the stiffeners you describe. They are attached to the lower carriage bolt of the hinges. So move them to the hinges or use though-bolts (carriage) like the rest of the fasteners.
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On 9/1/2015 6:03 PM, bob_villa wrote:

There are *no* carriage bolts or any other hardware going *through* the door. The outside is *smooth* -- devoid of any screw/bolt heads.
With the exception of the topmost stiffener -- which is located along the very top edge of the door -- the other stiffeners are located a couple of inches below each of the *lowest* hinge bolts. I can't recall if the door was "predrilled" for this placement but they are so uniformly placed that I doubt the installer *measured* the locations so exactly (and got them *straight* over an 19' span).
Moving the stiffeners up to share the lower hinge screw hole would just mean needing a longer screw in that position; and, that the screw would now have to carry the load of the hinge *and* stiffener (instead of splitting this over two screws).
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If the door is properly lubricated, the force to move it up and down should be fairly small and the pulling out should not occur. Are all the rollers and the hinges properly lubricated???
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On 9/1/2015 7:54 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I think the problem is the *mass* of the door. The springs are, theoretically, designed to offset the lifting weight of the door. But, it still has mass and bulk. When the opener kicks in, the door inevitably "jostles" as it starts into motion (the opener isn't entirely rigid in its design so acts like a tuned system). The same applies when the opener abruptly stops (at end of travel *or* if it detects something in the path)
I think this jostling is what ultimately causes the screws to work their way loose in the hinges, etc. (the hinges see more of a dynamic load than the stiffeners!)
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On 09/01/2015 03:39 PM, Don Y wrote:

There are 2-part epoxy glues that if ***used properly*** would hold the brackets/braces in place without mechanical fasteners. The key is in surface preparation. Get lazy and the glue joints will likely fail.
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On 9/2/2015 2:11 AM, Bic wrote:

I'd be leary of using that on anything that is likely to *need* replacement (e.g., hinges -- the things that seem to be exhibiting the most "screw migration").

That's true of most anything -- paint, cement, etc.
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Don Y wrote:

Threaded pop rivets (to give threads on the hidden side) and bolts.
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On 9/2/2015 2:21 AM, dadiOH wrote:

I'm not sure I follow?
The idea that this *suggests* is a pop rivet that I'd introduce from the back (interior) side *into* one of these "worn out" sheet metal screw holes.
Said rivet then presenting a threaded *hole* into which the screw could gain purchase?
I didn't know such things existed. They would need to be *large*. I.e., the "bolts" would end up as 1/4-20... AT LEAST!
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Don Y wrote:

Right

Easy to find... http://www.grainger.com/category/rivet-nuts/thread-insert/fasteners/ecatalog/N-8o5
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On 9/2/2015 11:18 AM, dadiOH wrote:

These won't work (at least not the first few pages of results I skimmed).
They need to be pressed in from the face. But, there's not enough UNYIELDING material for them to grab onto -- else the screws would work just fine!
A *pop* rivet might work as the portion of the rivet *inside* the door could mushroom to hold it in place (similar to how a lead anchor works). Getting at the *inside* of the door is where the trouble lies (if I could do that, I could just use bolts with *nuts*!)
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A rivnut should expand enough on the inside if you select the proper fastener diameter - which may require to enlarge the existing hole a bit.

That's also how the rivnut works. The portion inside the door mushrooms.
http://www.rivet-nut.com/Rivnut_Fasteners.asp
See the application/installation/selection guides on the lefthand side.
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On 9/2/2015 12:46 PM, Scott Lurndal wrote:

Ah, OK. So, instead of the "bar" that passes through a *pop* rivet which is pulled to mushroom the inside, the actual bolt threaded into it does the "pulling" (as it is tightened)?
The question then would be how *thin* the door material can be and still work with this (I suspect it's a sheet metal *skin* over a bit of "channel" fashioned from sheet metal, as well -- esp given how easily the existing sheet metal screws can enlarge the holes in normal use and work themselves loose!)

I'll have a look. Thanks!
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Don Y wrote:

You don't have to get to the inside of the door, they are inserted from the outside and mushroomed (expanded) on the inside. They are pop rivets with internal threads, very handy,
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dadiOH posted for all of us...

+1 or just rivets.
--
Tekkie

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