Garage Door Rail supports

When I installed my (used) wooden garage door some years ago, the door was made for an 8 foot high wall, thus the door is about 7 feet. My garage walls are 9 feet tall. But I needed to save some money and had that door, and really did not need the extra height. The only problem is that the rails were 2 feet lower than the ceiling rafters. I just installed a couple 2 foot 2x4's. Shortly after, one of them split from the spring pressure, so I added another 2x4 (doubled it). That worked fine but I soon had to add some angle braces because the 2x4's were pulling loose from the rafters (by the nails). A year later one of them almost pulled off the rafter, so I added carriage bolts. After that I was fine until a couple months ago when one of the spring cables broke. The spring launched, completely destroying the entire (double) 2x4 and brace, and the spring ripped apart some shelves in the rear of the garage in the process.
I am finally getting around to fixing this. I got new cables and also got a set of safety cables so if it breaks again, no one gets hurt. However, I am wondering if I should use some of that angle steel rather than 2x4's this time. It's made for that purpose. But it's not the thickest steel, and while it might work for a one foot or less drop, will it support a 2 foot drop without buckling? On the other hand, I could use some thick angle iron for the main support and just use that thinner garage door steel for the braces.
I know I can make something work, but was wondering if anyone else had used that angle stock made for garage doors and if it was strong enough for my needs.
Thanks
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On Nov 2, 5:40 am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

My rails are secured by vertical angle iron supported by 45 degree angle iron - however, its not a 2 foot drop.
If you are concerned with the strength of the angle iron that is "made for garage doors" why not upgrade? Get the thickest, strongest angle iron, solid or slotted, that you think will hold up. Brace the verticals with 45's in both directions if you are concerned that the 2' drop is excessive.
I bought a trailer with a homemade rolling shelf system. The vertical frame is made of slotted angle iron and the rails are sections of garage door rails. The wooden shelves have garage door rollers on the sides that slip into the rails so I can roll them in and out. Three 32" x 80" shelves which can easily handle 300 lbs each . Consider the forces on the frame with a few hundred pounds 5 feet up in the air in a moving trailer. Anyway, the frame was getting a bit tired, so I upgraded to lower gauge (thicker) angle iron. I was amazed at how more more solid the entire system became.
Another suggestion: Stop by a garage door repair/installation shop and ask them how they would deal with a 2 foot drop. We have a family owned shop in our area that would be more than happy to offer advice on the hope that you'll call them when you need some service.
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On Nov 2, 2:40 am, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

I'm a little confused here........but seems like you're describing a sectional door installation but how did the "spring pressure" cause the 2x4 failure?
Or is this a slab door with guide tracks & a suspended pivot point??? If so ignore the sectional door comments.
If its a slab door & suspended pivot....your mounting location needs to be nearly as strong as the garage ceiling diaphragm. So you'll need to make a relatively strong & stiff "drop ceiling"".
like two narrow runs of drop ceiling about 18" wide (at the ceiling) tapering to 6" wide at the track, that way you can take advantage of the plywood 24" half width & get twice as many braces from a sheet. Skin the braces (vertical & angled surfaces) and you've got a very strong & stiff mount for all the door hardware.
Sectional door relative comments:
I've seen lots of sectional door installations (& have one) where the horizontal portions of the roller guide tracks (rails) are a ways down from the garage ceiling. My installation uses that thin angle material with all the holes in it, not the strongest stuff but no problems so far (10years).
However, not 2 feet. Two feet seems like a lot but you should be able to support & brace it with fairly thin angle material. I would suggest supporting & bracing the rails at three locations per horizontal run. Use a vertical angle member at each location AND a 45 deg angled brace as well.
The loads on each support & brace will be pretty low....just make sure that everything is lined up straight & square so the door is "happy" during its travel.
The vertical supports can be lighter material, the braces need to be thicker because the supports are in tension (more stable) but the braces are in compression or tension depending in the loading demands.
No need for massive angle irons.....a possible substitute for angle material would be 1/2" EMT which would be less likely to buckle but perhaps more problematic to deal with connections.
Just make sure you can adjust everything before final attachment so they're tight & don't tweak the rails out of true.
Wooden members (esp 2x4's) when short & nailed tend not to work too well...."grain effects" come into play causing splits.
If wood is easier for you to work with, you could make up some angle brackets from 3/4" plywood; glued & screwed or pin nailed. Kinda big & kludgey but really stiff.
cheers Bob
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He has a sectional door with extension springs. One of them broke while extended and it sounds like it was the end closest to the door that broke. The spring which was under tension, then goes flying back towards the support hanging from the ceiling and hit it with great force. And of course the longer the suspension from the ceiling the more leverage it has to rip the support out.
I had the cable snap recently on one of my springs. It didn't rip out the support from the ceiling, but it did jerk it backward and the track on that side with it enough to rip the 2X4 that the door vertical door track was attached to from the door opening. Net result was the door was pulled back about an inch on that side. I had to take the whole door apart to remove the rail and reattach the 2X4. They should have used more nails and maybe it wouldn't have come loose. But the mechanism is the same as what the OP is describing.
All the mistakes that this guy has made, he's lucky he hasn't killed someone by now.

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I checked mine and with a 16ft wide wood garage door that I think weighs around 175lbs, the hangers from the ceiling, which are about 3 ft long, appear to be made of 12 gauge angle, which is just under an 1/8 of an inch thick. Same material is used for the angle brace.
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