old garage door, bowing

Give me a chance of success here...(you garage door pros)
I have an Al door, 18+ ft?, 20 years old, that bows in the middle (when the door is in the open position). Because of it, the door 'bangs' when the door is shut. The bang is caused by the drooping door "snapping" straight and it begin the trip downward around the bend in the door race.. Sometimes it doesn't flex straight thou and the door fails to close (it jams and the motor resets and rises). The upper panel, which bows, is stiffened with an 18 or 20 gauge V'd metal beam. It screws on.
Do you think it's worth a try to "rebow" (in the opposite direction) this support piece? Can it even be done? I was thinking that I could remove it and bend it back ( create an up bias) with some heat and force. Has anyone done that?
I assume these beams are sold. Maybe I could just buy a new one instead.
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hjkhjk wrote:

If you have a local fab shop with a big sheetmetal brake I would just have them fab up another v'd brace for the section that is bowing. maybe heavier this time.
nate
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Nate Nagel wrote: ...

Yeah, an 18-ft brake will be a big'un fur shure...
Those are rolled from coil flat sheet stock like guttering, not bent.
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dpb wrote:

I must have missed that. I was thinking a regular single bay door, not a wide one.
nate
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hjkhjk wrote: ...

Not at all likely w/o having it buckle imo. I'd give far less than 1% odds w/o a forming machine.

Don't know whether they're considered replacement parts or not altho possible I suppose.
Actually, as write this, what I'd probably try would be to place shims of varying thickness under it to recreate the straight edge from end to end--try a few washers behind it in the center as a starter and see if helps; if so you can get more precise...
(Thanking my lucky stars I don't have the house w/ the single double-wide garage door any longer to have the problem... :) )
hth, dpb
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When My dad had that problem he just bolted a piece of angle iron to the back of the offending panel. He did that in the '60s and it was still working well when he died in 2001, & I'm pretty sure the present owner still is using it.
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On Wed, 22 Jul 2009 19:12:00 -0700 (PDT), Eric in North TX

My neighbor Al Bundy used to have an A-1 door.

I'll bet he is. Your dad know what he was doing.
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The problem is not that the brace is bowed. Once you remove it from the door, it will be perfectly straight.
The problem is, the brace is not adequate to support the door. Steel comes in up to 20ft lengths. I would get a piece of light 1-1/2" steel angle and bolt it to the back of the door as additional bracing.
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Probably not--over 20 years the original strongback probably has taken a fair amount of set.

It undoubtedly was initially; it's simply "taken a set" w/ time. It could've been stronger, undoubtedly, but if it made it 20 years odds are the door will have failed elsewhere by then, anyway.
The angle is another alternative, certainly; a longer leg 1x2 would do more stiffening at the same additional weight, though.
I'd still suggest trying the shim correction fix first however for two reasons -- a) it's a cheap 'n cheery fix if it works, and b) it doesn't add additional weight to also support that the added angle does.
But, if shimming doesn't make enough, that's the next step certainly.
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