Introduction: How to Install Garage Door Replacement Seal.
This project takes me an average of 90 minutes - I've done a few for friends and myself. It's more tedious than difficult, and the tools you need depend on the old seal you're removing. Typically I need:
Light work gloves.
Utility knife to cut away old seal.
Drill/Driver to remove old plate and install new one.
Duct tape to hold new plate segments in place.
2nd Drill or drill bit to drill pilot holes.
Long utility knife to trim new seal.
Hacksaw to trip new plate.
Large screwdriver or small pry-bar in case you need to realign something.
Socket wrench to remove old plate (may or may net be needed.)
Soapy solution as lubricant for seal install.
Replacement seal kit, typically several segments of rail and a single piece seal.
Step 1: Remove Old Seal and Seal Plate/rail
The old plate/rail and seal are probably a continuous piece. Cut off the seal so you have access to the screws, then unscrew the old plate/rail. Ours was original and I had to remove the lower screws on two of the wheels as well as these threaded into the rail. The old rail was "L shaped and covered the door bottom then went up inside the door an inch or so.That's what the socket wrench is for - removing the screws. The large screwdriver was to pry the wheel mount back in place since it shifted.
Photos: Old seal shrunk and left a gap. Old seal. Old rail with seal cut off. Two screws that had to be removed on either side of the door to finish removing the old rail. Rail removed.
Step 2: Install the New Rail Segments
Next is installation. I use duct tape to hold each track segment in place, centered on the door base and all the way to the edge. Drill a pilot hole in the hole closest to the track where you start. Thread a screw in this hole. Go to the end of the plate, make sure it's centered, drill a pilot hole, insert screw. Now you know the plate segment is straight. Drill pilot holes in the remaining three screw holes, thread in screws. Usually the supplied screws are not self-tapping. Repeat for the rest of the plates, making sure where the plates butt and are perfectly lined up. I had to cut the final plate since it was about 6" too long. I used the factory edge for the butt. As I went along I checked the holes from the old seal - some were dimpled out. I used a hammer to gently tap these flat.
Photos: Seal kit. Dimpled hole from old rail. Various plate/rail segments. Cutting final segment.
Step 3: Install the Seal
This was TEDIOUS because I had so little room. I opened the door enough so the new plate was angled enough to allow me access to the side. I coated the entire track in soapy water - apply a generous amount. Spray or brush on, making sure to soak the tracks.Then start to thread in the seal a few inches at a time. I also added some soapy to the first foot of seal. The outside popped out occasionally, so I had to pay attention to that. Once I had a couple of feet inserted that was no longer a problem. You should be able to push the seal in until it's in about 5 feet. Then you'll need to pull on the seal already threaded in place and push in the next few inches. Repeat. When it's all the way in work your hands along the seal pulling and pushing, making it's in but not stretched or compressed. Then cut off any excess. I use a really long blade for a single cut and leave about 1/4" of extra seal at either end. The new seal may be thicker or thinner and the door opener may need adjusting. You'll have to see the instructions on your opener for that step. If you close the door and it opens by itself immediately after closing, or there's a uniform gap along the base you need to adjust the opener.
I did most of the installation sitting on my favorite milk-crate with the door closed about half way. Drill, screw, slide, repeat. Easy install for one person. Honestly, a second person would be in the way.