I expect you are talking about a sliding door. Depending on who made the hardware, and how much it cost, it could have anything from no bearings, to nylon sleeve bearings, to ball bearings. I've seen many sliding doors with worn out rollers, primarily with the standard hardware you find in farm stores, such as TSC.
The good ones with actual bearings have permanently sealed bearings. Oil may help the sleeve bearing ones some, but if the sleeves are getting worn out, lubrication will only help a little bit. I expect the temperature makes more difference with clearances inside moving parts, than with lubrication.
When replacing the rollers, make sure to get some that are rated for more weight than your door.
Get somebody to clean out existing grease and replace with;
Low Temperatures Grease
FREEZETEC 100 is a specially formulated grease where sub-freezing temperatures, may be encountered. This product is a free flowing and anti-corrosion lubricant. This smooth textured grease is excellent for all precision equipment and anti-friction bearings operating at extremely low temperatures. Recommended operating range form –65 to +250F. Available in cartridges, 1 and 6 gal pails. FREEZETEC 200 is a Molybdenum Disulfide based lubricant specially designed for heavy duty sub-freezing applications. Used with heavy load, high pressure or high vibration equipment. Operating temperature range is –40 to + 350F. Available in cartridges, 1 and 6 gal pails.
As Tom King said depends on the hardware. You can check all of the rollers/wheels for play, looseness on the shaft. Replace if there is a lot of wobble. I just use off the shelf spray lubricant most will give a temp rating on the label or ask. Use the red “straw” that come with most sprays so you can direct it into the bearing. Also check to make sure that the shaft that the wheel is attached to is “floating” freely in its retainer. If it is this kind of setup which all of the ones I have had to deal with are. These are rarely lubed by most people and the shaft can freeze, get stuck or have restricted movement which will cause that wheel to bind a bit in places where the track has moved out of place. The ones I have worked on have a small hole in the center of the retainer that I spay lube into with the red straw. If it is stuck/frozen spray some penetrating oil, WD-40 or like in and give it a bit of time to work and then give it a little whack on the exposed end with a hammer to free it. Spray lube all of the shafts. If there is no lube hole spay the ends and stick the straw into the retainer ends as best as you can and spray. The hardware for most “garage” doors were not designed with high use in mind. Open and close once a day. Depending on how well the tracks were installed they can get out of alignment in a high use door. I spay the tracks with white lithium grease or something of the like. Or get a can or tube of low temp grease and a cheap paint bush and grease the tracks. It may or may not help but I have never found it to hurt. I spray lube all the moving parts from time to time. When checking the wheels for a warn out bearing check for play with the shaft and retainer. These can be bought individually. Bolt off bolt on.
Last edited by gumtree; Mar. 23, 2013 at 02:49 PM.
If you want to upgrade to 100 year hardware, Richards-Wilcox is an American manufacturer of high quality door hardware... expensive but works forever.
My company was a factory approved installation company of the door hardware... we could take a 10,000 pound blast door and move it with with just a gentle push (stopping was another matter as the force required increased with speed)
The hardware is commonly used in zoos
link to swing and sliding door hardware.... some designs go back in time to the 1880s.
I don't have cement aprons outside the big sliding doors, so I get dirt build-up along the barn floor edge. I have to clean the dirt away from the barn floor, reduce the height so doors have a clear path to slide into.
Not sure of your barn doors, but dirt might need removing to allow bottom of the doors to slide easily
I DO find that freezing weather raises up the frozen dirt, making sliding the doors open and shut MUCH harder until I dig out the excess dirt. Warm day? Never had a problem with doors sticking on soft dirt.
Our hardware is nylon rollers in square tubes, never have had an issue with them rolling smoothly. The PROBLEM is always in the bottom with the extra dirt layers, UNDER those big doors.
Dirt happens with sweeping out the barn aisles, cleaning out the old hay areas for new hay, dropped bedding when the tractor goes in the barn.
Check the bottom of the doors, clean it out where they slide, see if that takes care of the "sticking issue" before going gung ho on the hardware above.
My doors get cleaned about 4 times a year, build-up just happens. Only takes a short time to remove the extra, doors are good for another few months.
Thanks for all of the suggestions. goodhors, I do keep all the dirt and snow cleaned out from under this door. Its twin at the other end of the barn has cement under it, and the frost heaves the cement up and jams the door so it is inoperable from Dec. through May. Sigh.
I will have to get a ladder and see if I can see a place to add lubricant to the roller bearings. I don't even know if the rollers are metal or nylon. They are more than 40 years old. The track is not an easy place to see into. I do have lithium grease, and can spray that along the inside of the track. Good idea, thanks.