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Question

I have a pair of old metal bifold doors in my house. Unfortunately, the plastic or nylon cap on the top pivot on one of the doors broke. So far I have not been able to find the correct replacement part or a suitable substitute. What is the precise name of this part, so that I can perform a better search and find the part I need?

Things I have tried

  • Visited Home Depot. They showed me all their bifold door hardware, but they don't have the right part. I showed the broken part and photos of the unbroken part, and the Home Depot staffer had not seen anything quite like it.
  • Tried a different top pivot from Home Depot. In fact, I bought two different types and tried to make them work, but either the metal pivot would not attach to my door, or the plastic cap would not stay in the track.
  • Searched the web. I cannot find the exact top pivot that came with my door or even a similar one that has a 1" cap with a lip.

Description of the part I need

The top pivot I need consists of a metal Phillips screw about 1-1/4" long and 3/16" wide that goes inside a plastic or nylon cap about 1" long with a lipped or beveled top. The lip is only slightly wider than the rest of the cap, which is only slightly wider than the metal screw. The purpose of the lip is to stay inside the guide track above the door. The plastic cap slides up and down as needed on the metal screw as the door opens and closes, which keeps the lipped cap inside the track. The screw fastens to a threaded hole on the top of the metal bifold door, so that the lipped cap sticks up from the door and rests in the track to guide the sliding end of the door. The bottom opening of the track is only slightly narrower than the track width, so there's not much allowance for using a different top pivot. Most modern top pivots seem to use a roller that is much wider than the metal part of the pivot, but I can't do that with this track.

Photos of the part I need

(Click a photo to view it in full size.)

My other bifold door has the part I need, and it looks like this:

Unbroken top pivot in track and attached to door

Unbroken top pivot in track and attached to door

Unbroken top pivot in track and attached to door

The top pivot attaches to a threaded mount at the top of the door. The following photo shows that mount from the inside of the door looking up:

Threaded mount for top pivot

These photos show the broken top pivot that I need to replace. Notice that the metal screw is fine but the plastic or nylon cap's lip or bevel has broken off (and I no longer have it, so Super Glue isn't an option):

Top pivot with broken cap

Top pivot with broken cap

Top pivot with broken cap

Top pivot with broken cap

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    Many times there is a idler or bearing at the top that rolls in the track. Is it possible that the top broke off ? – Ed Beal May 3 '17 at 15:59
  • Thanks for taking a look. For the door that works, it's just the plastic part pictured above (first set of pictures) sliding in the track. There's nothing else in the track. The plastic piece slides up and down on the metal screw so that the plastic lip stays in the track as the door opens and closes (I just edited the question to add this detail). The only difference in the broken door is that the lip on the plastic piece is broken off, so that the plastic piece does not stay in the track. I need to figure out what this part is really called so I can replace it and fix the door. – Gary S. May 4 '17 at 11:46
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    This type of screw-in hardware for metal doors does not appear to be a popular item at the big hardware chains. A few thoughts. 1) You may be able to replace just the nylon cap. See wrhardware.com/hardware/closet-door-hardware/…. 2) The readily available hardware is designed with a push-in nylon or metal plug for wood or plastic doors. Some designs consist of a threaded rod that screws into that plug. You may be able to unscrew the business portion of the guide and screw it directly into the threaded socket on the door. – fixer1234 May 5 '17 at 1:40
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    Another possibility: Ignore the threaded insert in the door. There is some surface mount hardware that just screws to the top surface of the door and doesn't rely on a threaded socket or hole for a plug. – fixer1234 May 5 '17 at 1:48
  • Thanks for the good ideas. I ended up getting something called a universal top guide set, and I noticed that my metal door had a plain unthreaded hole next to the threaded hole. I used one of the top guides in the set and pushed it into the unthreaded hole (since the "universal" set has no threaded top guides). It's not a tight fit, and none of the caps fit my track, so it's not great but it's the best solution I've found. I can now open and close the door with one hand without it popping out of the track, so it's a good enough solution for now, though I'd love to find the right part someday. – Gary S. May 8 '17 at 13:51
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The proper name for that "roller" is actually called "guide" Wheel. The piece it attaches to is called a "top pivot"

  • Hello, again. Boy, you added a lot of info in a short time, and to unanswered questions, which is the best way to contribute. Keep 'em coming! – Daniel Griscom Nov 3 '18 at 19:19

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