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It was used to secure the wall mounting bracket of the garage door opener's tee rail to the concrete wall of the house above the center of the garage door opening. The bolt was inside an expanding sleeve. The tapered head was inside the wall with the threaded side sticking out, for the bracket to go over and be secured by the nut.

Probably in place for half a century, over the years it got increasingly loose, wiggling around a lot but still difficult to remove due to the expanded sleeve. Lately, I noticed problems with the garage door opener and chain vibrating a lot and managed to pull out the loose bolt this time. Now I'd like to know:

  1. What is this bolt called? (in case I should get a replacement)

  2. How is it to be secured? (to prevent the garage door opener from damaging itself or the from chain popping out of place, the latter of which has happened a few times recently.)

Is a hole drilled in concrete, and the bolt and sleeve inserted, which then expands as it is tightened? Or should they be stuck in concrete when wet and allowed to cure?

The latter seems like it might not allow the expanding functionality of the sleeve to work. Since there isn't concrete residue on the bolt and sleeve, I'm guessing the former approach was used?

Also, I'm thinking there should be more than one bolt, but that's for another question...

Click images to expand.

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Some close-ups, showing the main over-enlarged hole and three other unused shallow holes. Note also that due to the loose bolt, the mounting plate rocked vertically and created a wedge shaped indentation in the concrete, allowing/causing even more rocking.

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It is a concrete sleeve anchor, many brands with similar names. You drill a hole, then pound it in, then twist the nut a few times to set it. If it has wiggles out then the hole is probably damaged and now oversized.

You might find it best to now set a replacement deeper wedge anchor, or maybe set with a bit of epoxy.

I don't remember what brand I was using, but somewhere instructions said to space at least 5x the diameter apart.

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  • Thanks, sleeve anchor seems right. Not only is the hole oversized but it is now flared due to years of wiggling with the concrete crumbling around it. Would a larger diameter sleeve anchor work? (the mounting bracket's hole will probably be too small) I was thinking of filling the hole with new concrete and re-drilling. Would that be better? Also, is just one of these bolts enough? – adatum Mar 8 at 1:38
  • When properly installed a 3/8" sleeve anchors is good for 1600 lbs .itwredhead.com/Portals/0/Documents/Catalog/… Redrilling a 1/2" hole would be great if you have access to a rotohammer. – NoSparksPlease Mar 8 at 1:46
  • I don't have a rotohammer (didn't know what it was), just regular drills. One problem with going to a larger bolt is that it probably won't fit in the mounting plate. The hole used appears to have been enlarged, as the current bolt does not fit the other three holes. Plus, due to the loose bolt, the rocking of the mounting plate "excavated" a wedge shaped indentation in the concrete. I uploaded more pictures to show this. – adatum Mar 8 at 2:29
  • If I didn't have access to a rotohammer I would set a stud with epoxy. – NoSparksPlease Mar 8 at 2:33
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    I have used Sika products without disappointment. I doubt you will find any concrete patch product that will provide any structural strength, you are really in a territory where nobody will take responsibility, using the epoxy as fill might just be the best option. – NoSparksPlease Mar 8 at 3:09
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NoSparksPlease answered your question about what type of bolt you had.

I have always has better luck with lag shields and lag screws. They just seem to have more gripping power. Two 3/8" lag screws and two lag shields 2" long would be all you'd need. The drill size would be listed with the actual lag shield. With any luck, you might find a shield that fits into the existing hole but I'd still add the second one.

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You could also, as an alternative, mount a 24" piece of 2x6 up there with 4 lag screws and shields and then screw the bracket into that with some 1 1/4" lag screws. Just a thought.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion. Given the flare of the existing hole, would it be a good idea, or even possible, to use it as is? Note that the mounting bracket's top hole appears to have been expanded for use with the current bolt, as it does not fit the other three holes. I added images showing shallow (unused) holes made in the concrete at the three other positions. – adatum Mar 8 at 2:38
  • @adatum I edited my answer with some additional thoughts. – JACK Mar 8 at 10:58
  • Appreciated. Though, adding a 2x6 support would change the position of the header mounting bracket, requiring moving the entire garage door opener assembly back by the same distance (presumably 2"). I suppose using two lag screws and lag shields in the smaller holes in the mounting bracket is still an option, that is if the spacing between them is not too small for drilling. – adatum Mar 8 at 18:13
  • @adatum How is the main unit installed? They usually are mounted on some sort of unistrut or strapping and a 2" move might be easy. – JACK Mar 8 at 18:23
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    @adatum Adjustments would be minor. The "up" and "down" sensors which are very easy to adjust would be all you'd need to do. Having the wood there would make it easier to change the opener in the future because you'd have to change the bracket and you wouldn't be able to keep drilling holes in concrete – JACK Mar 8 at 22:58
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You don't need to use the same type of bolt. This is just one type of retrofit connector for concrete. I say retrofit because it is installed after the concrete is cured, even if installed soon after. It appears that a piece of the bolt is broken off and still in the hole. The end of the bolt should have a bulb shape to it.

I can't comment on what the bolt is for or if you need to replace it. More pictures would help. However, it's probably there for a reason. To repair, you could use the two next lower holes to install bolts, this would allow for drilling new holes. You could use various techniques to attempt to get the broken metal piece out of the existing hole and reusing the hole. Using epoxy is an option.

I would suggest taking the pieces to your LOCAL hardware store, not a box store, but a local old school type where they know their stuff and want and can help you

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  • I saw nothing remaining in the hole. There is a broken/cut piece off the threaded tip of the bolt, but the tapered/bulb end that was in the hole is intact. I added a couple of close-ups. Clicking the images lets you expand them. One problem with the lower holes is that the current bolt does not fit through the mounting plate. The top hole appears to have been expanded due to this. – adatum Mar 8 at 2:35
  • Oh ok, I just scanned the photo and you are correct, the bolt is intact and there is nothing remaining in the hole. In that case, the hole is then still deep enough to be reused. You could actually reuse the bolt, if you could get it to 'bite.' The outer sleeve needs to engage the edge of the hole so that when the bolt is tightened the bulb forces it wider, thus securing the bolt. Or you might be able to slightly relocate the connection. This isn't a high strength connection, just a brace of some sort. I would take the bolt to the hardware store, ask for help and explain your need – Ack Mar 8 at 2:44
  • When the sleeve expands, the bolt does stay in the hole, but there is a lot of wiggle room, and I've been expecting it to pop out at any moment. As mentioned, this is for securing the garage door opener's rail to the wall. The first image shows the wall mounting bracket which is secured by the bolt. – adatum Mar 8 at 2:52
  • You have a conflict. The bolt doesn't fit. The bolt is a standard size. The next size up will be too big for the hole. You have options. A different type of retrofit concrete bolt of the same size might work, because they work differently, thus fill in the hole better. An expert on that is your hardware store guy. Or a handy man. Or you can either drill a larger hole and use a larger bolt. But you can't, because then it won't fit your bracket. Personally, I'd use concrete glue or epoxy and the same bolt. Don't tighten until the epoxy is dry / cured. You might try Liquid Nails. – Ack Mar 8 at 3:02
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    Leave the sleeve off if you use glue, you're using glue in place of the sleeve. Just glue in the bolt. Epoxy will likely be more runny than LN, and I am not personally familiar with the glue mentioned in the other comment. You'll probably need something to hold the bolt in the proper orientation while the glue sets, and something to stop the glue from flowing out. Cardboard would work great, or sim. Use tape or a wood brace to hold it in place flush with the concrete, with the bolt sticking out of a hole. Or some other way. – Ack Mar 8 at 5:28

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