How Do You Remove Pivots From a Bi-Fold Door?

Bi-Fold DoorBi-fold closet doors: the bane of many the renter and home owner’s existence. Your alarm goes off early on a Monday morning, and after a groggy shower you are left to fumble with your unruly closet door. The bi-fold door swings wildly like a pendulum from its hinges and you struggle to glide it back into place, cursing as you go. One thing’s for certain: either those pivots go, or you do. Dig out your tool box; it’s time to remove pivots from a bi-fold door.

What are Bi-Fold Doors?

Bi-fold doors are found in many homes an apartments as a great space saving solution. While not always the most ascetically pleasing of options, the bi-fold door is a great space saver as the doors need much less room to open and have a smaller footprint than standard single hung doors. Bi-fold doors work well in high traffic areas such as hallways.

Bi-fold doors come in pairs consisting of two leaves. The leaves are held together with a hinge and open by folding together. The doors glide on their track from a pin. There is a pivot pin and guide pin on top, and on the jamb side of the bottom there is another pivot pin. The bottom pin is notched to fit into a bottom bracket. The top pivot pin and guide pin are spring loaded to help with the installation of the product.

Getting Started

First thing you will need to do is locate the pivot pins on your bi-fold door. The pivot pins are found on the top and bottom edges of your closet doors. You will find them in the pivot bracket and bottom bracket of tracks. In an ideal world, the pivot pins would glide flawlessly along the upper and lower tracks of the closet, but in your case the pins are on strike. You will need to identify the diameter of your pivot pin and pivot head so you can purchase the proper replacements.

Things You’ll Need

This project is relatively simple, with only commonly found tools needed to complete the job. Locate a phillips screwdriver, some pliers, a flat-head screwdriver, and a pair of vise grips. Bi-fold doors are often hollow core, so they are not extremely heavy. A 36” pair may weigh around 35 pounds. However, the doors can be difficult to maneuver as they are lifted and tripped out. Consider finding a friend to assist you during the process. You will also need a flat surface, such as a set of saw horses or a table to lay the panels on while you work.

Removing the Bi-Fold Door

  1. First, open the bi-fold door completely so that both panels are flat against each other.
  2. Working with one door at a time, grasp the panels together at the sides. Lift up to engage and compress the spring on the top pivot pin.
  3. Angle the lower half of the panels away from the closet and out of the lower pin bracket.
  4. Pull down to disengage the top pivot pin from the upper track.

TIP: If you are removing multiple doors, label the doors by location to avoid confusion later on when you are reinstalling.

Removing the Pivots from the Bi-Fold Door

  1. Place the bi-fold door on your prepared flat surface. You will find it easier to keep the panels folded and stacked together as you move the doors around.
  2. Using your Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws that secure the top pivot pin mounting plate to the door. If you door is a newer model, you may find you can skip step two altogether, as your door may not have a mounting plate.
  3. Using your pliers, grab hold of the top of the pivot pin and pull it out of the door.
  4. Using your flat-head screwdriver, remove the bottom pivot hinge flange from the door. The bottom pin pushes into a whole in the bottom of the door and are kept tight by the flange.
  5. Using your vice grips, grab the top of the pivot pin. Using a left to right motion, twist and pull the pin out of the door.

TIP: If your bi-fold door is too high or too low, you can adjust the height by turning the bottom pivots. Screw the bottom pivot clockwise to lower the door and counterclockwise to raise it.

Whether you are an experienced handyman or a novice learning on the job, removing pivots from a bi-fold door is a simple, easy process. While the doors are delicate and temperamental to work with, they are also extremely easy to take down and adjust. Removing pivots from a bi-fold door should not take more than thirty minutes and requires a minimal amount of tools and technical knowledge.

Related Resource: Fix Rattling Glass on a Door