Single Torsion Spring (Garage door springs)
The single torsion spring on your garage door helps you to open and close the door easily. Replacing this spring is not difficult, but you must be careful when making the change since the spring is under extreme pressure. The project will take the average do-it-yourselfer about two hours to finish. You can complete this project by yourself if you wish, but it is always better to have a second person on hand to help you. Be sure that you have the proper replacement parts before you begin since the parts may vary from one brand to another.
Things You'll Need
2 winding bars
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Close the garage door if it is open. Place a ladder under the garage door opener if one is present. Climb up the ladder and unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet.
Move the ladder over to the opener bracket and pull the pin to disconnect it from the garage door. Attach a pair of vise grips to the track of the door about 3 inches from the door roller to keep it from flying up as you work on it.
Move the ladder over to the side of the garage door where the spring is that you are going to remove. Measure the old spring with the tape measure and compare the length to the new spring to be sure you have the proper size. Using a different sized spring on the door is dangerous. Insert a winding rod into the hole on the winding cone at the bottom of the spring.
Loosen the bolt on the winding cone using an adjustable wrench and allow the winding bar to turn slowly if there is still tension on the spring. Do not stand directly in front of the winding cone. Stand off to the side in case the bar slips.
Check the spring bracket lag screws once you remove the tension from the spring. Tighten them if necessary using a socket and ratchet. Remove the bolts securing the spring to the center stationary cone using a socket and ratchet. You will find these bolts at the other end of the spring at the bracket.
Separate the broken spring from the bracket and slide the parts toward the cable drum. Mark the cable drum and the shaft using the marking pen. This will help you to line the drum and the shaft up properly when you install the new spring.
Loosen the retaining bolts on the cable drum using an adjustable wrench. Slide the drum away from the bearing plate. Examine the shaft thoroughly. File any ridges you see away with the file.
Check the other cable drum as well, loosening the retaining bolts with an adjustable wrench. Repeat the filing process if necessary. Place a coat of oil on the bearings. Slide the stationery cone onto the shaft. Install the new spring on the shaft behind the stationery cone. Slide the new winding cone onto the shaft behind the spring. Slide the cable drum onto the shaft and then insert the shaft into the bearing.
Move the cones and spring on the shaft toward the center of the garage door. Line the cable drum up with the marks you made on the shaft earlier. Tighten the retaining bolts hand-tight and then rotate the drum as necessary to find the slots.
Tighten the retaining bolts using an adjustable wrench in half-turn increments alternating between each one. Slide the shaft toward the bearing plate until the drum is flush with the track.
Insert the cable into the slot on the cable drum and then wind it tightly around it. Attach a pair of vise grips on the shaft to assist you in holding the cable tight on the other drum. Press the winding cone against the torsion spring.
Turn the winding cone two turns by hand to begin the winding process. Insert the winding bar into the slot on the winding cone and wind the spring two more turns, using the second winding bar to tighten the spring as you run out of room.
Grasp the torsion spring with a pipe wrench once you reach the point that you are unable to tighten the winding cone any further. Push on the winding bar while pulling with the pipe wrench until the spring is completely on the winding cone. Tighten the retaining bolts on the winding cone using an adjustable wrench once the spring is tight and fully on the winding cone.
Pull down on the winding bar until the garage door raises 3 inches. The rollers will hit the vise grip on the track and at that point let the bar go and the door should go back down by itself. If it does not, then the spring is too tight and you will need to let off some of the tension by holding the winding cone in place as you loosen the retaining bolts.
Back off the spring one turn and then tighten the retaining bolt back up. If the door does go back down, then the spring is correct.
Remove the vise grips from the shaft and the track. The door should be all the way down when closed. Raise the door halfway up and it should stay there. Raise the door all the way and it should stay open on its own and you will know the door balance is correct.
Tips & Warnings
Wear leather gloves if possible to prevent cuts on your hands. When the project is complete and the door is closed, it should be even on the floor all the way across.
The torsion springs on a garage door are under extreme pressure and you must exercise caution when completing this project.