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DIY Garage Door Maintenance

How To Replace A Garage Torsion Spring

This is not one of the DIY projects that any professional would recommend. However, if you have the tools and some skill in garage door services, why not give it a try? The first thing that you need to consider is safety. Your garage doors, door operator and openers have many moving and dangerous parts. To avoid the potential for pinched fingers, always have safety clothing such as glasses, work boots and gloves. Also, during this process, it is crucial to avoid loose-fitting clothes.

Garage Door Torsion Spring
Garage door springs and garage door high lifting system installation

Before commencing any garage door services, it is crucial to refer to the manual to avoid injury. Also, you can check with your garage door company if the repair task you are about to take is covered in the warranty. Any misguided steps in replacing the torsion spring of your door might cause serious injury. If you feel a little uncomfortable to replace the springs, you can always call a reliable garage door company for repair and replacement.

DIY garage door torsion spring replacement.

The directions below are based on a torsion spring set up. Which is front-mounted with a centre bearing plate with a spring or Springs attached in the centre. It has cable drums inside the end bearing plates with cables coming up and over the backside of the cable drums. This Do-It-Yourself guide will only work for the specific garage door spring. If your garage door has a different spring setup then be certain to consult a technician.

Replacing the bottom brackets.

One of the mistakes that homeowners make is replacing one bracket that is probably broken and leave the other unattended. However, it is good practice to replace the whole pair to enhance continuity of your door cables. This is not a challenging task and you should be able to do it with a little to no skill. Below are some of the tools that you will need; 

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  • Metal rod or winding bars.
  • A ladder,
  • A file,
  • Various sockets
  • Two pair of locking pliers, and
  • Wrenches of different sizes.

Even though you might need more tools, these set will go a long way in your replacement task.

Unplug the opener from its power source.

First, unplug your garage door opener from the electrical outlet. Next, remove the garage door arm from your garage door opener. Next, lock your door closed and placed grips or clamps on the track above the middle roller. This will ensure the door does not open while you’re working. First, position the ladder in a manner that will allow you to keep your face away from the winding cone and winding bars.

Unwinding the spring to reduce the tension.

As you unwind the spring. Insert one winding bar into the winding cone. while firmly holding onto the winding bar. Loosen the set screws and the winding cone. Ensure that the set screws are not in contact with the door shaft. Insert the second winding bar fully into the winding cone. Lift up on the second winding bar and remove the first bar. Then insert the winding bar into the next hole on the cone and repeat this process until all tension is removed from the spring.

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You will want to count the total amount of quarter-turn you remove from the spring as you are unwinding it. This is the same amount of tension that you will be reapplying later. Take your time and concentrate on what you are doing. Eliminate all distractions from your work area before unwinding or winding torsion Springs.

If your garage door has two torsion Springs, repeat this process on the other spring. All tension must be removed from the garage door before you can proceed.

Loosen the limit screws.

First, loosen the set screws on the cable drum. Then slide the cable drum away from the end bearing plate. Now remove the cable from the cable drum. You may let the cable drop to the floor first. Remove the lag bolt holding the bottom track bracket to the wall. Next, remove the fasteners that hold the bottom bracket in place. Slide the track to the side and remove the bottom bracket from the door. Remove the cable from the bottom bracket and then completely remove the cable from the door. Then prepare the new cable by cutting any pieces of tape that are wrapped around it. Always be careful using a sharp knife. Now attach the cable to the bottom bracket.

Replacing the rollers.

Install the roller into the bottom bracket and thread the cables behind the rollers on the door with the cable behind the roller on the bottom bracket. Install the bottom bracket onto the garage door. Align the bracket with the holes. It was removed from, and reinstall the fasteners, making sure to tighten them before proceeding.

Now re-install and tighten the lag bolt into the track bracket.

Garage Door Torsion Spring
Garage door springs and garage door high lifting system installation

Take care to reposition the track bracket in the same location it was originally first. Ensure the cable is clear of any obstructions and is running directly from the bottom bracket to the cable drum. Insert the cable into the slot in the cable drum. Make sure the cable is properly seated into the cable drum as noted by the correct graphic on the screen. Then make sure the cable is properly tracking in the grooves in the cable drum. Slide the drum firmly against the end bearing plate and tighten the set screws on the cable drum. Do not overtighten the set screws holding the drum in a manner that will keep the cable tight on the cable drum. Placed locking pliers on the shaft, letting them rest against the wall. This will hold the cable tight on the cable drum.

Resetting the up and close-limit screws.

Insert the winding bar into the winding cone, making sure the winding bar is inserted all the way into the cone. Lift the first winding bar and insert the second winding bar into the next hole and the winding cone. This is a one-quarter turn. Continue to wind the spring until the proper amount of turns have been applied. Once the number of turns has been reached, let the bottom winding bar rest against the door.

Tighten the set screws against the shaft. Insert the second winding bar into the winding cone and lift slightly removing the bottom lining bar and testing the strength of the set screws. Tighten the set screws if needed. Repeat this process on the other side of the door with the second torsion spring. Remember to position your ladder in a manner that you are not in direct line with the winding cone and so you are comfortable wind the spring until the proper amount of turns are in place. Then tighten the set screws. Remove the bottom winding bar and test the grip of the set screws.

Restore and balance the door.

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Attaching a garage door opener to a residential garage door.

Finally, slowly remove the locking pliers from the shaft. Making sure the shaft and spring are secure. Remove the first clamp from the track, then unlock the door and while placing your foot on the step plate of the door, remove the second clamp from the track. Now maintaining a firm grip on the door. Remove your foot from the step plate and raise the garage door.

Consider the balance of the door as you raise it. Does the door open easily and fully or is the door heavy to lift? If adjustments are required, reclamp and lock the door using the same ladder placement. Insert the winding bar into the winding cone, slightly. Lift the bar and insert the second winding bar in the winding cone, letting the second winding bar rest against the door. Loosen the set screws.

In this case, the door was heavy and we are adding tension to the springs. Never add more than one-half turn of tension at one time. After you’ve added the tension to the springs, tighten the set screws. Be sure to insert the winding bar and check the grip of the set screws before removing the other winding bar. Repeat the process of removing the clamps. Unlocking the door and testing the door for proper balance. Verify the door is not too heavy and not too light for proper balance. Now reattach the arm to your garage door opener. Finally, plug your garage door into the electrical outlet.

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