Garage door torsion springs installation guide

In this article we will learn about broken spring replacement and garage door torsion spring installation (instructional pictures coming soon).


Please be advised that working with torsion springs is dangerous! Make sure you follow all safety procedures and do not attempt to install these yourself unless you have the right tools.


Spring hardware consists of a torsion spring, which is typically one spring for a single car garage door and two springs for a double car garage door. Each torsion spring is painted with a different color, the color being specific to the size. The left spring and right spring are marked with the colors black and red. When looking from inside the garage, black should be on the right side and red on the left.


It’s important to note that installing the springs incorrectly will cause the door to function improperly and can cause injury.


You begin by unscrewing the red bolts from the broken spring with a 3/8 box wrench to

release the tension on an unbroken spring.


Be prepared to handle a strong force as you reduce the tension using only the winding bars and be sure to stand to the side. Now unscrew the bolts from the center bearing plate. Go to each side of the drum, use 3/8 box wrench to unscrew both bolts on each drum. Detach the cable from the drum slots and move the drum to the side.


Next, carefully slide the tube (shaft) aside until it goes out from the end plate. Lube each side of the end plate so it slides out easily. Take the drum and the old spring out and do the same on the other side.

Putting the new spring on

You’ll start by slipping the torsion springs on to the spring tube (shaft).  Make sure that the red winding cone is on the left of the center bearing plate and the black winding cone torsion spring on the right end.


The drums go on next, with the red drum on the left and the black drum on the right. Be sure to check that the set screws on the drums are facing the springs.


You will then center the spring on the center bearing plate and tighten the bolts.

Once this is done, thread the cable that is attached to each bottom bracket up between the wall and roller track to the cable drum. Place the cable in the notch on the cable drum. To remove the slack in the cable, turn the cable drum and slide it up tight against the end bearing plate make sure the cable follows the grooves in the drum.


Next, tighten the set screws on the cable drum with a 3/8-inch box wrench, the set screws should be turned from 3/4 to 1 full turn after they contact the tube (shaft). Use a vise-grip to lock the torsion spring tube (shaft) to maintain tension on the cable. Repeat this procedure for the opposite side. There is a straight line drawn across the length of each spring. If no line is present, draw one using a piece of chalk or marker. This will be used to indicate the number of turns on the springs when we add tension to the springs.


We will now insert the two winding bars into the winding cone. You will want to make sure you use solid metal winding bars designed for this task, not any other substitutes. Stand to the side of the bar so that you are not in the path of the bar if it were to release or fly out. Insert the bar all the way in the hole and wind the springs 1/4 turn at a time in an upward direction. Remember, the tail of the torsion spring coil points in the direction that the spring is wound.


Once you start winding, the line drawn earlier on the spring starts to wrap around, creating a striping effect, with each stripe representing one full turn of the spring. Simply count the stripes to determine the number of times winds. For 7 ft high garage door, wind the springs 7 and a 1/4 full turn, and for 8 ft high, wind the spring 8 and a ¼ times.


Once you've reached the suggested number of winds, secure each spring with the set screws on the winding cone. The set screws and should be turned from 3/4 to 1 full turn after they contact the tube (shaft). For doors with two torsion springs, each torsion spring should be on the same number of turns.


We can now unlock the door or remove the locking Vice-Grip. Slowly raise the door about halfway and prop it open. Since this is the first time the new door is being opened, proceed slowly and carefully. With the door open halfway, make sure the rollers do not come out of the top track more than a 1/2 inch.

To further adjust torsion spring tension, make sure the door is in the down position and lock with a locking Vice-Grip on the torsion tube (shaft). Never adjust the center bearing plate or red coated fasteners after the springs are wound. If you need to release the tension on a spring, be prepared to handle a strong force as you reduce the tension using winding bars only and stand to the side.


When finished, unlock the Vice-Grip from the tube. Slowly and carefully raise the door half way up. The door should stay balanced. If you raise the door all the way up and check tension on the cable of each side, both sides should have same tension.


Congratulations! This completes the torsion spring replacement procedures.




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