How To Replace A Broken Torsion Spring On A Garage Door

Torsion springs help you to lift your garage doors up and down. However, the springs can wear out after years of use and have to be replaced. Here is how an experienced do-it-yourselfer can replace the torsion springs on a typical garage door.

You Will Need:

  • New Torsion Springs
  • Ladder
  • Heavy-Duty Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • 3 - 10" Vice Grips
  • 2 Winding Bars
  • Adjustable Wrench
  • Socket Wrench
  • Socket Set

Be Safe

Torsion springs are usually under pressure and you need to be very careful when taking them off or putting them on a garage door. Always wear eye protection and heavy gloves in case the spring kicks back as you loosen or tighten it. You will also want to make sure the door doesn't accidentally get opened while you are working on the springs. Unplug the electric garage door opener (if you have one) and remove the arm from the opener. Next, place your vice grips into the channels on both sides of the door just above the middle roller to stop someone from manually opening the door. Remove the cables used to lift the door up and down by loosening the set screws with your adjustable wrench on the drum. Twist the drum until the cable loosens and you can slide it over the drum, then let the cable fall to the floor.

Removing Torsion Springs

Remove the bolts with your socket wrench that connects the springs to the center bearing plate – the plate is connected to the bar that the garage door opener is attached to. You have to loosen the set screws on the winding cone at the other end of the broken spring; be careful here--if the spring hasn't totally broken in half, it will be under pressure and can twist around quickly and catch your hands and clothes. You should be able to slide the spring back and forth across the shaft once you loosen the set screw on the winding cone. Slide the shaft out of the bearing on top of the channel and remove the cable drum. You can now slide the broken spring off of the shaft.

Installing the New Spring

Slide the new spring onto the shaft and replace the cable drum. Slide the shaft back into the bearing. Reconnect the spring to the center bearing plate. Place the cable back onto the cable drum, twist the drum around until the cable is taut, and tighten the set screw on the drum. Place vice grips on the shaft and lean them against the wall – this will keep the shaft from spinning as you wind the spring. Take a your winding bar (this is basically a 5/8" steel bar about 18" long that fits into the holes on the winding cone). Place one bar into the hole and twist until you can get the other winding bar into one of the other holes--there are four holes on the winding cone. Remove the first bar and twist until that can be placed into another hole. Repeat this process until the spring is tightened--you should use a spring winding calculator to determine how many times you should turn the spring. Tighten the set screw on the winding cone with your ratchet. Take the vice grips off of the door channels and shaft. Reattach the arm to the door opener. Plug in the electric door opener and check to make sure the door open and closes without any problems. You are now done.

If you're worried about safety or are not sure if you can get the job done properly, it may be best to rely on a professional like America's Garage Doors LLC for assistance.