How to replace a Garage Door Torsion Spring

When your garage door’s torsion springs wear out, they can break or become warn and not function properly. If one of your garage doors torsion springs breaks, it is advisable to replace both to avoid a situation where the other one breaks and you have to repeat the replacement process all over again. Garage door torsion spring replacement is not as simple as changing or replacing rollers but it is not rocket science. With the right tools, it can be done.

It is important to note that torsion springs replacement can be highly dangerous because of the high-tensioned springs. Anyone who chooses to make this a ‘Do-it-Yourself’ project must exercise as much caution as possible to avoid getting injured in case of an accident.

Below is a step by step guide on how to replace the torsion springs on your garage door. If you are not comfortable doing this, it would be wise to contract the services of a professional.

Get All the Materials You Will Need

These should include; new torsion springs, eye protection gear, a chalk or coloured felt pen, proper torsion rods and vice grip or clamps.  Torsion springs are not widely available at the home depot; you will need to buy them from a garage door company or order from an online store.

Safety Precautions

  • Open the garage door all the way up and use clamps to hold it in place.
  • Unplug the garage door opener in order to prevent any other person from accidentally closing the garage door.
  • Do not stand in the path of the spring. Remember that the spring is under high-tension. If anything goes wrong, it could snap and cause you serious injury.

Getting Started

  1. To remove the torsion springs, insert the torsion rods fully into the winding cone holes to ensure that they don’t slip during the exercise. Hold the bar very tightly and unscrew the two square bolts located on the spring cone.  Once you unscrew the bolts, the total weight of the torsion spring will shift to the rod.
  2. Ensure that you have a good footing.
  3. Unwind the torsion springs making sure to count the number of turns it takes you to completely remove the spring. This will help you know the exact number of turns you will need to make to wind up the new springs you intend to replace. If you lost count all you need to do is measure the hight of the door. What ever the hight is of the garage door is the number of full rotational turns of the spring.
  4. Disconnect the brackets that are holding the torsion springs together.
  5. Remove the cable from the drum on both sides of the garage door and unbolt the drum from the shaft, then take it off in order to remove the spring.
  6. Replace the new springs. Align them such that the red side of the spring faces the right side when you are looking into the garage from outside. This is the right way to install the springs. If you place the red colored spring on the left, the springs will appear flipped. Keep the old center bearing in place as you install the new springs.
  7. Reattach the cables to the drums on the shaft making sure that both cables have equal tension. Use a pair of Vise Grips to hold the tension while winding the springs.
  8. Tighten the new torsion springs and adjust the tension accordingly. You can wind it up the exact number top times it took you to remove the old ones. You will have now completed replacing your garage door’s torsion springs.
  9. Finally, take off the vice grips or clamps you had put in place to hold the garage door.

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