How to Replace Garage Door Springs

How to Replace Garage Door Springs

Your garage door’s springs make it possible to open and close the door easily. Although garage door springs are engineered to last for many cycles, they do eventually wear out.

When a garage door spring breaks, the garage door opener may strain to lift the door or fail to move it at all. When this happens, you’ll need to install a new spring.

If you have the proper tools and feel confident in your understanding of mechanical systems, you can certainly replace broken garage door springs yourself.

However, you’ll need to follow the steps carefully and take precautions to ensure safety. If installing springs on your garage door sounds a bit challenging, you can also contact the professionals at Madison Local Garage Door Pros for assistance.

How to Remove and Install Garage Door Springs

When you’re replacing garage door springs, you’ll need access to:

  • 2 winding bars
  • a 7/16″ wrench
  • a drill with a 9/16″ bit
  • 2 vice grips
  • a stepladder

You’ll also need to order the right size replacement spring.

Remember that changing garage door springs can be dangerous — use caution at all times. Once you’ve gathered your tools, you can replace your garage door springs by following five steps.

1. Remove the Broken Springs

Climb up on your stepladder and loosen the existing springs using the winding bars and 7/16″ wrench. After unwinding the springs completely, detach them from the central bracket — this is usually done using the 9/16″ drill bit.

Next, use your 7/16” wrench to loosen the screws of both drums and slide the springs off the tube. Be sure to leave the plastic bearing on the tube next to the central bracket when you remove the springs.

2. Get the New Springs in Place

Once you’ve removed the existing springs, get your new springs into position. The red-colored spring should go on the left, and the black-colored one should go on the right when you’re facing the door from the inside. Confirm that your springs are in the right spots by checking that the end of the coil points upward when it’s on the tube. Attach the springs to the central bracket with the 9/16″ drill bit.

Next, use your 7/16” wrench to tighten the right drum to the tube, making sure it sits as close as possible to the endplate. The right drum will be marked with the letter “R.” Insert the cable into its dedicated slot on the drum and wrap it around the drum tightly. To insert the cable into the slot, press your thumb against it where it starts to bend. Ensure that the cable connects to the bottom bracket without interruption, and strum on it to make sure it has enough tension.

Lock the tube against the wall using a vice grip from an upper position and repeat the process with the left drum, except this time, you would wrap the cable around a loose drum (i.e. not yet attached to the tube). This is a crucial step — make sure that you are actively putting tension on the cable by pulling on the drum while tightening it to the tube with the 7/16” wrench.

Finally, go to the first vice grip and place another vice grip next to it, parallel to the ground. Then, with an “arm wrestle” movement, put a bit of a tension on the second vice grip by pulling it downward (~1”-2”) and while holding onto it, unlock the first vice grip (should now have space between the vice grip and the wall) and lock it back to the tube against the wall. Relock the second vice grip against the door from the bottom. Doing so will serve as a safety mechanism while you’re winding the springs.

3. Tighten the New Springs

Now, you can begin winding the new springs using the winding bars. Before you start, make sure the winding direction is consistent with the coil direction. Start with 28 quarter turns for a 7-foot door and 32 quarter turns for an 8-foot door. When you’re done, tighten each spring to the tube with the 7/16″ wrench.

4. Test the Balance of the Door

Release the top vice grip (the one leaning against the wall) and lean against the door, pushing it down while removing the bottom vice grip (the one touching the door). Slowly remove your weight from the door to ensure that it stays down. If the door rises, keep your weight on the door, reattach the vice grips and unwind the springs accordingly — one or two quarter turns will likely be enough.

Raise the door manually to test the balance. It should stay in the place where you leave it. When the door sits fully open, confirm that the cables on either side of the door are tight.

5. Tighten the Cables If Necessary

If the cables need tightening, loosen the springs one-quarter turn, leaving the winding bar against the door. Then, simply loosen the drums, spin the tube to ensure the drums aren’t retightened to the same spot as before and retighten the drums against the tube.

Reach out to Madison Local Garage Door Pros

At Madison Local Garage Door Pros, we’ve been serving residential customers in and around Madison, WI. As a family-owned and operated business, we complete garage door projects with honesty. Our staff members use their expertise and the best materials to finish jobs quickly and proficiently.

If you need to replace your garage door springs, we’ll be happy to help! Call (608) 515-1449 or contact us online today to request a service quote.