How to Convert from Extension Springs to Garage Door Torsion Springs
The garage door springs are really the workhorse of the entire garage door system. They provide torque the opener motor needs to raise and lower the door. The door cannot operate without them. There are two types of springs: extension springs and torsion springs. The type of springs your garage door needs will depends on the type of system you have. Most older garage doors have extension springs, while many newer models use torsion springs.
Extension Springs vs Torsion Springs
You can determine whether your garage door has extension or torsion springs simply by looking at the interior of your door. If you see two springs attached to the opener, one on each side of the door, you have extension springs. Standard garage doors with a spring in the center have a torsion spring.
Many homeowners are upgrading their garage door from extension springs to torsion springs. Torsion springs are more efficient because it gets its lift from the center of gravity. They can be installed on any size garage door, are quieter and have less wear and tear on the opener motor.
How to Remove Extension Springs
It’s important to note that due to the tension and stored energy, extension or torsion spring replacement can be dangerous. Improper removal can cause the spring to break resulting in serious injuries or even death. If you’re not experienced in working with garage doors, it is highly recommended you consult with a qualified repair technician.
- Open the garage door all the way up, pull the emergency release and unplug the opener motor. This will prevent electric shock and accidentally operating the door while you’re removing the extension springs. Lock the c-clamps or vise grips onto each side of the track of the garage door to prevent the door from sliding down.
- Position the ladder on one side of the door. Grab the lower part of the cable that runs over the pully system on the end of the spring and pull it towards the front of the garage. This will give you some slack on the cable where it hooks onto the upper part of the track.
- Unfasten the cable clip and hook it on the end of the cable from the upper track. Use extreme caution to release the cable slowly and allow it to lie still on the safety cable. The safety cable is the one that runs directly through the center of the spring. Unfasten the spring cable from the cable clips, pull the cable off the pully and remove the spring completely.
- Look at both ends of the safety cable and determine which one will be easier for you to detach. Go ahead and detach the one you can and pull the cable fully out of the spring.
- Disconnect the extension spring from the rear track hanger. One end of the spring hooks over an eye-bolt hook so you have to move the end of the spring away from the hook on the bolt. Grab your socket wrench and fit it over the bolt securing the pulley to the U-bracket on the end of the spring. Loosen the nut on the other side with a wrench and disconnect the pulley from the spring. Now that you have removed the extension springs, you can move on to install the torsion springs.
Installing Torsion Springs
Installing torsion springs can be a little tricky, especially if this is your first time. If you have never installed a torsion spring before, we recommended that you call a professional garage door repair technician to assist you. To install torsion springs correctly, you need to make sure you have the right size springs for your garage door, be comfortable with removing the bearing shaft and assembly, and be able to properly wind the springs without breaking them. An overwound spring can cause the garage door to fly upwards unexpectedly resulting in serious injuries and property damage.
For assistance in converting your garage door from extension springs to torsion springs, contact your local Safe Way garage door dealer today!