08-02-2013, 02:09 PM
#1
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Recently the torsion spring (single spring system) on our garage door snapped. We had just returned home and were safely back indoors when a loud (understatement) clap of thunder appeared to come from the garage. I entered the garage half expecting to see our car collapsed on the floor...

I already knew I wanted to *upgrade* to a two torsion spring system, having spoken with a neighbour a few years ago...

Shopping around locally I was quoted ~$400 to supply and fit a two torsion spring system to garage door. Seemed a little too pricey to me, enter DDM Garage Doors, thanks to them I ended up doing it myself for $80.

The following took me 90 minutes from start to finish...

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20th July 2013: The torsion spring (single spring system) to our garage door snapped



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24th July 2013: Upgrading garage door from a single torsion spring system to a (safer) two torsion spring system

Bought the new torsion springs (with Stationary torsion cones & Winding torsion cones installed) from DDM Garage Doors -- great prices, excellent customer service & followed these instructions



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24th July 2013: Securing the center stationary torsion cones to the spring bracket



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24th July 2013: Torsion springs securely connected to spring bracket, next step winding the springs

Notice the horizontal chalk line I drew along the length of each spring, it will allow you to count the number of turns put into a spring (if you happen to lose count of the ¼ turns you apply via the ½inch steel "winding" bars)



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24th July 2013: Winding the torsion springs with ½inch diameter (x 18inch long) "winding" steel bars

For a 7 foot high garage door, each torsion spring requires 30 quarter turns ie 7½ full turns



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24th July 2013: With the torsion springs (correctly) wound and locked in position, time to test the garage door by hand



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24th July 2013: Torsion springs (correctly) wound, secured, tested and oiled. Job done! Hat-tip to DDM Garage Doors



I should've walked away after successfully completing the above, but my OCPD wouldn't allow me to do so.

The below couple of *fixes* took me 30 minutes (after spending a lot! more time doing my best to cock everything up)...

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30th July 2013: Opener Reinforcement Bracket installed

Due to my incorrect initial attempts at leveling the door (was a slight gap between door & floor, bottom right corner), I damaged (bent) the door bracket, was very! lucky not to have seriously damaged the door itself

After correctly leveling the door (slipping the right-side cable drum a small amount), following these instructions

I removed the damaged door bracket & installed a Opener Reinforcement Bracket -- advantages, the bracket itself is a LOT! stronger, plus any force is now distributed over the entire height of the door's top panel...



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31st July 2013: Carriage is now positioned correct (minimum) distance from door

After installing the Opener Reinforcement Bracket I decided to correct the horizontal distance from the door to the carriage. Was always ~10inches, is now the minimum 14inches as specified in the manufactures installation manual

Edit: Fixed grammar.

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 08-02-2013, 03:00 PM
#2
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Well done Mike,good bit of British graft.
Sam.

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 08-02-2013, 03:05 PM
#3
  • freddy
  • Senior Member
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Mike, honestly, is there anything you can't do? Amazing. Thumbsup

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 08-02-2013, 03:23 PM
#4
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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Very Good Work.

My Father-In-Law is an Okie and he is always rigging up things to get them to work.

Duct Tape and Super Glue are two items he can never do without.

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 08-02-2013, 03:52 PM
#5
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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Nice job... Those springs command attention when torqued. Scares the begeezez out of me.


Posted from somewhere east of Montauk

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 08-02-2013, 05:19 PM
#6
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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Mike, I just had to deal with this a few weeks ago. I also found DDM, but also found another site with spring load calculators. I used them to upgrade my springs to heavier duty by calculating the broken spring's lift force and going with a longer spring made of thicker steel, which produces the same lift force. This gave me a spring that would be rated for 30+ years instead of usual 10 year springs being pushed. I bought the springs (mine was a two spring system to begin with on a double wide door) on ebay and they came with winding rods. I forget how much I ended up paying, but it was similar to your cost. Interesting little project. Lots of industry discouragement from DIY out there. They really want to come over and charge you $400 for the job. They also like to tell you your rollers are failing, etc. Thanks to internet and free information sharing we can bypass the price gougers.

Good work!

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 08-02-2013, 07:46 PM
#7
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Mike, great job and enjoy the new springs! Biggrin

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 08-02-2013, 07:48 PM
#8
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Nice job.

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 08-03-2013, 12:23 AM
#9
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Just be careful.

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 08-03-2013, 08:03 AM
#10
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When our torsion spring broke, we were all out of the house, with no house keys with us. We just used the garage door opener to get into the house. Holy crap was that door heavy without the spring assist. I opened it enough to allow my son to scoot through and unlock the door. Now we have a house key hidden outside.

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 08-03-2013, 08:10 AM
#11
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Nice job Mike. Once a year I spray a little lubricant on my springs and rollers.

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 08-03-2013, 08:29 AM
#12
  • slantman
  • Expert Shaver
  • Leesburg, Florida
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Nick job congratulations. This is not an easy job in fact fairly dangerous if you don't know what your doing. Those springs are under incredible tension and increase as you tightened them. I have done this before so I know.

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 08-03-2013, 09:32 AM
#13
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-02-2013, 03:05 PM)freddy Wrote: Mike, honestly, is there anything you can't do? Amazing. Thumbsup

Hi Freddy

Plenty! believe me...

That reminds me, I need to get down to my friends workshop and get your "Ink Vial Holder's" whipped into shape...

Take care, Mike

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 08-03-2013, 09:46 AM
#14
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Nice job Mike. I remember doing this with the help of a neighbor at my mom, and dad's house back in 1980. The springs broke on the day of my dad's funeral. I was fifteen at the time and it was my first big project as being the man of the house since my dad was gone. Mom ended up buying a whole new door that me and my neighbor installed the week after dad's funeral.

Clayton

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 08-03-2013, 10:00 AM
#15
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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(08-02-2013, 05:19 PM)vferdman Wrote: Mike, I just had to deal with this a few weeks ago. I also found DDM, but also found another site with spring load calculators. I used them to upgrade my springs to heavier duty by calculating the broken spring's lift force and going with a longer spring made of thicker steel, which produces the same lift force. This gave me a spring that would be rated for 30+ years instead of usual 10 year springs being pushed...

Hi Vladimir

Good to hear you also had a successful experience replacing your garage door torsion springs Thumbsup

According to my research our old single torsion spring system was rated at "13,000 Cycles" (which worked out to approx 10 years of use) and would've cost ~$60 to replace.

DDM "recommended" upgrade to a two torsion spring system was rated at "16,000 Cycles" and would've cost ~$70. They also offered other options (increased life Cycles)...

I decided to go with the option that offered "41,000 Cycles" for $80 (including shipping), seemed to offer the best value for money while (fingers-crossed) giving many years of service...

I did have to buy the ½inch steel "winding" bars, which was a quick (and cheap) trip to Lowes to pick up a 3 foot long x ½inch diameter solid steel rod. Then when I got home I cut the rod in half and wrapped some electrical tape around one end (1inch from end) of each bar, hey presto a set of ½inch diameter (x 18inch long) "winding" steel bars. The electrical tape offers a visual indicator you've fully inserted the bar into a winding hole on the winding cone, as you really don't want a bar slipping out of a winding cone as you're winding the torsion spring...

Take care, Mike

Gents, thank you for the kind words...



(08-03-2013, 08:10 AM)Johnny Wrote: Nice job Mike. Once a year I spray a little lubricant on my springs and rollers.

That's very! good advice and is something I will now be doing myself (having gone through this experience).



(08-03-2013, 09:46 AM)chevyguy Wrote: Nice job Mike. I remember doing this with the help of a neighbor at my mom, and dad's house back in 1980. The springs broke on the day of my dad's funeral. I was fifteen at the time and it was my first big project as being the man of the house since my dad was gone. Mom ended up buying a whole new door that me and my neighbor installed the week after dad's funeral.

Clayton, sorry to hear you had to go through doing it yourself under such circumstances and at such a young age. Major kudos to you for doing so and I can only imagine how proud your mum must've been of you for taking care of it...

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 08-05-2013, 06:46 AM
#16
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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Great work, a few years back I replaced my torsion spring with the help of a friend. I have a heavy 16 foot wide solid wood door and remember finding the spring had snapped in two pieces, I was surprised it didn't come lose and break a car window or something.

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 08-07-2013, 07:56 PM
#17
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Well, I went thru 2 10k lb double springs within a couple of years. Only to find that my heavy wood doors needed 20k a piece.

I hate being a novice and being screwed. It just chapped my assAngry

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 08-08-2013, 07:44 AM
#18
  • vferdman
  • Artisan
  • Western Massachusetts
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(08-07-2013, 07:56 PM)PanchoVilla Wrote: Well, I went thru 2 10k lb double springs within a couple of years. Only to find that my heavy wood doors needed 20k a piece.

I hate being a novice and being screwed. It just chapped my assAngry

Don't worry. Even at two replacements you are way ahead of what it would have cost you for the professional install. This way not only have you saved money, you also learned something. You can give yourself another couple bucks for that.

And here is that invaluable website where you can learn a lot and figure out how to calculate spring rates and dimensions for the future. I used that knowledge to buy springs that by my calculations should last at least 30 years. I increased the diameter of the steel and length of the spring from what I originally had to roughly match the lifting force I needed with a much heavier spring. Cost me about $20 more for the springs, but now I should be good for many years to come.

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