# Bam! Garage door over-the-door torsion spring snapped! How to replace?

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• posted on November 6, 2012, 6:59 am
Danny D. wrote:

Same-same. The ones with one spring can be converted into two, and the other way around.
Measure the length of 10 coils of the spring. Example: 10 coils measures 2 1/4" = .225 wire size. (See chart below for examples)
http://www.aaaremotes.com/howtomeasuresprings.html
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 2:05 am
Danny D. wrote:

The way I was taught, and I'll never forget was my boss told me "black is right, NOT!"
A little racist, but hell - I remembered.
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 2:08 am
On Mon, 05 Nov 2012 20:05:46 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

Similar to the resistor color code ... i.e., ... b b r our y g but v g willingly willingly ...
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 2:16 am
Danny D. wrote:

I remember that one too :-)
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 6:29 am
Jeezus. It's amazing what you need to learn when you DIY!

Turns out, my 'track radius' is 15 inches.
It's needed for the spring calculator here: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/springs/standard-torsion-springs.php
To the next person, you will need these SEVEN datapoints: 1. Right hand wound 2. 2" ID 3. 0.243" wire gauge 4. 26.5" spring length (unsprung) 5. 7' door height 6. 4" drum diameter 7. 15" track radius
I entered those seven numbers, and the spring calculator found: NOTHING!
So I changed the 26.5" to 27", and it only found a spring for a 12" track.
(I wonder: Do most of you have 12 inch tracks?)
Luckily, the chart shows "equivalent" springs for a 15" track but I was surprised the original spring doesn't fit a 15" track.
Q: What size track do you have?
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 6:44 am
On Tue, 06 Nov 2012 06:29:28 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

OK. I was measuring the track radius incorrectly.
I'm supposed to measure from the BOTTOM of the track to the bubble level as shown in this picture: http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/two-spring-garage-door-spring-conversion.php
What I CLEARLY get is neither 12" nor 15", but I get 13". There is no doubt that is the measurement done the way explained in that document.
So that's weird!
I'm not sure how common a 13" track radius is, but, it's going to affect what spring I get if I want to increase the duty cycle.
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 7:24 am
Danny D. wrote:

Don't worry about the duty cycle, at \$35 bucks a spring you can replace it every 15 years (if the door lasts that long).
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• posted on November 8, 2012, 3:14 pm
On Tue, 06 Nov 2012 01:24:15 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

I'm going to order the spring today. Thanks for all the advice. I'll let you know (with pictures) how it works out.
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 12:41 am
On Thu, 08 Nov 2012 15:14:07 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

I was hoping the spring would have arrived before the weekend - but alas ... there won't be a garage door spring DIY until the spring arrives.
I ordered a SPB-250-36-00R to replace my old spring. The numbering system means: SP=spring B = 2 inch ID 250 = 1/4" wire gauge 36 = 36 inches long 00 = fractions over 36 (i.e., exactly 36 inches) R = right wound
The spring itself was \$51.50 and the shipping was a whopping \$22.50 plus I added the two 1/2" diameter 18" long metal bars (which cost \$8 additional).
They admonished NOT using socket wrenches (3/8 open end wrenches and vise grips were what else is needed).
Here are the particulars: 1. Old & new spring ID = 2.0 inches 2. Old & new wire gauge = 0.2343" & 0.250" 3. Old & new length = 26.5" & 36" 4. Old & new wind = right hand wind 5. Door height = 7' 6. Track radius = 13" (only affects the duty cycle) 7. Door weight = unknown 8. Ends = standard cones 9. Drum = 4.0 inches diameter 10. Bearing-to-drum distance = 60"-18"B inches 11. Spring stretch ~= 36" + 9 turns = 38.25 inches 12. Old & new duty cycle = ? cycles & 34000 cycles 13. Number of cycles per day ~= 2 14. Door width = 8 feet 15. Total cost (so far) ~= \$75
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 1:28 am
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 00:41:31 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

I just found out that the winding bars are actually an outside diameter on one side of 7/16" with the other end being 1/2". Go figure.
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 1:56 am
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 00:41:31 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

I'm getting estimates in the \$165 to \$180 range for the installation (with bar).
The door is apparently 135 pounds.
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 6:07 am
Danny D. wrote:

Most installers use a cordless impact driver, with 7/16" lags.
This is only a 30 minute job for a pro, you're making it too complicated!
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 6:47 am
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 00:07:04 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

I don't understand what a 'lag' is?
Are you talking about lag bolts?
If so, why would lag bolts be involved in switching out a broken torsion spring?
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 6:16 pm
Danny D. wrote:

Because you are going to have to take off the whole torsion bar and bring it down to the ground level. They are 3" lags and sometimes don't go back nicely into the same holes.
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• posted on November 10, 2012, 7:42 pm
On Sat, 10 Nov 2012 01:56:00 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

That was a wrong number. It is off by 50 pounds!
I had described the door to an installer over the phone who said it was 135 pounds based on what I told him.
As a doublecheck, given the dimensions of the original spring: 2"ID, 0.243"thick, 26.5"long, 7'tall, 13"track radius the lift calculates to only about 125 pounds. http://ddmgaragedoors.com/springs/standard-torsion-springs.php#database
However, today I physically MEASURED the weight of the door.

The door clearly weighs 185 pounds!
Something isn't right by about 60 pounds!
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• posted on November 13, 2012, 6:25 am
Danny D. wrote:

Can you get the door to the fully up position? If so, you can probably lock it in place with a C clamp and then replace the spring. I'm more familiar with tension springs, but I have seen the torsion type with the shaft and pulleys. I think you install the spring, and then wind it up a bit and attach the cables to the pulleys. Then, remove the clamp and it should be back to working.
Jon
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• posted on November 13, 2012, 3:09 pm
On Tue, 13 Nov 2012 00:25:59 -0600, Jon Elson wrote:

The DDM door site goes into a whole bunch of reasons why installing a torsion spring with the door up is a very bad idea.
So does the Richard Kinch article.
Sure, it 'sounds' like a nice idea to install the spring when there is no tension and then just let the weight of the door going down wind the spring on its own - but they all say that's not the way to do it.
I'm going to have to believe them - and won't even try to put the torsion spring on at the point of no tension.
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• posted on November 14, 2012, 7:44 am
Jon Elson wrote:

That is a terrible idea for many reasons.
One most obvious is that there will be no room to work!
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 6:47 am
Danny D. wrote:

It's really easy. Just call Larry like I posted in an earlier post, he will help you out just by the model # of the door.
FYI: For a 16x7 door you need 32 quarter turns to wind it. The door should be able to be lifted with two fingers. If it's to "hot" (door goes up to fast) take a turn or two off. If it's heavy, add a turn or two.
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• posted on November 6, 2012, 7:48 am
On Tue, 06 Nov 2012 06:29:28 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

http://ddmgaragedoors.com/springs/standard-torsion-springs.php
I must have done something wrong the first time, because a subsequent calculation found the existing spring listed:
\$36.58 SPB-234-26-50L ID=0.234" & LENGTH&.5" 12" radius = 123.2LIFT & 15,000cycles 15" radius = 128.2LIFT & 13,000cycles
If I want to increase the duty cycle, I can switch to multiple smaller shorter springs, e.g.: \$21.08 SPB-187-17-75R & SPB-187-17-75L ID=0.187" & LENGTH.75" 12" radius = 62.3#LIFT & 20,000CYCLES 15" radius = 64.7#LIFT & 17,000CYCLES
Or, I can switch to a single longer spring: \$45.09 SPB-243-32-00R ID=0.243" & LENGTH2" 12" radius = 122.9#LIFT & 25,000CYCLES 15" radius = 127.8#LIFT & 22,000CYCLES
Or, I can switch to a single thicker & longer spring: \$51.56 SPB-250-36-00R ID=0.250" & LENGTH6" 12" radius = 123.3#LIFT & 36,000CYCLES 15" radius = 128.2#LIFT & 31,000CYCLES