Garage Door Sprng Snapped....How to repair?

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Standard single bay ovehead garage door. One spring snapped.
Spring's body is 26" long x 1 1/2 inch diameter.
How does one goi about replacing these things?
Thanks in advance.
--
Jim McLaughlin

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"Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote in message

My dad once tried to replace one. It somehow let go from whatever he was holding the end with. It almost took off the side of his face. I don't recall whether he made a mistake in his approach, or what, but you might want to think about paying a pro to do it.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Let me second that. That's a big DDD! (Don't Do Dat!) The spring has lot of tension and you'll wind up with whatever you're using to tighten it firmly imbedded in your head.
When the guy that comes says, "as long as I'm here, should I replace both of them?", say yes. They're like glassware, when one breaks, the other one will soon.
Remember, DDD!
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Replacement springs are available at home centers, like Home Depot. They are sold by the weight of the door they are suited for. Newer ones are supposed to be color coded, with paint marking near the end that indicates the weight. If it's an old one and unmarked, you will need to weigh the door. You can do that with a bathroom scale.
With the door fully raised, use C clamps in the tracks to keep it there. Remove the remaining spring, then have someone help you lower the door onto the scale. Be careful, as a big door can weigh 150lbs or more. You install the new springs with the door again fully in the up postion and kept there with C clamps. Replace the other spring too. The springs should have just a bit of tension on them with the door fully open. Remove the clamps and carefully lower the door. It should be balanced so that it takes little force up or down to move it. When closed, it should just stay there, not pull back up. You may need to adjust the tension again to get it right, or switch to a different weight spring to get it right.
When you're done, install safety cables, that should come with the new springs. These go throught the center of the spring and are secured to the track at either end. That way if the spring breaks again, it can't fly off and do damage.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Hi, I had similar experience. Could've lost a finger. I learned how to do it first with proper tool. IMO, it's not worth for DIY'er. Let a pro handle it. And soak the springs with oil to prevent premature metal fatigue and failure. Tony
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Raise the door to its full height and wedge it open. A screwdriver wedged behind one of the wheels or a pair of vise-grips on the track should do it. That will relieve most of the pressure on the remaining spring. There should not be much tension with the door raised.
Pull off the remaining spring and take it with you to buy two new springs (they need to match). When you replace them make sure you feed a safety cable through the springs in case they ever fail.
If it seems unsafe to remove the spring with the door raised then call somebody.
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Don't mess with this fix, call a garage-door mechanic. Both springs will be replaced. BTW, I know a guy who lost his thumb when attempting to replace a garage-door spring. Cost should be under $200. Garage door springs will typically last about 8 to 15 years, and the new ones probably closer to 8 years.
On Mon, 8 May 2006 11:44:56 -0700, "Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote:

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I'm a little confused here. I read many posts where people ask about installing sub-panels or installing DWV pipe or moving a giant shed and all sorts of advice is offered. But someone asks about replacing a garage door spring and the OP gets responses like "call a professional, it is too dangerous"
You are more likely to get hurt messing around in an electrical box than installing a garage door spring, and an improperly installed plumbing system can cause serious illness or property damage. I would also think it is more dangerous to move a shed than install a spring that will lift 150 pounds.
What gives? Is it the immediacy of a pinched finger that has people leery of this repair as opposed to the long term damage from poorly installed DWV system?
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I'll answer this in an obtuse way. Is it possible that person A has seen things happen which person B has not?
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Doug Kanter wrote:

More likely that some of us know what where talking about because we've done it, and others don't. I agree with Ray, that changing extension springs on a garage door is far less dangerous than screwing around with electricity, or climbing on a roof to fix a leak. Yet, people tell folks on here how to do the latter two all the time, without feeling the need to tell them they shouldn't even think about doing it. I've read of plenty of people being electrocuted or falling off roofs and getting injured. And I've yet to read a news report of anyone getting injured changing a spring. I'm sure it's happened, but it's less dangerous than many other home repairs that people do all the time.
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I've made a hobby of collecting such tales, and in almost (almost) every case that is not just a friend-of-a-friend myth, it is due to utter ignorance of the most basic technique. Typically, somebody just stupidly loosens the setscrew on a winding cone, without engaging winding bars. (This is like jumping off a roof, thinking it will get you down on the ground.) This results in a maiming injury, after which all who hear of it conclude that the activity is death-defying, when in fact it is the ignorance of technique that is the chief component of the hazard.
Yet even the guys in the biz tell me that they get hurt now and then, despite knowing everything there is to know about what they do. So it is not without its inherent hazards that are to some degree unavoidable.
http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

I used his instructions [the web page above]with good results and saved money, have all of my fingers and toes and now have the tools to do it again should the need arise. Well written, thought out and made a job that heretofore was taboo a simple DIY task.
Somebody had to teach the "professionals" didn't they??
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Richard J Kinch wrote:

Reminds me of guy I used to work with many years ago. He was a nice guy, but always had a cloud of doom following him around. Most of it was his own doing. He had an old Dodge Diplomat and it was always in need of repair. One day he starts telling me how he's gonna replace the front suspension torsion bar. Sounds like it could be one of those jobs that is a lot easier if you have the right eqpt, a shop, and have done it before or at least have a service manual. This guy was living in an apartment at the time, so he was gonna do it out in the parking lot, with no other car available, minimal tools, etc.
He comes in Monday morning with his arm in a sling. Seems the torsion bar wrenched it and nearly broke it. So, then he starts telling me how he's gonna do the alignment next. Now, I do a lot of work on my own cars, but how the hell can you do this? I mean you need to be able to accurately measure toe in/out, caster, camber, etc. I try to tell him to take it to a shop and get it done for $75, but to no avail. Two months later, he's bitching that he needs new tires cause they're all bald on one side!
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On 8 May 2006 14:40:23 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Actually, you can do a pretty precise alignment if you know how to measure and have time on your hands, rather than cash to pay someone else. String and paint cans are a help. Now days it's even easier, because you can buy little laser pointers very cheaply. Once you have done it once, it becomes pretty easy.
Terry & Skipper, Clearlake Texas
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Mys Terry wrote:

And how do you measure caster, camber, which are angles, with string and paint cans? Or even toe in/ out for that matter, when a difference of less than 1/16" will destroy a set of tires?
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On 9 May 2006 01:19:48 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's been done this way since the dawn of alignment. Ask a real mechanic, rather than a young, book- taught, "parts changer" and they can describe it more fully for you. It's a little more than JUST paint cans and string, but not much.
Terry & Skipper, Clearlake Texas
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You can eyeball toe in. I once worked at a place and that the only way we did it. As for the caster, it's not the angle that's important, it's the fact that both sides are the same. If it pulls one way with the camber and toe correct, then adjust the caster to remove the pull. Simple.
--
Steve Barker



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Have you seen the tolerance specifications on a modern car? You cannot eyeball any of these readings. Geez some of the German cars specify that you put sandbags in the seats before making the adjustments.
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People don't read. There are two types of springs common to garage doors. Torsion wound springs and coil springs. The OP has the latter, a very simple 15 minute job. Torsion springs have some inherent danger unless done properly. The doom and gloom guys that said to call a pro either don't know about coil springs or did not take the time to figure out what is 26" long.
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Depends a lot on the type of spring. You're probably thinking of extension springs, which any idiot can replace without much danger. Sounds to me like the OP has torsion springs (an extension spring would likely be more than 26" long), and those can be *very* dangerous.

The danger with torsion springs isn't pinched fingers -- it's *amputated* fingers and broken bones.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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