# Lessons learned installing a torsion spring in a typical residential garage

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• posted on December 22, 2012, 1:42 pm
On Fri, 21 Dec 2012 10:29:01 -0800, jloomis wrote:

To be clear, this residual dust spiral we just learned about is NOT the line chalked (or painted) on the spring BEFORE it's wound.
The chalk line you're talking about would show up as a straight line on a broken (untensioned) spring.
The dust spiral line I'm discussing occurs AFTER the spring is wound. It shows up as a residual SPIRAL on a broken untensioned spring!

While there are 3 "potential" uses of this residual dust spiral: 1. We can PAINT a line on a wound spring to judge slippage over time 2. We can LOOK at an unwound spring and count the number of expected turns 3. We can LOOK at an unwound spring and determine the expected chirality
Dan Musick replied that he doesn't find the residual dust spiral of use in talking to customers over the phone. He says: 1. The amount of explanation required to show how to determine the number of turns if there is a residual mark is too great, over the phone 2. There's no guarantee the springs were wound correctly in the beginning. 3. Galvanized springs loose as many as two turns of tension, due to fatigue, over their lives.
But, to the trained (and knowledgeable) eye, the residual dust spiral contains useful information - if the owner only knew how to read the dust spiral on the broken spring.
This lesson learned is not obvious, and never was discussed in the alt.home.repair newsgroup in the past.
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• posted on December 23, 2012, 3:16 am
One more lesson learned, is I tried to remove the old spring from the stationary and winding cones. It's not easy. At least not with just a vise and pipe wrench.
I failed, but I only tried for about 10 minutes on each cone.
Now I know why the new residential springs ship with the cones already attached!
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• posted on December 23, 2012, 8:11 pm
Danny D. wrote:

They use a high pressure crimping machine to attach the winding cone at the factory. The spring and cone are always sold as a unit.
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• posted on December 24, 2012, 10:33 am
On Sun, 23 Dec 2012 14:11:09 -0600, G. Morgan wrote:

When I was looking at Dan Musick's DDM Garage Door web site, his charts showed you'd save about 10 bucks or so by requesting springs sans cones.
10 bucks on a \$30 spring is an appreciable percentage of the overall cost.
His site even shows how to unwind and re-wind the springs off and on the cones. http://ddmgaragedoors.com/diy-instructions/torsion-spring-cone-replacement.php
REMOVE STATIONARY CONE: a. Install bolts & nuts from the spring anchor bracket in the stationary cone b. Next, grip both nuts in a vise. c. Hook the end of the spring wire with a pipe wrench or large channel locks, d. Turn the wrench until the spring comes off the cone. If you do not have a vise, position the spring on the floor and place a winding bar between the bolts. Hook the end of the spring wire with the pipe wrench, and lift up on the winding bar while pushing down on the end of the wrench. Repeat this process until the cone is loose.
REMOVE WINDING CONE: a. To remove the winding cone secure the cone in the vise, b. hook the end of the wire and c. turn the wire off the cone in the same manner. If you do not have a vise, use the same procedure above, with the only difference being that you will insert the bar into the winding cone.
However, having tried it briefly (with just vise & wrench), I see now why most would say it just isn't worth the trouble - so I heartily recommend buying springs with the winding and stationary cones factory installed.