Garage Doors

I can't get my garage door to open where my tools are at. It is a wide 2.5 car door and has 2 large long springs on each side. Yes, this is the old dangerous kind of spring that loves to snap through boards & people when they break.

When I look at the door from the outside, there is a visible drop on the left side which I can plainly see due to a change in paint color from where I painted it a year back vs. newly uncovered old paint that was previously hidden. Thus, I know one side has definitely dropped. I look at the railing/guides and everything tooks fine. Did a cable slip or is one of the old springs giving out? The springs look okay and the cable is on both pulley wheels. Beyond that, I don't know what to look for.

If I lift on the door while someone else actuates the electric door opener, it will then open with a little help.

Any suggestions on what to check?

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

the Yellow Pages for someone who knows how to do this without getting disemboweled? fr

Reply to
Fred R

Have about three or four people actuate the door with you:

Then disconnect the electric garage door opener. Here's where it gets tricky! Get the same three or four people to help you let the door down.

If it goes down easily, then it was the opener, if not, check the difference in tension between the springs on both sides. If there is no appearant spring breakage, look where the cable attaches to the bottom roller bracket of the garage door as a start. It's only a small pin holding the cable on there, and also look for the centers of the rollers elongating. (As if needing bushings)

I hope this helps?

Reply to
Refinish King

Oops :')

Reply to
Randy Zimmerman

[ ... ]

Hmm ... you've gotten some good advice already, but one thing which I haven't seen mentioned which I have encountered. There are some small rollers which are mounted at certain points to guide the door (which is hinged to bend as it goes up over the curve. On mine (two separate single-wide doors, not one wide enough to cover everything), I was having problems with these rollers sliding too far in the brackets which serve as bearings, so the end clears one of the two flanges, and the roller tilts. This produces a lot of drag, and makes operation rather awkward.

The first step, of course, is to take some pliers to grip the shaft, and guide it back through the second hole, removing the tilt.

Then, once that is done, what *I* have done is to take a 1/16" split-point drill bit in a hand drill and drill through the shaft just past the second flange. I then put a cotter pin through it, and bend it to make sure that it *stays* there -- trying to bend it so the points won't hook on somebody's clothes (or on somebody).

This worked for me, at least.

Good Luck, DoN.

Reply to
DoN. Nichols

I wish it was the drum type!

Any idea how to compare the tensions on the two sides to see if one is wildly different than the other?


Reply to

George, Simply disconnect the opener attachment up on the track from the lift arm on the door.... Now you can lift the door manually. You

*shouldn't* have to strain very much to lift the door... it should be almost to the point where it feels like it would go up by itself (but you don't want it too light). If the door is *heavy* you need more tension on the stretcher springs. You can follow the cable from the bottom of the door, up and over a pulley at the top, back to the end of the spring where it goes around another pulley, and then back toward the door where the end of the cable is attached with an S hook. It is simple to adjust the springs with the DOOR OPEN and BLOCKED! Do not try to do it with the door down. Raise the door, place a piece of 2x4 between the bottom of the door and the header to hold it up, then shorten the cable at the S hook until both the spring pulleys are about the same distance back from the door wall. It may take you a couple of adjustments, but try to get them even. Unblock the door, test the door weight. If still heavy, then shorten the cables a little more until the door is okay (WATCH that the pulley on the end of the spring doesn't get pulled so far forward that it hits anything or gets too close to the S hook. If the door simply won't lighten up, then you need new stretcher springs for each side (used to be color coded with a dab of paint, red, blue, whatever, but you can buy replacement springs for a 6', 6'6", 7' and other height doors). NOW, after you have the weight of the door about right, and it should stay in the raised position all by itself, you need to look at the rollers and track. Sometimes the joint in the track at the top corners of the doors, which are bolted together, will have the bolts come loose, and the track will shift a little bit, or the bolt heads will hit the rollers on their way past. Make sure everything is straight and tight, and test the operation of the door by hand. If one side seems "heavier", then that spring may just be weak, and you can give it more tension or replace it. Also make sure the track isn't too close to the side of the door. The brackets that mount the track to the framing are slotted and can be moved toward and away from the side of the door... ya need a little room here for the door to float side to side. Lastly, run a piece of cable/rope whatever, through the length of the stretcher springs, securing the back end of the cable to the bracket the spring attaches to, and secure the front end of the cable closer to the wall than the S hook is mounted. This is a safety cable which will keep the stretcher spring from flying around if it breaks someday. With the cable through the center of the spring, the spring may break, but will simply slide along the cable and prevent any damage to people, cars, windows, etc. Reconnect the opener to the door and give it a shot ---- let me know how things work out. Ken.
Reply to

Should not be all that terribly expensive to have it retrofitted.

I wonder if your building has shifted, given your paint line, and that might mean that your track is out of whack, and binding.

As for comparing the tension, start by going inside and pulling. Then get the door about halfway up, which so far as I recall is the point where the springs are slackest, and tug on the cables again.

Reply to

if its a detached garage it would be time to put a single door opening in it on the side so you can get in there when the door gets stuck so you can work on it.. alot better then kicking in a panel to get inside...

Reply to

If you have a clear line-of-sight between the two cables, tie a cord between them at the same point on each cable. Tighten the cord enough that both cables deflect slightly. Give the cord a good tug in the center and let it snap back into place to eliminate any bias you might have made when you were tying it. If both cables deflect the same amount then the tension is even. If one deflects more it has lower tension.

Reply to

"B.B." wrote: [how to compare tension in springs]

Good idea! I'm goin' out & check mine. Well, when I get around to it :-) Bob

Reply to
Bob Engelhardt

If the cables are fraying where they would also stretch it sounds like your extension springs are stretching out & losing their strength to open the door evenly. With the door open the springs should only be stretched about 2". Change all four at the same time to make sure they will all pull equally.

As for seeing old paint on the left I doubt if the door is shrinking at the bottom. So either the door wasn't fully closed (may have looked like it was though) when it was painted or your conrete slab is sinking or the header is rising.


formatting link

Reply to

I also suggest, as a safety feature, that you run a separate length of cable through the springs and fasten each end securely (new doors come with this feature). If your spring breaks, or comes loose the cable will restrain it.

Dave Young

Reply to
Dave Young

Hey Dave,

Are you the one that made up a portable work surface for working on garage doors that fit in the back of you pick-up?

Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Reply to
Brian Lawson

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.