An In-Depth Guide To Replacing Extension Springs

A worn-out garage door extension spring can make it harder for you to open and close your garage door. Once the coils become bent and distorted from years of constant service, it's time to have the extension springs replaced.

Unlike torsion springs, extension springs are not as difficult for the do-it-yourselfer to successfully replace. The following shows how you can easily remove and replace your garage door's worn-out extension spring with relative ease.

Preparation Tips

Safety should always be your first priority when dealing with any home repair. The following tips will not only help you prepare for your extension spring replacement, but also keep you out of harm's way:

  • Make sure you move your vehicle out of the garage and into the street or driveway.
  • If you have a garage door opener, disconnect it from the garage door by pulling the emergency release handle. It's also a good idea to unplug the garage door opener.
  • Open your garage door and place a step ladder directly underneath the door. As the bottom of the door rests on the step ladder, place C-clamps underneath the last roller on the left and right-side garage door tracks. Once the C-clamps are in place, you can remove the step ladder.

Opening and clamping the garage door will release tension from the extension spring, making it easier and safer to replace.

Out with the Old

To remove the extension spring, you'll first have to disconnect the safety cable that runs through the spring. Start by placing a piece of blue painter's tape on the track below the extension spring pulley. Use a marker to mark on the tape where the center of the pulley's bolt is located.

Next, locate the vertical support bracket and, for reference's sake, take a photograph of how the safety cable is tied into the support bracket. This will make it much easier to reinstall the safety cable during the installation process. After making your reference, disconnect the safety cable from the support bracket.

You'll also need to locate and disconnect the S-hook that attaches to the pulley cable. Make a mark where the S-hook is positioned and disconnect it from the horizontal support bracket. Finally, you'll need to disconnect the pulley fork from the pulley itself. Not only is it a good idea to take pictures of how the pulley is set up prior to its removal, but you should also tape the steel cable to the pulley wheel. This will make it easier to reassemble the pulley later on.

Finally, the extension spring can be taken off the pulley fork. All that's left is to slip the other end of the extension spring off the eye bolt hanger on the vertical support bracket.

In with the New

First, make sure the new extension springs are the correct ones for your garage door. The new spring will have a color-coded end that'll go on the pulley fork, while the uncolored end will slip onto the eye bolt hanger. Thread the safety cable through the new extension spring and attach the spring onto the eye bolt hanger. Tie off the safety cable as shown in the photographs you took of the spring for reference.

Next, attach the color-coded end to the pulley fork and reattach it to the pulley. Make sure the safety cable isn't intertwined with the pulley cable. Use your reference photographs to double check the pulley cable's route. Reattach the S-hook onto its original location on the horizontal support bracket.

Use the mark you made for the pulley bolt to make sure there's good tension on the extension spring. If the center of the bolt fails to line up with the mark, carefully adjust the pulley cable by moving the S-hook from one hole to another on the horizontal support bracket.

Finally, place your step ladder underneath the garage door and undo the C-clamps on both sides. Reattach the garage door opener trolley and plug the garage door back into its electrical socket. Make sure the door opens and closes properly before calling it a day. For more information or advice, contact a business such as Shank Door.