How to replace a garage door torsion spring

Easy step-by-step instructions to show you how to replace a garage door torsion spring safely. If your garage door torsion spring is indeed broken, you can replace it yourself and save quite a bit of money, as long as you have the right tools and parts, follow the right steps, and take proper safety precautions. That’s how DIY Garage Door Parts can help. We’ll show you how to release tension from your existing torsion springs, remove the springs from the torsion bar and install the new torsion springs – safely and properly.

Here are the tools you need to replace a broken garage door torsion spring:

  • Two winding bars. You need these to remove tension from the existing springs at the beginning of the project and add the proper tension to the replacement torsion springs at the end.
  • Vise grips. This will keep the torsion shaft from falling out when you remove the old springs.
  • Wrenches: 9/16, 1/2, and 7/16 inches, 3/8-inch square head, or eight-point socket.

Before you get started, keep in mind that the second unbroken spring still has tension, so wear safety goggles and have your winding bars in the torsion spring before you loosen any tension.

11 steps to replacing a broken spring

Watch the video to make sure you catch all of the important details!

  • Step 1

    Release tension in the torsion spring. Place a winding bar in one of the holes in the spring’s winding cone, and release the tension one-quarter turn at a time.

  • Step 2

    Release the springs from the center cone with a 9/16-inch or 1/2-inch wrench.

  • Step 3

    Clamp your vice grips to prevent the torsion shaft from dropping when you take off the old springs.

  • Step 4

    Loosen the keys on the broken spring, slide the spring towards the end, loosen the keys on the drum, remove the cable, and slide the drum towards the middle of the torsion bar. Repeat this process on the other side of the garage door.

  • Step 5

    To remove the old torsion spring, slide the torsion shaft towards the middle of the garage door, remove the drum and slide the first spring off.

  • Step 6

    Make sure you’re using the proper torsion spring for the left side (black paint) and right side (red paint). The wire should come over the top of the spring.

  • Bonus Tip:

    If you have a plastic center bearing, you can only replace it by removing the torsion springs. This is a good time to upgrade to a commercial steel center bearing with a much higher cycle rating. It also keeps the torsion shaft from rubbing against the center bracket.

  • Step 7

    Remove the vice grips from the middle of the torsion shaft and bolt the springs to the center bracket.

  • Step 8

    Add tension using your winding bars. This will require approximately 30 quarter turns for a seven-foot door and approximately 33 turns for an eight-foot door.

  • Step 9

    Leave one winding bar propped up after the last turn and tighten the keys with about a 3/4 turn.

  • Step 10

    Wind up the cable at the ends and tighten the keys on each drum.

  • Step 11

    Lift up on the spring that has tension with your second winding bar to remove the first winding bar. Then set the tension on the other torsion spring.

When you’re done, the garage door should be really easy to lift. It may still bounce slightly with a tendency to rise a little on its own as the replacement garage door torsion spring breaks in. Are you ready to handle a garage door torsion spring replacement? Contact us to have the right parts shipped to your door, and feel free to ask any questions. We can walk you through the process so your broken garage door torsion spring is replaced properly and safely.