Replacing a Broken Garage Door Spring


This article was originally titled, “How to Replace a Broken Garage Door Spring” in eHow, published August 23, 2009.

If you have a broken garage door extension spring, here are steps to replace it. The extension or recoil springs allows the heavy garage door to be open by hand or assists the garage door opener to retract the door.

For a novice, the replacement will seem overwhelming. The toughest part is dealing with the spring that will have to be stretched to a hook or some other anchor.

You will need replacement extension spring, ladder, and some 2 x 4s or any props to support a garage door.

Do not discard the old spring. Keep it handy for reference. Figure 1 is an example of a broken spring.

Fig 1.  An old spring.  The point between the hook or anchor and the the actual spring is usually the point of failure.
Fig 1. An old spring. The point between the hook or anchor and the the actual spring is usually the point of failure. | Source

In Fig 2, note the painted color on the end of the old spring. It may be difficult to see the paint if the spring is very old and rusty but even a trace of paint will have color. The color determines the right spring and corresponds to a garage door weight and size. It is also possible to determine the replacement spring by the size of the old one.

Fig 2.  Old and new spring.
Fig 2. Old and new spring. | Source

In this example in Fig 3, a plain blue is used. You can find the garage door spring in a hardware store such as Lowes and Home Depot. They can also be purchased through the Internet.

Fig 3.  Color at the end of old spring.  Note the double loop end.
Fig 3. Color at the end of old spring. Note the double loop end. | Source

The spring ends can have double loops or single loops. Double loops will be a little tougher to attach.

If you have a garage door opener, pull the emergency release so you can manually open the garage door. See Fig 4.


Fig 4. Example of emergency release handle.
Fig 4. Example of emergency release handle. | Source


Prop the garage door all the way up with 2 x 4s or even a ladder. See Fig 5. Place an obstacle like a wheel barrel or large storage containers where the door meets the ground to protect yourself in case the 2 x 4s or other props collapse. If the garage door is very heavy or is bigger than a one car garage door, have someone to assist you prop the door.

Fig 5. Propping garage door
Fig 5. Propping garage door | Source


Attach the end of the spring to the pulley clip or hook end that pulls the door as shown in Fig 6. It can be difficult with a double loop. Use a screwdriver to make a gap on the loop to get it in the pulley clip.

Fig 6.  Pulley wheel clip attached to spring loop.
Fig 6. Pulley wheel clip attached to spring loop. | Source

Make sure the metal cable or line is in all the pulley wheels before you attach the other end of the extension spring. While you are putting the spring back to the hook, make sure the metal line or cable, pulley wheels, and springs are lined up properly and not twisted or off in any way.

Fig 7. Completed project with door down showing location pulley wheels, cable, and spring
Fig 7. Completed project with door down showing location pulley wheels, cable, and spring | Source


Refer to Fig 8. Attach the other end of the spring to the far hook (the silver looking piece on the bracket) that will put the spring, pulleys, and cable in place. This can be difficult if you need to stretch the tight spring an inch or two. Move the door up to get the spring closer. If the door can’t move anymore, grab a chain or metal line and have someone pull on the spring so you can hook the spring loop.

Remove the props and manually bring the door down. Put the emergency release back to normal. You may have to move the traveler assembly and bang the release bar back in the traveler.

Double check if the emergency release is back because it could be difficult to put back if you test the garage door opener and the traveller cable hook separates from the traveler.

Test the operation of the garage door and adjust to make sure the door touches the ground all the way or not hit the ground too hard.

Fig 8. Spring loop attached to far hook. Note a cable was used to assist in stretching spring a few inches
Fig 8. Spring loop attached to far hook. Note a cable was used to assist in stretching spring a few inches | Source

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