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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I've read a lot of helpful posts here on how to replace torsion springs. The information here helped me to feel confident I could do it myself, and I did, safely. However I am have trouble with the post winding phase of the job and I am hoping for a little more helpful advice.

I got my springs online after giving the company (DDM) the model and PID numbers, and the garage size. After first installation it was obvious I had not balanced the tension on the cables andor springs correctly. The left side of the garage was lifting slightly higher then the right, and although the door opened with the appropriate resistance, the cable on the right was slack with the door raised, while the left cable was taut.

After unwinding the torsion springs and tensing the cable carefully, I gave it another try. This time the cables were evenly taut, and the garage door open lifted the door fine. However, after only two rounds of opening and shutting the door, the right cable became slack again!

Now I've got the torsions unwound and the cables rebalance/retensed. I'm ready to begin winding again, but I don't want to, without some idea what is causing these problems. I'm wondering if its time to bring in a professional. Hate to do that after getting passed what was supposed to be the hardest part (installing/winding the torsion springs).

Anybody else out there have issues like this? Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Mike,
One thing you can do as long as both springs are unwound, is to loosen up the pinch bolts on both drums and slide the torsion bar over one way or the other about an inch. Usually there is about 3" hanging out both sides. This will give you a fresh area for the pinch bolts when you tighten everything up again. Now, pay attention:
1.) pick a drum, doesn't matter which. Wind up the drum so the cable is tracking in the proper grooves. Tighten both pinch bolts. While keeping ahold of the drum so the cable is taught, place a vise grip on the end of the torsion shaft so it hits against the wall or ceiling and keeps the cable taught.
2. Go to the other drum and wind the cable, again making sure the cable is in the proper grooves. If it's a modern door, there will be a larger diameter groove on the outer edge of the drum. That's called the step up, and that's where the cable should start to wind on. While holding onto the drum and keeping the cable taught, tighten both pinch bolts.
3. If you did everything right, both cables should be taught.
4. Place another vise grip on one of the vertical sections of track, pinching a roller in the process, so the door cannot move up.
5. Wind each spring up, counting quarter turns as you go. Make sure you are using winding bars, not screwdrivers.
6. Once the first spring is wound and you have carefully released both your winding bars, the shaft will move slightly as tension is applied. The vise grip on the end will move away from the wall or ceiling about an inch. Once you have both springs wound, go ahead and remove the vise grip from the shaft.
7. While keeping a hold of the door, carefully release the other vise grip. If you have the correct springs for your weight door, and you have wound them correctly. The door will be easy to raise and should stop and rest about 4' off the ground for a 7' tall door. Then it should go further up with a little push and hold itself up in the opening. If it wants to drop back down where it's hanging more than a few inches down into the opening, the springs may need another 1/4 turn each. If it goes up beyond the opening, or it doesn't want to rest around the 4' mark, you may need to take a 1/4 turn off each spring.
Let us know what happens. Btw, when you tighten the pinch bolts, using a short open end wrench, usually a 3/8", you'll feel when it hits the shaft and starts to tighten. Once you hit this point, give it at least another 1/4 turn till it's snug.
Mike Hawkins:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Still struggling here

I appreciate the advice guys. I followed it and I'm a little better for it. The drum is DEFINITELY not loose or moving. The springs are wound and the garage door lifts up and down smoothly.

One problem left.

Both cables are nice and taut when the garage door is down. When the garage door is up the left cable remains taut while the right cable just a little slack. Not much but enough. By "enough" I mean that when the automatic opener tries to pull the door down, it stops and reverses almost immediately. I presume this is because with one cable taut and the other loose the door is unbalanced coming down. If I hold the door button down, the door does come down normally. So we're not talking about a huge imbalance, just enough to jam up the opener.

Bottomline, the cables are better balanced but still not quite there. I was incredibly careful this time. Any idea what more I can do to ensure it after I (once again!) unwind those damn torsions?
 

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It's not uncommon to have one cable have just a touch of slack. Couple things that can affect that. Where is the bottom of the door at when it is all the way up without being hooked to the opener? If it is above the opening, the springs may be a little bit strong for the door. In that case, hook the door back up to the opener and adjust the top limit so the door stops an inch or two sooner when in the open position. That will keep a little more tension on the cable. Check your downforce adjustment on the opener and increase the force a little at a time until the door goes down on its own without reversing itself.
Situation #2:
If the bottom of the door is hanging a few inches below the opening when it's unhooked from the opener, and when you hook it back up, the opener pulls it up higher into the opening, you don't have enough tension on the springs. In this case, add one or two quarter turns to both springs and try it again. You have to remember that as the door goes up, the torsion shaft is turning and taking tension off the springs. When the door gets to the top, there needs to be a little bit of tension on the springs or the cables will go slack.
Keep us posted,
Mike Hawkins s:)
 

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Holding the wall control should not bypass any of the reversing features of the opener due to binding that is overcoming the down force adjustment. If the door is catching, binding, unbalanced it will still reverse no matter whether the wall control button is held or not.

Holding the button will bypass problems with the sensor eyes. If you can make the door go down by holding the wall control button then you may have something wrong with your sensor eyes. Could be out of alignment, loose, dirty, malfunctioning, direct sunlight can also cause problems, or anything hanging from the door such as the pull rope or cobwebs and leaves.

Sometimes if the down force is set too low the opener may reverse if the door starts with a jerking motion. The door is a lot of mass to get moving, the down force needs to be set high enough to overcome this sudden jerk and allow the door to actually get started moving.

As long as your one slack cable is not loose enough to come out of the winding groove or possibly off the drum it should not be a problem. Sometimes this is due to the top tracks not perfectly perpendicular to the opening or possibly installed at different heights. Setting the opener to stop a little lower or a tad more tension on the springs may help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fixed! (cue angels singing!)

FireHawkmph, the opener was pulling the door several inches higher opening the door by hand. Hopefully tightening the springs as you suggested made the system more efficient. And I appreciate all your help troubleshooting the cables.

But iamrfixit nailed the final issue. I must have knocked a sensor out of alignment during the many trials and errors here. A few nudges up and down and I have a garage again.

Thank you both for your advice. Couldn't have done it without you.

:thumbup:
 
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