Replacing Garage Door Side-Mounted Springs


Prop the Door

  • From time to time, you may need to replace a broken side-spring on your garage door. Sometimes they break, and sometimes they just stretch too far and don't provide enough tension to lift the door effectively. The repair is easy enough, but you will need help, and you must use extreme caution, as the springs are loaded with tension and can be lethal if they hit someone. Have someone help you lift the garage door to relieve pressure from the spring, and prop it in the fully opened position with a set of tightened locking pliers clamped just below the bottom roller on the door track.


  • Remove the spring from the "S" hook by hand on one side, and unbolt the pulley to remove the other side. Take the spring to a garage door dealer to get matching replacements. Install the new spring taking care not to stretch it more than an inch or so with the door completely open. Re-attach the pulley bolt. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side of the garage door after switching the locking pliers to the other side.

Lower the Door

  • Remove the pliers, and lower the door slowly, taking care that no one is standing near the springs. Watch to make sure that the anchor points of the springs are not pulling loose and that the sheaves in the end of the springs are not touching the fixed sheaves. (This could be a problem if you have stretched the spring too far during installation.)
    If the door is still heavy to lift, you may re-attach the pliers and stretch the spring another inch or two, but take care not to exceed the distance that you saw between the two sheaves when the door was fully closed.

  • Check to make sure the safety cables on either side run through the springs and are firmly anchored beyond the last travel points of the springs. If your springs do not have the safety cable, you may add a 3/16 inch braided steel cable through the center of the springs and attach it to the track support where it will not interfere with the opening and closing of the door. This will keep the springs from popping completely off if they come loose--a safety measure and a measure of convenience when replacing the springs.

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