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DTro

Garage Door Question

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The overhead door on my third stall has (from what I can tell) has gone “out of whack” just enough to make it difficult to lift and also for the locking latch to grab in the down position.

In other words in the down position (looking from the inside) the right side sits a little higher. With enough downward force, or if I slam it down, the latch will grab, but then when I pull the wire to unlatch, it snaps open hard because of the door sitting unlevel.

Can I adjust it somehow so that the door is level again?

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Yes it is adjustable, but remember it is under the high tension of the spring. Its possible the cable drum has slipped on the shaft causing unequal tension on the two sides. If you are going to attemp to adjust it, make sure to have an experienced helper or proceed very carefully.

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First check to see if the door is racking by a getting pinched by a rail. With door closed and locked, check the clearance between the door, its rollers, and the track. If those clearances are good and the door is latched on both tracks you can rules out heaving as well.

Is there one torsion spring above the door attached to the header or two? Or do you have two extension springs along the horizontal track?

It does seem like the tension is uneven . How to fix it depends on the type spring system you have. As Mac said if the drum slipped that will do it. I'd would have to think that with the door open, the cable on the drum that slipped would have less tension then the other. You'll have to take the tension off the torsion spring to make the fix.

If you have one spring with a gear box to adjust the springs preload then its a simple as closing the door, put a socket on the on the drive stub and take the preload off the torsion spring. A drill gun will speed up the process. You'll see the spring start to relax. Once you get the tension off both cables your safe to adjust the drum. That drum would be the on the side where the door meet the slab( left side). You'll loosen the lock screw and turn the drum to match the right side drum. Tighten the set screw then put the preload back on the spring. What I don't like about you description is having to force the right side down and then when releasing the lock the right side pops up. Either the door way is racked, a heave, or the preload was too much. Although its possible that with one side doing all the lifting that this could happen.

If you have the two extension springs that run along the horizontal tracks then its just a matter of moving the S hook back to increase tension or tightening the cable. Do that with the door open.

If you have the torsion spring without the gear box its a little trickier. There is a stationary end and an adjusting end. What ever you do don't loosen the set screw on the stationary end. Find two bars that'll fit into the adjusting end. You'll need to keep a hold of one bar at all time while you replace one bar with an other as take the tension off the torsion spring. Once you have a bar in the adjusting end and have a grip on it, then you can loosen the set screw. Loosen the set screw without a bar or not a good grip and you'll be in for a big surprise and could end up getting hurt. Once the tension is off its the same steps as the gear box instructions.

If your not sure about having the gear box, or which end is the stationary and adjusting end don't do anything till your positive.

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Is your garage floor heaved from the frost.

That was my first thought also.

Something to look at for sure, before making other adjustments

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I was just thinking about this and I totally forgot, but late last fall I had a cable break free from the drum wheel (on the high left side). It didn’t really break though, it just fell out. There is a little key at the end of the cable that fits in a slot. So I just rerouted the cable back around the wheel an into the slot.

I would have to guess that the problem lies somewhere with this issue, since I noticed the door travel was a little tighter after I fixed it.

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Your door is out of balanced!! That is what us garage door installers call it. What you have to do is get both of the drums in the same spot.(Drums are what the cable spins around) If they are off just a little bit one side will try to go up faster then the other.

Best thing to do is call someone. Most places charge around 60 bucks and hour and thats about a 5 minute job. There is a lot of torque behind those springs!!! Can break a wrist very easy.

If you wanna do it yourself your gonna need whinding bars and a couple of vis crimps. And maybe I could explain it to you!!

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I've seen those those things break free and springs break... no way would I do that one myself, actually. Call a pro for sure, or be very careful!

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Dtro, Really if you dont have the proper tools for adjusting the drum I would just call ovrhead door it wont cost that much if you dont need a spring. My spring broke on my big door on one side and the repair was reasonable

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Yeah I'll probably just do that. I'm pretty sure the spring is not broke.

I recently had someone out to do my main two door spring and I'm glad I did.

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Well I finally had a chance to spend some quality time messing with this door. I found that it was indeed a slightly slipped cable drum. Another guy was over and we decided that we could probably get it to work acceptable by not relieving the tension on the spring. While this probably would’ve worked, I picked a bad spot to put torque on the drum and ended up snapping the little dog ear that holds the cable off of the drum.

Well, good luck finding a cable drum at any old hardware store or even the big boxes. I was able to find a pair of them at Menards and I had another helper over the next day with the proper tools. We installed the new drums to find out that the diameter was too small and we were losing tension on the spring about half way up. So I had three choices.

Order new drums

Get a longer spring

Make the old drum work

A little bit of Macgyver came out in me and was able to modify the old one so that it would work. I ended up drilling a hole in the side just slightly larger than the cable clamp so that it would hold in the drum. Just like new……..well sort of smile

I’ve always heard horror stories about these tension springs, but found out that with the right tools, it really isn’t that bad at all.

Thanks for all the help here.

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