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Old 02-06-2004, 12:37 PM
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Garage Door Broke! Help!

Well up here in the cold Buckeye, we are finally having a mild spell. The last mild spell we had, I tried to get into and out of my garage. I don't know what happened to the door, but now its really hosed up.

I'm a little afeared to get hit with some whizzing cable, but I'd like to know how to fix the door.

Its a newer aliminum replacement with no windows and its a long 2-car garage door. I'll list the things wrong so I don't run them all together.

-One side is now open about 18" at the bottom

-The other side is open about 5" at the bottom

-There is a cable hanging on the outside over the top on one side - say the "driver's side". It looks like it came aloose from something, but its not busted.

-On the side this cable is hanging on, I can't lift the door any higher than it is already (5"). When you get to that point the rollers and everything get jammed up in the upper corner and it wedges itself so it doesn't go any higher.

-You can bring the other side down so its even, but it seems like there's spring action on the one side and it jams with no spring action on the other. SO if you try to hold the door so both sides are open evenly, it still jams on the cable hangs out side. (Theres a good funny Indian name -- John "Cable Hangs Out" kinda like Lester Broken Down).

-The door is segmented I think there are 4 slabs.

Where do I start with this thing?

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Old 02-06-2004, 12:48 PM
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It has a torsion spring? (coiled spring a couple feet long slid over a bar over the door)...if so, the spring probably broke, they do that in cold weather after they age some. You say newer door, was the spring replaced then too? It'll run you about $120 (including the new spring) to have somebody come out and fix it. You don't want to mess around with these yourself. Let a pro do it.


If you have the other type of arrrangement two springs, one on each side, with a pulley on each side, then you might be able to fix yourself, but I'd have to see it to tell how to do it. Springs do break in the cold though.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:51 PM
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:13 PM
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Dave is right. You broke a spring. The one on the low side is broken. A 16 to 18 ft. door spring is a torsion type. The cable has unwound from the drum near the top corner of the door. He is also very right about getting someone else to fix it for you. My Dad put those doors up for 22 years and I worked with him many times. I know how to do it and it is very dangerous for a novice to try. I'm surprised you did not hear it when it broke. Sounds like a shotgun going off right out side when they go. The best thing you can do right now is to push it down(closed) and put a pair of vice grips on the tracks at the top of the door on each side. The track is a wide "U" type shape with one flat edge and one curved for the rollers to move in. Put them on the flat part of the track just above the rollers to keep the door from raising and jamming causing more damage.

David

Last edited by Bluepen; 02-06-2004 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:11 PM
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Yea Bluepen...there is a small drum on each side. The cable is wound on the "springy" or what I'm now guessing to be the good side. And on the jamming side its hanging out. The door is new...I mean like not more than a year or two old. I'll check on the spring size, but I'm also pretty sure that the whole thing was replaced. No I did not hear anything snap or bang. I just went to open it on one of those really cold days, and it wouldn't open. period.

Then about two weeks later, things warmed above freezing, and I climbed inside through the window which was broken anyhow, then I pulled the latch which was "stuck" on the good side. The whole door went up, and I thought it was OK. So I did what I had to do in the garage (moved around a junker) then I fixed the window.

I wanted to check the door if it worked still, so I closed it, which it did fine. But then the ***** hit the fan. I couldn't open it again, and I'm now on the inside. I went back and forth trying to open each side, while watching what the other side was doing...that's how I seen it jamming at the top like Bluepen said. I jiggled and tugged a bit until I got the door into the position it is now in, and I crawled out through the 18" side.

I'll try to take some pictures this weekend, but its sounding a lot like what Bluepen said. But if its so new, hows come the spring broke so soon? The bad part is I rent, and I have to do the repairs or pay to have them done, because I'm hoping to buy it from the landlord. If I can't get financing within the year, Its like pi$$ing all the option fee and repairs down the drain.
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:17 PM
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I concour you have a spring broke somewhere. Inspect it closer and compare it to the other side. Mine has two springs on each side. Sometimes one breaks and leaves the door weak on one side like yours. It can be a pain to fix but I normally fix mine myself. I've done it often enough I know what to look for. While your at it check the wheels that the cable sits in at the top of your garage door. Sometimes the bearing go bad and they will wobble and need repalcing. Easier to do both at the same time. Good luck and be careful. It can be dangerous. Also inspect your cables and make sure they're not frayed. If they are replace them too. Otherwise they will catch on something and you'll have to fix everything all over again.
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for all the great replies men. At least I know a lot more of what to expect, and also what I might get charged to have it fixed. Great info, and I'll let you all know what I turn up over the weekend.

Thanks again!

Joseph
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:40 PM
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It sounds like the cable came loose from the bottom of the door if it is hanging on the outside. If it came loose then it would let the torsion spring unwind. You can fix it yourself but you need to know what you are doing. http://truetex.com/garage.htm

Last edited by Kevin45; 02-06-2004 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 02-07-2004, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bluepen
I'm surprised you did not hear it when it broke. Sounds like a shotgun going off right out side when they go.
For sure. First time I heard one go, I thought there had been a terrorist attack at the Air Force Base about 5 miles from the house....you just can't believe how loud it is!
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Old 02-07-2004, 10:52 PM
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Well stuuuuupid me again...snow snow snow...cold. Shee-it! I wish this weather would gimme a break!
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Old 02-09-2004, 05:50 AM
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garage door broken.

I helped a buddy replace the cable on the garage door when it broke. With the door UP we just installed a new cable to the hanging spring and pulled it tight and put the old clamps on it.


Tazz


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Old 02-11-2004, 05:53 AM
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If you have the type with the spring on the bar at top of the door.it's a cable broken.
you can pick one up at any hardware store.It lays in the" wheel"atop the door corner.it hooks in a groove or hole on the wheel and wraps around in the grooves , then goes down onto the bottom panel.make sure its the same as the other.you should be able to get the door level by lifting the lower part.
If you can't hook it back up,the next part gets hard.
you will need two steel rods(i think 3/8 extensions will fit)on one end of the spring it is affixed to the pipe across top, the other end has a bolt and 4 holes.put a rod in the hole and hold on tight, release the bolt and wind it down with the two rods locking one in at a time and de-tensioning the spring.when there is no tension, make sure the two cables are exactly the same length and strung exactly opposite the other(left and right).once you have them set you can re-tension the spring.you will notice a line running the length of the spring,if not , make one straight down the entire length of the spring(chalk).as you wind the spring back up,you will notice the spring line will "break up"as it winds,keep winding till you see the line in seven segments(usually good tension)you may need more or less but thats a good starting point .tighten the bolt and try the door.if its too heavy still,tighten the spring more, if it stays up and wont go down , less tension.
hope this helps, mike
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