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Ask Stephen Cutler Your Own Question
Stephen Cutler
Stephen Cutler, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2062
Experience:  35 years of troubleshooting construction, remodel, component & material failures. What to do next
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my cables came off my garage door. How can i get them back

Customer Question

my cables came off my garage door. How can i get them back on properly ?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 8 years ago.
Hi & thanks for using Just
I need a little more information.
Is this a door with 2 springs ( one on each side ) or a door with a roller bar over the door with the single spring wound around the bar?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Its a torsion bar w/a center support & a spring on each side.
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 8 years ago.
did the cable jump off a pulley, or as you stated "came off the door" and is no longer connected to the door?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes both are off. I put them back on & lifted the door(heavy), they both came off the pulleys. Can I assume they need to be preloaded ? I also installed a Wanye Dalton opener 2 years ago. There is nothing wrong withit. I have it disconnected now.
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 8 years ago.
Yes there is some preloading involved.
First prop the door open in a position that places the cable attachment closest to the pulley wheel, and is level. Loosen the lock bolt ( has a square head ) on the spool. Loosen the spool enough to rewind the cable into the grooves in the spool so there is no overlapping of the cable upon itself. Retighten the lock bolt. Do this to the other side. Next loosen the lock bolts on the spring wheel- there should be two of them. Get two steel bolts to fit the diameter of the wheel sockets- the fit is EXTREMELY important. Use one bolt to crank the wheel & while holding it insert the second bolt in the next hole. Keep alternating bolts & holes to add pretention the spring. You don't need to add alot of pretention because the door is up. WARNING! If a bolt slips out of the holes for any reason (does not fit snugly - not inserted all the way ), the remaining bolt will whip around until it strikes you or the door or the wall with enough force to amputate your finger(s) or destroy your hand. Once you have pretentioned the wheel, tighten the lock bolts and, in reverse, unwind the wheel using the two bolts. With the electric opener disconnected, lower the door & try raising it. It should be weightless at about 1/3 to 1/2 way open. If it is to heavy add a couple turns to the spring wheel. If it it too light and wants to shoot open, back off a couple turns of the wheel. The clearance from the upper side of the door(in the track) to the spring wheel is the longest bolt length you can use.
An alternate method is to tension the spring with the door closed. This will provide more access to the wheel holes, but you will have to crank the wheel to much higher tension, which means much more catastrophic results should one of the bolts slip. Many installers do it this way, but I've become fond of my fingers and hands and would rather put up with the aggrevation of reduced access in a low tension position.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
There is no way to do this w/ the door up. I will take a look at this & decide what to do.I can,t understand why i can, do this with the side wheels, there wasn,t much load on it when the cables came off.. The door was up at this time but i did not see how far the weels turned.
Expert:  Stephen Cutler replied 8 years ago.
Then do it with the door down & use long steel bars. HomeDepot sells steel rod in 3' lengths- cut in half to 18".
You can't do it with the side wheels because you need to get the cable back into the proper grooves & you would not be able to generate enough tension. This is why the winding post holes are on the spring wheel. Now that you say you didn't have much tension before, I can tell you that that is why the cable jumped the pulleys in the first place. Aslo this would be a workout for your opener. once you get tension as I described (by door weight at 1/2 open), re set your garage opener tension (cutout/reverse) threshold.