How To Adjust Garage Door Cable Tension

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    The wrong amount of tension in overhead door springs can lead to annoying, sometimes dangerous inconveniences.

    In identifying if your garage door springs need tweaking, watch for signs such as: your door slamming closed at an unusual speed, closing incompletely and leaving an open gap between the door and the bottom of the opening, or simply closing and opening too quickly.

    As for how to adjust garage door cable tension, there are two different spring types used with overhead doors–whichever one yours has depends on its particular style.

    Read on for directions on how to adjust garage door cable tension.


    These are visible above an overhead door’s horizontal tracks, attached to both sides of the door, creating counterbalancing force during usage.


    These have extremely extensive shelf life.

    The clips lessen the amount of force placed on the springs themselves, resulting in better durability.


    This type has two coils, the first fastened to the eye bolt, the second connected to the pulley.


    Open-looped springs aren’t the strongest of the extension spring family, however are the least difficult to switch out.

    Adjusting Tools:

    C-clamp, stable ladder, marker or masking tape, and adjustable wrench.


    Gloves, safety glasses, and hard hat.


    Completely open your garage door to rid springs of tension.

    For a manual door, open it to the point that it hits the stop bolt.

    With an automatic door, simply open fully, look below for the emergency cord, and pull back till the spring is steady in open position.

    Keep your overhead door secured by attaching a C-clamp to the bottom roller.

    Remove the spring hook by detaching the bigger hook on the track hanger; use a wrench to remove the nut that the larger hook is secured with.

    With an uneven-closing door, decrease spring tension through attaching your spring hook to a lower track hanger hole on the side with a gap.

    If your overhead door’s problem is incomplete closing, lessen spring tension by hanging your spring on one of the lower holes.

    For a door that opens/closes too quickly, increase spring tension by affixing its spring to a higher hole.

    Safety cable tension must likewise be increased or decreased.

    To increase, tighten the knot that attaches it to the spring; to decrease, loosen the knot as needed.

    Detach the C-clamp and test the door.

    Once all is fixed, lubricate the springs.

    Your’re done!

    Torsion Springs

    Torsion springs use torque force rather than extension to hold the weight of garage doors.

    They’re found parallel to the overhead doorframe, secured to an unmoving metal shaft.

    Torque Master:

    Torque master torsion springs are costlier, but are essentially the safest; torsion shafts keep the springs enclosed, protecting them from becoming projectile should they accidentally break off.


    Standard torsion springs are widely conventional.

    Their springs are supported by a metal shaft.



    Adjustable wrench, 12” and 18” steel bars (one of each)–use the aforementioned PPE.


    Close your overhead door.

    For an automatic door, unplug the opener.

    With a manual door, simply close it fully.

    On the garage door track, attach a C-clamp to prevent opening.

    Locate the winding cone: place one eye atop the stationary center plate, as it will be in the precise spot where the spring ends.

    Find two set screws on the center shaft, insert the winding cone/steel rod into the cone’s bottom hole and use your adjustable wrench to loosen them, then insert bars into two consecutive holes on the cone.

    For a door that shuts too fast, increase spring tension by winding the cone upwards.

    If your door fails to close fully, wind downwards to decrease tension.

    Stretch your spring by removing one bar from the top hole, keeping the bottom bar in place.

    From the winding cone’s end, mark a ¼” distance off the center.

    Put upward force on the bottom bar, simultaneously tapping it with the other until the spring stretches to your ¼” mark.

    Re-tighten the set screws, use an adjustable wrench to lock the spring in corrected position.

    After removing the C-clamp, test if all is working right, then lubricate your springs, and you’re good to go!

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