Dan's Garage Door Blog

Torsion Spring Pitch

Friday, July 13th, 2018 at 5:29 pm by Dan Musick

We are frequently asked, “Why is one of my garage door springs slinky and the other tight?” Or, “Why is one spring stiff and the other loose?”

The answer lies in the pitch of the spring wire. When a spring is coiled the wire is normally wound at a 90-degree angle from the spool or rod around which the wire is wound. In the door industry there are no hard standards for this 90-degree angle, and, as a result, it varies slightly with every spring.

In reality, from a theoretical view, no two springs are wound exactly the same. One will always have a slightly different pitch. The end result for the customer is that one spring may be perfectly straight when held by one hand in the middle; the other spring may form an upside down “U.” While this may appear to be a problem, a tight spring always has the identical torque rating as a loose spring.

Should I be concerned? No. But here are the answers to your questions.

I hope this helps.


How Do I Replace Garage Door Cables?

Friday, July 6th, 2018 at 12:14 pm by Dan Musick

1. Secure the garage door in the open position.

2. Unplug the opener power cord.

3. Remove the cable from the bottom fixture and drum.

4. Turn the shaft if the cable is too tight.

5. Insert the end of the cable and wrap the cable around the drum.

6. Connect the bottom loop of the cable to the bottom fixture pin, turning the shaft as needed.

7. Remove the tools that support the door and plug in the power for the opener.

More information is available on the DDM Garage Doors YouTube video titled “How to Replace Your Garage Door Cables.”


How Do I Replace Garage Door Springs?

Friday, June 29th, 2018 at 12:26 pm by Dan Musick

1. Measure to assure you have the correct springs.
2. Unwind the unbroken spring or springs.
3. Remove the two center bolts.
4. Mark and loosen the set screws on the cable drums.
5. Slide the torsion shaft to the left and right to remove the old springs and install the new springs.
6. Secure the springs, cable drums and tighten both cables.
7. Wind both springs.

Caution: Replacing torsion spring is dangerous! For more information view the DDM Garage Doors “How to Replace Garage Door Torsion Springs” instructions.

How to Install Push Down Spring Bumpers

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 at 5:28 pm by Dan Musick

Spring bumpers are often needed on residential garage doors to help assist the door to close from the open position when a jackshaft opener such as the Liftmaster 8500 is used.

Without this extra thrust, the cables are likely to peel off the drums as the opener initially turns the torsion shaft, especially if the rollers are dry or if the door binds in the open position.

I tested the amount of force required to compress the 27-inch spring bumper by standing on an analog scale and seeing how much weight I lost.

I weigh about 160 with my tool pouch. When I compressed the spring to its maximum, I lost 60 pounds of my weight.

Two of these bumpers, completely compressed, would require 120 pounds of opener force to open a garage door to its normal position. That is too much. Over time it will create excessive wear on the opener and it could also damage the door.

Rather than compress the bumper all the way, it is safer to limit the compression to 1/3 of the rod length. On this 27-inch spring bumper we limited compression to nine inches.

This gave us a compression of about 30 pounds. Except for some of the lighter, flimsier doors, this should work fine.

These instructions will help you install the spring bumpers.

One spring bumper is for the left side and the other is for the right side. The bracket mounts to the outside of the horizontal track as pictured. Using c-clamps or c-vise-grips, temporarily install the pusher springs as far back on the horizontal track as you can go.

Raise the door and align the bumper with the top left corner of the door.

Go to the other side and install the other bumper as you did on the first side. IMPORTANT: The spring bumpers must always be evenly spaced to prevent cables from coming off the drums as the door opens.

With the opener engaged open the door to its normally open position. If it doesn’t open all the way, measure the length of compression. If it is less than one third the length of the rod, adjust the opener force just enough to get the door to open completely. This door opened completely, but the compression is only eight inches.

Since we want an extra inch of compression, we will move the bumper an inch closer to the top of the door. To do this mark the necessary distance needed for moving the bumper. Here we marked an inch.

Next, move the bumper one inch and grip it into place.

Adjust the bumper as needed to align it with the top corner of the door.

Drill two holes with a 3/8 inch bit. Drill at the ends of the slots closer to the door.

Secure the bracket with a 3/8 inch bolt and nut.

Drill the second hole at the end of the slot closer to the door. Should the nut come loose in the future the bracket will not move. This will prevent the cables from coming off the drums when the door opens.

Secure the bracket with a second 3/8 inch bolt and nut.

Repeat this process on the opposite side. Adjust the bracket as needed, align the bumper with the top corner of the door, and secure the bracket with two 3/8 inch bolts and nuts.

There are some applications where the horizontal tracks are not long enough for mounting a spring bumper. When this is the case, you can move the bumper further into the garage by adding two-inch angle to the inside ends of the horizontal tracks.

The coils rattle as they are compressed. For quietness lube the entire length of the rod with a 40 weight oil or a light grease.

If we can help with any questions, please contact us.

Overhead Door Preventive Maintenance & Inspection

Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 3:26 pm by Dan Musick

The following checklist is for maintenance technicians who can work from some type of lift. If you are working from a ladder you will alter some of the steps. Exercise caution when servicing any type of overhead type door as there are many dangers in servicing them.

For safety, close the door and turn off the power to the operator is one is present.

Maintenance from the Floor

Begin maintenance at the bottom left side of the door.

• Inspect the seal across bottom of door.
• Inspect bottom of jamb to confirm that it is straight and secured to floor.
• Inspect bottom of vertical track angle to confirm that it is straight and secured to jamb.
• Inspect bottom of vertical track to confirm that it is straight and secure. Check for loose track bolts and nuts.
• Inspect bottom of cable for frays, corrosion and rust.
• Inspect bottom fixture for damage from section being hit and for scrape marks from misalignment.
• Inspect bottom roller and confirm that the wheel can be turned with fingers. Check for wear.
• Lubricate the bottom roller stem, wheel and bearing.
• As you spray with your right hand, with your left hand inspect the next roller up for wear and to make sure it turns inside the track.
• Inspect the first end hinge from the bottom for cracks, wear, bends, and damage. Check the screws to make sure they are tight. Lubricate the first end hinge and roller from the bottom. Spray both hinge points, and spray lube the roller stem, wheel and bearing.
• Repeat this process as you work your way up the left side of the door going as high as you can, usually eight feet. Inspect jamb, track angle, track, hinges, rollers and fasteners as you go. Lube and each roller and end hinge as you go up the side of the door.

• Move to the first row of inside hinges. Starting at the top lubricate the hinge and inspect for loose screws, wear and damage.
• Move down the door lubing and inspecting each hinge.
• Move to the right and, starting at the bottom, lube and inspect each hinge as you rise to the highest hinge you can reach.
• Move to the next row of hinges, and starting at the bottom, repeat this process until all the hinges are inspected and lubricated.

• When you reach the right side of the door, move up or down and inspect the jamb, angle, track, cable, bottom fixture, hinges, rollers and fasteners. Lubricate the hinges and rollers.

Maintenance from the Lift

As you rise on the left side of the door, inspect the jamb, angle, track, cable, hinges, rollers, top fixture, and fasteners. Lubricate the center hinges, end hinges, and rollers.

Rise to the Left end of Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the end bearing plate to assure it is plumb and secured to the jamb.
• Inspect the end bearing for wear.
• Inspect the shaft for wear and assure that it is straight.
• Inspect the cable for frays. Check to assure the end of the cable is properly seated in the slot of the cable drum, and that it follows the outside groove of the drum.
• Inspect the drum for cracks and wear. Check to assure the neck of the cable drum is touching the race of the end bearing.
• Inspect the key to assure it is properly seated between the drum and shaft keyways. Tighten the cable drum set screws.
• Lubricate the end bearing on both sides and allow some of the oil to get between the shaft and the race of the bearing.
• Moving to the right, inspect the winding cone but DO NOT TOUCH THE SET SCREWS. (These rarely come loose, and it is good to avoid the danger of accidentally turning a set screw the wrong direction.) Never touch a set screw without first inserting a winding bar into the winding cone.

Move to the Center of the Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the spring anchor brackets to assure they are plumb and secured to the pad. Never replace or secure a pad or the spring anchor bracket without first unwinding the spring.
• Inspect the stationary cones for cracks.
• Inspect the bearings for wear.
• Inspect both sides of the coupler, keys, and keyways for wear.
• Tighten the coupler set screws. Check to assure there is a lock nut on the setscrews that are tightened to the key and tighten these lock nuts as needed.
• Lubricate the bearings and the shaft inside the bearings that are inside the stationary cones.
• Lower the lift, inspect and lubricate the upper inside hinges.

Move to the right side of the Torsion Spring Assembly.

• Inspect the cable, drum, end bearing & plate, shaft, and key. Tighten the cable drum set screws and lube the bearing as you did on the left side. Inspect the spring winding cone of the torsion spring but DO NOT TOUCH THE SET SCREWS!

• As you lower the lift on the right side of the door, inspect the upper jamb, angle, track, cable, hinges, rollers, top fixture, and fasteners. Lubricate the center hinges, end hinges, and rollers.

If the Door has an Operator

• Tighten and check all the collar and sprocket set screws.
• Tighten and secure drive coupler or drive chain and sprocket as needed.
• Lube the chains and bushings.
• Test the operator clutch and adjust as needed.
• Adjust the operator travel or limits. If you are servicing a door in a part of the country where there is snow in the winter, be sure to leave some coast as the operator ends its close travel.

Check the Overhead Door Balance

• Disconnect the door from the operator and check the door balance. Adjust the springs as needed so the door will stay at any point in its travel without having to hold it. Re-engage the operator.


Free Garage Door Hardware

Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 5:20 pm by Dan Musick

On our Standard Garage Door Torsion Springs page we include a special offer for free hardware or free winding bars.

Since we started this we have had a number of requests for substitutions.

For example, someone purchasing one of our torsion spring conversion kits will sometimes ask to deduct the value of the free hardware from the kit.

We have also had requests for part substitutions, for example offering the better Freeway brand end bearings which cost significantly more than the standard bearings that come pressed into the end bearing plates.

As much as we like to help customers get the parts they need, we regret that we are unable to substitute parts.

Garage Door Hardware Kits

Friday, May 25th, 2018 at 5:17 pm by Dan Musick

Hardware kits are available for customers who build their own sections as well as for those who buy the sections already made. We’re starting to see iron garage doors imported from other countries. These are much heavier than is typical.

On our website, you’ll find all the parts needed for your door. These include the hardware kit with all the hinges, rollers, and fixtures that tie together the sections and allow them to roll in the tracks. Wider doors need struts to keep the sections rigid when the door is open so the door can close easily.

Doors also need tracks, so we have the 2″ tracks for the lighter doors and 3″ tracks for heavier doors that typically weigh over 500 pounds.

To counterbalance the door weight a torsion assembly is needed. This includes the springs, shaft, bearing supports, cable drums and the cables.

Garage door seals are also normally ordered with the kits.

Last is the opener with the drive and motor to raise and lower the door. For the 1,000 pound doors these can cost as much as $1500 to $2000.

The easiest way to view all the parts you’ll need is to follow the links at our Garage Door Parts page.

To get prices for a complete kit, you can fill out our Door Hardware Order Form or contact us and we’ll help you find the parts you need.

New: Wholesale Prices for Garage Door Dealers Only

Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 5:07 pm by Dan Musick

Now here!

Over the years we’ve had a lot of wholesale customers come into our shop to pick up parts. As a result we finally put together a list to better serve them.

Here is the link to our wholesale garage door parts prices.

Prices on the Rise

Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at 12:34 pm by Dan Musick

Due to the recent tariffs added to Chinese imports material prices across the board are rising. This is especially true in our industry.

Many garage door parts such as rollers are made only in China and, as a result, costs for these are directly increased.

We hope to limit the increase in our garage door parts prices to around eight percent.

The same increase of about eight percent is true for our dock leveler parts as well.

All of our garage door springs are made in the United States, but because of competition with imported steel, prices for the US-made steel torsion springs have risen twice this year. As a result on Monday, June 18, we will be increasing our prices about 15 percent to cover these two increases.

We regret this unfortunate turn of events.

We wish you all the best in these changing times.

FedEx and Walgreens Team Up

Friday, April 27th, 2018 at 5:19 pm by Dan Musick

In a recent bid to offer even more options and convenience to customers, FedEx has partnered with Walgreens to provide FedEx Ground and Express package pickup in every Walgreens nationwide. As an internet retail company, we are always quick to extend these benefits to our customers.

Starting April 27th, 2018 this shipping option will now be available for eligible orders. Restrictions include:

  • Dock leveler parts
  • Orders under $20 (before shipping/handling)
  • Select spring orders to California on Wednesday/Thursday (Drop shipped from our supplier)

When filling out the order online, enter your name in the customer box. In the company box enter “C/O Walgreens.” Then enter the address for your local Walgreens. If you are ordering by phone, just provide the address of the store. The person whose name is on the order will need to bring identification when picking up the packages.

Once the tracking indicates that the package has been delivered, head to your local Walgreens . . . 

Go to the photo/service desk . . . 

Provide photo I.D. and pick up the package.

Normal package delivery to your home is always available, but here are some advantages to picking up your packages at Walgreens:


  • Pick up the package on your own schedule, while out running errands, driving home from work, etc.
  • If you know you will be out of town when the package is delivered, you can have it waiting for you at Walgreens instead of relying on a neighbor to bring a package inside.
  • Kill two birds with one stone – pick up other items you need while in the store.


  • Packages are held securely, not left out on the porch or driveway.
  • If inclement weather is expected, you can keep the package out of the elements. This is especially helpful since many of our products like radio controls or garage door springs can be damaged by excessive moisture.

Unmatched Support. The Right Part. DIY with Confidence!