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How to set garage door cables and drums
step by step instructions

Your cables need to be set properly on the drums in order to lift your garage door evenly. Improperly set cables will cause your door to sit in the tracks improperly and can lead to cables coming unraveled.

Pages in series

  1. Removing torsion springs
  2. Measuring torsion springs
  3. Mounting new torsion springs
  4. Setting the cables and cable drums
  5. Winding torsion springs
  6. Balancing your garage door

4. Setting cables and drums

STEP ONE: Start on the left side (Standard installation). While on the left side of the door position the torsion-tube where it originally was and match up the lines you drew on the torsion-tube and the cable-drum in the "Un-winding and removing old torsion springs" instructions.

releasing spring set screws

STEP TWO: Tighten the set screws. They should fall into the existing dimples on the torsion-tube when you match up the lines you drew.

insert winding bar into winding cone hole

STEP THREE: Pull your cable up behind the cable-drum making sure it is behind every roller and inside of the track-brackets. In other words the cable should have a straight line from the bottom fixture all the way up to the cable drum.
NOTE: Make sure the cable is not hung up near the bottom-fixture. Sometimes the cable loop that connects to the bottom-bracket post gets snagged on the track.

pull cable up behind cable drumMake sure cable is unimpededbottom bracket

STEP FOUR: Look for the slat on the side of the cable-drum that is closest to the bearing-plate and hook the cable-anchor into it.

Look for the cable drum slathook cable into drum

STEP FIVE: Pull the cable tight until the cable-anchor sets firmly in place and does not protrude out of the side of the cable-drum.

put the cable until the anchor is set

STEP SIX: Rotate the cable-drum until the cable is tight and in the first groove of the cable-drum.
NOTE: Make sure the cable is in the first groove of the drum all the to the back of the drum.

make sure the cable is in the first groove

STEP SEVEN: While holding the cable-drum so that the cable is taught, lock the vice- grips (locking-pliers) to the torsion tube using the wall or ceiling as a stop. Double check that the cable is taught, after you apply the vice grips, and that the cable-drum is against the bearing-plate.
NOTE: The cable should not flop around loosely. You should be able to pluck it and it should vibrate.

hold cable tightclamp locking plierscable should not be able to flop

STEP EIGHT: Go to the right side and attach the cable to the cable-drum as you did on the left side. Rotate the right side cable-drum until the marks you made on the torsion-tube and cable-drum line up and then tighten the set-screws. The set-screws should fall into the existing dimples on the torsion-tube and the cable should be taught.

pull cable up behind cable drumput cable anchor into slat on cable drumalign marks and tighten cable drum set screwsmake sure cable is in first groove of cable drum

NEXT "Winding torsion springs"

Garage Door Terminology

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