Do you find yourself picking up the pace as you pass under your dilapidated garage door? If your cables and springs are rusty or damaged, it’s important to replace them before an accident happens, which can cause the door to fall.
Replacing garage door cables is an essential part of home maintenance that can often be overlooked. But for the safety of you, your family, and your vehicle, it’s a critical part of maintaining the home!
In this guide, we will talk about how to replace garage door cables only. We will not cover how to replace springs or cable extensions, which are another essential part of garage door function and safety.
So to learn how to install garage door cables, read on to learn how to get the job done like a pro!
What Are Garage Door Cables?
Garage door cables are an essential safety feature of your automatic garage door. With the garage door closed, they run vertically along the track. When the garage door opens, they wind around a cable drum located on either end of the torsion bar that runs across the top of the garage door.
The cables are responsible for lowering and raising your garage door. They also help keep proper tension on the springs at all times. Garage door springs are under immense tension and can cause serious damage or injury when unexpectedly breaking.
A garage door cable will help prevent harm in the event of an accident, so it’s essential that this backup safety feature is in proper working order.
Prepare Your Workspace
The first step in this garage cables installation guide is to prepare your workspace.
First, move your car and any other equipment out of the garage before starting. You’ll need a step ladder, vice grips, an adjustable wrench, and your replacement parts.
This job will be performed with the door in the open position to remove the tension on the springs. So open your garage door and unplug and disengage the opening mechanism. Pull-on the red cord that hangs down to disengage your door.
Do not wear any loose-fitting clothing, and proper footwear should be worn. Leather gloves will work to your advantage, and safety glasses should be worn at all times. Remember that the garage door springs are under a serious amount of tension and can cause serious harm or even death if a mistake is made.
With the garage door disengaged and in the up position, clamp locking pliers or vice grips onto the track right below the bottom wheel on both sides. This will prevent the door from sliding down while you are working on it.
Remove Old Cables
The next step is to remove the old cables from the cable drum. Position your ladder on the outside edge of the door to have the best access to the cable drum. Clamp a vice grip onto the winding bar and use it to twist the bar just enough to loosen the cable.
With the cable loosened, you should be able to remove it from the bottom bracket on the bottom edge of the garage door. Once the cable is removed from the bottom bracket, unwind the cable from the roller drum being careful not to scratch the face of your garage door.
The cables are probably rusty and have sharp edges or splintered strands, so wear your leather gloves and protect your eyes with safety glasses. Once the cable is removed, discard it and prepare to install your new cable.
Install New Cables
Here is the part on how to install garage door cables. With your new cable in hand, locate the two ends. One end should be looped. This is the part that will fit onto the bottom bracket. Start with the other straight end, which inserts into the cable drum.
Start your cable by coming up on the backside of the cable drum and wrap the cable loosely around one time. Insert the cable into the cable drum and make sure it is in there properly and snugly.
Then, wind the cable around the front of the drum towards the back while staying on the outer groove of the drum. To keep the cable on the drum, you will need to hold one hand on the cable at all times while winding.
If you have any questions about what this should look like, you can go to the other side and examine how the cable is wrapped around the drum.
Once your cable is fully wound, you are ready to install the loop end onto the bottom bracket. You may need to use your vice grips again to twist the bar in order to get the cable to reach the bottom bracket.
Repeat and Engage Door
Now that you have installed the cable on one side of your door, repeat all of these steps on the other side. Once both cables are installed, and you have adjusted them, so the door sits flush on the floor, you are ready to re-engage your garage door opening mechanism.
You did it!
How to Install Garage Door Cables DIY
This basic guide on how to install garage door cables should give you a solid idea of the tools, skills, and steps needed to complete this job. There is nothing quite like that feeling of DIY satisfaction you get from repairing and improving your home. And if the task seems like too much to handle, call a pro in your area for a quote.
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