Your Guide to Garage Door Cable Replacement

Your garage door cable is the power piece of the system, the component that performs the function of opening and closing your door. Without it, you will have a beautiful and sturdy door that fails to open. The same applies if your garage door cable is damaged. Either way, if you have an overhead garage door that fails to operate, replacing your garage door may be the answer.

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It’s best for you, as a consumer, to research the process before hiring a professional garage cable repair company in Lansing or your local area. Here is a convenient guide for you about how to replace your garage door cables.

Cable Replacement Safety Disclaimer

It is important, before you do any work on your garage door, that you wear the proper safety equipment and use the correct tools. Failure to do so can lead to injury, especially when dealing with a large and powerful machine like a garage door.

Here’s the equipment you’ll need to replace your garage door cables:

  • Vice grip
  • The right replacement cables
  • Winding bars
  • Wrenches of different sizes
  • Sockets with different fittings
  • Protective eyewear
  • Protective gloves

Assessing Your Garage Door For Cable Replacement

First, you should consider the size of your door, as well as the size of your cable.

The size of the cable you’ll need will depend on your door and whether you have a standard-lift, vertical-lift or high-lift door. Typically, with residential garage doors with a standard-lift, the cable size you’ll use will be the height of the door with 18 inches added.</> A 7’ door, for example, will likely use an 8’6″ cable. The tools and replacement cable you must purchase depend primarily on the door’s size.

How to Remove Your Garage Door

If you are not willing to hire professionals for garage door repair services, especially if you’re located in Lansing, Michigan, you should follow these instructions.

  1. First, you must pull on the emergency release handle to disengage the door. You must do this first or the door will fall or collapse, potentially damaging property, injuring you, or damaging the door further.
  2. Use a vice grip just underneath the roller on the bottom corner of each side of the door to hold the door open as you pull the cables loose. Be careful around sharp edges and frays–these can cut you.
  3. At the center of a door, unscrew the set screws on the springs. For safety, fully insert winding bars, using them both at the same time. Unwind until all tension is loosened. 
  4. Use your wrench to loosen set screws on the cable drum, which is usually situated on the top left side of the door. Remove all cable from the cable drum. Near the bottom of the door, use a ratchet and socket to remove the bottom lag screw. Remove the bottom bracket, then pull the cable out of the bracket.

How to Install New Garage Door Cables

  1. Take a new set of cable and install it on the bottom bracket first, then pull it up to the cable drum on the top left. Repeat on the other side of the door.
  2. Then insert the cable into the cable drum’s slot, being certain that the cable is set properly. If it is properly set, the cable will not overlap. Wind the cable onto the drum and slide the drum into the bearing plate. Turn it counterclockwise until the cable tightens.
  3. Next, tighten the set screws. Do not force them—this will overtighten them.
  4. Hold the cable and use your vice grip on the winding rod. Do this again on the other side. Now you should be able to increase the tension on the springs with the winding bars. Turn them 1/4 of the way at a time.
  5. Now, you can remove your locking pliers from the winding rod. At this point, you should be about done.

Testing Your Completed Cable Repair

Any good garage door cable repair in Lansing should involve testing your work. Once you re-engage the door, you can pull down the emergency release handle and lift it. It should click twice—this means it is in place. Try activating the door again by opening and closing it; remotely if you have a remote.

Sometimes, you may not be able to repair your door in this way. In these circumstances, you may want to count on professional garage door service to do your cable replacement.

Hire Ingstrup to Replace your Lansing Home’s Garage Door Cables

If you made any mistakes in replacing your cable, or if something else entirely is wrong with the door and you need garage door spring repair in Lansing, contact professionals to make any necessary repairs.

If you’re in Lansing, Michigan or surrounding areas, call us at (517) 374-4731 for garage door repair services or schedule an appointment online.

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