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How to Measure Torsion Springs

Warning  Always use extreme caution when working on a Garage Door.  Springs and cables are under extreme tension and can cause serious harm and possibly death if not handled properly.  If you have any doubts about changing a garage door spring contact a certified professional.

Garage door springs come in many different sizes and lengths.  Based on several factors each spring will provide a certain amount of lift.  The lift  for each torsion spring is the amount of door weight each spring will lift. For example, a door that weighs 180 pounds will usually use two springs that have 90 pounds of lift each. In order to properly balance a door the correct spring must be used.  

Winding bars should be used anytime you attempt to wind or unwind a spring.  A pair of 1/2" X 18" winding bars costs $6.00 plus $8.00 for shipping and handling. Or, if you prefer, most hardware stores and home centers have 1/2" X 36" steel rods for about $6.00 that you can cut in half to use.

If purchasing springs from 513garagedoor.com a set of Winding Bars are included and shipped with the springs at no additional cost.

In order to determine the proper spring or springs needed you should take the following measurements of your current springs:

(1) Inside diameter of spring.  

       Measure to the nearest 1/16". Check this measurement against any corresponding numbers that may be on the spring plugs. For example, the more common plugs will have "175" for 1 3/4", "200" for 2", "258" or "263" for 2 5/8", etc.

(2) Determine wire size.  This is the thickness of the wire used to make the spring.

       Measuring 20 coils with a ruler and consult chart below.  To measure 20 coils insert the end of a tape measure between two coils and count 20 coils.  Measure to the nearest 16th of an inch. 

Spring must be in the unwound or compressed position to perform this measurement.


If you have any doubt about your 20 coil measurement measure the total length of the spring and divide by the total number of coils. Use the 10-coil measurement to confirm your 20-coil measurement.

(3) Determine spring wind.

Winding is determined by color coded winding cones. Black is Left Wind, and Red is Right Wind. If your springs are not color coded, then looking from the inside of your garage facing your driveway. Left Wind is mounted on the Right side of the center bracket, and the Right Wind is mounted on the Left side of the center bracket.       

(4) Length of spring.

      If the spring is unwound, simply measure the length. If the spring is broken, measure and add the two halves. Or, measure one half, and hold the position on the ruler, and start the measurement of the rest of the spring from that position.

Measure only the spring from end to end and do not include the winding cone or stationary cone.  

If the spring is wound, (CAUTION)  you will need to follow a different procedure, do not attempt to unwind the spring unless you have the proper tools.