Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > Everything Else > Off-Topic

Off-Topic
Everything not about BMWs. Posts must be "primetime safe" and in good taste. No personal attacks allowed. Political posting is restricted to the Political Science forum!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-01-2005, 07:14 PM
michelito's Avatar
michelito michelito is offline
In cubicle hell
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 550
Mein Auto: 400.03.325ci
Question about lifting cables on garage door

The garage door at my place is a double door with a torsion spring and steel lifting cables on drums at each end of the torsion-sprung rod...
The door was stopping mid-way and goind back up today, so I took a look, and one of the cables is frayed badly.
Question: what happends if the cable breaks before I have a chance to have it changed?
Is there a risk that the door will get off its tracks and fall off?
Question 2: is it easy to change those cables? It looks like there's a loop at the bottom end that goes round a pin at the bottom corner of the door, and the top is wound around the drum then goes parrllel to the drum axle and is fixed in place by a bolt. Anything to wathc out for if I want to replace this thing myself?
Question 3 (last one I promise): it went to 3 different hardware stores and they didn't have the exact diameter for this cable: it looks like it's between 1/8 and 3/16... are there specific cables to use for this and specific places to buy them?

Thanks in advance for your help guys - especially those of you who have done your garages yourself - you guys should know!!!
__________________
///ichelito
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 06-01-2005, 07:28 PM
Gopher Gopher is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Kansas
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 160
Mein Auto: 2003 GMC 2500/1985 524td
As you probably know, those cables are always under an amount of tension from the spring. They are there to kind of balance the door. Assist the motor in lifting and keep the door from putting too much stress on the motor when closing. It doesn't matter if the lifting and closing is done with an electric motor or manually. I have heard some bad stories about people messing with the springs on their garage doors so I probably wouldn't attempt replacing that cable unless I was sure I knew exactly what I was doing. If it were me I would call a garage door company.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-01-2005, 07:53 PM
cwsqbm's Avatar
cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
Dreaming of Track Days
Location: Somewhere in the aether
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,089
Mein Auto: ED'd 330Ci / E30 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gopher
If it were me I would call a garage door company.
There's a lot of energy stored in those springs. I usually fix everything around the house myself, but after one scary attempt at fixing a garage spring, I'll never go near one
again. The door probably won't fall if the cable breaks, but the cable itself can do some damage, and afterwards the door will be probably stuck mid-stroke, cocked sideways. When my spring broke, I had to use the floor jack and some lumber to lift one side up so I could lower it all the way down. Not fun. Bite the bullet and call a pro.
__________________
.................................................. ............................................. Space for rent .................................................. ..........................................
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:01 PM
MMME30W's Avatar
MMME30W MMME30W is offline
Super Moderator
Location: On The Move
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 14,252
Mein Auto: 2009 W906
Looking at the spring on my double door (18') I personally would not want to screw with this thing. Basically I would be too chicken to work on something that might injure me, or worse, damage my car :kidding:.

Call a pro...
__________________
“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

- J.C. Watts Jr.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:23 PM
michelito's Avatar
michelito michelito is offline
In cubicle hell
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 550
Mein Auto: 400.03.325ci
I wouldn't be touching the springs... only the cable... I found a picture that looks like my setup. But I think I'll follow your advice guys and have a pro come in.

Thanks for your help!!! I'm leaving on vacation next monday, and wouldn't want to end up not going because of a stupid garage accident
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	gar910.jpg
Views:	189
Size:	19.2 KB
ID:	51297  
__________________
///ichelito

Last edited by michelito; 06-01-2005 at 08:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:27 PM
Pinecone's Avatar
Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,480
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
When you remove the cable, you ARE messing with the spring tension.

Good choice in getting a pro.
__________________
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:29 PM
cwsqbm's Avatar
cwsqbm cwsqbm is offline
Dreaming of Track Days
Location: Somewhere in the aether
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 10,089
Mein Auto: ED'd 330Ci / E30 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelito
I wouldn't be touching the springs... only the cable... I found a picture that looks like my setup. But I think I'll follow your advice guys and have a pro come in.

Thanks for your help!!! I'm leaving on vacation next monday, and wouldn't want to end up not going because of a stupid garage accident
Even though you'd only be replacing the cable, the hard part is getting the tension equalized between the two sides. When I was doing it, one side or the other always pulled too much. Midway through my testing, the bolt holding the spring to the shaft let go and the spring spun wildly, and the door was stuck.
__________________
.................................................. ............................................. Space for rent .................................................. ..........................................
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-01-2005, 08:41 PM
michelito's Avatar
michelito michelito is offline
In cubicle hell
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 550
Mein Auto: 400.03.325ci
Any idea how much a pro would charge for this?

Thanks for your help guys - knew someone here would have gone through this!!!
__________________
///ichelito
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-02-2005, 06:09 AM
pjhansman's Avatar
pjhansman pjhansman is offline
Token Canadian
Location: Swastika (yes it's an actual place)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 970
Mein Auto: '97 Z3 2.8, '09 Hemi Ram
The only thing that surprises me about this whole discussion is.......

Here's a bunch of people who think nothing of tinkering with a $50k car, but won't screw with a simple garage door

Now I personally admit to being a mechanical moron, yet I've installed (and since repaired....see other threads for comments on teenagers ) several garage doors. They are MUCH less complicated than that teutonic wonder of engineering that I drive, and are safe to work on with a few simple tools and the proper precautions.

That being said.....I take my Z3 to a mechanic for everything beyond an oil change, so who am I to judge?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-02-2005, 07:11 AM
LDV330i LDV330i is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 6,130
Mein Auto: 2014 335i M-Sport EB
Quote:
Originally Posted by michelito
Any idea how much a pro would charge for this?

Thanks for your help guys - knew someone here would have gone through this!!!
When my cable sprocket broke I paid $150 in labor alone. They had to change the sprocket and rewind the cable, equalized the tension, etc.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-02-2005, 07:31 AM
SG1 SG1 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 283
Mein Auto: car
On my door, the spring tensioners have a midpoint (point where tension on both springs are minimized - somewhere in the middle of the door travel). I used HD vice grips to grip the old cable in between the spring coils, then snipped the old cable (on the untensioned end to the sprocket) and ran the new steel cable from the sprocket to new cable clamps installed just below the old ones. I would use the biggest cable you can fit in the sprocket. It took about 20 mins to do mine and that included installing a new sprockets.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-02-2005, 06:39 PM
Pinecone's Avatar
Pinecone Pinecone is offline
M Mad
Location: Maryland
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,480
Mein Auto: M Roadster/M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhansman
The only thing that surprises me about this whole discussion is.......

Here's a bunch of people who think nothing of tinkering with a $50k car, but won't screw with a simple garage door

Now I personally admit to being a mechanical moron, yet I've installed (and since repaired....see other threads for comments on teenagers ) several garage doors. They are MUCH less complicated than that teutonic wonder of engineering that I drive, and are safe to work on with a few simple tools and the proper precautions.

That being said.....I take my Z3 to a mechanic for everything beyond an oil change, so who am I to judge?
Mainly because people have been killed screwing with garage door springs. LOTS of energy stored in them, not to mention the energy of the garage door if it not fully closed.
__________________
Terry Carraway

'95 Alpine M3 LTW
'00 Dakar M Roadster
'02 Topaz M3
Red/White SRF #4 (Chassis 561)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-02-2005, 07:00 PM
michelito's Avatar
michelito michelito is offline
In cubicle hell
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 550
Mein Auto: 400.03.325ci
My neighbour (we share the double door) called for a repair guy thinking I was working from home today, which of course I wasn't, so we'll start again tomorrow... if I have time I'll watch what the guy is doing to see how a pro does it... for afar
__________________
///ichelito
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-02-2005, 07:49 PM
piratelife piratelife is offline
Registered User
Location: chicago
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 03 325
I use to work on door for a living, so I will help you. First and foremost DON"T cut the cable loose with tension on it. You can go to a garage door place and get a set of cable if you want to do it yourself. I would call someone if I were you, but if you want to do it yourself send me a PM and I will help. The main thing about the spring is that you need tempered steel rods to unwind it. DO NOT use screw drivers, the tension will break the handles and send them flying across the garage.
Now if you want to do it yourself. You need to raise the door all the way up and put two pair of vise grips under the bottm rollers clamped onto the track. Check the tension on the cable, if it is loose, then you can unhook the loop from the bottom fixture, but make sure it is loose with no tension. You might need a flathead screw driver to pop the loop off the bottom fixture. You can then unwind the cable and replace it. The cable should hang from the back of the drum, like the picture. Pay attention to the way the cable winds around the drum. If there is tension on the cable you can take another pair of vise grips and clamp them onto the shaft, don't clamp too hard or you will warp the shaft. Once clammped on the shaft, push up a bit and you can take the cable off while holding the vise grips in place. Let the tension off real easy, but dont unclamp them yet. There will be a metal piece on the end of the cable that need to go into a groove on the backside of the drum. Follow the first grove around and continue until you have just enough to reach the botom fixture. Use the vise grips on the shaft to take a little tension off so you can put the loop on the bottom fixture. If you have any questions, PM me and I will do whatever I can to help. In the end, I would call someone, but it is up too you.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-03-2005, 06:08 AM
pjhansman's Avatar
pjhansman pjhansman is offline
Token Canadian
Location: Swastika (yes it's an actual place)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 970
Mein Auto: '97 Z3 2.8, '09 Hemi Ram
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
Mainly because people have been killed screwing with garage door springs. LOTS of energy stored in them, not to mention the energy of the garage door if it not fully closed.
Really? As compared to something like, say......a compressed front strut assembly?? Or working under a jacked/blocked car?

Like anything else, a DIY on a garage door only requires the right tools (which are much cheaper to get than your average mechanics tools) and enough smarts to be careful. Learning how to do it yourself may save you some real frustration down the road when you can't get you car out of the garage because of a simple problem.

Just my humble opinion of course
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > Everything Else > Off-Topic
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Door noise question gray330 3 Series / 4 Series 2 07-22-2003 04:31 PM
Door handle question Lansing 3 Series / 4 Series 10 03-13-2003 05:56 PM
Question on improving the door closing sound.. bmw325 3 Series / 4 Series 10 01-06-2003 09:40 AM
Door ding question; need opinions Jspeed General BMW 12 06-10-2002 08:06 PM
Door Lock Question GregE_325 3 Series / 4 Series 12 02-21-2002 03:03 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms