My sectional garage door doesn't seem to be aligned correctly. The springs are at the rear, like this:

garage door picture

There's a scraping noise when operating that seems to be coming from the left cable drum. The electric operator also fails to close it sometime and reports that there's an obstruction. It's mostly fine to close by hand, but I can feel an obstruction too at some point.

Here are a few things I'm not sure of:

  • The spring on the left seems to be a lot smaller than the one on the right. The manual says they should be the same spring, so maybe they are and one is just compressed more. The springs haven't been touched since the door was fitted, and I believe they're clamped to the bar so I'm not really sure how this is possible:

spring left spring right

  • The cable drum on the left is very close the frame, and on the right it looks ok. When the door is open the cable on the left is pressed against the metalwork. I think this is rubbing, and I also think the drum itself is rubbing on the frame next to it:

garage cable drum left garage cable drum right

  • When open, the cable rubs on the metalwork. It looks like the whole drum needs shifting left:

enter image description here

My guess is that the springs aren't aligned, but I'm not sure. My drum looks a lot more complex than others I've looked up in help videos online. There's this extra step:

enter image description here

I'm not really sure what that's doing. Perhaps it's locking off the drum from the spring to allow spring adjustments? I'm really not sure, and I'm reluctant to mess around with the spring under tension without understanding what it's doing.

I've contacted a local company to try and fix it, but so far they've been very unreliable in responding.

Does anyone have any suggestions or pointers?

Many thanks.

  • 3
    I've installed two garage doors, one with linear springs and one with torsion springs like yours. After doing the initial install, the torsion spring one worked great for years until one of the kids ("not me") damaged a garage door panel. It never worked right after that, no matter what adjustments I tried making. I ended up calling in a pro to get it right and he had it done in about an hour. I suggest this because A) sometimes knowing what you're doing is worth a lot, and B) working with those torsion springs can literally kill you if you're not careful.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 14:14
  • do the springs look like that with the door open too, or does the long thin one get wider and the wider one get thinner?
    – rtaft
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 16:25
  • 1
    Have you tried adding lubrication to the rollers and bearings? Everything looks pretty dry in the pictures. Garage doors need greased every few years to work optimally. It could be that the lack of lubrication has caused bearings to wear, etc. It won't keep worn out parts from needing to be replaced, but it might get you through until the repairmen show up.
    – gnicko
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 0:06

3 Answers 3


Your references for left and right are uncertain in my mind. Is it the left when looking at the door from inside or from outside? Either way, in the photos of the cable drum close-up, the right hand photo shows that the drum hub is outside of the bracket by an amount greater than the left hand photo drum hub.

It appears there is some wear on the innermost portion of the hub, as if there is a bearing (very likely) in the frame structure and the hub is not seated properly inside the bearing.

  • Sorry. My left/right references were from within the garage looking out.
    – DaveS
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 12:32
  • I think you're right about the bearing. On the left (from within the garage looking out :) ), the metal sleeve is not loose, and looks like it's embedded. On the right there's just a metal sleeve. Also, those lock mechanism things aren't working because the drum on the right is too far over from the metalwork.
    – DaveS
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 12:33
  • I'm not sure how to reseat the bearing though, or if it's possible or just needs replacing. I guess I'd raise the door to reduce tension, loosen the spring, and then try and pull apart the mechanism. I'll look up spares to see if it makes it any clearer.
    – DaveS
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 12:35
  • Be very sure you understand what you are getting into - the unwary are not infrequently hurt by garage door springs.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 13:17
  • The bearing situation caught my eye, too, but the photos are too small to see it well. I'd have a look at a diagram for your hardware, then release the springs (carefully and properly) and start fresh. Look everything over as you go.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 13:38

The springs are mismatched and seem to be improperly installed. i install garage doors for a living. the fact that you have different springs is causing uneven tension and and the door opener crookedly, rubbing, wedging against the rail. The fact that the springs are mounted on either end instead of in the center for their exacerbates the issue. if he has a center bracket the springs can be mounted to that instead of the end brackets. but what you really want is a matching set of springs.
I would try calling the company that I did the installation and insist that this is not a proper install that you're having issues and they should redo it the job properly. that doesn't work find somebody that will install a matching side of springs.

if you're in Chicagoland let me know I can fix it for you. 😉


I have been installer for over 14 years with 10s of thousands of doors installed. The advice above is definitely inaccurate. Springs DO NOT need to be a matching pair as long as the IPPT matches. INCH POUNDS PER TURN. it is very common for manufacturers to add mis matched springs. Based on the pictures, the drums appear to be installed backwards.. the cables should be feed from inside to out...which is not the case on your install. Torsion to the rear can be tricky but if done correctly, It will be flawless. Please do not hesitate to reach out with more questions. I am an IDA certified Master Tech.. which clearly the above advisors are not.

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