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Followup to my previous question about plumbing a door. Now I need to take off the spring hinges, but I don't know how to release the tension. Not a duplicate of this question, as my hinges are McKinney brand and no amount of pushing on the hex key will disengage the ratchet.

Both spring hinges have two tiny holes on the side -- one near the top on the door side, the other near the bottom on the jamb side, both less than 1/16" -- with a coiled piece of thin metal inserted. The top of each spring hinge accepts a 5/16" hex key. I can turn the hex key clockwise but not counterclockwise. When turned clockwise, the socket recedes into the hinge and then pops back out. Nothing happens at the two tiny holes when I do this.

I'm tempted to try just unscrewing the hinge while it's under tension. How bad of an idea is this? I bought an Everbilt spring hinge, with a pin tensioning mechanism, to replace the McKinney one if I can get it off.

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    There is supposed to be a removable pin that will allow you to unload the spring. One pin is the rolled pin you pictured, the other should be on the side of the barrel at the hex key end. It should be a solid very short pin, something that may take tweezers to remove when you hold the hex key in just the right spot to make the pin loose in its hole.
    – Jack
    Apr 24 at 15:03
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    Those hinges can clamp shut pretty fast and can pinch you real good. Get a pair of vice grips or a "c" clamp and and clamp it over the top of the hinge to prevent it from slamming shut as you remove the screws.
    – JACK
    Apr 24 at 15:12
  • Thank you both! I ended up figuring out how to release the tension. These McKinney hinges work a bit different than the Everbilts - no removable pin.
    – Jack
    Apr 24 at 16:05

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I finally found a set of official instructions for "McKinney 1500 Series Single Acting Spring Hinge for 1502, 1502TRS, 1522, 1552, 1572".

The holes with coiled metal aren't part of the adjustment mechanism. Instead, there's a 1/16" hex set screw that's only accessible with the door open. I needed to loosen that to enable the tension release feature of the 5/32" hex on top of the hinges.

Instructions for McKinney spring hinge, screenshot

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