Great project! Here is an idea. If you look at the top you can see a colorful picture. heres what it should mean Get a piece of tube/Pipe and weld it on the outside or cut and weld it in where the vertical stakes go on your side rail. inside that tube you run your spring (So its safe if it breaks and you dont have to worry about weather/fingers etc) Run the steel cable out and over a roller (Any parts store should have a timing belt tensioner or any mechanic can give you one free.. OR another piece of pipe) The Blue is the tube. The Red is your existing stake The spring would bolt to a plate on that end The light green is the spring. I would make the tube long enough so the spring almost always hides in it. The green is the cable. Worth a shot if your keen to change it. Only other recommendation I would have would be to maybe lower it to the deck height so when the gate is open the cable is parralel and right next to the ramp so its not sticking out for someone to trip on!