I'm making a new awning and since the Up/Dn rachet gizmo never worked, I pulled the end cap. It's the spring off to the right; I don't see a logical place it was formerly connected to. Maybe you have seen these guts intact before? (it's silly to buy a whole assy. just for a little spring.) Thanks.
That would normally be attached to the locking lever, which appears to be gone. You can see it below.
But, looks like time for a replacement torsion assembly. The racheting mechanism, besides being partly missing, is worn out. The new part will have a revised, more robust design. You have to buy the whole assembly. They are like $50 is you shop around. You can see the difference in the second picture.