How to remove and replace a snap ring in a FWD car

Page 1 of 2  
How to remove and replace a snap ring in a FWD car.
I hit a curb with my car and broke in half the right half-axle, broke a big chunk out of the RF rim and a piece the size of a tea-cup saucer from the tire too, cracked my lower suspension arm, and severed the right ball joint (2000 Toyota Solara, only has a lower ball joint. I'm not sure how many cars this story covers.
I knew about the snap ring from the shop manual, but the Toyota shop manuals (Factory Service Manuals some call them) are not great, and even finding the snap ring was hard.
Moderately hard to remove, and I figured I wouldn't replace it myself, but I'd take it to a repair shop after I did most of the worlk. I thought the axle lock bolt would hoid the axle in place, but apparently all that does is keep the mid-car bearing from spinning
Because when I tightened the big nut on the end of the axle, it sucked the shaft into the hub and pulled it out of the transmission. I guess the snap ring is essential. Oh well. Try again.
The snap ring is made of spring steel. The cross section is about 1/8" square, and the whole thing is shaped like a like a 2 inch circle, with the part from 8 to 10 o'clock missing. Missing from the circle, but 1/2" at each end, 8 and 10, is bent out at a 90^ angle,
All of the metal but these two end pieces expands into a groove to keep the axle in place, and the two 1/2" ends are there to grab and move, to get the ring in or out.
The Toyota shop manual said to use pliers. Maybe water-pump pliers, would do it but there is no room for pliers. Only room for one finger at a time.
A web page guy said he used a screwdriver, stuck it in the right angle at the 8 o'clock end and pushed up .
Imagine my pleasure when I found in my drawer something I'd forgotten I had, a full-size screwdriver with the middle third of the tip cut back 1/8", perfect for holding the ring in place, I thought. __ __ Shaped like } |__| | | |
But it didn't work Nor did a plain flat blade screwdriver. It slipped away and went boing. (Stil surrounding the axle so it couldn't go far. (Though when I first took it off it took me 5 minutes to find it.)
My finger wasn't strong enough to push up from the bottom and the other finger wasn't strong enough to push down from the top.
I thought I'd have to have the car towed to a shop. What an embarrassing defeat that would be.
Instead, I got some wire, turned out to be 16" of 14-gauge stranded wire. Tied it into a circle wth a square knot. Put the bottom of the ring in place in the groove and hooked the wire to the top part, the right angle at 10 o'clock. . The wire turned out to be too long so I hooked it to vice-grips and wrapped it around the vice-grips and pulled down and it went in on the first try.
Interesting part has just ended.
I should add that Autozone has lent me 100's of dollars of tools, with no big rush to return them, for free. They deserve a plug for that.**
Torque wrench up to 300 pounds, 30" socket for axle nut (they have other sizes); 5-pound slide-hammer, special attachment for pulling on the tulip that is half-way down the axle (to get the axle out) , tie-rod end remover (which I didn't need after all)
If you plan to do this and you havent' seen it done, you should get help first. Watch the video online (the one I saw wasn't so good, skipped a lot of detail); read instructions, with pictures. The one I read had torque values. You probably won't have a shop manual. Chilton's might have a little bit.
**And all I really bought from Autozone was the axle, for 52 dollars, plus a 50 dollar core deposit. That's about the same as online, except online, you'd have to ship the old axle back. What a pain, plus the shipping chage. I'd already bought from non-consumer style autoparts store the ball joint, lower suspension arm. and brake pads. They seem to have sold me the wrong brake pads, too thick, even though a second guy checked today and said they were the right ones. I'll have to buy them at another store and show them what the other store sells.
The refurbished rim I bought online from some hubcap place in the midwest. I should have called Hubcap City in Baltmore, but I've driven by there and they're gone. (It turns out they have branches now and only closed that one.)
Pep Boys online says it has loaner tools but doesn't go into much detail. Maybe they really do. It appears that if you buy from autozone any of the tools that they lend, you may get one that's been lent out more than once and has scratches etc. and you're suppopsed to accept that. I think that's how it works and I think that's fair. So there's a list, spread out over 10 or 20 webpages, by category, or you can look up a tool and in the details it says if it "may be used because it's used in the tool loan proram." For example, they have at the stores or at the warehouse about 10 different torque wrenches, but only two are in the loaner program (the two most people would want to use, btw),
BTW, I had to pay 100 dollars for the torque wrench, but they'll give it back to me when I return it, maybe tomorrow. There is a time limit, after which you own it, but it's 30 days or more. There seems to be no time limit on returning a core (other than the vendor going out of business, I'm sure),
I also bought from HD a couple 1/2" sockets. I didn't know until I was almost done that a friend has a set of 1" sockets, although I forgot to ask if they were metric. Still, he probably has a 1 to 1/2" adapater.
I have a puny set of 3/8" socket wrenches, and some extra deep and regular sockets from goold old HF.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You are waaay over your head...get thee to a mechanic...and a shrink!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:21:21 PM UTC-5, BenDarrenBach wrote:

http://www.tracystruesoaps.com/tutorials/gen4cvpass/gen4cvpass.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BenDarrenBach wrote:

Hi, Feel like readin a comedy script, LOL! Wonder he hit the curb at full speed? OP, are you alright? No pain any where in your body?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

not 30 inches. 30mm.
I'd like to see the monster truck with a 30" nut holding on the axle.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 11:51:06 PM UTC-4, micky wrote:

IDK what exactly this snap ring looks like. The typical ones I've seen have a hole in each end and you can use snap ring pliers to remove them. Those pliers have pins sticking out that fit the holes. Don't buy them from HF though. I bought a set there 10 years ago and the steel was so soft that the pins bent before the ring opened. Without the pliers, there is space at the middle of the ring where you can pry it off with a screwdriver. If it's not that kind of ring, then post a link to a pic of it.
But, I have to wonder. You say you're going to do most of the work yourself, then take it to a mechanic? It involves ball joint, control arm, new axle, etc. Most of that goes pretty quickly, especially if you have the right tools. What it could take you hours, trips to rent tools, buy tools, etc, the shop can probably do in an hour. They've done it many times, have air impact wrenches, ball joint tools, wheel pullers, etc. If you're likely going to have to have it towed to a mechanic anyway to do part of the job, personally, I'd just let them do the whole thing. Also, if I were a shop, I'd have some concern over the half and half approach. Like you do the final half, leave the wheel hub nut loose, wheel comes off, and the customer then tries to blame them....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:21:21 -0700 (PDT), BenDarrenBach
You're not paying attention. I'm almost done. Saved about 800 dollars.
And got a lot of good exercise.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:53:58 PM UTC-5, micky wrote:

I really don't read all your stuff...too much volume...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
At some point you are going to have to come to grips with your safety (and others')...driving and messing around under cars may be too much for you?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The OP misunderstands "pliers." Specialized tool shops sell special pliers for removal and replacement of snap rings (that are useless for other purposes because of the specialized shape of the jaws.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you hit the curb hard enough to break an axle and crack a suspension arm, I would be concerned about damage to the body. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but the geometry could be pushed out of spec, perhaps to the point of being dangerous. You may want to have a body shop check out the body measurements.
At the very least, you should get an alignment after you get things back together.

They sell special "snap ring pliers" for those. You should be able to find them anwhere that sells tools, Sears, auto parts stores, etc.
There are two different kinds of snap rings.
The inner style fits inside an opening (such as a wheel hub) and needs to be squeezed to remove. These have little holes on the open ends that the tips on the pliers fit into.
The outer style fits over an object (such as a suspension strut) and needs to be expanded to remove.
These require two different kinds of snap ring pliers. They do make pliers that can adapt to either kind of ring, but I prefer the individual pliers made for each ring type.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's just what I was thinking.
He needs the kind with a little cup on the ends, and that EXPAND when you squeeze the handle.

Something like the first few in this Google Images search, but with bent jaws. https://www.google.com/search?q=snap+ring+pliers&biw%60&bih 05&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=iBYsVL_7JIicygTg2oCYBA&sqi=2&ved AcQ_AUoAg#tbm=isch&q=pliers+mac+p35&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=eUNorAVfkqGHEM%253A%3BprApWLM0ZVJYjM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fthumbs3.ebaystatic.com%252Fd%252Fl225%252Fm%252Fm_ZCmMxL4P6C5rhanWK0pgg.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.ebay.com%252Fsch%252Fi.html%253F_kw%253Dpliers%252B35%3B225%3B169
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload


In case that URL is impossible to work with, just Google these terms: pliers mac p35
That's the pair I've got. For use in the OP's situation, I'd need to heat/bend/grind the jaws to suit the application, which I've done to create numerous one-off specialized tools.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BenDarrenBach wrote:

OK , so he's no professional mechanic . But what in hell gives you the right to tell him what he should or shouldn't do ? From his posts it sounds like he found and corrected his mistakes ... Just out of curiosity , did you by any chance vote for Obammy ?
--
Snag



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oren wrote:

Did either of you look at the web page BDB posted ? It showed that snap ring clearly , it has a turned-up ends instead of holes , and looks like a slender pair of pliers would work just fine .
--
Snag



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 11:25:02 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

No, because after his first post:
"You are waaay over your head...get thee to a mechanic...and a shrink!"
I figured that as is the case with so many of his posts, it wasn't worth reading any more.....
It showed that snap ring

Marevelous. Problem solved then. But if that's the case, then maybe Micky can tell us why pliers won't work.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That ring requires pliers with cup-shaped ends, and which EXPAND when you squeeze the handle. Something like a modified Mac P35. See my two posts.
--
Tegger

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:21:21 -0700 (PDT), BenDarrenBach
A "snap ring pliers" is a special tool made for exactly that purpose and it works GREAT.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 1 Oct 2014 06:30:01 -0700 (PDT), BenDarrenBach
He seems to have had more success under the car than behind the wheel - under the car he saved a few hundred bucks. Behind the wheel he cost himself even more!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

and there are snap ring pliers made for that snap-ring too (as well as a Toyota special tool)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.