It will be effortless for anyone to confuse you with mechanical jargon while explaining a snap ring. Before guiding you through this snap ring installation tool and method, we’ll briefly discuss what a snap ring is. Later on, we will see which tool is needed to install this snap ring in its place, and furthermore, we will show you a step-by-step method.
So, you don’t need to go anywhere, and this is the Snap ring installation guide with tools to help you install the snap ring of your bike in case of a breakdown.
What Exactly is a Snap Ring?
The word snap gives us a little idea about what snap rings are related to. Snap rings are related to mechanical stuffs that require a snapped open and shut option. So, what is a snap ring used for? A Snap ring is basically a ring connected to a spring and a grove that is sprung open and then snapped back into place.
The basic functionality is related to a piston. You know how a piston works, right? It’s stuck with a snap ring, and it goes up and down as the ring keeps on rotating, maintaining the mechanics as mentioned earlier.
In a bike, it’s basically a C-shaped ring that technically works as a gear that retains and fastens the shaft. It’s constructed in a way that it can groove back to its place.
Snap Ring Installation Tool
The usual snap ring installation tool is pliers. The basic idea of this tool is to pull the snap ring off of the groove. These pliers are also known as pliers for “Retaining Rings” or “C-Clip” pliers as the snap ring retains and is shaped like a “C.”
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Snap Ring Installation Method
Most methods you can find online or videos on YouTube, the use of technical words is more confusing than it is helpful. So, this method will be a step-by-step process so that even the newest person can go through with it.
There are usually two types of snap rings, internal and external. We will discuss both methods in a straightforward two-step process.
Internal Snap Ring Installation
Snap rings can be very vulnerable as they are not made very sturdy on purpose. So, gently pick the snap ring and, using the pliers’ tip, hold the designated placing hole of the snap ring. It should be sideways so that you can decrease the diameter. Now, squeeze the pliers’ handle tightly to compress the ring and reduce the diameter. Don’t squeeze it too hard, or the ring might break. Squeeze it till there’s a slight decrease in the diameter.
Now, place the ring in the designated position where you have to keep it. It’s either in the bore or the shaft. Now. See if the positioning is precise. Let go of the plier handles if it is. Your work here is done.
External Snap Ring Installation
For external rings, you need to increase the diameter of the ring hole. To do that, hold the ring hole parallelly with the pliers’ tip and put pressure till you see the diameter increasing. Pressurizing this way may not break the snap ring but damage the structure. So, don’t squeeze the handles too hard.
Now, follow step two of the previous method. Place it in the designated spot, double-check for precision, and let go of the pliers.
How to Install Snap Ring Without Pliers?
Instead of using snap ring pliers, you can use other tools to install a snap ring. As an alternative, you can use punches or needle nose pliers.
The installation method is exactly the same. All you are doing is using an alternative to the snap ring plier. You may not always have a snap ring plier while you are at work. So, knowing how to make use of an alternative is important.
So, for external clips you have to expand the snap ring a little bit with the help of a punch or needle nose plier and place it in the grooves. After that, squeeze the ring from the outside to fit. Again, don’t pressure the ring too hard.
For internal clips, you have to reduce the diameter of the snap ring for it to fit inside the grooves. You can use the alternative tools to do that. Just hold the snap ring from the outside using a punch or needle nose pliers and squeeze it a bit so that it can fit the groove. Then place it inside the groove and form it from the inside to regain previous shape.
And you have done installing a snap ring without using any snap ring pliers. You could even look at removing snap ring without pliers.
There you have it. With these two methods explained in the snap ring installation and method guideline, you can easily choose a plier for your discretion and complete the installation of snap rings. Remember not to squeeze the plier handles too hard. That can cause severe damage or even break the snap rings.
So, be very gentle while handling retaining rings or C-Clips.