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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so I'm well along into my tranny rebuild, replacing syncro rings right now. I got a relatively decent set of snap ring pliers from AutoZone, which are a bit smaller than the Harbor Freight set that I see recommended here on a few threads. I managed to get the snap ring off 1st gear and swap the syncro ring, but I CANNOT get that thing opened enough to reinstall it.

I went and bought the HF set (the $15 special, which is now $10) which didn't get very far......both of the largest pliers in that set were destroyed within minutes of attempting to reinstall the snap ring. My AZ set is holding up admirably well (appears to be of far better construction) but even when opening the ring a lot, I can't even get it started down into where it's supposed to go. It looks to me like the entire ring needs to open up A LOT! What's the trick?!?!?! I've tried starting it at the opening first, which seems to work the best, but I also tried starting at the opposite side of the ring. No success. I'm about to break down and spend $100+ on a fancy giagantenormous professional pair of pliers and just open the ring up like 6+ inches (which seems impossible, but I don't see how else to mount it), but enough people got by with the HF set that I feel I must be doing something wrong.

I feel really stupid right now....I've come so far, and now to get stuck on this.........

Matt
 

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this was a great write up on a transmission rebuild - great photos - maybe there is some help here how to get over your problem?
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...mission-rebuilding-transmissions-dummies.html

I would in any case ask jcslocum for his advice - he has gone through the whole process, though his thread comes to an abrupt end in 11/2010 without finishing it off - pity as it made for some great reading - I almost feel I can do it following these instructions!:)

I've seen large snap ring pliers that you can lock "open" when spreading the ring (saving you having to hold the thing open and having it flying off in the workshop when your strength gives out!)-these might work though are expensive tools.
 

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I have been sitting here trying to think of a way to tell you how to do it, it is easier to show than to tell but here goes. YOU DO NOT NEED A SNAP RING PLIERS TO REINSTALL THE SNAP RING !!!!!!!. The pliers help to get the ring off but that is as far as it goes.
Start by slipping one side of the snap ring in the groove under the top edge of the gear. with your thumb press down hard on the snap ring and start working it around the top edge. I lay a rag over the part of the ring I have in the groove so that if it decides to pop off it does not go flying and hit me in the face. You will come to a point where you can no longer push the ring over the edge of the gear. Taking small bites use a narrow blade screwdriver between the gear edge and the snap ring while pushing down with you thumb. Work slow and you will eventually see the ring snap into place. The secret here is strong hands, thumb and constant pressure while working the ring around the gear. A little film of gear lube on the edge of the gear and the ring helps.. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lee, you confirmed what I was beginning to suspect about not using the pliers during re-installation, but beyond that, I was lost!

I finally got it....I ended up using two vise grips. I tried the thumb method, but here's what I kept running into: I could hook one corner of the ring in place, but the next point that needed to be snapped in was almost 180* from the initial point, because the entire ring was rotated a little bit. The area between this point and the starting point was spaced away from the lip of the gear, so trying to press it down with my thumb would be fruitless. The only way to make this work would be to push/rotate the ring towards the gear, which I assume is what must be done, Lee? I found the force required to both press down AND rotate into the gear (overcoming the force caused by pressing the point 180* from the starting point against the gear lip) far beyond my thumbs' ability. It seems so simple, maybe I was doing something wrong. I'm a big guy and I have pretty strong & nimble fingers most of the time....been working on RC planes & helicopters, cars, metalwork, and other such projects for years.

Here's what I did: I took a mid-sized pair of vise grips and clamped the circlip against the gear lip close to where I had the clip started into the groove (so one jaw of the grips was on the outside of the circlip, the other jaw was on the inside surface of the gear's lip), to keep it from backing/rotating away from the gear. I then took a notably larger pair of grips and clamped down on the circlip in such a way that one jaw was on top of the circlip's large flat surface, the other was on the backside of the gear. I kept repositioning the vise grips and worked my way around the circlip, much the same way Lee suggested I use my thumbs.

I sure can't recommend this method as it puts the gear in some jeopardy, but if you're careful, you won't do any damage except for a few light marks on the circlip's surface. The gear itself is tough as nails, just gotta stay away from its teeth. It was still rather awkward and difficult, but it works......

Thanks for help guys......even though I couldn't make Lee's thumb method work for me, it inspired me on the vise grip method. Now to replace the syncro ring in 2nd, and swap 3rd and 5th's rings!

Matt
 
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