Early Rear Axles With Snap Rings
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Thread: Early Rear Axles With Snap Rings

  1. #1
    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Early Rear Axles With Snap Rings

    I had to replace a snap ring on my rear axle end today. For those of you that don't know, the 1968-1970 rear ends on the GT are held in place by snap rings on the splined axle shaft.
    What really freaks me out is the fact I found my missing snap ring in the sludge in the bottom of the diff and it was NOT broken OR stretched! This means that when a previous owner was driving this car at some point his right rear axle was no longer attached to his car!!!

    HOW TO REPLACE SNAP RINGS:
    I ordered new rings from OGTS and used a 90° snap ring plier to cram into the tiny amount of area for putting the ring on.
    1. Unless you can find snap ring pliers that can expand more than mine do you will have to do it this way.
    2. Push the axle in to where the splines are barely held into the differential but not visible behind the rear cover.
    3. Position the snap ring on the pliers directly in front of the hole the axle will push through.
    4. Push the axle in as hard as you can, this will pin the snap ring into the groove on the axle.
    5. Apply pressure to the wheel hub and slowly turn it towards you as pry unseated parts of the snap ring into the groove with a flat head screw driver.

    ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1451444363.901640.jpg
    On the left is an intact snap ring on the right is the axle missing one.
    ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1451444585.712759.jpg
    Brand new snap ring from OGTS
    ImageUploadedByAutoGuide1451444687.247607.jpg
    The missing snap ring found in the bottom of the diff. Notice nothing is wrong with it!?
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    It could be a good idea to remove the drum before pushing the axle inwards.
    Just sayin

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench459 View Post
    It could be a good idea to remove the drum before pushing the axle inwards.
    Just sayin
    Why would you even take time to comment that? First off I don't even have brake drums. Second off it wouldn't matter if they were on and would probably give you more leverage.
    Frozen Tundra GT likes this.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

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    Tennessean Site Supporter My location hrcollinsjr's Avatar
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    I realize upgrading to the newer style axle would be ideal but is there anyway to better secure the old style axles that a snap ring?

    Harold

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hrcollinsjr View Post
    I realize upgrading to the newer style axle would be ideal but is there anyway to better secure the old style axles that a snap ring?

    Harold

    TWO snap rings. I think it was Otto who carved the axle's groove a little wider so that two snap rings could be put on to take up some of the play between the snap ring and the diff gizmo. We discussed this when I was putting the disc brakes on my early style 3:18 rear.


    Knorm, I never had to push on the axles with any force to get them to pass though the diff gizmo enough to get the rings on. Are they fighting you? You might want to check out why if this is so.
    That snap ring you found in the funk looks a little sprung. They only have to be sprung a little bit to not fit well at all. If something is making your axles not want to stay in the diff or is actively trying to pull them out, a loose fitting snap ring could pop off.
    Knorm65 likes this.

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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scifi Guy View Post
    TWO snap rings. I think it was Otto who carved the axle's groove a little wider so that two snap rings could be put on to take up some of the play between the snap ring and the diff gizmo. We discussed this when I was putting the disc brakes on my early style 3:18 rear.


    Knorm, I never had to push on the axles with any force to get them to pass though the diff gizmo enough to get the rings on. Are they fighting you? You might want to check out why if this is so.
    That snap ring you found in the funk looks a little sprung. They only have to be sprung a little bit to not fit well at all. If something is making your axles not want to stay in the diff or is actively trying to pull them out, a loose fitting snap ring could pop off.
    That snap ring may be "sprung" to much but it is not any more so than the new one are after using snap ring pliers on them. The reason we had to force the axle in is because my snap ring pliers couldn't expand near enough to put the ring on the axle.

    The end of my axle shaft is perfectly fine and there's nothing else in the diff that could cause it to fall off. I wonder if the previous owner pulled on the hub so hard for some reason that it popped off.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

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    Über Genius My location First opel 1981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorm65 View Post
    That snap ring may be "sprung" to much but it is not any more so than the new one are after using snap ring pliers on them. The reason we had to force the axle in is because my snap ring pliers couldn't expand near enough to put the ring on the axle.

    The end of my axle shaft is perfectly fine and there's nothing else in the diff that could cause it to fall off. I wonder if the previous owner pulled on the hub so hard for some reason that it popped off.
    Likely scenario is that some bonehead owned the car previously and didn't know the axle even had a snap ring.
    He then, probably, proceeded to use the sledge on the brake drum method of extracting the axle from the housing.
    This would be enough force to pop the snap ring off the axle and it would just slide out fine.

    Then, not knowing the axle had a snap ring, he reassembled it and let the dust cover hold the axle in place.

    Ask me how I came to this conclusion...
    poor gt (R.I.P) and Knorm65 like this.
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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Early Rear Axles With Snap Rings

    Quote Originally Posted by First opel 1981 View Post
    Likely scenario is that some bonehead owned the car previously and didn't know the axle even had a snap ring.
    He then, probably, proceeded to use the sledge on the brake drum method of extracting the axle from the housing.
    This would be enough force to pop the snap ring off the axle and it would just slide out fine.

    Then, not knowing the axle had a snap ring, he reassembled it and let the dust cover hold the axle in place.

    Ask me how I came to this conclusion...
    That is a likely scenario too. There's no evidence of scrapes on the bottom of the car, so I guess that person never drove it again.
    Moral of this whole story is don't hammer or yank on an early axle I guess haha.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    Aint the early model axles held in with C-clips.
    The only way to remove them is by first taking the cross pin out.

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Can Opeler Knorm65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench459 View Post
    Aint the early model axles held in with C-clips.
    The only way to remove them is by first taking the cross pin out.
    Look at the pictures above. It's a snap ring, you can remove it by expanding them with pliers and wiggling the shaft out.
    "Mira," 1970 Opel GT ARA AC, European 2.0L and Weber DGAS
    "Kara," 1972 Opel GT Targa "Fancy Rat Rod"

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    7,000 Post Club My location wrench459's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knorm65 View Post
    Look at the pictures above. It's a snap ring, you can remove it by expanding them with pliers and wiggling the shaft out.

    Yes I looked at them.
    The stock C-clips has a much higher load level foot print than those silly snap rings! IMO

    If you want I can tell you how to make a open diff. act more like a lsd unit.....

    Si vis pacem, para bellum "If you want peace, prepare for war"

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    Opeler lowkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrench459 View Post
    Yes I looked at them.
    The stock C-clips has a much higher load level foot print than those silly snap rings! IMO

    If you want I can tell you how to make a open diff. act more like a lsd unit.....
    What Wrench is talking about is, most GM diffs, for years, had C Clip axles, with a center pin holding them in, that could not be taken apart until you took out the center pin, which meant taking out that weird bolt, which was usually broken.

    If this early rear end, is on a daily driver, it's no big, but I'd consider having the rear axles machined for those C Clips.

    Those snap rings are a Failure waiting to happen.
    I'm just another Opel Rehab Failure.

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    Just Some Dude in Jersey My location The Scifi Guy's Avatar
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    Okay, tell me all about how to mod the clippy snappy thing on my 3:18 rear with the discs. I haven't put it back together micro-partly because of the clippy snappy thing. And what's all this talk about safety pins holding stuff together?

    I'm going to need high quality pics, painfully obvious and detailed instructions with correct spelling and punctuation, and some beer.



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    Opeler My location Bill Hoffmann's Avatar
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    My dad told me how he lost an axle clip once and the axle started sliding out. It was probably a Chevy. He was able to slide the axle back in, but had to drive the rest of the way home taking only right turns so it would not slide out again.

    Bill

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    Many years ago, I had a rear wheel bearing go bad on my 1966 Kadett. What I found there was that there was no retainer of any kind on the axle shaft. I just reviewed tha parts catalog on that Kadett as well as the GTs. On that Kadett, the only thing holding the axle in place was the bearing retainer on the wheel bearing. That holds true for the 1.1 liter GTs. Bill

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