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How to Remove the Internal Snap Ring on Your Hubs

Contributed by: Tom Anhalt

When I first bought my Cherokee, the right wheel bearing was loose so I went about trying to tighten it. Well....I probably spent a half hour trying to get that damned outer snap ring off!!!!

Finally, I fashioned a little tool out of a safety pin. I opened the pin and bent the "pointy end" (that's a technical term, boys) so it was 90 deg from the rest of the body of the pin. I then took a needle nose pliers and bent the very tip of the "pointy end" into a buttonhook shape (basically a "U" shape). See below:

                                 _       |
                   "pointy end" (_______()

Now, in order to get the snap ring off, I just hook the end of the pin under one of the ends of the snap ring (it's more of a wire hoop, actually) and pull it straight out of the hub. Once you have one end of the ring out of the groove, it doesn't tend to rotate around the hub and the ring kind of "peels" out of the hub. Having the pin bent at 90 deg. gives you a good handle for manipulating the hook under the snap ring. The last time I used it, when I had the rotors turned and bearings replaced while I was replacing the front brake pads, it worked like a charm! It takes probably 10 seconds max to get that damned ring out. Yet another home-made tool makes it into Tom's Toolbox!

-Tom Anhalt

'81 Wide-Track Cherokee Laredo

'65 Buick Special Convertible

Santa Barbara, CA

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