Steering Box End Cap - Why A Retainer Ring, Not Snap Ring? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering Box End Cap - Why A Retainer Ring, Not Snap Ring?

I'm having trouble with the retaining ring on the Diy4x end cap repeatedly creeping out.

*

Sourcing a replacement isn't the issue, it comes in a $35 reseal kit. That said, I'm no metallurgist but I don't think the stock ring is spring steel and I can bend it by hand whereas a locking hub ring has much more resistance. In fact, just peeling it out of the groove to swap the end cap distorted the rings shape and tension unlike a locking hub ring that can be manipulated dozens of times via periodic maintenance.

Why wouldn't this application use an internal snap ring? Why would GM and/or Saginaw engineers with bajillion dollar budgets NOT spec a typical internal snap ring? Is it related to the fact the end cap surface is bowl shaped and not square to the ring?

Pirate smart folks learn me please, before I go get an internal snap ring to substitute.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Round cross-section retaining rings are very inexpensive and very strong. Your ring looks to be a little on the short side. I would want the ring to go more around the diameter. Closer to 3/4 of the circumference.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The dirt / grease is jacking up the definition, the ring is original and goes about 90į around. Of the ~4.5" dia, there's only about a 1" or less gap on the ring.

Prior to this issue, the ring was only removed once for the end cap installation so it's not been manhandled a ton.
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree with beat95yj. If you only used a gasket to cover 60% of a sealing area you would probably get a leak. As your retaining ring is only covering 60% of the cap, the chance for it "creeping" is much greater than if you had a ring large enough to cover more of the available seating area. From your picture it looks like the ring you have is not fully seated from about the 7:30 to 11:00 position as it is.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with beat95yj. If you only used a gasket to cover 60% of a sealing area you would probably get a leak. As your retaining ring is only covering 60% of the cap, the chance for it "creeping" is much greater than if you had a ring large enough to cover more of the available seating area. From your picture it looks like the ring you have is not fully seated from about the 7:30 to 11:00 position as it is.
It is a full factory ring. The picture illustrates my problem, the ring is creeping out of the groove while driving. I can seat it completely but it spirals out of the grooveon itís own. There isnít much outward pressure like a snap ring, once full seated you can move it with a pick like thereís no tension.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Unbend it so it has radial tension in the groove?
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I could bend it / stretch it to make it work - again. I'm curious if there's a better answer to the problem. I know an internal snap ring will physically fit but is there a reason why boxes were not designed with one (ie; curve of the cap vs flat ring face, etc)?
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Swap in a Crown Vic box. It's a rear pitman arm version of the same box you'll find on every 80s Ford truck which is an upgrade in every way (stronger housing and bigger piston, I haven't compared bearings and bearing surfaces) over the typical Saginaw box used on everything.

There's also no dumb end cap to leak

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Old 04-19-2019, 05:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i think snap ring is too thin to sit in the grove
maybe with big Oring in the groove under neath it could work

or how about cutting section of the stock ring and fill in the rest of the groove
making complete circle
that should keep the ring seated

idk just ideas
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Swap in a Crown Vic box. It's a rear pitman arm version of the same box you'll find on every 80s Ford truck which is an upgrade in every way over a 90s/00s Jeep box.

There's also no dumb end cap to leak
And these work on Chevy square bodies?
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fredycruger View Post
i think snap ring is too thin to sit in the grove
maybe with big Oring in the groove under neath it could work

or how about cutting section of the stock ring and fill in the rest of the groove
making complete circle
that should keep the ring seated

idk just ideas
I did wonder about the thickness. I figured finding a snap ring the right dia would be easy enough but dia + thickness could be tricky.

It's a full ring, the first pic is to show the ring coming out.

*

This is how much it distorted just digging it out of the groove with a pick.

*
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Every time I have seen an application that uses one of those rings it goes like this: The component being retained is installed, then the ring, the the retained component comes towards the ring with a recess to cover the ring so the ring can't physically come out. You're problem is unlikely the ring. Something else is wrong. Either your ring groove is to shallow or the end cap is not covering it up like it should.
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Maybe the issue isn't the ring, but the end cap. Perhaps the taper, design of the end cap isn't correct and that is what is causing the issue. I agree with 69DieselLover in that ideally the end cap would be made to not allow the ring to move at all, somewhat like a shock seal head does. However, I know there are millions of these boxes out there made like this that work.

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Old 04-19-2019, 08:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvrenuf View Post
And these work on Chevy square bodies?
If you have a welder and a drill they do
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69DieselLover View Post
Every time I have seen an application that uses one of those rings it goes like this: The component being retained is installed, then the ring, the the retained component comes towards the ring with a recess to cover the ring so the ring can't physically come out. You're problem is unlikely the ring. Something else is wrong. Either your ring groove is to shallow or the end cap is not covering it up like it should.
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Maybe the issue isn't the ring, but the end cap. Perhaps the taper, design of the end cap isn't correct and that is what is causing the issue. I agree with 69DieselLover in that ideally the end cap would be made to not allow the ring to move at all, somewhat like a shock seal head does. However, I know there are millions of these boxes out there made like this that work.

Kevin
You both make a very valid point about the cap shape. I seem remember the old EMS caps have a squared shoulder that sat against the ring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arse_sidewards View Post
If you have a welder and a drill they do
Is that something 4WPs can do?
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:28 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Is that something 4WPs can do?
What's the limit on your credit card?
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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What's the limit on your credit card?
I'll ask my dad.
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