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Old Jun 30, 2003, 11:54 AM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
11,182 Posts
GWS Gearbox Fix Needed

I do a lot of disassembly and reassembly of GWS gearboxes. The biggest hassle is the little C clip on the back of the gearshaft. These things are harder than heck to remove. Some go flying, never to be found. Others break from metal fatigue and become unusable. I have a big shortage of them right now.

I'm just wondering if anyone has found any generally available piece of hardware at a local store that can be substituted for this little C clip. What I'd like to see is a positive connector that would not accidently fly off, but which could be easily removed without flying away or breaking.
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 12:02 PM
2^p - 1
signflyer's Avatar
United States, MO, Springfield
Joined Feb 2003
1,326 Posts
i have wondered the same thing...there has to be an alternative. but there also HAS to be a hardware/hobby store that carries these clips.
anybody find one?
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 01:55 PM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
Tim Wolff's Avatar
United States, MI, Temperance
Joined Sep 2002
6,534 Posts
Check with a LHS that sells parts for Tamyia R/C cars. They make a very nice GWS IPS (3mm) prop nut with "built in" lock washer. Also a little 4-way wrench that fits metric sizes. One being the aformentioed prop nut. They also make a flat metal tool with round notches at each end the is designed to remove and install E clips. The tools were included in the cars that had need for them and should be available in the parts bags for same. Almost all of the 1/10 scale cars came with the wrench. Ones that used E clips came with the E clip tool. I sure some of the cars used 3mm E clips too.

I had a pile of the E clip tools in a drawer before it occured to me what they were. Didn't figure it out until I started racing 1/12 scale and E clips were used to hold the front wheels on the axle.

Can't post a pic right now as I am @ work.

Sorry, I can't help you on the tools. I'm out of the car scene and only have one of each of the tools.
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 09:51 PM
Gravity is a harsh mistress.
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United States, MI, Temperance
Joined Sep 2002
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Here's a pic.
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 09:56 PM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
11,182 Posts
Nice tip, Tiberius. I mistakenly called them C clips, but learned from poking around the local hardware store today that they are actually called E clips. Unfortunately, the E clips at the hardware store were all too large for a 3mm gearshaft. I know just the local hobby shop to visit for Tamiya car parts, however.

In the meantime, I discovered a cheap alternative that will do the job in a pinch. I took a 3mm EPS gearshaft into the hardware store with me and spent an hour going through drawers. What I finally found that worked are #4 nylon flat washers. The hole in them is just a tad less than 3mm. But they can be forced over the rear of the shaft, and they lock right into the slot at the rear of the shaft where the E clip normally goes. It was really hard to pop off the shaft, but didn't fly nearly as far as the E clips! Now I have to admit that I haven't tried popping one of the nylon flat washers off an assembled gearbox yet. But I'm sure that it could be done. The best news is that these little #4 nylon flat washers should be available at any decent hardware store. At my local hardware store, they had thousands in your choice of black or white at 7 cents apiece.
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 10:03 PM
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Nebraska
Joined Apr 2002
598 Posts
Dave,

You apparently must not crash much. If you crashed more, you would have a supply of bent prop shafts laying around like I do. The new shafts come with the E clips. I have resorted to putting a plastic bag around the shaft when I am working with the clip. It saves a lot of time looking for them.
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Old Jun 30, 2003, 10:25 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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I have a large supply of the e clips from my car building days! Any LHS that sells RC cars should have them!
boomer
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 11:53 AM
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galloping gimp's Avatar
Ohio, USA
Joined May 2002
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After losing a 3mm e-clip and having no replacements on hand, I impulsively purchased a box of 100 from McMaster-Carr. I still have about 95 of them left. So if anybody needs some, contact me.

- Jeff
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 02:19 PM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
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I found a pack of 10 DuraTrax 2.0mm E clips at the LHS. You need the 2mm size for the 3mm GWS shaft because the slot cut into the rear of the shaft for the E clip is actually 2mm. I thought they were overpriced, but went ahead and bought them just to have them in the parts bin. They were about 5 times more expensive than the #4 nylon flat washers.

By the way, I have a 3mm GWS gear shaft sitting next to me at the computer with a #4 nylon flat washer pressed over the rear slot where the E clip normally locks on. By my estimation, it takes a good 20 pounds of force to pull the washer off the end of the shaft. If anyone decides to try the nylon washer alternative, I don't think you'll have to worry about the washer accidently falling off.
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 02:30 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Hederich
I found a pack of 10 DuraTrax 2.0mm E clips at the LHS. You need the 2mm size for the 3mm GWS shaft because the slot cut into the rear of the shaft for the E clip is actually 2mm. I thought they were overpriced, but went ahead and bought them just to have them in the parts bin. They were about 5 times more expensive than the #4 nylon flat washers.

By the way, I have a 3mm GWS gear shaft sitting next to me at the computer with a #4 nylon flat washer pressed over the rear slot where the E clip normally locks on. By my estimation, it takes a good 20 pounds of force to pull the washer off the end of the shaft. If anyone decides to try the nylon washer alternative, I don't think you'll have to worry about the washer accidently falling off.
Dave,
Have you run the nylon washers long enough to see if they will be affected by any heat generated?
boomer
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 02:38 PM
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Ohio, USA
Joined May 2002
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Dave -

In the McMaster-Carr catalog, metric e-rings are specified by both shaft diameter and groove diameter. The ones I purchased are 3mm e-rings with a 2.3mm groove diameter, made by Zelenda.

Sounds like different manufacturers specify them differently. Who knew?

- Jeff
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 02:44 PM
Crash Master
Gene Bond's Avatar
Indianapolis, IN
Joined Sep 2001
16,632 Posts
Boomer: good point, that was my first thought as well. I'd also like to find a small washer that doesn't hit the od of the bearing, so there is less drag. the e-clip directly on the bearing is not my idea of a perfect thrust bearing setup. A small od washer between the bearing and the e-clip would be better IMO.
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 02:55 PM
Been There! Done That!
boomerace's Avatar
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Joined Sep 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by genebond
Boomer: good point, that was my first thought as well. I'd also like to find a small washer that doesn't hit the od of the bearing, so there is less drag. the e-clip directly on the bearing is not my idea of a perfect thrust bearing setup. A small od washer between the bearing and the e-clip would be better IMO.
My shafts all have a thin washer between the clip and the bearing or are you refering to something different?
boomer
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Old Jul 02, 2003, 03:40 PM
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hoppy's Avatar
Space Coast
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ditto

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Old Jul 02, 2003, 10:14 PM
Registered User
Walled Lake, MI, USA
Joined Feb 2000
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Yep, all of my gearboxes came with thin metal washers between the E clip and the bearing.

I was skeptical of the 2mm E clips until I put a GWS E clip I had taken with me to the LHS on top of the 2mm clip and saw that they were identical. I'm sure that it's just a matter of the way they are labeled, i.e. rounded off dimensions.

No, I don't know how the nylon washer would hold up under heat. The only way to know would be to test. I can only say that the #4 nylon washer is fairly thick and rigid, and that it takes a lot of force to push it over the shaft and into the groove. It may or may not work in extreme heat. It was the only obvious option I could find at my local hardware store, so I thought I'd toss out the idea in case anyone was interested. If nothing else, small, nylon washers can come in handy for a variety of other uses.
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