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lynnl
08-21-2018, 07:26 AM
How tight should an E-clip fit on a shaft? ...i.e. should it rotate once it's snapped in place, or should it grip firmly?

JoeLee
08-21-2018, 08:24 AM
I don't think it really matters much. I've always went with the ID of he clip or the original groove depth of the shaft I repaired or made.
As long as the clip isn't real loose to where it may slip over the edge of the groove you should be OK, or over expanded with a shallow groove where it may also jump. There may be a chart somewhere on DOC for these.

JL.................

ahidley
08-21-2018, 09:05 AM
It should NOT be loose. If it were then when vibration was there it would wear loose and fall off. Such as on a machine in a factory

George Bulliss
08-21-2018, 09:17 AM
McMaster-Carr has drawings with tolerances for the clip and slot dimensions. The slot width is typically made a few thou over the clip width and the slot OD is made a little larger than the clip ID.

So, a little clearance on the width and a little interference on the diameters.

Toolguy
08-21-2018, 10:17 AM
E-clips come off when they're not supposed to pretty often. They have their place like everything else, but snap rings are a lot more dependable.

Frank K
08-21-2018, 11:10 AM
Where I used to work we had a LOT of process equipment that had both e-clips and retaining rings. Retaining rings retain things (Duh!) and can withstand a considerable amount of force. E-clips are mainly positioning devices, keeping things in a defined area. Retaining rings are a brick wall, e-clips are a wire fence.

LKeithR
08-21-2018, 11:48 AM
Where I used to work we had a LOT of process equipment that had both e-clips and retaining rings. Retaining rings retain things (Duh!) and can withstand a considerable amount of force. E-clips are mainly positioning devices, keeping things in a defined area. Retaining rings are a brick wall, e-clips are a wire fence.

Exactly. The main reason that e-clips are used is because they are cheap and easy to install in a production
setting, otherwise nothing about them is better than a snap ring. For a one-off home project I can't imagine why
you'd want to use an e-clip--you've got to cut a groove anyway so you might as well make it for a snap ring and
be done with it...

lynnl
08-21-2018, 12:07 PM
My application was a hinge pin for the seat of a John Deere mower (about 8 or 9" X 3.8"). The last 2 or 3 years it has occasionally slipped out. Don't know how it ever stayed in place; there was nothing holding it ...UNLESS it had originally had one of those push-on nuts that worked its way off.

The snap rings I had on hand looked too small to (dependably) capture the washers I had handy, and I didn't want to bother making a more precise washer.

BCRider
08-21-2018, 12:46 PM
For something of the sort you're calling for I'd be all over a washer and a cotter pin. Simpler to do and very secure for something that has no end force to really speak of. Or is the shaft too short to have room for a washer and cotter? If not then for a 3/8 seat pivot shaft I'd say that a suitable size E clip sounds like just the thing. Easy to remove when desired but should hold well enough to stay in place just fine. But since you're also saying that you considered a snap ring with washer I'm thinking that there's room for a simple hole for a cotter pin and washer.... or instead of a cotter use a spring "hairpin" so it's held just fine but is super easily removed if needed.

A lot of the smaller motors and such that I use in my "other" hobby of model airplanes uses E clips. Generally they do fit snugly. Although at the very small size most of this stuff is the "E" clips are either just snug or spin around a little. The issue seeming to be that if it's big enough to keep the clip tight when in place then it's big enough to stretch the clip to deformation when installing. Or possibly that's just the cheap and poorly tempered clips used on these very inexpensive items.

lynnl
08-21-2018, 01:52 PM
For something of the sort you're calling for I'd be all over a washer and a cotter pin. Simpler to do and very secure for something that has no end force to really speak of. ....

....... The issue seeming to be that if it's big enough to keep the clip tight when in place then it's big enough to stretch the clip to deformation when installing. Or possibly that's just the cheap and poorly tempered clips used on these very inexpensive items.

You're right, a cotter pin would've been the most straight forward choice here, but my lathe has sat covered and unused for the last two or three years (pain in my knees and legs), so I specifically wanted to clean it up and lubricate everything, and use it. ...admittedly, cutting a little groove for an E-clip in a 3/8" shaft isn't much "use." :D But hey, it's a start!

I actually thought about single pointing a thread on the end and using a nylock nut, but that would,ve been a bit of overkill. :)

"...stretch the clip to deformation ..." Yes, that was my concern, and reason for asking my question here.

Illinoyance
08-21-2018, 04:22 PM
Go to the web site of any of the vendors of e-clips. There is data there for the proper sizing of the groove.

Here is an example. http://www.rotorclip.com/rings.php