I’m designing a west coat drive for my team and am wondering the best way to keep the wheels from sliding off the axle. We don’t have the manufacturing capability to machine snap ring grooves, so I was wondering what the best alternative would be.
Usually, teams place a spacer between the outer bearing on the rails and the wheels, and then drill a concentric hole on the end of the shaft, tap it and screw a washer into it to hold the wheel on. Remember to use loctite and some teams use special nylon patch screws from McM or alternative to help the screw stay. Also, shaft collars can work, but are heavy.
This is the method we use. As you can see it is also more compact than extending the hex shaft through the wheel to attach a collar around it. As long as you remember the Loctite it should be bulletproof (and we just use the blue).
… If you’re perfect about it. I’ve done this on a lathe with proper jigging (putting grooves in hardened shafts means either use abrasive methods, or carbide)… the results are less than ideal. Snap rings are finnicky items.
Just tap the ends of the shaft. Use lock collars in the middle of shafts where you want things to be assemble-able (but once assembled, the collar could come loose and you’d be OK). Use spacers to take up slop.
Can confirm, tapped thunderhex to hold wheels on. The center hole is definitely not concentric or coaxial. Wheels stayed on. Would recommend. Minimal drilling required - you could just send the tap in as is but I recommend drilling it to .201 first because of tolerances on extrusion.