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Okay, I understand the concept of a piece of flat stock with a hole in the middle. I can't picture the "U" shape to help gain access to the circlip. Do you bend it in a "U" to raise the flat stock up? i.e. you would need a longer bolt or "all thread" to compress the flange?
got pics?
 

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Re: Help me visualize the "U" shaped flange tool (thescirocco.com)

I used the u shaped part off of an old a2 a/c adjustment mount, just cut it to about 5-6 inches on both sides. i used 2 m10 bolts about 5 inches long and just welded the head to head. works just as well and free! the u part really gives you decent access to the circlip.
 
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