i invested in a pair of "retaining ring pliers" at sears today for $15. may seem like a lot for a set of pliers, but the aggravation you save by not having to waste your time with screwdrivers and needlenose pliers to get those snap rings with no holes off is well worth it. these things are spring loaded and have a knurled surface to grab the ends of the snap ring, unlike regular snap ring pliers.
I rebuilt mine this weekend. Spent waaaay too long messing with the stupid ring trying to get it on. Had to beg my wife to help me hold the pliers/screw drivers to try and get it on. Finally drove myself nuts, ran to the parts store, got the pliers and did it the first try. Shoot, my wife did the one on the other side and she usually avoids the garage at all costs! The pliers were the best money I've spent in a long time!