Yes, it came off without a problem for me. Usually you don’t need to open it up to the point that it can slide over the whole cylinder – just enough to get one side unclipped, then work it around till it pops off the other side – like the bead of a tire. Does that make sense? I know I didn’t use any special tools, like retaining ring pliers.
You might find this useful: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=245&start=20
Here’s another one: https://cadduino.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/spindle-dewalt-dw660/
One thing everyone seems to agree with is that the c-clip is a PITA. I might have have just gotten lucky, or it really was a PITA and I’ve blocked it out of my memory!