starter gear was "walking out" and hitting the ring gear above 6,000 rpms. bought the heavier spring from doo talker.
pushed the sleeve retainer back and held it with vise grips/spacer.
removed the clip by using a small screwdriver and prying up enough to get a piece of of mechanics wire under the clip and rotated the clip off the shaft. this opened up the clip slightly so pinched it down to regular size carefully in a vise.
installed the spring, retainer, again held back by v-grips, and pushed on the clip by using a blunt rod tapping on the starter end shaft that opened up the clip enough to slide on. the clip was slighting then to large for the retainer sleeve to fully slide over the clip, so installed a fuel injection style 1/4" hose clamp, greasing up the inside to compress the clip, and then released the v-grips and tapped the retainer outward so it pushed against the hose clamp and over the clip. took about 1-1/2 hours to figure out the process and complete, most time was spent carefully removing the clip. did not need to remove the clutch.
to do it over, I would have just forced the old clip off, discarded, and and purchased a new clip from brp.