DIY News

What’s happening in your diff? One for the techies

Differentials are one component of our 4X4s that we probably don’t care for enough. They don’t get the oil changed as often as an engine does, they get ridiculously hot from working hard just to get dunked in water crossings, breathers get blocked, we add lockers or LSDs to change the characteristics and as unsprung mass they get vibrated and bounced all over the road.
Diffs come in all different shapes and sizes with different pinion positions and other detail changes. Whether it is a solid axle or independent diff doesn’t change the operation much at all.
What goes on inside your diff? Check out this video by Banks Power in the USA for a great explanation:

Some vehicle brands have ridiculously thin diff covers, great for cooling, but not very good protection for what’s inside. Cast and fabricated replacement covers are available, usually steel, or bolt on guards that also raise the protection significantly.

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As the photo above shows, I have a Dana 60 cover fabricated from 3/8” and ¼” steel protecting the insides. If you watch the follow ups by Gale Banks on aftermarket covers, it makes one think that a bolt on guard might be a better option:

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