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Old 12-05-2020, 09:35 AM   #1
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Ford SD diff cover with drain hole

Anyone installed an aftermarket diff cover for SD with a drain hole? Any cons? Still donít understand why OEM doesnít have one.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:05 PM   #2
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I don't have a Ford SD but my Dodge/Ram has a Mag-Hytec differential covers on both axles. They have a drain plug and dipstick in the AL fined cover plus the covers also have extra capacity of fluid. The covers make it extremely easy to change the fluid.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:36 PM   #3
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Many have open holes in the bolts.

Remove the lower ones and the oll should drain out.
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:46 PM   #4
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Many have open holes in the bolts.

Remove the lower ones and the oll should drain out.
Thatís the case for Toyota. I donít know why Ford doesnít have one.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:42 AM   #5
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Axle mfg's may not add a drain plug in the covers to reduce costs.

On the other hand removing the cover allows 99% of the fluid to drain out and the rest can be wiped out with a rag.
Also an inspection can be done.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:57 AM   #6
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Axle mfg's may not add a drain plug in the covers to reduce costs.

On the other hand removing the cover allows 99% of the fluid to drain out and the rest can be wiped out with a rag.
Also an inspection can be done.
If you look inside a differential housing you will see the bottom is well below the opening for the cover. If you drain the differential any particles from normal wear and tear will remain in the differential housing.
Any time I ever changed fluid in a differential as part of a service the cover got removed, the fluid totally cleaned out and the housing cleaned with cleaning solvent and dried. The cover was resealed and new fluid installed.
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:30 PM   #7
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Well that is what is nice about an aftermarket differential cover like an Mag-Hytec, the magnetic drain plug is at the lowest point. So 99% of the fluid is drained when the plug is removed. Also any fins or small metal partials is captured by the drain plug and dipstick which are magnetic.

I have had my covers on for close to 138,000 miles and the differential gearing looks great. I removed the cover at 100K and inspected the tooth pattern for uneven wear. I change my fluid every 40,000 miles using Amsoil 75W-90 extreme synthetic gear oil.

When towing my temps at the rear cover measured with an IF gun are 145F.

I will always install an aftermarket AL differential cover as a necessary upgrade to my tow vehicle.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:03 AM   #8
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I installed a Mag-Hytec cover on my '03 RAM2500 in early '18 after I bought it, drove it about 3000 miles till in the fall i watched the Gale Banks videos on "Diff covers" as he calls them. At that point he wasn't selling anything, just going thru his always through testing to determine what works and what doesn't. After seeing the first couple of videos, I removed the cover and installed the MOPAR finned aluminum cover, which is designed by AAM for the axle. Still no drain plug but the cover is easy to remove and the seal is reusable on the Ram AAM axles (GM uses a flat throw away gasket but you can easily install the MOPAR seal if you want).

After removing the flat back cover I did remove the axle shafts and hubs and repacked the bearings in the hub with grease and installed new seals. The owners manual calls for repacking those bearings any time the hub is removed or the brake rotor is removed.

I agree with those who say to remove the cover and clean out the bottom of the housing. The drain plug makes that a little less messy, but the cover does deserve to come off for inspection at least occasionally, if not on every fluid change.

The videos are good because they made clear covers to watch what goes on with the fluid in the differential. They made a stock plexiglass cover and later took a flat back and milled the back off of it and added a plexiglass panel and interior lights to watch the fluid flow.

I'll leave it at that. It was a year after the videos before Banks released their cover, and if you want one with a drain plug, his would be the way to go.

https://www.bankspower.com/c-117-pro...al-covers.html

Playlist of all seven videos. Look to the right of the screen and start with part one of three. You will want to watch all of them.

Charles
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Old 12-09-2020, 08:42 AM   #9
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I watched all the videos when they were doing the test. Seems you would be better off leaving the stock cover over most after market covers. I'm still waiting for them to develop one for the 2020 GM 3500. However every GM hd I've ever owned including my 2020 has a drain plug built into the casing already.
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:32 AM   #10
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I watched all the videos when they were doing the test. Seems you would be better off leaving the stock cover over most after market covers. I'm still waiting for them to develop one for the 2020 GM 3500. However every GM hd I've ever owned including my 2020 has a drain plug built into the casing already.
I think thatís how every truck diff housing should be built. Itís not rocket science to add a drain plug at the lowest point. I think most manufacturers arenít doing this because itís cheaper and making it more challenging for entry level DIYers.

Same as almost all manufacturers deleted their transmission dipstick and some passenger vehicles even deleted coolant temp gauge, just cold or overheat lights. No functional purpose at all.
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Old 12-09-2020, 09:44 AM   #11
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Yes, I watched Banks videos and decided to leave well enough alone. Factory design seems to work for a cagillion of vehicles rolling down the road with minimal issues. Drain plugs would be nice (trans and diffs) but it does save a bit in manufacturing and does force you to pull the covers and clean and inspect. It also gives me some assurance that an unscrupulous shop doesn't just do a dump and refill.
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Old 12-09-2020, 03:06 PM   #12
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When I watched the vids, and decided to remove the flatback, I took one look at the original stamped cover and realized it had so much thick, flakey rust on it that I was not reinstalling it. The entire rest of the truck is pristine underneath, but the diff cover was horrible, so I shopped and bought the Mopar aluminum cover thru Summit Racing. Someday I may buy the Banks cover. I put the MagHytec cover on Craigslist and didn't have any interest in it, may list it again.

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Old 12-09-2020, 03:57 PM   #13
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While I have nothing against Gale Banks and his products I think he had a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist. I am not disputing his testing but how many diffs go bad, then narrow that down to how many went bad with aftermarket diff covers on them. And then of those how many went bad with proper maintenance and no abuse due to not enough oil sling?

I know on my 01 Ram I have had Maghytec covers on it and the differentials and gears (and front and rear bearings) are still purring along at 380k miles since the covers went on. I had a temp gauge in the front and rear diffs and even towing heavy in 100+ degree heat I don't think I ever saw over 195 degrees in the rear and it was always lower in the front. I used Amsoil 75/110 severe gear in it and changed the lube every year then after a few years switched to every other year. With the low point drain (it literally comes out the very bottom of the cover) and the magnetic dip stick it was so easy to change the fluid maybe 15 minutes. If you wanted to pull the cover to inspect which I did on occasion, it was still great as it used a reusable rubber o ring. No permatex etc to scrape off and reapply or other type of gasket to mess with.

While I am not a maghytec fanboy I do like their products and have used them on several vehicles since my first use in 01 and have never had any type of diff issue with over 600,000 miles of use on them.

Now whether they are really needed or are a good value etc is an entirely different story as they probably aren't(see paragraph 1 above) but they do make the job easier.
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Old 12-10-2020, 05:25 AM   #14
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I've seen some diffs that had a drain plug at the bottom of the axle housing itself. They tend to get covered up with road gunk but worth looking for.
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