Snapping an axle or a u-joint sucks, but nothing can ruin your trail ride like bashed-in differential cover. For all you diff-bangin’, heavy right foot drivers, Dynatrac has the answer for you.
Dynatrac’s new nodular cast iron diff covers are all business. It’s function over form in the protection- department for your differentials. Whether you are using a stock diff cover, or an aftermarket one, the Dynatrac differential covers are bomb proof, bullet proof and grenade resistant, and it has a rugged look that is evident right out of the package. You immediately realize that these are not diff covers for a mall crawler or trailer queen – yet they are so nice to look at it’s almost a crime to beat them up. The covers come in Dana 35, 44, and 60 applications. We are installing front and rear Dana 44 covers on our ’04 Jeep Rubicon. When you get your mitts on one of these covers, the first thing you’ll notice is the heft. Weighing in at roughly nine pounds, it screams extreme duty. Thick skid rails and thick hammered powder coat are accompanied by the Dynatrac signature yellow logo that adorns the outside.
The install was probably one of the easiest of any aftermarket accessory we’ve installed on our silver Rubicon. Along with the covers, Dynatrac steps up by providing new grade eight, twelve point hardware in the kit. With their foresight thinking-caps on, Dynatrac provides a highpoint fill hole and a bleeder screw, so over filling is not a concern.
Probably the biggest surprise during the installation came at the beginning. In comparison, the stock Dana 44 diff cover is really flimsy. Keep in mind however, that not much looks beefy next to the Dynatrac covers, except for maybe a couple of our feature editors.
To install your new Dynatrac differential cover, remove all of the OE diff cover bolts except the top two. Loosen the top two bolts just a bit, then be sure to have your drip pan ready. Next a quick tap with a screwdriver and rubber mallet loosens the fact cover and releases the gear oil into the drip pan. Once the old gear oil has been drained, use a utility blade and, carefully scrape away the old gasket material. With the fluids drained, remove the OE diff cover. We suggest that you take this time to clean the differential housing by wiping it down with a clean rag. You can use a small amount of brake cleaner on the gasket surface, but it’s not necessary to do so inside the differential unless it’s particularly grungy inside. (Try not to get any break cleaner on the Dynatrac cover as it may eat the powder coat finish.)
Our particular installation required a small amount of relief-grinding on the top part of the outer lip because the three-link Rubicon Express axle truss we run uses the top diff cover bolts. Doing this didn’t compromise any of the functionality or strength of the covers.
Next apply a gasket sealer to the new cover, (not on the diff housing) remember to circle all the bolt locations for an adequate seal. Then position the cover and install the provided grade eight hardware. Using a 5/16th 12- point socket and a torque wrench, alternate the torque sequence across all bolts, between 18 and 20ft lbs.
With the new Dynatrac Differential cover installed, it’s time to fill the unit with the gear oil type specified in your owner’s manual. We chose AMSOIL synthetic gear oil. Loosen the bleeder screw and fill until oil comes out of the bleeder. Install the main fill screw and tighten. Be sure to discard of or recycle your old gear oil properly.
On the trail they perform as good as they look. No hang-ups on the rocks and the powder coat held up even after a few diff shots that shook my fillings loose. Simply put, this is one tough unit.
If you’re looking for a ton of added differential protection and a product that actually performs as well as it looks, the Dynatrac diff covers won’t let you down. In fact our only complaint was that after the trail ride we noticed we lost the Dynatrac emblem out of the rear cover. No worries though the replacements were free and just a phone call away.
Well there you go, you are now ready to bash away, (unless you don’t want to scratch these pretty, new monsters.) And don’t feel bad, after I put them on I decided to repaint my axles due to the new covers making the rest of the under carriage look bad. But that’s just me and yes I’m anal!