Upgrading Your Differential Cover

Should you upgrade your differential cover? In short, yes—it can be beneficial for improving performance. 

Though they aren’t always immediately considered by vehicle enthusiasts, differential covers are important when it comes to pickup truck differential performance. They not only provide access for changing gear lube, but differential covers also help dispel damaging differential heat. Differential covers also protect gears from contaminants like water and dirt, like rocks and other obstacles that you may run across while off-roading. Vehicle enthusiasts looking for a performance boost and improved cooling will likely look at the aftermarket for stock differential cover upgrades.

Increase cooling with upgrade of differential cover

Vehicle lovers always want to push their trucks to the limit, but the increase in power and carrying heavy equipment can also add stress and heat to the differential. Maintaining low gear lube temperatures is the key to extending differential life, and performance differential covers can have a major impact in this longevity. With features like cooling fins and aluminum differential covers, performance differential covers allow better oil cooling surface and heat disbursement to help keep the gear lube cool. In addition, lighter aluminum differential covers are beneficial for competitors searching for a way to get rid of vehicle weight.

Increased strength

Differential covers made of thin steel can dent, bend, or peel away from the differential when they come into contact with rocks and other debris while off-roading. This can lead to leaking gear lube and contaminants getting into the differential, which can lead to additional wear. Enthusiasts who spend time off-roading will be on the hunt for thicker and stronger differential covers made of heavy-duty iron.

Differential upgrade cover equals easier maintenance 

Many performance differential covers include features that are specifically made for easy maintenance, like gear lube drain plugs and dipsticks. Certain drain plugs and dipsticks include magnets, which helps people check for excessive wear without having to drain the gear lube.

Superior style

Upgrading differential cover can also provide a chance to upgrade your truck’s style. A number of differential covers are available with chrome plating and polished aluminum finishes for exceptional touches for custom trucks.

Consider the advice of the experts

With many different differential cover designs on the market, it is vital for vehicle aficionados to discover one that meets their particular needs. Experts such as Banks Power are specialists in differential covers and can lend specific guidance for motorists looking for a performance upgrade.

Keep differentials protected with AMSOIL Severe Gear®

The vehicles of today produce an exceptional amount more torque, horsepower and towing capacity than older vehicles, but the differential gear and bearing design is relatively the same. Many differentials utilize an even smaller amount of gear lube and lower viscosities than previously, in an attempt to reduce drag and increase fuel economy. Basically, smaller amounts of gear lube means more protection.

Fighting against the grind

The design of many differentials have innate weaknesses. In a conventional automotive differential, the pinion gear focuses intense pressure on the ring gear. As gear teeth grind together, they slide against each other, with only a thin layer of lubricant in between.

Recurrent stress to lubricant film bears can shear gear lubes, which can result in enduring viscosity loss. Once it’s been sheared, this fluid film can be compromised, rupture and even allow metal on metal contact, which can lead to gear and bearing breakdown. This situation is exacerbated by severe-service applications like towing.

Thermal runaway

Severe pressure and temperatures when applied to gear lubricants can negatively impact it, which is referred to as thermal runaway. As temperatures in the differential climb, many gear lube viscosities are compromised and load-carrying capacity is also impacted. Extreme loads can break lubricant film, which leads to the dreaded metal/metal contact—leading to resistance and heat. When this happens, viscosity is even more compromised, leading to more friction and higher temperatures. As heat continues to go up, viscosity continues to go down. Thermal runaway is a vicious cycle that can lead to permanent damage from extreme wear, and finally disastrous gear and bearing failure.

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic Gear Lube

Severe Gear gear lube from AMSOIL surpasses other gear lubes when it comes to protecting gears and bearings from severe-service operation. Its purpose is to resist breakdown from high heat, preventing acids and formation of carbon/varnish. AMSOIL Severe Gear lube is free of wax, so it performs well in cold-flow situations and cold weather performance is enhanced.

  • Exception film strength
  • Thermal runaway control
  • Rust and corrosion defense
  • Aids in operation temperature decrease
  • Supreme efficiency
  • Longevity of oil, seal and equipment
  • Flexible and easy packaging for quick and clean installation