Of all the important parts at risk when taking your truck off-roading, few are more important than the differential. This important part keeps power moving from the engine to the wheels, enabling your truck to climb those hills and crawl those rocks.
The differential is a vulnerable part, positioned under your truck or Jeep where it can be easily damaged. Worse yet, the stock differential cover is not designed for the type of abuse it might face off-road. You need a heavy-duty diff cover to prevent serious damage that could put your prized off-road truck out of commission for a while.
Differential Covers Play An Important Role
In the same way that steel truck bumpers protect the front and back end of your off-roader from serious damage, the differential is one of the most important mechanical parts on your truck. It connects the drive train to the axles, transferring that power to turn your wheels.
Comprised of multiple gears and parts, the differential must stay clean and well-lubricated to keep working. Unfortunately, the differential case is in a prime position to be knocked, scraped, and damaged to the point that the differential itself gets damaged.
Best Reasons to Invest In A Heavy-Duty Diff Cover
In the same way that standard trucks come from the factory with strong, yet standard bumpers rather than specialty aftermarket bumpers, trucks and Jeeps come from the factory with sturdy with a standard differential cover. Like standard factory bumpers, these covers are not intended to take the abuse that can come with off-roading.
Diff covers can be crushed or peeled off, releasing the differential fluid and exposing sensitive mechanical parts to dirt and debris. A damaged diff cover could leave you with an immobile truck that needs thousands of dollars in repairs.
With this in mind, these are the best reasons to spring for a heavy-duty diff cover for your off-road truck:
- Heavy-Duty Protection - Because most OEM differential covers are made from softer, stamped steel, the level of protection they provide is limited. Like aftermarket bumpers made from heavy-duty steel, aftermarket heavy-duty diff covers are typically made from either rugged cast iron or reinforced steel. They are much thicker than the original cover on your truck and also more rigid. Rigidity prevents unwanted flexing of the differential housing that can disrupt the gears inside it.
- Improved Cooling Ability - When the differential is working hard to keep your off-roader or Jeep moving over obstacles and rough terrain, the gears inside will heat up, which destroys differential fluid and reduces its lubricating ability. It can also damage the gasket between the differential and the cover, causing leaks. Many heavy-duty off-road differential covers are made to improve differential cooling to alleviate these problems. Designed to hold more fluid and with fins to dissipate heat and strengthen the whole cover, an aftermarket diff cover can reduce damage to your differential caused by friction heat.
- Improved Styling - Although appearance is not usually enough motivation to switch out your diff cover, when you decide to it there many choices of attractive covers. Manufacturers of these parts know that as an off-road owner, you need reliability and performance although you also appreciate one more way to trick out your truck or Jeep.
When you head out for a day on the trail with your off-roader, the last thing you want to deal with is a damaged differential cover. If you’re still running with that OEM cover, the possibility is real. All it takes is one wrong move while negotiating some uneven terrain and you could end up needing a tow back home. A heavy-duty diff cover protects your differential every time you hit the trails!