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Old 05-31-2017, 09:46 AM
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Differential Cover Replacement - Lift Rig?

Changing out front and rear differential covers this weekend and replacing fluid with royal purple max gear.

Question. My rubi has a 2 inch lift all around - to change the covers do you think I need to lift the rig, put it on ramps or OK to change without lifting at all?

Curious what you guys used if you didn't have access to a proper lift at a shop.

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Old 05-31-2017, 10:08 AM   #2
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No lift needed at all. I change my diff fluid with the jeep sitting flat on the ground.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:39 AM   #3
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On the rear, I like to lift the frame up (tires still on the ground, frame on jackstands) for easier access.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:26 PM   #4
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You can do it any way you want BUT I always jack it uo and support the frame w jack stands so the axles can droop...
Makes it a LOT easier to move around under it and gets the rear down below the gas tank for much easier access
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:35 PM   #5
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I'm with @Clutch . Did mine sitting on the ground. Just chock the wheels.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:37 PM   #6
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Is your rear pinion lifted? On mine, I need to lift the rear (or get the front lower) quite a bit in order to be able to add enough fluid. I recall having to do similar even with a small lift and stock arms.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:19 PM
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No lift in the rear pinion - stock 05 Rubi but have 2 inch spacers in the front and 1.5 inch spacers in the back. Will most likely chock the wheels and see about getting a creeper for getting around under the rig. Long overdue for one anyways.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:32 PM   #8
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Sitting cross legged or laying directly on the ground is going to be far more comfortable for this job than trying to use a creeper.

Which covers did you go with?
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:48 PM
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I was really wanting to get the ARB covers front and back, but since the rubi sits in a garage most of the time and is used for the beach on weekends - couldn't justify $400+ for aesthetics alone. Everything else on the rig has been A+ parts with warn, bartact or arb all around but this is more of a nice to have while replacing fluid.

Ended up with the tactik covers at $89 a piece from quadratec with the lube locker seals. Figure can't go wrong with these for now.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:52 PM   #10
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Hopefully they don't interfere with the track bar. Are you concerned about catching that big drain plug on the rocks?
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:55 PM   #11
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Not many rocks in the garage or on the beach
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:03 PM   #12
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Not many rocks in the garage or on the beach
That's a shame...
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:04 PM
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I don't think it should have any issues with track bar - I didn't modify anything other than 2 inch spacers on front and 1.5 inch spacers on rear, track bar is essentially stock. I know some people had problems with ARB but don't think with these.

After final parts being put on this weekend going to enjoy this thing for a while. Put 500 miles on it since I picked it up in January - before and after below in case anyone is wondering

The day I picked it up 5 months ago and how it stands today.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:09 PM
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Hey! To be fair, my parents are in Old Saybrook, CT and I'm in NYC. Not many places to take this thing off road. Plan this summer is to enjoy it, not go crazy but I want to do a few jeep jamboree events soon. Really itching to start hitting the trails. Never got into it but lately have been really wanting to build this thing to go off roading.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:22 PM   #15
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I would encourage you to cycle the suspension to make sure. Looking at the cover again, I still have to wonder. If it works, then it works. If it doesn't, then a broken track bar means no more steering.

I think I already showed you this. Metalcloak track bar and ZJ steering at full bump with 1.375" bump stop extension.


This is a good combination​ for clearance, but there there still isn't much room for the track bar against the stock cover.
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:31 PM
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I'll take a look tomorrow. The tactik covers I think are essentially rugged ridge covers under the quadratec brand, from what I've read I haven't seen people having issues with these. Quadratec swears that these will fit
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Old 05-31-2017, 08:33 PM   #17
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Many vendors say a lot of things... This is fairly easy to prove or disprove. And the results are helpful to everyone.

Just remember that you need to remove the coils just like in my pics. Flex shots don't tell you anything.
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Old 06-01-2017, 01:41 PM
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When you say remove coils, you mean the actual springs? I thought differential cover replacement was an easy job - remove old cover, remove any of the old seal, prep new cover / lube locker, bolt on at 30 pounds of torque for each bolt and add fluid?
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:05 PM   #19
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the only way to verify that the cover isnt too long is to cycle the suspension and the best way to do that is to remove the springs and see what hits first. i see that fill plug being an issue. i'd cycle the suspension as many that are similar in design have had fitment issues, poison spyder, solid, pretty much anything that doesnt mirror the OEM top half. hard to trust anything Q-tec says, its like believing everything a used car salesman says.

side note, the OEM d44 on the rubi has a drain plug built into the housing.

also, make sure you put the recommended amount of fluid in, dont just fill it to fill plug.
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Old 06-01-2017, 02:08 PM   #20
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Changing out a diff cover is easy. Checking to make sure an aftermarket cover fits without interference issues is a different process. We generally call it a "full bump test". Still easy with basic automotive tools, just a bit more involved. But doing so teaches you a tremendous amount about how your suspension actually works.

IMO, the full bump test is one of the most important basic procedures to go through that removes nearly all of the mystery and guess work when building a Jeep.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:51 PM   #21
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I don't think it should have any issues with track bar - I didn't modify anything other than 2 inch spacers on front and 1.5 inch spacers on rear, track bar is essentially stock. I know some people had problems with ARB but don't think with these.
good luck with that. Looking at those covers, I'm not optimistic.

The proof is in the pudding....do the full bump test....support from the frame, pull the springs, shocks and jounce bumpers, hook the track bar up and push the axle up to full bump with a big floor jack + block of wood.

If the track bar hits something, you've got a dangerous interference issue. Set the bumpstops up accordingly to prevent the interference. Might as well complete the rest of the tests since.....check full flex with tires for clearance and check brake line length at full lock + full droop.

Since everyone's rebuttal is always "but i'm only driving it on the street", I'll answer that now - these tests are so you can ensure your suspension is properly setup FOR THE STREET first, and the trail second.....

Plenty of write-ups on how to do this around here....take lots of pictures and post em up.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:56 PM
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OK. So my question becomes, if not these covers what covers is everyone running with no track bar interference?

If stock covers on 05 Rubi have a drain plug, maybe I'll just change out the fluid for now and return these in the meantime.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:01 PM   #23
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Barnett is the best diff cover. Currie also sells a similar design. But it won't win you any Brodozer awards.

The Rubicon diff cover does not have a drain, only a fill. The axle housing is where the drain is. But I view it as pretty useless. When changing the fluid, it is a good idea to pull the cover for an inspection.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:08 PM   #24
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OK. So my question becomes, if not these covers what covers is everyone running with no track bar interference?

If stock covers on 05 Rubi have a drain plug, maybe I'll just change out the fluid for now and return these in the meantime.
05 Rubi's have a drain plug in the diff housing itself, not in the cover.

Most people run Barnett/Currie/T&J covers - it's basically a 3/16" thick stock cover with a skid welded on it. Cheap people take a trip to the junkyard and for about $10 you can get two late 70's HP D44 front covers from a Ford F250...they're 3/16" stamped steel and have a higher fill plug.

Neither of those options look flashy at the mall but they function perfectly well.

Alternatively, you can keep the covers you have and learn the lesson the hard way like I did. I ground down most of the facial features with a grinder, cut a giant section of the face off, then fabricated a piece to cover the hole and welded it all back together so it would fit around the track bar.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:14 PM   #25
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... Cheap people take a trip to the junkyard and for about $10 you can get two late 70's HP D44 front covers...they're 3/16" stamped steel and have a higher fill plug.
...
I got mine from an early 2000's Dodge Ram. 3/16" and a higher fill plug. Eventually I'll put a Barnett up front.

Stock


Dodge. Fill hole is about 1/2" higher.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:15 PM   #26
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I'm kinda old school, if it ain't broke then don't fix it and there plenty of other things to fix on a jeep.
Why are you replacing the differential covers and using that hi dollar royal purple oil?
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:18 PM   #27
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...
Why are you ...using that hi dollar royal purple oil?
I use RP because our Rubicon lockers are junk and non-serviceable. And they have a history of being finicky with gear oil. I want/need them to last as long as they can.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:39 PM
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From what I read, should be servicing / replacing the fluid every 30K miles. I just hit 61K miles with my 05, honestly I probably wouldn't be doing it if I hated the site of how my differential covers look especially now with the lift.

I'll probably end up returning the covers for now, keep the 6 quarts of the royal purple I have and do the fluid change and different covers towards the end of the summer. Right now everything works fine, was more for the appearance if anything.

Have a larger list of items to do at some point, bedline the tub (have raptor liner sitting in garage), now a fluid change, etc.

Sorry for the long winded response. Will probably just add the windshield mounted LED cubes this upcoming week, do a proper paint correction and just enjoy it for now.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:42 PM
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Anyone know where you can purchase the barnett covers?
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:45 PM   #30
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I was trying explain to my son last week about oil. We are rebuilding the trans in the TJ he bought. It seems it was filled with mud. He wanted to use some high dollar synthetic someone had recommended on a forum and I said, you just proved you can run mud in it . For a little while anyway.

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