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Old 02-05-2015, 12:22 PM
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Heavy duty diff cover vs diff armor

I've done all the reading on past posts that I can. Apparently a fair number of the aftermarket full diff covers have clearance issues (especially at full articulation) with an assortment of stock and modified suspensions. It seems the only way to test this is to pull one's springs and run the rig through the range of articulation. The problem is it seems difficult to determine, even if you could measure clearance from the stock diff covers, which diff covers would clear and which wouldn't. So you can by them, test them, and then potentially have to repurpose them as paper weights.

So it seems the certain solution is to go with some type of diff armor (skid) instead. What most threads seem to indicate is that many running aftermarket diff covers haven't really tested their rigs at full articulation (something mine will see).

Thoughts?

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Old 02-05-2015, 12:25 PM   #2
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I still have factory diff covers with Rough Country Diff Skids. They have taken some impressive hits so far. No clearance issues. These are one of the favorite things I have put on my rig.

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Old 02-05-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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Pictures. The rear also protects the very back of the rear driveshaft.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:32 PM
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Those pics of you at the mall are nice, but I want something to protect me on real trails...



(Just teasin')
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:07 PM   #5
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Lol!!! Altho I have valet parked my rig at Neiman Marcus too!
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:09 PM
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Anyone with opinions on brands other than Rough Country? It looks like Rugged Ridge, Mopar, etc. make them as well and at a lower price point. I'm sure, like everything, there is a tradeoff with the lower priced units, but still would like opinions.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:21 PM   #7
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Ha Mommy looks like you need a skid for your exhaust muffler
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
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Ha Mommy looks like you need a skid for your exhaust muffler
Lol yes. I will clean that up when I get a rear bumper. How the crunch got there: we used the rear of my rig to push a boulder that was blocking us in out of the way - so it actually did surprisingly well. Battle scar vs medal of honor - the difference is academic lol.

We also trimmed back the tailpipe.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:55 PM   #9
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Would be nice if our muffler wasn't the size of a 55 gallon drum.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:03 PM   #10
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Diff covers

Here are the best money can buy, IMHO: Differential Covers & Armor - RuffStuff Specialties

Then the PSC's are very nice as well, and finally Currie makes some good ones as well Stock Diff covers are USELESS, unless you just wheel at the mall then they are OK!

Just my 2 cents on the issue at hand!
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:12 PM   #11
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mommymallcrawler View Post
Lol!!! Altho I have valet parked my rig at Neiman Marcus too!
Hahaha! Somehow I just can't see u at Neiman Marcus in the Jeep

You have a part number for those guys?
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:22 PM   #13
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Hahaha! Somehow I just can't see u at Neiman Marcus in the Jeep

You have a part number for those guys?
Lol! Barneys New York loves me too. Links:

Dana 44 Front Differential Skid Plate / Armor for 07-15 Jeep JK Wrangler [798] | Rough Country Suspension Systems
Dana 44 Rear Differential Skid Plate / Armor for 07-15 Jeep JK Wrangler [798] | Rough Country Suspension Systems
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:29 PM   #14
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Diff covers seem pretty popular but I always wondered what about the housing? Sure you can't dent or peel the cover but you can smack the housing on a rock. I know it's not made of paper mache but still, seems a slider would solve both issues.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:34 PM   #15
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I have been looking into the rugged ridge ones.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
Diff covers seem pretty popular but I always wondered what about the housing? Sure you can't dent or peel the cover but you can smack the housing on a rock. I know it's not made of paper mache but still, seems a slider would solve both issues.
Theres some merit to your statement. Ive already got some nice scrapes in my housing. You could also catch the drain plug and lock it in place if you catch it just right. Im not a HUGE off roader though. With that being said, i peeled my rear on a rock on the mountain where we wheel and bought PS Bombshells. No more worrying about that now. They're thick as could be. The axle tube would break before those things lol. The covers will fair better on a direct impact. But the skids will do a little better everywhere else. Except in respect to ground clearance.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 14Trailcrawler View Post
These look great EXCEPT that I read that they don't clear a stock or mildly lifted JKUR suspension. If someone said they would clear I would be all over these as a reasonable price, reasonable protection choice.

The Rough Country or Rugged Ridge ones seem to be both skids and protectors, and are no doubt the best choice. But if I wait to wheel until I have the best choices for winches, protection, etc. I am going to be climbing into my rig from my walker.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:58 PM
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I have been looking into the rugged ridge ones.
I don't see these on their website--can you provide a link?
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:23 PM   #19
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I don't see these on their website--can you provide a link?
My bad I said rugged ridge, they are actually Ranchos.

http://m.quadratec.com/products/prod...d=16238+10XX+A
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:47 PM   #20
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These look great EXCEPT that I read that they don't clear a stock or mildly lifted JKUR suspension. If someone said they would clear I would be all over these as a reasonable price, reasonable protection choice. The Rough Country or Rugged Ridge ones seem to be both skids and protectors, and are no doubt the best choice. But if I wait to wheel until I have the best choices for winches, protection, etc. I am going to be climbing into my rig from my walker.
When i bought my Bombshells PS used my install/experience as a field report regarding this. For a dana 30, their covers (along with similar ones like riddler, etc) will clear. Barely. However, on the dana 44 an aftermarket front track bar is required. The skids will not have this problem.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:05 PM   #21
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I keep looking at these too, but just FYI have the Poison Spyder Bomb Proof covers and the 3 1/2" Metal Cloak and I have clearance at full flex
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:13 PM   #22
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So it seems the certain solution is to go with some type of diff armor (skid) instead.
I'm running stock 32" tires, and I didn't want to give up any ground clearance, so I went with Warn diff guards front & rear, and the AEV rear diff slider. I found that when you unbolt the bottom bolts of the stock covers to install the guards, the covers will leak. So I installed lube locker gaskets at the same time.

If you go this route, I suggest that you trim the bottom edge of the stock diff covers so they are flush with the diff housing, and do the same for the Warn diff guards. You may also find that the bottom of the LL gasket needs to be trimmed as well. This will keep everything at the bottom nice & smooth so they won't want to 'catch' on anything. I also replaced the button-head bolts supplied with the Warn guards with flange head bolts.

This set-up has seen quite a bit of abuse and is working great.

Diff Guards:
https://www.quadratec.com/products/12022_52X_PG.htm

Rear Slider:
https://www.quadratec.com/products/16500_3200_07.htm
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:21 PM
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jac04, that is good info, thanks. I'm thinking that the way to go is bolt over protection covers (as opposed to replacement covers) and slider (or sliders). Not quite as cool, but should clear without a problem.

What about the Mopar covers--I would think they would fit for sure???
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:14 PM   #24
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Not quite as cool, but should clear without a problem.
Yeah, I originally wanted to get the ARB diff covers because I thought they looked really cool, but I didn't want any clearance issues. The $I saved not getting the ARB covers almost paid for the diff slider.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:06 PM   #25
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These look great EXCEPT that I read that they don't clear a stock or mildly lifted JKUR suspension. If someone said they would clear I would be all over these as a reasonable price, reasonable protection choice. The Rough Country or Rugged Ridge ones seem to be both skids and protectors, and are no doubt the best choice. But if I wait to wheel until I have the best choices for winches, protection, etc. I am going to be climbing into my rig from my walker.
That is very dated info that is unfortunately being perpetuated from old threads popping up on Internet research. I called them when I got my 2014 JKUR.

Their report to me was that their early castings for the JK front D44 had a VERY MILD clearance issue on SOME set ups. The correction was a very slight amount of clearance grinding. They corrected their casting A LONG time ago.

There are rumors of track bar AND rubicon locker clearance issues, both of which are non-existent at this point.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:11 PM
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That is very dated info that is unfortunately being perpetuated from old threads popping up on Internet research. I called them when I got my 2014 JKUR.

Their report to me was that their early castings for the JK front D44 had a VERY MILD clearance issue on SOME set ups. The correction was a very slight amount of clearance grinding. They corrected their casting A LONG time ago.

There are rumors of track bar AND rubicon locker clearance issues, both of which are non-existent at this point.
That's good info as well. Are you running them on your JKUR? If so, would you mind detailing your set-up? Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:14 PM   #27
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That is very dated info that is unfortunately being perpetuated from old threads popping up on Internet research. I called them when I got my 2014 JKUR.

Their report to me was that their early castings for the JK front D44 had a VERY MILD clearance issue on SOME set ups. The correction was a very slight amount of clearance grinding. They corrected their casting A LONG time ago.

There are rumors of track bar AND rubicon locker clearance issues, both of which are non-existent at this point.
So, you're running the Solid covers? That's a heck of a deal and I've got a 14 JKUR. If you've got them with no issues, definitely considering these.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:12 AM   #28
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Running them front and rear on my 2014 JKUR. Sitting on RC 2-1/2" spacer kit. I've got a couple mild trail runs in (disconnected and aired down on the rocks). No issues. Came down once fairly solid on the front diff, was hooked up enough to chirp all four tires before backing up for a new line. No issues.

I also run these on my 88 XJ, where they have taken years of abuse. No issues.

My first pass through the local OHV area peeled the stock rear cover lip back.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:32 AM   #29
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and the best part is everything from the dana 30 to the 14 bolt is $65. i mean you can fit a dana 30 cover inside the 14 bolt cover lol

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Old 02-06-2015, 05:55 AM   #30
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A while back I was banging my jeep on rocks (all stock) and my rear diff started leaking after one rock peeled back the rear diff just enough to start the leak. I went with ARB Diff covers. Work fine on rocks, doesn't bend like the stock diff. Just takes a beating and keeps going.

Since I was already occasionally hitting rocks, I figured armor on the rear diff would make me hit more since there is some loss in clearance.

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