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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2016 Backcountry with a 2.5in JKS lift. I think my next mod will be front and rear diff protection. I go to Moab a couple of times a year plus some light wheeling in Colorado so I think this is the next logical step that won’t impact the wallet too much.

I’m curious to know how many people go diff skid, which to me makes more sense to me, vs just a diff cover? I’m sure the combo of both is the best route but it seems to be overkill or I’m just missing something.

I’m leaning towards the Metal Cloak diff skid, but I'm also looking at Rancho as well.
 

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I went with the rancho skid up front and the rev in the rear. I would have used rev front and rear if one was available. I have the lifetime warranty and did not want to swap out covers, giving them an out saying I did something wrong. Yes, I know just having skids is an out for the dealer, but ours is somewhat mod friendly.
 

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The diff skid and the HD diff cover do two different things, with a little overlap. The skid tries to protect the cover, mainly at the bottom lip where the stock cover tends to be a failure point (the stock cover will catch on rocks and peel back, causing a leak and failure). The skid may also protect the drive shaft side of the diff, where the pinion is. But by nature a diff skid reduces ground clearance.
A HD diff cover will keep the cover from denting inward and hitting the gears, causing a failure. Plus the lip of the HD cover won't peel back the way the thin stock cover will. So it doesn't really need protection there.
Most go with a HD diff cover. Some go with the HD cover and a skid. A few go with just the skid. We have HD covers and no skid. Our covers get scratches and dings, but no issues.
 

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On the front I have a ProRock 44. The Dynatrac cover is thick and reinforced. I don’t have any protection for that and haven’t needed any. It has taken hits and plenty of scrapes, with no issues.

On the back, I have a Solid cover. Like the Dynatrac cover, it is thick and reinforced. Much more substantial than the stock stamped steel cover.

For additional protection in the rear, I added an AEV differential skid plate. It extends a little below the differential cover and so provides some protection against peeling. On the front end, it extends below the pinion and U joint, providing some driveshaft protection. In the past, before I got the skid, I had hit and ground up that portion in some rock gardens. Rough Country now has a similar product that’s quite a bit cheaper then the AEV product.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the feedback, I think I'm going to start with a front and rear HD diff covers and then add the skid on the front at a later date.

Looking at a lot of builds and the feedback on this thread it seems to me that more people go with the HD cover.

I really like the look of the Teraflex Diff cover which I just saw.
 

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I’m not sure how much weight you should give this info, but I’ve heard that a thicker cover will also reinforce the axle housing a bit too.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback, I think I'm going to start with a front and rear HD diff covers and then add the skid on the front at a later date.

Looking at a lot of builds and the feedback on this thread it seems to me that more people go with the HD cover.

I really like the look of the Teraflex Diff cover which I just saw.

I would be careful with diff covers. The size and shape of them make a tremendous difference in how your diff operates. Banks Power has done some really great research on the subject which I was quite impressed with.


Someone put this video up a while back and it's worth repeating because there is a lot more to a diff cover than you would think. (Indeed Banks has quite a few of these diff cover videos with different experiments. It's worth looking them up)


 

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Rough Country diff skids for a win. One of the best things I put on my Jeep.
 

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Been using SOLID diff cover on the front diff. Had it on now for about 3 years. No issues. Only thing to watch out is do not overfill it. Follow the factory requirements on filling the diff oil. Also had one on our 2001 TJ for years, never any issues.
hope this helps
 

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I swapped out to Poison Spyder Bombshells. I like the look and it doesn't seem to have anything that would catch on a rock hit. Be careful though, one of the covers I got was warped too much. Fortunately Quadratec (forum sponsor) has excellent customer service and I was able to return it.

After the covers were done, I bent the tie rod and then put in a fusion for the warranty and stoutness. Another recommended mod.
No whining now...
 
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