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I ran across this mod at http://d44tech.com/DIFF_COVERS.html.  I thought this was really kind of cool.  Move that fill plug up to increase oil capacity.  Use a hole saw to cut out and relocate plug, and reuse your removed material.  Pretty ingenious method.  Weld both sides and you're good to go.   

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Here's an example of an OEM plug location:

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And here's a shot of where SOLID puts theirs and not a bad deal for 65-bucks, plus $16.90 to ship to Indiana:

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And Yukon makes a nice one complete with a magnetic drain plug at the bottom and SS hardware:

Yukon.jpg.38ee38f13b6d8ee38cc036eb51beee5c.jpg

 

But I'm totally diggin' what the dude did with his welder and tools for essentially no cost.  

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The website mentions this mod for axles that have been rotated (for driveline angle, preventing proper filling).  Not a good mod for a stock arrangement.

 

The other idea on that page is good info, the factory "thick" covers are actually pretty strong.

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9 hours ago, schardein said:

Not a good mod for a stock arrangement.

How is this not such a good idea for stock arrangement?  Perhaps it decreases "splashing effect" or retards critical fluid movement in there or something?  

 

Looks like most aftermarket guys are raising the fill hole.

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14 minutes ago, coolwind57 said:

How is this not such a good idea for stock arrangement?  Perhaps it decreases "splashing effect" or retards critical fluid movement in there or something?  

 

Looks like most aftermarket guys are raising the fill hole.

The axle was designed to run with a certain amount of lube, and the fill hole ensures it is at the right level.  Most manuals state the fill level should be right at the level of the hole, or just below it, so you can check it with a finger.

 

Aftermarket units may be doing that because many times the axle is "tilted" more to compensate for driveline angles, and this gives the ability for them to be filled to an equivalent factory level, not necessarily "more", or overfilled.

 

Added fluid is added drag.  It can also cause seals to leak.

 

Moving the fill hole in a stock application only makes it harder to check and maintain proper fill level.  The transfer case in my CJ7 has been "clocked" to increase ground clearance.  To maintain proper fill levels (right at the bottom edge of the idler shaft bearings), I have two options:  Build a tiny dipstick out of a bent wire (what I do), or drill and tap the case to install a sight tube (would be much easier to check and maintain, but I don't want to do that).

 

Think about adding extra oil to the engine or transmission.  Good idea?  Of course not, unless adding a deeper pan to accommodate it.

 

Jeep Driver posted this thread where Gale Banks talks about diff fluid level, among other things.  I haven't watched the vids all the way through, but I bet there is some discussion there about proper fill level.

 

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Also, check out this comparison of two stock type Dana 44 diff covers.  One is low pinion, one is high pinion.  The high pinion requires a higher fill level.  The difference is small, but still there.

 

Some aftermarket covers may be designed with a higher fill plug so they will work with a LP or HP axle, but that doesn't mean the fill level is correct for both.

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I have a solid cover on my XJ and I had to make a little dipstick because the hole was too high and it was overfilling the pumpkin. I feel like the fluid was going down the axle tubes

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