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woodtoolguy 01-21-2013 08:36 PM

Front Diff Mod - MEH Outcome
I bought the Mag-Hytec Diff cover for the rear axle, but was disappointed I couldn't find one for the front.

I like the extra capacity and magnetic drain plug features, so I decided to modify my stock front diff with a drain to make it easier to service.

After driving the truck onto the ramps, I removed the front diff cover. Here's a shot of the parts used. Diff cover, 1/2" X 3/8" NPT reducing bushing, 3/8" NPT plug. Ignore the magnet, I could not attach it to the plug reliably:

Here's the oxy-acetylene torch & Dremel tool used to make the hole for the drain:

The raw hole, painted silver to show the details better:

Dry fitting the drain, viewed from the inside:

Dry-fitting, viewed from the outside:

Welding tools:

Welded, painted & curing in the parts oven (an old Weber grill):

Yeah my welds stink, but I'm getting better!

Here's the final install, after refill and test drive - NO LEAKS!!!

Still have to drop the front skidplate to change the fluid, but no more messy gear oil spills. I'm looking into a magnetic drain plug to install at the next gear oil change.

I like the function and the drain is low on the cover to fully drain the fluid. However, the plumbing fittings look out-of-place on the stamped steel diff cover. In retrospect, machine fittings would look better.

Also, I gotta weld A LOT MORE to improve technique & outcome.

Thanks for looking.


Clifford17 01-22-2013 08:22 AM

Looks like a good mod...

storeboy 01-23-2013 01:41 AM

:smileup: I likey!

I have no welding skills so all I can do is look and admire from afar. I have siphoned mine out with a little hand held pump and didn't make any messes. With the amount of new fluid I put back in, I must have got it all.

JFM-jr 01-23-2013 07:04 PM

Did you look into PML?

woodtoolguy 01-25-2013 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by JFM-jr (Post 992873)

Yeah, I checked PML a few weeks ago, but they didn't have that front diff cover listed. Not sure I would pay that much for a new cover with a drain & .25 qt extra capacity.

I spent about $10 in pipe fittings for nearly the same results, plus I gained welding experience.

I was able to find a 3/8" NPT magnetic drain plug for $3 at McMaster-Carr. That's going in at the next gear oil change.

Thanks for the info.


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