In heavy towing situations the rear axle goes through a lot of strain and usually gets neglected. While most owners are good about changing engine oil and fuel filters regularly, it seems many forget about the differential fluid and taking care of it when they should. All that torque from the engine gets pushed through the trans and sent to the rear axle, which must send the power to the tires. Under heavy load a lot of heat can be generated within the axle, and heat can kill a fluid’s ability to keep things lubricated. Inside the differential you’ve got metal-on-metal gear sets in the ring and pinion, and of course you can expect some wear to occur. Wear over time deposits fine metallic debris in the gear oil, which can affect the longevity of the differential.
An aftermarket differential cover can increase longevity with a little extra fluid capacity and also help reduce fluid temperatures under sustained load. The afe Power rear differential cover for the GM axle allows an additional quart of gear oil and has been cast with cooling fins to help draw the heat out of the axle housing. The
HSP Diesel worked with their own shop trucks to develop a simple, well-engineered, affordable solution to wheel hop and axle wrap in GM truck applications due to the massive amounts of torque the Duramax can generate. Traction bars can prevent axle wrap, aid in traction and increase drivetrain and suspension longevity by maintaining the proper pinion and U-joint angles under the most extreme loads.
The new powdercoated HSP bracket simply replaces the stock axle bracket. The slotted holes in the new bracket help make installation a little easier. Be sure to torque the axle U-bolt nuts to factory specification and re-check torque after a couple hundred miles of driving.
For our crew cab shortbed truck, the bars from HSP measure 70 inches long and will mount to the frame directly beneath the cab. Kits are available powdercoated in your choice of color; we opted for Kingsport Grey, which offers a nice metallic look to offer a noticeable yet subtle appearance.
The first part of the install will require you to remove the factory rear axle U-bolt bracket. The four U-bolt nuts and washers just need to be loosened and removed. The factory hardware will be re-used, but the axle bracket will be discarded and replaced by the new HSP traction bar axle bracket.