REAR END

Diesel World - - Tech -

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.

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