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Nchiappetta5

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After much research, I found a cheaper alternative to the ford performance M220 diff cover. The rear Dana 44 installed in our broncos is nearly identical to the rear axle used in the Wrangler JL Jeep.

At $140.76 for the Dana Spicer OEM cover (Part # 10040651), it is far cheaper than what you pay for the Ford Performance Parts M220 diff cover at $295 (Part # M-4033-R). You are basically paying for a sticker!

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2438
Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2437


Here are a few things you'll need before the installation:

2 Quarts of 75w-85 Motorcraft Synthetic Hypoid Gear Lubricant (Part # XY75W85QL)
1 Rear differential cover gasket (Part # KB3Z-4036-A )

Tools Needed for the installation:
A pair of safety glasses
3/8" drive ratchet
3/8" drive impact gun
3/8" drive short extension
1/2" drive impact gun
10 mm deep socket (3/8" drive)
13 mm deep socket (3/8" drive)
15/16 Deep socket (1/2" drive)
Small pry bar
Gasket scraper
Razor blade
Torque wrench capable of 20-25 Ft-lbs
Oil pan
Rags
Acetone or some other solvent to clean the mating surface of oils
#268 lock tight or something similar for when we install the OEM plug and two 13mm bolts in the Dana cover

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2461


Start by parking on a flat surface. Place your oil pan under the differential in preparation for draining. You'll need to remove two plastic clips on studs that support the rear brake lines.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2442


After removing the plastic clips, remove the cover bolts with a 10 mm socket. Be very careful while using an impact gun on the housing. You will need a short extension and a 13mm deep socket to remove the bolts with studs for the plastic clips. Save these, as we will reuse them during our installation of the dana cover. When removing the cover, a small pry bar may be necessary to break the seal between the cover and housing. Be careful not to damage the rear cover gasket, as it is reusable per the ford maintenance manual. If the gasket is damaged or you bought a new one, disregard this statement above, as you'll be changing it out anyway.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2443
Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2444

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2464


Visually inspect the mating surface for pitting or damage, and clean it with a rag and mild solvent. Inspect the rear drive gear and its components for any unusual wear or damaged teeth.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2446


Clean the reusable gasket as needed. You will now begin to prep the dana cover for installation.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2445


Remove the fill plug from the OEM cover, as it has a magnetic plug. We will replace the dana fill plug with the OEM plug to gain the magnet, hopefully preventing metal shaving from collecting in the bottom of the axle housing. Take your time to clean metal shavings on the magnet from the break-in process when you first got your bronco.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2447

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2448


Pictured above are the ten 10mm dana bolts that come with the cover and the two 13mm bolts with studs used for the plastic brake line clips.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2439

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2451

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2452


Using the provided gasket maker from Dana, we will run a bead along the inside of the gasket on both sides. This will help tack the gasket in place, making it easier to install the gasket and cover together while keeping the holes lined up.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2454


Using a 1/2" drive impact gun, remove the passenger side 15/16" bolt on the panhard bar. We will need to move the panhard bar out of the way slightly to install the dana cover easily.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2453


Using a bolt on top of the housing to loosely hold the cover in place, begin to install the provided dana bolts hand-tight.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2455


Torque the bolts to 20-25 ft-lbs, and be sure to tighten these bolts down to compress the gasket evenly. I worked in a 12- to 6 o'clock pattern for all bolts.
Note: These bolts are very easy to snap. Do not over-torque!

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2456


Thankfully I had two extra dana bolts because of the 13mm studs we are reusing from the OEM cover.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2457


Clean up any gasket maker that might squeeze out with a rag.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2458


Push the plastic clips back onto their studs.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2459


Fill with approx. 2 quarts of 75w-85 gear lube. Using the bottom hole in the cover, Fill until the lubricant begins to come out. There might be residual gear lube left inside the housing, so the total amount needed to fill the housing completely could be slightly less than 2 quarts. Once full reinstall the 15/16" bolt of the Panhard bar. Torque to 159 ft-lbs.

Ford Bronco Installed: Dana 44 M220 AdvanTek Nodular Differential Cover (From Jeep JL Wrangler) -- DIY IMG_2462


Install the plugs with some of the #268 lock tight and torque them to about 20 ft-lbs.


Monitor for leaks after driving, and it might be a good idea to re-torque the bolts after a few hundred miles just to be safe.
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Squatch

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Stickers add HP... duh!

Great and thorough write up with pictures for people like me!
 
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Nchiappetta5

Nchiappetta5

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Howdy, what’s the advantage of this compared to stock besides the cool sticker?
The advantage for me is strength against a rock strike. The cover is made from cast iron, so instead of getting a dent or torn open on a rock like the OEM stamped metal cover, it will get a scratch and be less likely to leak due to the rigid nature of the cast iron. we are planning a trip to Moab, UT in July from CT so ultimately it's about getting us home so I can inspect it versus being stranded on the side of a trail 2,000 miles from home. I planned on making a skid plate under the differential in the coming months for added peace of mind.
 

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bytheway

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What's up with the two fill plugs?
 
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Nchiappetta5

Nchiappetta5

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What's up with the two fill plugs?
The upper hole is initially used to fill a dry or new axle assembly after a rebuild or when changing gears and internal components. Once the assembly has been filled and driven, the lower hole monitors fluid levels correctly.

As long as 2 quarts of fluid went in, I was happy. I had maybe a few drops left in the last quart I used.
 
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JediMcMuffin

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Educate me: Why do people prioritize swapping diff covers? Is this cosmetic?
 
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Nchiappetta5

Nchiappetta5

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Educate me: Why do people prioritize swapping diff covers? Is this cosmetic?
Some are cosmetic, for sure. Some companies claim that the aftermarket covers they sell hold more lube which is beneficial in some way... I guess. MY 01' f450 has a finned aluminum diff cover from the factory to help cool the differential oil when towing or loaded heavy. As I stated above, the advantage for me was the added strength it provides due to being cast iron.
 

Rick Astley

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Install the plugs with some red lock tight and torque them to about 25-30 ft-lbs.
First off, Love your write-up, details, pictures, a LFMF moment and everything about your thread. Very helpful for others and valuable to the community at large!

One question, are you sure it called for cherry flavor? o_O

That's a significant step to take for a removable drain plug with only a 30 ft lb torque spec. Typically you want blueberry flavored for removable plugs as you're going to need to heat up the cherry flavor to about 500 degrees to remove it once set.
 

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Aztec1382

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Clean write up
 
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Nchiappetta5

Nchiappetta5

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First off, Love your write-up, details, pictures, a LFMF moment and everything about your thread. Very helpful for others and valuable to the community at large!

One question, are you sure it called for cherry flavor? o_O

That's a significant step to take for a removable drain plug with only a 30 ft lb torque spec. Typically you want blueberry flavored for removable plugs as you're going to need to heat up the cherry flavor to about 500 degrees to remove it once set.
So the red lock tight I have looks like a glue stick. it's wasn't the same spec as liquid red. I can update the materials list to reflect that.

update: The lock tight # was 263. I used it for its versatility when in contact with oil. it also has a working range of up to 300*. If I run into an issue breaking the bond I can always use a small propane torch to add a small amount of heat.
 
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Rick Astley

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So the red lock tight I have looks like a glue stick. it's wasn't the same spec as liquid red. I can update the materials list to reflect that.

update: The lock tight # was 263. I used it for its versatility when in contact with oil. it also has a working range of up to 300*. If I run into an issue breaking the bond I can always use a small propane torch to add a small amount of heat.
Just for the sake of helping the very excellent thread you made, and preventing somebody from following it exactly, would you please be so kind as to update your original post with the locktite used?

I'm constantly shocked by people who know nothing about thread lockers, what they do, how they have different attributes and especially how the wrong choice can drastically impact future R&R.

As tone doesn't come through text I do want to stress that I love your writeup and am grateful for you taking the time and effort to educate and help others. Zero smart-ass in my comments (which is unusual).
 
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Nchiappetta5

Nchiappetta5

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Just for the sake of helping the very excellent thread you made, and preventing somebody from following it exactly, would you please be so kind as to update your original post with the locktite used?

I'm constantly shocked by people who know nothing about thread lockers, what they do, how they have different attributes and especially how the wrong choice can drastically impact future R&R.

As tone doesn't come through text I do want to stress that I love your writeup and am grateful for you taking the time and effort to educate and help others. Zero smart-ass in my comments (which is unusual).
Done! Thanks for the catch. I try to be as detailed as possible and proofreading only goes so far.
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