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getting ready to weld up some diffcovers, what thickness steel?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jjlaughner, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Picked up an extra 10bolt and 14BFF covers and I'm wanting to start making some reinforcements. I have some 1/4" x 4" steel and I'm getting ready to order some 3/8" x 2.5" steel. I'm mainly worried about the ring gear area and I'm wanting to thicken up the bottom of the 10bolt front cover alot, like 3/8" plate. Question is, I'm only doing trail riding, not many if any big rocks, is 1/4" over the 14bolt ring gear and 3/8" over the front going to be enough? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    Let make this the post your diff cover and spec post /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Before [​IMG]
     
  2. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    I would think 1/4" and 3/8" should be more than stout enough. I was thinking of reinforcing the front w/ 1/4" and calling it good. Check out MOO's dif covers and some of the covers on the Rockcrawler.com website. Some of those are ultra beefy.

    John
     
  3. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    1/2" /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  4. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I did my diff covers not to long ago and I used 1/4" plate on the ring gears. You can see pics in my webshots below. I don't think you would need more then 1/4" plate for the ring gears as long as you did a full arch over them like I did. If you only plate the bottom halves of the gears then I would use 3/8" plate.

    I think I will eventually go ahead and plate the areas outside the ring gears in 1/8" or 3/16" plate too. Just for snicks and grins. I personally don't know if you will need it if you don't rock crawl though.

    My front 10 bolt cover was 1/8" plate to begin with so it is pretty stout when you add the 1/4" strap to it. And you don't really hit the rear cover as much as you do the front so you can probably get away with less back there. More is better but maybe not necessary.

    Harley
     
  5. ben427

    ben427 1/2 ton status

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    Do like i did and go get some 5/8 thick covers cast at a foundry
     
  6. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Do like i did and go get some 5/8 thick covers cast at a foundry

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's what I'm talking about right there!! BEEF!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I used 1/4" steel on my cover..
    and I plan on hitting some Rocks..

    1/4" will be easier to heat and bend... /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  8. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]

    My front 10 bolt cover was 1/8" plate to begin with so it is pretty stout when you add the 1/4" strap to it. And you don't really hit the rear cover as much as you do the front so you can probably get away with less back there. More is better but maybe not necessary.

    Harley

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah this is the HD front cover, I was very surprised by the thickness... its not like my stock cover at all.
     
  9. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    1/2" /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Only problem would be bending it... if I had a way to bend the curve I'd do it over the ring gears then weld in 1/4" to the rest /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  10. scoutillac

    scoutillac 1/2 ton status

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    Tack weld, Then heat, and bend with BFH. Keep tacking as you go along so it stays real tight. That's what I did with 1/8" plate to make it fit. You can see a decent pic of mine on my web link below.
     
  11. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    If you no anyone with a forge heat it up cherry red in there and put it over top of the diff covers and start wacking it with a hammer, repeat till you get the desired shape. IMO It might work??? /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I would use your current one to make a template that you can make a completely new cover from as opposed to trying to reinforce a stock one.
     
  13. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    I did my ring gears in 1/2" (I wanted 3/8" but found 1/2" scrap). I bent it cold using a harbor freight tubing kinker/pipe bender. It is the only good use I have for gor that tool so far. I had 3/8" on the D44 and it held up fine. I used it as a skid pretty hard. I also only did the bottom half on the front covers to clear the tie rod easier.
     

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