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What do you guys think about chrome diff. covers?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Impex, Apr 24, 2000.

  1. Impex

    Impex 1/2 ton status

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    is there certain ones to buy or avoid? Or how much are the expensive ones?

    Thanks
     
  2. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I have heard that chrome doesn't allow heat to escape to well so I would think that a chrome diff cover would rase the temp of your gear oil! Not a good thing in my mind!
    I don't run chrome so I have nothing to back this up just heresay!!
    Good Luck

    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG]
     
  3. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Burt4x4 is correct on the temp thing, you might want to check out the review I just did on the Mag-Hytec covers, they are alum and offer more fluid capicity and on average your fluid will run about 45 degrees cooler.

    Steve
     
  4. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>I also heard that the chrome ones are thinner and weaker than the stock covers. Doesn't chrome plating weaken metal? </font color=blue>
     
  5. AZK5

    AZK5 1/2 ton status

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    Chrome diff covers = Parade queen, hehehe.
    CB
     
  6. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Chrome Diffs are weaker due to the embrittlement caused by the chrome plating process. Aluminum is stronger and allows better heat transfer. Jegs also sells aluminum diff cover. They are nice if you dont to much off roading!
     
  7. MICHIGAN BLAZER

    MICHIGAN BLAZER 1/2 ton status

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    alright....I'll admit i've got a rear chrome diff cover. I'm not very fond of it. for some reason no one around here had ANY 12 bolt covers in stock when i swapped my rear axle(old cover had met a lot of tree stumps) I desperately needed a cover because the one that came w/the axle was leaking all over the place. I put like a a full tube of silicone on the dumb thing and it still leaked!! anyway, the only one i could find was a Mr. Gasket Chrome job for $27 and that came w/gasket and new bolts. Everybody else wanted @ least $20 for just the cover and i'd have to wait a day to get it. I don't like mine though....I haven't even really been in the "woods" with it that much and I already have a dent on the bottom lip....needless to say I don't think it's gonna make it through the summer.

    <font color=red>MICHIGAN BLAZER
    <font color=green>89 Fullsize Blazer
    87 Cherokee
    65 IH Scout
     
  8. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, chrome ones are weak. I spent big money on a T/A Performance rear diff. cover, but I like it. Not only is it just a badass cover, but it also puts a preload on the main bearing caps to increase the strength of the axle somewhat. Its about 3/4 inch thick and made out of 356-T6 alloy. I paid about $180 for that and the ARP stud kit that replaces the bolts that hold the bearing caps down.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  9. walrus101

    walrus101 Registered Member

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    correct me if i am wrong, but isn't alum. brittle. everything that i have read said that the alum. will crack and break if hit to hard, and the steel you can at least bend it back to make it to a repair spot. i have never had alum.,but maybe some of you who have alum. can enlighten me.

    walrus101

    goo goo gaju
     
  10. Eric78K5

    Eric78K5 1/2 ton status

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    73 K5
    Does T/A make a cover for both the corporate 10 and 12 bolts? I have a 10 front, and 12 bolt rear on my 78K5, and want to replace both the covers.
     
  11. paul_cfh

    paul_cfh Registered Member

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    they look good but dont help your rig at all ..........personally i would rather spend money on somthing that helps my rig run not look good ........."show dont make it go".........but hey i still have stock valve covers

    just my .02 cents

    <font color=blue>where the road ends the fun begins</font color=blue>
     
  12. 8_YOUR_H2

    8_YOUR_H2 1/2 ton status

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    Aluminum is stronger than chrome plated metal. You see more aluminum engines as opposed to chrome plated engines dont you?
     
  13. '73 K5

    '73 K5 1/2 ton status

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    Walrus: Check out www.taperformance.com and it explains how strong their covers are.
    Eric: Their website doesn't list anything for an 8.5 inch 10 bolt, but you may want to call and check...maybe they have one in the works or something.

    '73 K5
    Chevy good...Ford bad
     
  14. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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  15. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I would think the main reason for going with an Alum. diff. cover would be for the extra fluid capacity and cooling features! NOT for the looks, now the fins do give you cool oil and cool looks![​IMG] Two for one deal!!

    Rock ON![​IMG] 72 K5 [​IMG]
     
  16. Shawn

    Shawn 1/2 ton status Premium Member Author

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    I recently added a chrome diff cover to my Dana 60 front axle. The old stock cover was cracked from hard abuse and it looked like someone tried to weld it. GM and Ford couldn't even get the stock Dana 60 cover. I'm not sure why Ford couldn't since all their old and new 1 tons have Dana 60's. I then called Dodge and they want $70. Since I was already over-budget on my Dana 60 install, I opted for the chrome cover. The chrome cover was purchased from Four Wheel Parts for $30 and is made by TD. The thickness is the same as the stock unit. I like the look of the chrome anyways. The differentials never gets hot so I don't see why you would worry about heat. I've bashed a chrome diff cover on a 10 bolt and it dented but never cracked.

    [​IMG]

    For added protection I bought a diff guard from Fourxdoctors (http://www.fourxdoctor.com/).
    The diff guard not not only gives you protection for your diff cover and gears, but are designed to help you slide up and over rocks and debris, instead of just taking a hit straight into the cover and stopping the vehicle.

    [​IMG]

    This is a picture of the Dana 44 guard. Unfortunately they only make the guards for the Dana 44's and Dana 60's but they were talking about making some for more apps. This site has a write up on it.




    Shawn
    <font color=blue>87 K5</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>454, 6", D60, 14 blt, 465, 205</font color=red>
    www.off-road.com
     
  17. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    As far as chrome plating goes, it CAN weaken the base metal (due to a phenomenon called hydrogen embrittlement), BUT, if properly done, chrome plating will <font color=red>NOT<font color=black> weaken the base metal. The piston rods on your shocks are chromed. The chambers of some firearms are chromed. The shock struts of aircraft landing gear are chromed. If chrome plating really did weaken metal so much that aluminum was suddenly stronger than steel, your shocks would snap on every bump, guns would regularly explode in people's faces, and almost every airplane made would be immobilized due to sheared-off landing gear! When properly done, chrome plating protects the base metal from corrosion, reduces friction, and adds a little strength to it.

    I just read this before posting, and I realized it sounds a little hostile. I didn't intend that, so please don't take offense. Just wanted to set the record straight...

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
    [​IMG] So many ideas, so little money...
     
  18. Jason73K5

    Jason73K5 1/2 ton status

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    Jarhead is right about chrome if it's done right. The problem is, how do you tell if you're dealing with a company that wants to do it right of do it cheap?

    My personal preferance is to stick with the stock covers, they're available in any junkyard for next to nothing and can be painted to look cool if you'rre into that. The problem I have with aluminum is that while it is stronger pound for pound over steel, it is very brittle as a casting and would need to be very thick as a stamping. Steel will take a few direct hits and still be in one piece, while alum will most likely crack or tear, leaving you stranded. I don't see heat as being a major factor, it's not like we're running the Baja 1000 on a regular basis!
     
  19. SVBlazer

    SVBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Chrome don't make it go faster, farther, cheaper or more reliably. (At least in this case...)
     
  20. AZK5

    AZK5 1/2 ton status

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    The chrome plating on the diff covers and the chrome hardening on the shock piston rods are completely different. When they chrome plate a diff cover the goal is to make it look nice as cheaply as they can. This type of chrome plating always weakens the parent metal. Chrome hardening is a surface hardening process that smooths out and hardens the surface for great sealing and low drag.
    CB
     

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