Interesting. So what would you recommend for a Jeep? One of the reasons I liked the ARB cover was from the increased clearance, and it obviously doesn't add capacity. Would any of this really be an issue with stock sized tires?Anything provided by an OEM is typically balanced by three things:
2. Service life
3. (and to a far lesser degree) Customer satisfaction
Based upon my experience in owning dozens of cars, I can easily attest which one trumps the remainder—profit. OEMs typically will not do anything more than meets a minimum threshold (whatever that is)…period. With that said, OEMs have installed increased capacity covers on some applications such as heavy duty trucks and the like.
My “horse” in this race has to do with the claims/suggestions that Banks makes without the objective, repeatable, third-party verified data as well as testing methodology to support them. A secondary issue is his overall opinion that flat back covers are “bad or add no value”. The reason that he is doing this is obvious—to state that his cover is “better”. Had he not produced a new cover, then his claims would have been objective versus a glorified sales pitch and this is why I say he is a great salesman—a few YT videos and taadaa, flat back covers are bad and Banks covers are good!
His premise and data would have been much more objective and valid had he used three axles in a controlled test for say 100,000 miles with about 25-50% of those miles towing and NOT a simulated test on a lift. The test components should consist of a:
1. Factory OEM axle
2. Factory OEM axle with a flat back cover
3. Factory OEM axle with a Banks cover
For example, (and I am paraphrasing so keep me honest), he states (and all of these infer or suggestion a detrimental or negative situation in some way):
1. Flat back covers over work the fluid and cause excessive aeration.
a. OK. Based upon what? A flashlight shined into the back of a Banks modified Mag-Hytec cover? There are incredible shearing forces at work within a differential and “working the fluid” happens regardless of cover design or fluid levels, after all, the ring gear is partially submerged in oil at all times.
b. If the fluid is overworked, then we can surmise that it leads to loss of viscosity or some other negative result. Where are the test results to show that viscosity loss occurred? Were they compared against factory OEM results?
2. Flat back covers impede or interrupt fluid flow (or flow is not "optimal") over the ring gears.
a. OK. Were temperature tests performed on the pinion gear in operation to determine that lubrication was insufficient? Were they compared against OEM results?
b. What about ring and pinion gear wear results?
c. What about viscosity results? Was the fluid overheated by the pinion gear that allegedly receives less lubrication due to the flat back design?
3. Flat back covers increase the volume of fluid and this is not optimal for the bearings.
a. OK. Were the bearings inspected and measured at zero miles and then again after the test?
b. Were they compared against OEM design and conditions?
c. Were temperature tests performed on the bearings and compared against OEM?
d. Did the increase of fluid also increase the service life of the fluid or the assembly in some way?
4. Flat back (finned) covers do not improve temperatures.
a. OK. Were the flat back temperatures compared against OEM temperatures in various operational conditions?
b. Were the tests performed with actual temperature sensors at critical points of the assembly versus pointing an infrared temperature gun at the housing?
As I said before, without a certified testing methodology and a proper baseline set, all of these “tests” were nothing more than a glorified sales pitch for his new and improved axle cover. I have seen nothing since then to change my mind, but I am totally open to "eating crow" should the data present itself to substantiate his claims.