ekim

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We are not talking a Ford 9". In the case of those (and a lot of Toyota diffs) then it is a very simple third member removal. Only difference is having to remove the driveshaft.
Driveshaft, axles, getting a floor jack under there to balance the 3rd member on etc.

Let's not go down this rabbit hole since the Jeep does have a simple cover. Just wanted to point out that there are some other cases where removal is not that simple.
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Chocolate Thunder

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I see no reason for a drain plug on a diff. In fact the Jeep's are the only vehicles I have ever seen with a drain plug. I find it odd and concerning that it would put someone out to do something as simple as removing a diff cover to drain fluid.
It’s there for the exact same reason that an oil pan and a transmission pan have drain bolts. It’s easy to remove bolts to drop those pans too. But it’s easier still to remove a single plug. A lot easier. And quicker. And less messy. And a majority of owners and service outlets don’t feel that it’s necessary to inspect those areas at every fluid change. Kudos to those that do.
 

At Risk Ute

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Think the change was made for all Rubicons based on a previous thread. Mine’s a 7/21 build WITH the plug.
 

roaniecowpony

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We are not talking a Ford 9". In the case of those (and a lot of Toyota diffs) then it is a very simple third member removal. Only difference is having to remove the driveshaft.
Seems to me you have to remove the rear wheels, brakes, axles, driveshaft, to get the pumpkin out.
 

mnjeeper

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Think the change was made for all Rubicons based on a previous thread. Mine’s a 7/21 build WITH the plug.
My '21 has a plug also, but an earlier build than yours. Checks out with me. Not sure I will ever use it, but it's there.
 

jjvincent

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Driveshaft, axles, getting a floor jack under there to balance the 3rd member on etc.

Let's not go down this rabbit hole since the Jeep does have a simple cover. Just wanted to point out that there are some other cases where removal is not that simple.
There are many cars with a live axle that have a drain plug. Some are extremely difficult to remove the cover. Another example is my RV. Its not like I can just jack it up easily. Then the sway bar is in line with the cover. Thus I bought a cover that now has a drain plug. On the other hand, I do have a suction device that I can suck the oil out, but again a royal PIA to do with the RV. Drain plug works like a champ.

I will guess as it's another cost saving measure. Just don't drill and tap the diff and you don't need to install a plug. Less parts, less steps, less cost. Trust me, if a manufacturer can save one cent on a part, they will. I do work for a company that makes said parts. So, I hear all of the cost saving moves they make.
 

OllieChristopher

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Seems to me you have to remove the rear wheels, brakes, axles, driveshaft, to get the pumpkin out.
You do but it's easy peasy. I can see why a lot of these vehicles don't last. Too many want to take the easy way out instead of the correct way.


Some are extremely difficult to remove the cover. Another example is my RV. Its not like I can just jack it up easily. Then the sway bar is in line with the cover. Thus I bought a cover that now has a drain plug.
It may seem that way but it's not once you have done it a few times. It took me over an hour from start to finish the first time trying to clear my Hellwig sway bar. It is so tight an aftermarket diff cover will not clear the sway bar.

This is before installation of my TruTrac diff and 3:73 gears. Now I have it down to an easy hour or less. And that includes checking for wear.

I run a little extra backlash (.010") to reduce wear on the ring and pinion. A lot of the hard core off road diff builds run less to reduce the chances of broken gears. This comes at the cost of frequent fluid changes due to the heat generated from being tight.

IMHO, if removing a diff cover is proving too difficult then then every aspect of what you consider DIY (beyond putting fuel in your vehicle) should be left to a professional.

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Carolina Jeeper

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We are not talking a Ford 9". In the case of those (and a lot of Toyota diffs) then it is a very simple third member removal. Only difference is having to remove the driveshaft.
Removing a Ford 9 inch or any differential is not simple. You've left out about 75% of what is required to do it.
 

OllieChristopher

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Removing a Ford 9 inch or any differential is not simple. You've left out about 75% of what is required to do it.
I was generalizing. It is not hard at all. Just a bit more time consuming. We are talking differentials not automatic transmissions!! LOL

Differentials are the simplest components on a vehicle next to brakes. It's not rocket science.
 

The Last Cowboy

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There are a few diff covers out there that have a drain plug. The one at the bottom of the casting makes it vulnerable to damage that will cause the fluid to leak out.

Imagine that you develop a slow leak on the trail because you dragged it on a rock. On the road home, the axle starts smoking, fails and now you need a tow and a $3k axle.

On the other hand, if you're driving those kind of trails, you should have axle skids. However many of us have learned due to expensive mistakes.
 

AcesandEights

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Because Currie builds Ford 9" axles...j/k.
 

Grand Lake Special

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Drain plug will facilitate a on trail fluid exchange if you get water contamination while wheeling. Drain and refresh is minutes with the drain plug. Considerably more time for differential cover removal and replacement... even with reusable gasket.. I would rather have the drain .....my 2 cents
 
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