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Crane Differential Covers

Crane Dana 44 Diff Covers

Part #: Dana 44

These are some massive covers for the Dana 44's.  The also increase the size of the sump on the differentials so should allow them to run a little cooler.  I did notice that the stock covers have fill holes located at different heights while the crane covers are right in the center.  Don't know if this is going to have any adverse effect on differential operations, but I'll hit up my friend ever so often to see if anything happens.  These covers will not allow you to run the Tri-County Gear rear track bar brace, or reinstall the locker wiring clips, so you will need to find a different location for that.

Additional Parts: (Possibly)
Red Mopar Silicone Rubber Sealant
70W-140 Synthetic Oil
Mopar Friction Modifier
Tools Needed:
1/2" Socket
3/16" Allen Wrench
Torque Wrench
Gasket Scrapper/ or flat razor knife



Here is what the Crane cover looks like.  It has been painted black.

top view side view backview
1. First you need to drain the oil from the differential.  Use a 3/8" ratchet to remove the drain plug and the cover plug.  Note you can reuse the cover plug (it's magnetic) in the crane cover if you like.  It's easier to get out with the cover on.  If you look at this cover you will notice that all the paint is burned off the diff cover.  This cover runs hot while my runs cool.  The oil that came out smelled distinctly like gear oil.  While mine did not.  Makes me wonder. remove stock cover
2. Once all the oil has drained out, give the cover a good smack with a mallet.  This will loosen up the cover.  Don't be afraid of it.  Do not try to pry up the lip, you can gouge the mating surface of the differential, and that is not good. cover removed clean off old material
3. Now clean off all that old sealant with a gasket scrapper.  Once that is clean clean off the mating surfaces of the differential and crane cover with a little acetone.  Be careful with the acetone.  Let it dry completely.  
4. Now lay a 1/8" bead of silicone sealant around the mating surface of the differential.  Make certain that you make a complete circle around each of the bolt holes as an added precaution. lay a new bead circles around bolt holes
5. Now install the crane cover and 3/16" allen head bolts.  We put a little dap of anti-seize on each of these bolts, since they can be a little stubborn to get out later.  As you can see we had a little problem with one of the bolts getting out of hand. lost the brush in the can
Where did it go?
brush completely covered in anti-seize
Did you say a little anti-seize?
6. This is what it looks like installed. cover installed
A Few Tips:
If you break your seal, you will need to remove the entire cover and reseal it.  Apply a 1/4 in. bead of red Mopar Silicone Rubber Sealant or equivalent to the housing cover.  You will need to refill with 70W-140 Synthetic oil and possibly the friction modifier.  I know the dealership put the modifier in the front axle after they replaced my axle seal.

CAUTION: If housing cover is not installed within 3 to 5 minutes, the cover must be cleaned and new RTV applied or adhesion  quality will be  compromised.


  N-m Ft. Lbs. In. Lbs.

Fill Plug 

34 25 -
Drain Plug 34 25 -
Differential Cover Bolts 41 30 -

This page last updated: 16-Apr-2008

Content and Design © 2002-present WanderingTrail,  Ron Seegert
Common Sense and Safety should always be observed when working on your vehicle or doing modifications. Jackstands, wheel blocks, disconnecting the battery are a few of the basic safety precautions that should be used and may not be mentioned in the write ups on this site. You are responsible for your own installation, these write ups are a helpful guideline and should not be taken as an official installation instruction. My write up may be different from the kits currently out there, so alwasy double check the manufacturers installation instructions when installing anything. I try to keep the site up to date with changes that have occured as I discover them, but may not have the latest unless someone lets me know. If you feel that an install is above your capabilities after reading my write ups, I recommend getting together with a club and getting some help. Only a few times have I needed to employe some actual help from a shop to get something done. Usually welding or A/C work.
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