Drake Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover Install

 Drake Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover

If you are looking to add a bit of strength to your mustangs rear end then an aftermarket rear axle girdle is a good option to have. I have been looking at these covers for a while and I called up the guys over at CJ Pony Parts to buy the Scott Drake Aluminum Rear Axle Differential Girdle for S-197 Mustangs with an 8.8″ Rear Axle. Part number 5R3Z-4033-B

This cover is fantastic looking and also serves a great function. Besides being much thicker and stronger than the factory mustang rear end cover it also has two differential bearing cap screws. These help keep things nice and tight when you are twisting the rear end with hard launches. It also features a magnetic drain plug and a slim design which allows for clearing of most panhard bars.

Drake Ford 8.8 Rear End Girdle Here is the Drake Muscle Ford 8.8 Rear End Girdle. Or some call it the differential cover. With its beefy design I think its fair to think of it more than just a cover.
Drake rear axle girdle Here is the shot you rarely see. The back side. Great craftsmanship. You can see the differential bearing cap screws and fill and drain plugs.
differential bearing cap screws  Close up of the differential bearing cap screws.
Factory Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover Here is a picture of the Panhard Bar and its distance to the Factory Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover.
Ford Stock 8.8 Rear End Cover Start by removing the 10 bolts from the factory rear end cover. 
Drain the Oil Use a pry bar and gently tug on it to drain the gear oil into a catch pan. 
While that is draining you can pull the panhard bar. You only need to pull one side and then it will swing down.
Ford 8.8 Rear End Pull the cover off and then clean off the gasket surface. Wipe it all down to make sure no small pieces got inside.
Apply Silicone Sealer Apply Silicone Sealer.
Bolt up new rear end cover Make sure the cap screws are backed off. And then you can put the supplied bolts in.
Torque Bolts Down Follow the instructions torque pattern and torque them down to 25 lb-ft.
Then tighten and torque the caps screws down to 5 lb-ft. Then tighten the jam nuts. These are to help the caps from moving not to put pressure on them.
Royal Purple Gear Oil Get 3 qts of 75-90 gear oil. Royal Purple is always a favorite.
FIll with Oil

Take out the fill bolt and pump in your fluid. We took off the factory fill screw on the other side of the pumpkin. The Drake fill hole sits a little too high, and they recommend using your factory fill hole for correct levels. You do not want to over-fill the rear end.

Using the factory fill hole the gear oil started to come out around 2.8 quarts. Be sure to have your catch pan in place.

Drake rear end cover panhard bar clearence The Drake rear end cover panhard bar clearance is a bit less than factory but it still does not touch. This is an aftermarket mustang panhard bar. 
Drake Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover

Enjoy your new rear end cover (girdle). It has great looks and more piece of mind when launching your car very hard.

I happened to have my rear sway bar off that is why you do not see it and the panhard bar. Attach your panhard bar back on and your ready to go.