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.
|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.|
|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.|
|Close up of the differential bearing cap screws.|
|Here is a picture of the Panhard Bar and its distance to the Factory Ford 8.8 Rear End Cover.|
|Start by removing the 10 bolts from the factory rear end cover.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Make sure the cap screws are backed off. And then you can put the supplied bolts in.|
|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.|
|Get 3 qts of 75-90 gear oil. Royal Purple is always a favorite.|
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.
|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.|
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.