How to Paint a Differential Cover

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A differential is the large metal piece in the center of a vehicle's rear axle. The differential transfers the power from the engine to the rear wheels, allowing the rear wheels to push the vehicle. The differential cover is the metal plate on the rear of the differential. The differential cover is secured to the rear of the differential by two to four bolts, depending on the vehicle. Once the differential is painted, the differential securing bolts must be torqued to the specifications for that vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • Ratchet set
  • Degreaser
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Retaining screws
  • Heat-resistant auto paint
  • Raise the rear end of the vehicle, using the jack, and rest the rear end on the two jack stands. Remove the securing bolts from the differential plate with a ratchet and pull the plate off the axle.

  • Clean the differential plate with the degreaser, water and soap. Make sure that the plate is free of all debris. Dry the plate completely and allow the plate to air-dry for two hours.

  • Insert the retaining screws into the mounting holes on the differential plate to stop the paint from clogging the holes, using a ratchet. Spray on four coats of the heat-resistant auto paint to the plate. Allow the paint to dry for 1 1/2 hours between each coat of paint.

  • Remove the screws from the differential plate. Replace the plate to the rear of the differential and torque to securing bolts to the specifications for the vehicle. Use the jack to help remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle's rear end to the ground.

References

  • "Automotive Paint Handbook: Paint Technology for Auto Enthusiasts and Body Shop Professionals;" John Pfanstiehl; 1998
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