The Top Offseason Maintenance Tips For Your Rearend Housing

Rearend, camaro, axle

Whether it will be a long winter’s nap for your race car or if you’re working on updates for the upcoming season, this downtime is an opportunity to place your rearend differential assembly under scrutiny.

The last pass of the season had us already planning the maintenance schedule on our Camaro for the next year. With our 800 horsepower combination, our 12-bolt rearend maintenance program will consist of a fluid inspection during mid-season and a full inspection of internals every winter.

We got recommendations from two experts: Jeff Anderson, Marketing Director with Moser Engineering, and J.C. Cascio, Director of Business Development at Strange Engineering, each of whom provided expert insight into checking over and preparing our rearend housing for another season of drag strip hits.

Maintenance Frequency

With the snow flying but a new season nearing, it’s time for a thorough “trust but verify” session inside our Camaro’s rearend. How often you examine your differential can vary with your horsepower versus weight ratio. We decided to perform a mid-season oil check and then, during the off-season, dig into inspecting all of the components and ensuring measurements and setup tolerances are proper.

With many varying levels of power output in drag racing, checking out the rearend anywhere from weekly, monthly, or once or twice a season is essentially up to you and your performance level.

Rearend, camaro, axle

Our new-to-us Camaro contains a GM 12-bolt truck rearend with top-shelf internals. A light inspection when purchased verified components, and we checked the gear oil for any problematic signs. Now, during the off-season, we’re going through the differential with a magnifying glass.

Too High Or Low Gear Oil Levels Can Cause Damage

One practice we learned long ago was to check the gear oil level before draining. Your checkup must be more diligent if the rearend is under- or over-filled. Unlike your engine or transmission, your rearend lubricant is not pressurized. An under-filled gear oil level may prevent oil from reaching critical lubrication points. Alternatively, overfilling can cause a “churning” effect, where aeration lessens the lubricating properties.

“Most drain plugs use a magnet to collect any shavings floating around in the rearend,” Cascio explains. “A quick look and the magnet can be your first alert if something bad happens in the rearend. Some people will drain the oil through a strainer to see if any debris is present. If…

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