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How I Installed the Ford Racing Axle Girdle

Discussion in 'How-To' started by 6-Speed, Aug 10, 2009.

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  1. 6-Speed

    6-Speed Member Established Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Here's how I Installed Ford Racing M-4033-G2 Axle Girdle on my 2007 GT500. I attempted to install this several months ago, but found the panhard bar was in the way. I was planning on installing an adjustable panhard bar when it was time to install lowering springs so I just put off the Girdle installation until the new bar was going in. I have read that isn't necessary to remove the panhard bar prior to installing the Axle Girdle, but I wasn't smart enough to figure it out; it sure made the installation easier though.

    IMG_3263.jpg IMG_3259.jpg

    Here's the Ford Racing link to the product:

    Ford Racing Performance Parts [M-4033-G2]

    Here are the tools & supplies I used for the installation:
    1. 3/8” ratchet wrench with extensions and a 13mm socket
    2. 1/2" 22mm standard 12 pt socket (for the jam nuts)
    3. 3/8” to 1/2" ratchet wrench adapter (fits the 22mm 1/2" socket to the 3/8” torque wrench)
    4. Allen sockets: 1/4", 3/8”
    5. 3/8" Torque wrench – I used two; one calibrated in lb-in and another in lb-ft.
    6. Three quarts Royal Purple Max Gear synthetic 75W-140 gear oil
    7. Lube Locker 8.8 gasket (highly recommended) - P/N LLR-F880
    8. Yellow Teflon tape (for natural gas applications)
    9. Suction gun

    Access to the differential was unobstructed with the panhard bar out of the way. First I removed the cover bolts with a 13mm socket and drained the oil, which I had to reuse about half of; more on this later. I didn’t have to scrape off the form-a-gasket this time because I did it last time – what a pain. I am sold on the Lube Locker gasket – no leaks, no mess, no scraping, no waiting.

    Drain.jpg cover_off1.jpg

    I prepared the Axle Girdle (cover) by cleaning the inside with brake cleaner and installing the drain and fill plugs wrapped in a layer of yellow Teflon tape. The 3/8" Allen wrench socket is for securing the fill hole plug. Then I loosened the jam nuts for each load bolt and backed them out so they won’t contact the bearing caps when installing the cover.

    I previously read that the bolts that come with the Axle Girdle are prone to rusting so I purchased these Chrome plated Grade 8 bolts – 5/16-18 TPI x 1-1/4”. I reused the washers that came with the cover. The easiest way I found to install the gasket is to place it against the cover and insert two bolts to hold it in alignment. Then place the cover on the differential and start the screws finger tight. Then install the remaining bolts and tighten moderately with a 1/4" Allen socket.

    hardware.jpg cover_on1-1.jpg

    I torqued the bolts in the pattern recommended by Lube Locker, first to 15 lb-ft and finally to 25 lb-ft. This photo shows the recommended pattern.


    With the jam nuts backed out, I tightened the load bolts with a 1/4" Allen socket until they made contact with the bearing caps. The recommended torque on the load bolts is 5 to 10 lb-ft (equivalent to 60 to 120 lb-inch). I did not have a torque wrench rated within this torque range in pound-foot so I used one calibrated in lb-in. I torqued the load bolts to 70 lb-in, towards the low end of the range, to allow for additional applied torque when the jam nuts are secured. Again this is in pound-inch and NOT pound-foot.


    Then I tightened the jam nuts and torqued them to 25 lb-ft using the 22mm 1/2” socket with the 3/8” to 1/2” adapter.

    Next I removed the fill hole plug on the front of the differential (driver’s side) with a 3/8” ratchet extension. I did not use the cover’s fill hole which is positioned higher than the factory fill hole.

    I used a suction gun and filled the differential with two quarts of gear oil, but that was not enough – no fluid was running out. I only had two quarts of gear oil so I re-used about a half of what I drained out before oil started running out the fill hole. I decided this was okay since it was only a few months old and was the same weight and brand. Finally I wrapped Teflon tape on the plug, secured it in the fill hole and torqued it to 20 lb-ft.

    With the new cover the oil capacity is increased significantly. This extra capacity IMO should help out with removing heat from the differential. Royal Purple Max Gear already contains friction modifiers in its formulation; a separate bottle is not required. However, a bottle of friction modifier is required per the owner’s manual if using another type of oil.

    With the Axle Girdle, you get support for the bearing caps, extra oil capacity and it looks great. By the way, there's no need to use a panhar bar relocation bracket with the M-4033-G2, even with the beefier BMR panhard bar.

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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