Dana 30 Differential Guard

by Wayne Swanson


A good friend of mine that does race car chassis's got a hold of Dana 30 cover and access to a water-jet machine and built me a birthday present. This thing is serious overkill. The ring and the front are made from 1/2-inch steel, while the side supports are 3/8. Anything I hit hard enough to bend this thing is going to cause other serious problems, a broken ring gear would be the least of my worries.
My Jeep has been through Paragon five times and one trip to the George Washington National Forest and has been banged around a bit. After the last outing, I noticed some scrapes on the cover and figured now would be a good time to install this pinion guard.


The cover fit pretty good right off the bat, all the holes lined up perfectly. Reminds me of that Hannibal Lector mask, scary.


There is plenty of room to the cover and the tie rod. This photo was taken with the wheels turned to the lock.


I had decided that I would countersink the bolts into the ring so they wouldn’t stick out an extra 1/2-inch. Unfortunately none of the local hardware stores had what I needed. Eventually I found a store with 5/16 flat head bolts, but they only had two that were an inch long. I took those and eight that were an inch and a half, what are you going to do?


The longer bolts almost worked, but they were around .100 too long.


About two minutes with the Makita took care of that.


Going back to the cover, I wanted to break that inside edge so the guard would fit flat and not cut into the cover.


I was expecting quite a chore but in less than five minutes the cover looked like this.


The front of the guard was made from a piece of scrap from another job he was running. It had this little starter hole in it that I welded closed.


Then I got the drill press going and countersunk the ten mounting holes.


After that I decided to break all the edges as I’m sure my hands would be the ones to get cut on them.


A quick and dirty rattle can job later and I was finished. I guess I should’ve let the paint dry first, nice palm print huh?


This is my only concern but with the countersunk bolts the ring is about the same distance out as the bolt heads were. If it does hit the track bar, I’ll take it down and clearance it a bit.


Done for today. I think I’ll have a friend for dinner.



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