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I'm interested in hearing from people who have a stronger rear diff cover, skid, etc for their m226. What do you have, and how has it been for you?

Here are the choices I've found so far (am I missing any?)

Brand: 4x4 Parts
Function: Skid
Material: Steel (3/16")
Price: $135
Notes:
Link: https://www.4x4parts.com/i-18916394-frontier-rear-differential-skid-plate.html

Brand: 4x4 Parts
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $145
Notes: If your vehicle has an electronic locker some modifications may be necessary
Link: https://www.4x4parts.com/i-18981177-nissan-m226-differential-cover.html

Brand: Shrockworks
Function: Shield
Material: Steel
Price: $119
Notes: Doesn't require removal of stock cover
Link: https://www.shrockworks.com/Differential-Cover-Diff-Cover-Diff-Protection-Skid-05+-Xterra-&-Frontier-pr-16205.html

Brand: Mag Hytech
Function: Cover
Material:
Price: $260
Notes: Includes gasket, bolt kit, drain plug, dip stick. “We have been told this cover also fits: Frontier... with M226 differentials”
Link: https://mag-hytec.com/product/mt-44/

Brand: PRG
Function: Cover
Material: Cast aluminum
Price: $169
Notes: 1” thick lower lip “that will not distort or bend like steel covers”
Link: https://www.prgproducts.com/product-page/226-diff-cover

Brand: ARB
Function: Cover
Material: Cast iron
Price: $196
Notes:
Link: https://www.prgproducts.com/product-page/nissan-m226-diff-cover

Brand: Offroad Gorilla/Ruffstuff
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $140
Notes: Requires longer bolts. Bolts and gasket not included. Requires painting.
Link: m226 High Fill Differential Cover, Nissan Titan, Frontier, Xterra ? OffroadGorilla.com

Brand: Ballistic Fabrication
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $160
Notes:
Link: https://www.ballisticfabrication.com/products/nissan-m226-differential-cover

Brand: Rocky Road
Function: Skid
Material: Steel
Price: $139
Notes:
Link: https://www.rocky-road.com/titandiffguard.html
 

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I have the ARB cover. It survived the Rubicon. Enough said.

I also like how easy it is to fill the diff with this cover.

I ran a Shrock cover in the past. I discovered the same thing a lot of others have...you actually DO have to remove the stock cover to install it or there’s a good chance it will leak.
 

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Ballistic! The coolest looking one.
I still need to paint and install it but I like a welded cover over a cast cover.
 

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I'm interested in hearing from people who have a stronger rear diff cover, skid, etc for their m226. What do you have, and how has it been for you?

Here are the choices I've found so far (am I missing any?)

Brand: 4x4 Parts
Function: Skid
Material: Steel (3/16")
Price: $135
Notes:
Link: https://www.4x4parts.com/i-18916394-frontier-rear-differential-skid-plate.html

Brand: 4x4 Parts
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $145
Notes: If your vehicle has an electronic locker some modifications may be necessary
Link: https://www.4x4parts.com/i-18981177-nissan-m226-differential-cover.html

Brand: Shrockworks
Function: Shield
Material: Steel
Price: $119
Notes: Doesn't require removal of stock cover
Link: https://www.shrockworks.com/Differential-Cover-Diff-Cover-Diff-Protection-Skid-05+-Xterra-&-Frontier-pr-16205.html

Brand: Mag Hytech
Function: Cover
Material:
Price: $260
Notes: Includes gasket, bolt kit, drain plug, dip stick. “We have been told this cover also fits: Frontier... with M226 differentials”
Link: https://mag-hytec.com/product/mt-44/

Brand: PRG
Function: Cover
Material: Cast aluminum
Price: $169
Notes: 1” thick lower lip “that will not distort or bend like steel covers”
Link: https://www.prgproducts.com/product-page/226-diff-cover

Brand: ARB
Function: Cover
Material: Cast iron
Price: $196
Notes:
Link: https://www.prgproducts.com/product-page/nissan-m226-diff-cover

Brand: Offroad Gorilla/Ruffstuff
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $140
Notes: Requires longer bolts. Bolts and gasket not included. Requires painting.
Link: m226 High Fill Differential Cover, Nissan Titan, Frontier, Xterra ? OffroadGorilla.com

Brand: Ballistic Fabrication
Function: Cover
Material: Steel (3/8")
Price: $160
Notes:
Link: https://www.ballisticfabrication.com/products/nissan-m226-differential-cover

Brand: Rocky Road
Function: Skid
Material: Steel
Price: $139
Notes:
Link: https://www.rocky-road.com/titandiffguard.html
I believe I'm going to go with the Rocky Road Outfitters plate because it projects forward and protects not only the cover itself but the full underside of the diff and the nose of the pinion shaft as well. I just checked stock w/ them and they sold out their remaining inventory pieces a few days ago, would be a few week lead-time.
 

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The Banks study mentions the oil flow within the differential is especially critical. That the factory covers are designed this way for a reason.
I never even thought about that and went to check the ARB.
Not perfect but not a bad match if the factory cover.
 

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Couple of reasons why I bought mine. On sale at PRG=cheap. I trust Greg and anything he sells. I live near the rubicon, half or so the the jeeps I see have this style cover. Aluminum dissipates heat well. Didn't want to reduce my clearance with a skid. Think the U bolt mounting of a skid is ugly and not well thought out. I don't hit my diff too much; so the plastering issue of the bottom lip is not a concern. Increased fluid capacity. Fill/drain and level check port. E-brake bracket took 10 min to make. Comes with tube of liquid gasket. and the #1 reason: It LOOKS THE BEST.

Here is PRG comparisions of the covers:
-weight...PRG is lightest, ARB heaviest, BTF and MHT in the middle
-Leak-proof...PRG, MHT, and ARB both have machined mating surfaces...no leaks welded cover, well..
-Capacity.....MHT is most, PRG second, BTF then ARB...this really is trivial as the extra capacity will get you and extra 30 sec before failure if there is ever an issue..but the ARB is less than stock.
-Cooling....Stock finned titan is best, then MHT, PRG, BTF, then ARB
-smash protection...ARB, PRG, BTF, MHT
-dragging over rocks protection....PRG and ARB tie, BTF and MHT can both bend and leak
-Price...BTF $130-ish, PRG $149, ARB $199, MHT $220-ish

 

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The Banks study mentions the oil flow within the differential is especially critical. That the factory covers are designed this way for a reason.
I never even thought about that and went to check the ARB.
Not perfect but not a bad match if the factory cover.
EXACTLY one of the reasons I went with the ARB cover.
 

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I took PRG's summary and assigned it some #s. Since it was out of 4, the best in each category gets a 4 worse a 1; made some adjustments for tie. Then I gave a weighting factor for some of the categories. I didn't give a hoot about weight or price, so gave that a 1. Things that were important a 2, and a 1.5 for a so so of importance. PRG is a clear winner. I am sure the summary found on PRG's web site was going to show this as a result. But you can make a decision matrix like this to help with the selection process.

 

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Another thing I liked about the ARB is that it actually added stiffness and strength through out the whole differential.
I should have said the main reason I went with the ARB.

.
 
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