Off road driving can put a lot of stress on your vehicle, often where you wouldn’t expect it. Think about your transmission for example. It’s doing a lot of work and it gets hot in there. That makes the air inside your differential housings expand, and it looks for a way out. There’s a vent in the diff to let it escape, but what if you’ve been ploughing through the mud and it’s got blocked? What usually happens then is the air gets forced out through the weakest seals in the system. It tends to take some of the oil with it, which is a Bad Thing. Or say you drive into water. Your engine pulls you through, but meanwhile the diffs have been rapidly cooled down and the pressure inside drops. Usually air gets drawn in the vent to equalise the pressure but what if it’s blocked? Then water will get sucked in through the seals and wheel bearings, and you really don’t want that to happen. In deeper water the vent itself might even be submerged.
To avoid these problems you need a diff breather kit that moves the vents to a higher, and safer, location. The best solution is to install new vents under the bonnet, usually on the firewall, and connect them to the existing ones with hoses. That puts them well above the reach of anything that might block them and prevents them getting flooded. If you’re a serious off-road driver this is definitely something you want to do.
At Tough Toys we’ve looked at a lot of diff breather kits and the best we’ve found are from BRC. Made in Australia, these are outstanding quality and easy to install. They’re available in double, quad and compact models, all using the same basic design, and it’s a design we really like. Based around nicely machined alloy manifolds they all come with everything you need to get them fitted. The compact kit can also be fitted externally, so if you do a lot of deep wading you can get your diff vents up around the same height as your snorkel – the roll bar is a favourite place to mount it.
BRC are great at finding clever solutions then turning them into high quality parts. If you’re serious about off-road touring, and want to get your vehicle capable of driving through anything, then one of their kits is a must-have accessory.
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