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Your acorn nuts with integrated o-ring are top shelf.  But if you use a washer in front of the nut then there is still a potential for an oil leak.  Is there a washer with a seal that pairs with this?  I have used silicon to seal the nuts and washers on the back plate of the ZF.  It works well but it is messy and I used  about a half roll of paper towels in the process.

"I'm using minimal torque to hopefully prevent damage to the casing."

I am a little concerned about this.  The back cover is good quality steel and is intended to be torqued to spec.  I don't think you can damage the back cover by omitting the washers.  Six of the studs are long and go all the way through the rear aluminum case.  Under torquing could allow the back cover and/or rear case to shift or flex.

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Since we are talking about the rear cover I will once again share what I learned regarding installing the rear studs and acorn nuts.

when I received my ZF from the vendor who upgraded to 0.620 fifth gear, I could not get the ZF to stay in reverse.

called the vendor who basically was no help at all. I had checked for the back up switch interference and had completely removed all linkage and was shifting using vice grip pliers. I knew the problem was internal to the ZF

What I eventually learned from a couple of fellow owners is that there is one stud that can screw so far through the back cover as to actually block the sliding movement of the reverse gear. Sure enough, upon removal I could see the grinding marks on the back of the stud.

just getting this out into the collective memory again.

Larry

C3B8B4A7-A0A4-46D4-AE85-8AEDEE48666F

E34EABDB-B0B2-43FD-A588-BB3964C20CA0

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"I'm using minimal torque to hopefully prevent damage to the casing."

I am a little concerned about this.  The back cover is good quality steel and is intended to be torqued to spec.  I don't think you can damage the back cover by omitting the washers.  Six of the studs are long and go all the way through the rear aluminum case.  Under torquing could allow the back cover and/or rear case to shift or flex.

B56C72C2-12E0-4AAB-B5AC-E54C9CD5A0D2_1_201_a

Steve,

Thanks for the heads up. I'll re-evaluate this for the back cover.

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