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f-250 4x4 question

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Evan528, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Evan528

    Evan528 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 153

    I have a question im sure someone can help me with. I am a little bit confused on how to properly use the 4x4/hubs on the 01 f250 I just purcahsed. I have done searches and seem to read alot of contradictory advice.

    In order to put this truck in 4x4 do I first need to get out and turn the hubs to the lock position? Or will turning the electric dial to 4x4 automatically turn the hubs to the lock position for me?

    On the searches I did it seemed as if some people said to always put the hubs in "lock" if you anticipate needing 4x4. Other said the vacuum feature of the electric 4x4 will do it for you. This is probably a dumb question but the more I read the more im confused. I dont want to find myself stuck this winter! Thanks for the advice.

    On my 03 ram 3500 all you have to do is move the lever to 4x4 and your done!
     
  2. Ranger3148

    Ranger3148 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    Lot of Fords have the auto hubs. You can leave the hubs unlocked and switch the dial to 4x4 for those times you 'think' you should use 4x4. If you are plowing or need 4x4 for extended periods, then definitely lock the hubs in. When you rotate the dial to 4x4 a vacumn system actuates the front locks and an electric motor engages 4x4 in the transfer case. If you loose vacumn for some reason, none of it will work though--ask me how I know. If you have a diesel, you will know you lost your vacumn pump when the heating system goes to defrost only regardless of where you set the dial. Summary: when pushing snow, lock 'em in manually. Daily driving, you can unlock if you want. Hope this helps.Owner's manual may be best advice.
     
  3. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    are your hubs manual hubs? you first lock the hubs in then put the switch into 4/wd. I have warn lockout hubs on mine. so mine have a lock and free position. lock for 4/wd and free for 2/wd. if I put it into 4/wd in free mode the 4/wd wont work. the other hubs stock witht the truck are auto hubs. meaning the 4/wd will work still in auto mode. and manual hubs eliminate the vacuum lines.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  4. Evan528

    Evan528 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 153

    How do I know if they are manual hubs? The two positions on the hubs are "auto" and "locked".
     
  5. Evan528

    Evan528 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 153


    This is what I dont really understand. What is the difference between 4x4 with the hubs in the locked position and 4x4 without getting out and manually locking the hubs. Why is the "auto" position ok for when you need the 4x4 sparadically but not ok when you need it the entire time?
     
  6. Ranger3148

    Ranger3148 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    If you have the switch instead of an actual shift lever then they should be auto. My 2000 F-350 is all manual. My 05 F-250 Lariat is auto. Both have a locked and unlocked position on the hubs. The 2000 is labeled Free and Lock, the 05 is Auto and Lock. Not 100% sure but the difference is probably in the trim package of the truck where I believe newer Fords with Lariat or above are auto hubs. Either way, I lock both trucks in when needing 4x4 for extended periods.
     
  7. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    your 2000 probably has had the hubs changed manual hubs say lock and free. auto hubs are auto and lock i believe. My truck is electronic shift and has the manual hubs.
     
  8. Ranger3148

    Ranger3148 Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 3

    The 2000 F-350 is a manual only truck with a manual transfer case. It's a base level truck with only the snow plow option. I did buy it used though and someone may have put warns or something on it before I got it. It is only for snow, so I don't spend much time around it except for preventive maintenance. The 250 lariat is my daily driver. Auto hubs went out 2 months ago on it. Thanks to other forums and a Ford guru at work, figured out it was the vacumn pump. It was built 2 months before Ford switched to a newer, more reliable pump-just my luck.
     
  9. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    As long as the system is properly working you can leave them in the auto position and just use the switch inside the cab.


    If you have a vacuum leak going to the hub (as this is what engages the hubs) you'll need to turn them to the lock position.
     
  10. Evan528

    Evan528 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 153

    So I take it that the only reason they added the "lock" position on the hub was for backup if the vacuum system fails? Thanks
     
  11. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    Yep.

    Also, if you do get a vacuum leak on one of the hoses going to the hubs you'll notice that your heat will only come out the defrost no matter if you select floor, dash, etc..
     
  12. Lucky Star

    Lucky Star Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    You need to lock the hubs when using 4low but when using 4high just leave in the auto position
     
  13. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    if you think you will need 4X4, lock the hubs.
    do not trust the auto hub feature, because it WILL leave you stuck sooner or later.
    auto hubs and electric shift on the fly are two of the dumbest things ever invented.
    they were made for people that want the false sense of security that 4X4 provides, but are not intelligent enough to know how to properly use 4 wheel drive.

    the electric shift motors on the transfer case are very expensive to replace, and the auto hubs are vacuum controlled. so you do not know they do not work till you get stuck. everyone i know that has trucks with auto hubs has changed them out for warn manual hubs.
     
  14. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    i love my auto hubs i can shift back to 2 wheel for spreading salt and turn a lot sharper
     
  15. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    My hubs went to sheet on me, Gotta manual lock them all the time...
    Warns are on my wish list....
    back when i got the truck I had a Ford tech. tell me if I auto lock them...Leave them engaged until I'm done with it completely if its wet..... they vent from the outer hub where the turning dial is....If you lock and unlock a few times, it will get water in there and not lock when you need it...
     
  16. Evan528

    Evan528 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 153

    The truck is going in tomorrow to the mechanic to get the factory hubs swapped for warns! The right side currenty requires a pair of channel locks to turn them to the lock position/ the auto function wont work. I figured I better swap them out before they go completely and leave me stuck some where. This is really a stupid design on fords end. My ram 3500 has a manual lever to put the 4x4 in and no hubs to worry about turning. Seems as if ford just over complicated things for no reason.
     
  17. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    Yeah, but the Ram is always turning the front axle and front driveline.

    There are upgrade kits for the Dodges to swap to manual locking hubs...huge benefit to the lifted Dodges as they get better mpg, less wear on the front end components and depending on height less vibes since the front shaft isn't spinning any more.
     
  18. MOWBIZZ

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    No offense but that's just not true...my 04 F250 goes into 4WD LOW fine and dandy while in AUTO. You DO need to stop and put the trans in NEUTRAL when selecting 4WD LOW, however...
     
  19. Lucky Star

    Lucky Star Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    No offense taken just going by what the service guy told me when i bought my first F250 a couple years ago....now I am going to try out 4low in auto also..thanks
     
  20. Can-Boy

    Can-Boy Member
    Messages: 46

    We leave or hubs in the locked position all year long,unless we go on a hi-way trip some where.Does not seem to bother any thing.