1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Ford Hub Locks?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by plowman350, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Well, as I sit at the computer, I'm having a new Boss plow put on my f350 right now. So here's my question for all of ya Ford fans.

    What do you do with the front hubs when plowing? I've never plowed with the hub locks before, and not sure what they're even for.

    I have the electronic shift from 2Hi to 4x4 on my dash. I'll be plowing in 2wd most of the time, but when do you use the hubs on "lock" instead of "auto."

    Also, if I switched to 4x4, aren't the front wheels automatically locked and engaged anyways?

    I'm probably asking "beginner" questions here, but I'll admit, I'm a beginner with these locking hubs!.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    the locking hubs do just that lock the hubs so the 4x4 works. with the auto hubs you wont have as strong a engagment. it is to just get you out of a tight spot without having to get out of the truck. for plowing i would lock your hubs, even if you are plowing in 2 wheel drive then when you need to engage 4x4 you will habve the stronger conection.
  3. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    That is exactly right. Always plow with your hubs locked, even if in two wheel drive. Sometimes if they are in the auto position the wheel has to turn 1/4 to 1/2 revolution before they engage. If you are in tight position you may not have a 1/4 turn to spare. :waving:
  4. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Some auto hubs tend to unlock and lock everytime you change direction thus causing undue ware. Locking your hubs manually before plowing means you don't have to get out in the cold, miserable, wet, dark, night to lock them to get unstuck.
  5. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Locked hubs keep you out of trouble. ( stuck )

    Unlocked hubs get you into trouble. ( Stuck )

    Allways lock the hubs even in 2wd. As soon as the truck begins to bog shift into 4wd.

    FSUPERDUTY Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Read your manual! leave your hubs in auto and use the system like the book says.these hubs are vacume operated if the vacume supply fails get out and twist the hubs to keep going.Were do you guys come up with stuff?
  7. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    we come up with this stuff becuase if you know anything about hubs you know there strongest when manually locked.
  8. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    I come up with it from experience. Had 3 F350's with auto locking hubs and had to have them replaced on 2 of the trucks twice in the first year and the 3rd truck only ounce. These were new trucks and were covered under warranty but that did not cover downtime so I have sense went to full manual hubs and never had a problem sense.
    also my 1978 F250 has manual hubs and never been apart and it has plowed sense new.
  9. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Dwan, I'm with you. I have had several superdutys and some with manual hubs & some with autos. Sure is a pain when you have to get some one to come pull you out when you 4X4 won't engage because your truck won't move an inch. Keep mine locked for safety.
  10. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125


    Thanks for all the advice. Looks like I'll be keeping them locked this year.
  11. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    wise move grasshopper. :D
  12. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    Where do we come up with this stuff?? Maybe it is the years of combined plowing experience in conjunction with hundreds of SD owners. Don't come off with this attitude of yours acting as if the owners manual is the bible for operating a SD. In many peoples opinion here at PlowSite, the auto hubs are for the less experienced 4 wheel drive enthusiast. SOmeone that uses 4wd on rare occasions who diesn't want to get out of their vehicle to lock the hubs. If you are counting on 4wd for extended periods of time and don't want to take any chances, lock them in.

    In a quote from the latest 2005 SD sales book...

    "Tough, Tried And True
    Automatic/Manual Locking Hubs - In addition to our available Electronic Shift-On-The-Fly (ESOF) system, Ford gives you the reassurance of a mechanical connection with manual locking hubs to help maintain 4x4 capability under rugged, off-road conditions. You may not need them often, but when they get you out of a tight spot, you'll be glad Ford provides them on your Super Duty."
  13. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 604

    Lock in those hubs at first snow and unlock when its time for summer fun. :)
  14. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Right Mark. Keeping them locked saved my hide one night crossing an icy bridge, even though the roads were dry. Mid slide I was able to reach down and pull it into 4 and drive out of it instead of slamming into the side of the bridge or shooting down the embankment.
  15. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    good way to ruin the truck mark. dont keep them locked all winter only when needed. less wear and tear better fuel milage.
  16. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    i have f150 with manual locking hubs... so is this right.... i can drive in 2wd with them locked and it will be okay? it wont mess anything up? then when i want 4wd i just press the button so i dont have to get out and lock them?

    also, is it bad to drive with them locked on dry pavement? what about locked + 4wd on dry pavement?
  17. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Locked on dry pavement- 2wd with front posi- traction-no

    Locked on dry pavement - 2wd without posi at low speeds- OK

    Locked - posi. or not 4wd on dry pavement - never
  18. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    bolts is right but you dont want to leave locked all the time. if you feel you will need them lock the hubs, drive in 2 wheel drive, when needed engage 4x4. but if you know you are not going to need dont keep them locked. not good for it to allways be locked.
  19. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Yes. I should have included that.
  20. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    yes you should have ;)