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Manual Hubs. . .

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by BGehl, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    So i am a little embarrassed to ask what i am sure is a very basic question. But after multiple searches on this site and the web, i still can't come up with an answer.

    I have manual hubs on my 99 Ford 250 Superduty. I plow in 4WD most of the time but sometimes want to switch to 2WD in between drives. Do i have to switch the hubs or can i leave them locked? Is there danger of damaging the truck if i have the hubs locked, but in 2WD?
     
  2. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    You can leave them locked

    I leave mine locked all winter

    you will have increased front u-joint wear is all
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  3. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    Thanks a lot.
     
  4. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    Yep, I leave mine manually locked and just switch between 2wd and 4x4 when needed.
     
  5. BGehl

    BGehl Member
    Messages: 89

    Why does anyone bother to unlock them at all?
     
  6. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    You will have a slight mpg penalty by leaving them locked in 2wd. So in the summer most of us unlock them and in winter leave them locked. I personally didn't like the vacuum hubs so I installed Warn hubs.
     
  7. MAR4CARS

    MAR4CARS Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Leave em locked all winter .. last thing you need to do is unlock them and then have them fail when you go to relock them right when you need them ... You wont hurt anything by being in 2wd and having hubs locked.
     
  8. Buckin' Around

    Buckin' Around Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    most people will unlock them for better mileage, when your hubs are locked in, your spinning both axle shafts, your ring and pinion, (differential), front drive shaft, and the chain in the transfer case, this wont cause any damage, it may cause the u-joints to wear out quicker, but in the other hand, if you dont lock them in at all for a long time, the u-joints could sieze up, i love having the option of being able to lock and unlock your front axle, works great if you have bad u-joints, just unlock the hubs and you can put them off for a while, a little Procrastination never hurt anything, wear as the dodge's spin all the time, so if your u-joint wears out you'd better change it quickly before it damages your axles, just my 2 cents
     
  9. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    why not just lock the vaccum hubs then?:confused:
     
  10. Niteman9

    Niteman9 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    I agree if the vacuum fails you can still lock them manually. I don't understand replacing with aftermarket unless they totally fail. Then I could understand the Warn replacement's. They are a lot cheaper then the OE replacements.

    My truck has 190,000 miles and the auto hubs still work. I just replaced the front ball joints and replaced the seal on the axle for the hubs but they were working when I pulled it apart,

    On my old dodge the Front Axle Disconnect is not working and stuck in the locked position so when I switch to 2WD the front axles and drive shaft still turn. Also the 4WD indicator is always on, I may get around to fixing this next spring but who know as all this truck is used for is plowing.
     
  11. padec21

    padec21 Member
    from ct
    Messages: 63

    my f250 has the factory hubs. they say auto and lock. whats the difference.
     
  12. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Lock = locked

    Auto = they lock ( if the are working ) by using vacuum when you turn the dash switch to four wheel drive
     
  13. padec21

    padec21 Member
    from ct
    Messages: 63

    sorry to hi-jack the thread. but if they are in the lock mode do you still use the switch on the dash? i am assuming in lock mode the axles still turn but no power to them. in auto mode the axles dont turn until the switch on dash is used when they are powered.
    is this correct?
     
  14. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,862

    I will never ever ever own another set of auto(vacum) hubs again. They suck. They fail all the time and always when you need them the most. I always replace those junk hubs with manual warn hubs. Just my 2 cents.
     
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    yes

    the switch on the dash will engage the transfer case
     
  16. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    With the hubs locked you can tell the difference when turning in a lot you still don't seen to get a tight turn with them locked.
     
  17. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,862

    Exactly. You will have to get out and spin the dial to lock or auto then push the 4x4 button or pull the 4x4 shifter to be in 4 wheel. The hubs just lock the axle shafts in and make all the parts move in sync. But you still have to put the transfer case into 4 wheel after the hubs are locked.
     
  18. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    but why spend the money to replace them if you can just manuaully lock them
     
  19. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    like said u will not hurt them by leaving them locked in the winter. you will put more wear on them buy that is obvious. look at chevy and dodge theirs are locked all the time. ppl put manual hubs on dodges only to reduce drag and improve efficency/mpg
     
  20. firelwn82

    firelwn82 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,862

    I choose to replace them because I believe they are stronger and last longer than the air lock garbage that comes on vehicles now a days. Just my opinion and what I choose to do is all.