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No Lockout Hubs

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Brookside, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. Brookside

    Brookside Member
    Messages: 55

    I feel like I've come full circle in the lockout hub department. Our first plow truck was a used '68 Chevy, and the first thing I did, after mounting a plow, was to put Warn hubs on, to save wear and tear on the front end in the summer. Our second truck was an '86 Chevy that had the automatic hubs that everybody told me wouldn't hold up for plowing, but served us well for years. Next came a '98 Chevy that has an unlocking mechanism in the front axle. Now here's the rub: When we bought our '04 Dodge 2500, I assumed it had a similar unlocking system, 'till I happened to have it jacked up and spun the front wheels. I was surprised to see everything turning, back to the transfer case. Out of curiosity, I checked a friend's '04 Ford F150, and it was the same - everything turns.
    So now I wonder how many other four wheel drive trucks are made this way. It's a shame to have all that stuff connected when the truck is in 2WD, which is most of the time. Seems like a lot of unneccesary wear, plus less gas mileage. I don't know if it's even possible to get manual lockout hubs for these newer vehicles.
    I'd be curious to hear anybody else's thoghts on this.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,304

    you can buy a kit to convert the axles to manual hubs.but its a little pricey

  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Dodges have had CAD systems from 1994 up. They do have center disconnect, but spinning a wheel CAN cause the whole thing to rotate depending on the wheel and depending on it BOTH front wheels are off the ground.

    Ford still offers hubs as an option, DC does not. There are aftermarket options for making Dodges use hubs,but they're expensive. The cheapest is the kit mentioned above which uses Ford designed Dana parts to replace everything from the ball joints out. (not sure if that's even available for that new a truck tho.)
  4. Brookside

    Brookside Member
    Messages: 55

  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Center Axle Disconnect. When you engage the transfer case to 4wd it closes a vacuum switch which pulls a vacuum motor to slide a slip collar over the front axle (in that bulge section on the passangers side o the differential) locking the axle halfs. The wheels are always connected to the axle shafts, the drivers goes to the diff, the passanger side splits half way. When in 2wd normal driving the tcase is in 2wd and doesn;t turn from the engine, the wheels rotate the axles, the passanger side rotates up to the split in the shaft, the drivers rotates the diff.

    If there is alot of friction the driveshaft MAY turn, but it's not being driven by the engine. There is less economy and more friction in this system but no locking hubs.
    A trail fix for a bad vacuum motor is to manually move the collar in the axle and move it's shift fork to hold it locked (mine is that way right now) until you can get it properly fixed it will give you 4wd when you engage the tcase and will act like locked hubs the rest of the time.

    I have not heard of a Dodge truck with full time 4wd since the 80's.
    GM tried automatic hubs, but they were problematic at best so Ford does normal locking hubs and GM and DC use CAD.

    Start the engine and make sure the truck is in 2wd. Shut the engine off and jack up 1 front wheel. If you can turn it with your hand the axle is disengaged (in 2wd- unlocked). lower the wheel, start the truck, put it in 4wd and drive it forward a few feet to let the axle angage then shut it off IN 4WD. Again jack the wheel and try to turn the wheel by hand, it should NOT turn showing the axle is locked and the tcase it locked.
    If it does turn (is not locking) the vacuum motor or the vacuum switch are the culprit (switch cheap, motor bucu bucks). If it does not unlock pull the motor to look for a field repair.
  6. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I don't think I have vacuum operated 4x4 parts in my truck. I have manual shifted transfer case and I don't see any vacuum lines running to my front axle or t-case. (maybe I just have not noticed one) My front drive shaft will spin no matter which front wheel I spin. I have an '04 Ram diesel.
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Get under the front of the truck, look at the back of the front axle, on the passanger side of the truck you should see a thing on the axle, a cad plated (gold color) disc on a bump with a tin shield below it and 2 wires/hoses coming off the disc. Another wire will be coming off the axle in a slightly different place.

    That's the CAD system and the disc is the vacuum motor.

    Did you try the test I described- both for checking engaged and disngaged?

    I checked around and have found nothing on dodge offering a full time 4x4 since the 70's. Still nothing on the 06/07's.
  8. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    A pinched or kinked vacuum line in the vacuum disconnect system can cause sluggish/delayed or non shifting into and out of gear. Found that out the hard way. The breather for the system was kinked just behind the engine on an 85. It would take too long to build up enough vacuum to function properly. It wound up causing the fork to get bent during connection and I had to replace the motor and fork. I don't know how the newer trucks are but the lines are almost undetectible as going to the transfer case on mine from a quick glance because they mount on the top of the T-case out of site. Screwy system to diagnose but pretty sweet when all works well.