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250 auto hubs??

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Drottlawn, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. Drottlawn

    Drottlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I just got a 99 f250 that has locking hubs on the front. My question is when they are in the auto setting, are they supposed to lock the wheels when my rearend starts to slip. They certainly work when I lock them in the lock setting, but do not in the auto setting. I was wondering if this is normal or are they supposed to lock in auto.

    MOW ME OVER Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Those auto hubs are for occasional use in 4x4 high mode. The way that your 4x4 t case works is that it will not switch into 4x4 mode when the rear tires slip.
    But you can switch into 4x4 high or low without going out and manually locking them. When I am plowing and need to use 4x4 high for a while I will manually lock them in.

    The bad thing about these hubs is that they tend to break inside, there is lots of plastic in them. When mine eventually break and start clicking I will put a set of Ford manual locking hubs on the front end. But the auto hubs are convenient when you do need 4x4 for a short period. That is all I use the auto feature for.

    So the answer to your question is the hubs will only lock in the auto position when you switch into 4x4 mode.
  3. Drottlawn

    Drottlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    thanks for your answer. I think my hubs are shot in the auto setting because I put it in 4x4 and punch the gas. The front driveshaft turns, back tires spin, but the hubs don't lock the front. Are they easy to rebuild?

    MOW ME OVER Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Yes if i'm not mistaken there is just a big C clip that you take the tension off of and slide the clip out then the hub just pulls out.

    You might want to look at the full manual locking hubs if you dont mind getting out and turning them when you need to use 4X4. If not then just put a new set of auto locking hubs back on.

    Good luck
  5. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Not sure what year you have but on mine, the hubs are un-serviceable. The auto feature is activated by vacuum. There are large o-rings on the back of the hubs that create a seal for the vacuum. If these are damaged in any way, the auto won't work.
  6. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    The Boss is right about the vacuum operated part. Just had mine apart and you should also check the vacuum hoses and fittings. They can get junked up and not allow the hubs to do their jobs. The seals cost me about $35 per side. Fittings and hoses were reasonable. It is a convienient feature when you can't jump out and lock them in, but I asked the dealer and they suggested leaving them locked in whenever you may be using it in 4x4 for any amount of time. For heavy commercial use, this would be the ticket. I just lock mine in before I leave the shop, and flip the switch when needed although I go about 80% of the time in 2 wheel drive. With a pallet of salt in the back, it has to be a nasty snow or steep incline to NEED 4x4. Good luck with the hubs.
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    If your plowing snow all the time I would look in to getting manual locking hubs. The Auto's just do not hold up. Shifting into forward and reverse wears them out and they tend to slow down engaging.
  8. Drottlawn

    Drottlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Thanks for all of the advise. I do manually lock them if I am plowing the heavy stuff, but I mostly use two wheel drive. I just want the feature of auto in case I get stuck in 2 wheel and need to get out of a jam. I will look into rebuilding them.
    Do you guys think that it is a bad idea to keep them locked running from job to job? I did it one time in a heavy snow. I know it can't be great, but I was just wondering if anyone else ever did this?
    Thanks Again Everyone! :waving: :waving:
  9. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Leaving the hubs locked will not hurt anything,some guys leave them locked all winter long.
  10. Drottlawn

    Drottlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Thanks! :waving:
    I will do that until I get a chance to figure out what is going on. :confused: I removed the hubs, which was very easy, and inspected them. They seem to be functioning fine. So I quess it is a problem with the vacuum part. I do not think that it is sucking at all. Any easy way to test to see if it operating the vacuum correctly?
  11. infineon954

    infineon954 Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    With my 02' SD. If you leave the hubs in LOCK position all the time even when I'm not in 4WD. I hear a clunking noise from the front end wire turning all the way lock to lock.