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OK to keep 4 wheel hubs locked in?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by tiestick, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. tiestick

    tiestick Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I have a 2006 Ford F350 dump 4X4, with a Western V-plow, I leave the hubs locked in 4X4 mode all winter, I just manually shift the lever in 4w high, low or 2 wheel high. Am I hurting the hubs, or killing the gas mileage? The truck runs great, I have no complaints. I do shift into 4 wheel drive a few times a week. Let me know. Mike
  2. Hmebuildr

    Hmebuildr Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    It will not hurt it. I keep mine unlocked but once a month lock them and drive around to keep the front end lubed
  3. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    By leaving the hubs locked you are causing some wear on the front drive train because all of it is turning while you drive, even in 2wd. This added friction of turning the front axles, gears, etc. will cost something in a mpg penalty, exactly how much I do not know, I would guess 1-2mpg. I do not believe the wear incurred will cause anything to wear out, but there will be more wear than if you left the hubs unlocked. Because with the hubs unlocked none of the front drive train turns while driving in 2wd. A lot of people myself included leave the hubs locked for extended periods of time if they are going in and out of 4wd often. But when I don't need 4wd for a while I will go and unlock them.
  4. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Nothing wrong at all with running them locked in. It can actually be a benefit as it keeps the components in the front drive train from rusting/corroding and causing problems from lack of use, like hub dials that won't turn,U-joints that wont turn and seal's that dry out. Leave them locked as much as you want.:)
  5. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    i thought all the newer trucks had the "automatic" and "lock" function, but no "free" position like the old ones did...maybe thats only the 250's, doesn't make a lot of sense to me
  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Well yes and no...the hubs on the Super dutys are a little different in that they can be manually "locked" in the lock position and if they're in the "auto" position, they'll lock automatically if you pull the T-case into 4WD and they'll also unlock when placed back into 2WD. They use a pulse vacuum arrangement to lock and unlock the hubs when they're in the "auto" position.
  7. nevrnf

    nevrnf Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Superdutys equipped with a floor shift t-case do not have vacuume actuated hubs. They are full manual only. Look ate the other manufacturers. Do any of them have hubs????
  8. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Yes the manual shift's use the manual hubs but in regards to dirt diggers question I was referring to the electric SOF setup and how the hubs for that system are sort of a "hybrid" old style manual, AND auto locking hub.:)
  9. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Ford's auto locking hubs are junk. They lose vacuum and will stop auto locking if not regularily greased and even then will stop working. That's why they have the "lock" feature.