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Superduty Automatic Hub Warning

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by RJC, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. For those of us that have the automatic hubs, be aware that there have been cases of the hub locks (on the front hubs) seizing up and not being able to turn manually on the trucks with the automatic hubs.

    This problem is due to the manual selector on the hubs never being used with the automatic 4x4. Should you ever need it in an emergency it will be at the very least "frustrating" to find them seized.

    Solution: As per my Ford dealer, at every oil change flip the manual locks a time or two. to keep them loose. Penetrating oil will help if they are sticky.

    At 8k miles one of mine was already hard to turn and needed some lube! Check them out, it surprised me.

    Why don't they tell us about these things?
  2. J&JProperty

    J&JProperty Member
    Messages: 50

    I'm not surprised, I had to have mine replaced at 43k on my 99 SD. According to the service manager (and me tearing the old ones apart) the gears in the hubs are plastic with small springs that retain postioning of the knob. Dirt and grime builds up causing the spring and plastic to seize. Keep them lightly lubed with a non-corrosive lubricant and you should be ok.
  3. Brickman

    Brickman Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    138K with no problems. I rarely turn them. MAYBE 4 times in all those miles.
  4. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    A few of my friends and I have given up on the hubs we just leave them locked for 6 months out of the year. The vacumn systems have long been torn off/filled with water and that is just getting to their cabin in the woods.

    Is it corrossion or dust. Dust we certainly have problems here in the West (Especially this year). But Corrossion, I never worry about. If your into classic cars/old trucks you should consider moving out here. It is unbelievable.

  5. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Auto hubs

    Just got done chucking mine in the trash can. 110K of road driving in all weather in all climates took the toll on them. Stuck and would not turn. Worked them over with a pair of BIG channel lock pliers to no avail. Pulled them out ( clip ring ) tossed them in the trash. Pulled out $230 for a set of WARN replacement hubs and in they went. Could of spent less on them but I put in alot of hubs for customers and have had the best luck with the premium grade hubs. ......... ... The gold color looks good with the aluminum mags too.


    from NJ
    Messages: 196

    Mine were wasted in under 30K miles... Replaced them with traditional manual locking hubs from warn ..
  7. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654


    I've had ex ford mechanics (went independant) call these junk. The vacuum system is going to fail usually sooner than later. Then like most have noted, the knobs won't turn.

    Does Ford still offer the strictly manual hubs?
  8. Yes, I have two 01 Superduties, one with the manual and one with the auto hubs.
  9. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    The auto hubs fail in two ways. The little white stripe in the knob is actuall a water stone to allow the vacume to draw the insides of the hub and allow it to release. Also the O-Ring aroud the outside gets dry and wont allow it to move.

    Manual hubs are Ford avail for replacement of all superdutys.

    If installing Warn or other aftermarket hubs make sure your inner shaft has the snap ring grove and you use it. This keeps the axle from flopping around and wasting the inner bearing.

  10. Team_Yamaha

    Team_Yamaha Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Here is my 2 cents worth. I had the problem on my 97 where the auto hubs broke when plowing. Backing up under power, up hill they started to unlock and lock agan. Made one hell of a noise. This was my first and last set of auto hubs. I replaced them with Superwinch manuals and then when I ordered both of my other trucks I made sure that they had manual hubs. And just Friday, one of my buddys has a 00 GMC 2500, he went to back up a hill with a trailer on loose gravel, and geuss what, NO 4WD!! The stupid vacumn line came off. I personally think that auto hubs and vac. systems like found on Chevy/GMC should be taked and shoved up the engerieers a__. Ok now that I got that out of my system I feel better....
  11. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Sorry no dice on the 00 GMC and vacume actuator. They switched to electric actuators in 94 or 95. He may have had a bad connection or bad actuator, but not a loose vacume line.
  12. Team_Yamaha

    Team_Yamaha Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Opps, sorry. He looked at it on Friday night and said that the actuator line got yanked out. I was assuming that they used the old vac system still. Thanks for correcting me. :)