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1998-2000 Ford Ranger Rugged Ridge (AVM) Locking Hubs

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Tired of your Pulse Vacuum Hubs not working? Here's an option from AVM.

AVM Manual Locking Hub Set For 1998 - Early 2000 Ford Rangers With Vacuum Actuated Hubs (Will Not Work With Live Axles)

The AVM Ford Ranger Locking Hubs are constructed of Military spec hardened nylon center dial that will not damage other parts in unlikely event of a failure. AVM is the actual Brazilian company that manufactures the manual locking hubs for Superwinch, therefore you can rest assured that you will get the top quality products.

  • Recognized unanimously as The Tough Hub by many thousand satisfied Ranger owners worldwide.

  • AVM Ford Ranger Manual Locking Huns feature a ultra reinforced nodular iron body.

  • Salt-spray tested epoxi enamel finish.

  • Die cast aluminum cap. Corrosion resistant glossy finish.

  • Internal components: Precision machined, heat treated.

  • Premium classic design and durability... full metal cap and body

  • Better fuel economy... because there's less drag on your engine

  • More miles from your Ford Rangers front tires... since the manual locking hubs rotate freely. Also allows you to steer more freely in turns

  • More comfortable ride... steering is lighter, and there is less tendency to shimmy; drivetrain noise and vibration is also reduced

  • Better 4WD... performance when the manual hubs are locked. Works in reverse and compression braking. No slippage or partial engagement / disengagement problems.

References Part Number AVM 470 AVM470

Update: AVM developed a Manual Locking Hub that allowed for positive engagement, of the 4 wheel drive system, eliminating the use of the pulse vacuum style hub. Rugged Ridge acquired the exclusive rights to this hub and is the only supplier to the aftermarket industry.

These hubs can be found at:

James Oaks Enterprises

Installation - From 4x4RangerGuy:

Are you tired of your Ranger's PVH (Pulse Vacuum Hublock) system failing you when you need it most? Wish you could swap on a set of manual locking hubs? AVM has heard your plea, and now offers manual locking hubs for 98-00 Ranger 4x4 trucks. Read on for information regarding this swap.

Note: These hublocks will NOT fit 2000+ Ranger 4x4s, due to Ford's decision to switch in July of 2000 to the use of the live axle setup found on Explorers.

Note: When reading this guide, the picture accompanying the step will be located above the step.

Note: I, nor TRS, is responsible for any damage or injury caused by this modification. This guide is based upon my experience with my truck.

Tools Needed:

  • 1-2 small flat head screwdrivers

  • Brake Cleaner, 5w20 Motor Oil (Optional)

Step 1: Jack up the front of the vehicle in a safe manner. Remove the center caps and remove wheel/tire. You should be looking at the original vacuum hubs.

Step 2: Remove the vacuum hublocks using whatever method works best for you as outlined in the Tech Library of TRS. I recommend constantly pulling on the hublock as you pry up on the retaining tabs using the flat head screwdrivers working in a circle until the tabs release the hublock.

Special Note:  If your hublocks are rusted badly and will not release, it is possible that the inner hub gear has corroded itself to the end of the axleshaft. If this is the case, you will need to be prepared for a different and frustrating repair. You will need to forcibly remove the hublock and possibly break and plastic housing, leaving the inner guts inside the wheel bearing hub assembly. If this happens, you will need a new wheel bearing assembly, along with a new snap ring and a knuckle seal. All are available through Ford. To get the rest of the hublock internals out, notch the outer lip of the wheel bearing hub assembly at 12 and 6 o'clock. Then, preferably with air tools, chisel out the hublock internals from the wheel bearing assembly. Replace the wheel bearing assembly, knuckle seal, and snap ring as outlined in other guides in the Tech Library of TRS. Continue to Step 3.

Step 3: With the hublock removed, spray brake cleaner in the wheel bearing hub assembly where the axleshaft passes through. Make sure to get out all major dirt and grime to ensure a cleaner reassembly. Remember, cleanliness is key with this 4WD system.

Step 4: Remove the old o-ring and install the new one supplied with your AVM hubs.

Step 5: Look at our nice new hublock. It may say AVM or Rugged Ridge on the label, either is fine as some companies have rebranded them when they received them from AVM who is located in Brazil. Check to make sure the locking mechanism functions properly.

Step 6 (Optional): This step is completely optional. I lightly covered the hub internals with 5-20 Motor Oil to prevent corrosion and ensure proper hub to axle engagement. I have found that on my vehicle adding a LIGHT amount of 5w20 reduces harsh engagement and helps keep the hublock's internal gears smooth and corrosion free.

Step 7: With the hublock prepped and the new o-ring installed, we are ready to install the new AVMs. Turn the dial to the "Lock" position, and slowly guide the hub onto the wheel bearing hub assembly. If the hublock does not slide onto the wheel bearing assembly, turn the axleshaft by hand until you feel the splines line up and the hublock will slide into place. Make sure the hublock is fully seated and the retaining tabs are secured in place.

Step 8: Our new hublock is on and ready to roll. Doesn't it look pretty? Repeat steps 1-8 for the other side. Install the wheels/tires and properly torque the lug nuts. Leave off the center caps as they will cover the hubs preventing access to the locking mechanism.

Note: I am currently working on making the center caps work with the AVM hubs and will update as soon as I am done.

To test their function, grab a buddy. Lock in the AVM hubs on both sides. Start the vehicle and engage 4Hi at the transfer case. Put the truck in reverse or drive/1st gear, and have your friend watch the front axleshafts. The axleshafts should be turning with the wheels. Put the truck in Park/Neutral with parking brake engaged. Unlock the AVM hubs. Put the truck in reverse to ensure disengagement, and then slowly creep forward. The front axleshafts should not be turning with the wheels.

Enjoy your newfound reliability!  

AVM developed a Manual Locking Hub that allowed for positive engagement, of the 4 wheel drive system, eliminating the use of the pulse vacuum style hub. Rugged Ridge acquired the exclusive rights to this hub and is the only supplier to the aftermarket industry.

 

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