Potentially noob question - manual hub use


curtis73

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I've owned a bunch of 4x4s, but they were all either auto hubs (88 and 98 chevy) or IFS Fords and Dodges with no unlocking feature at all. They were just always connected to the CV axles.

My 94 B4000 had broken auto hubs that I converted to manual. How long can I leave them engaged on dry roads? What is it about the manual hubs that requires them to be disengaged when my F150s were always engaged with no option to disengage?

'Splain me the difference.

I don't mind unlocking hubs, but (for instance) this past week we had a day of about 6" of snow, then dry roads for a day or so, then another inch. In anticipation of maybe needing 4wd for my driveway, or the unmaintained roads on the way to work, I just left the hubs engaged for three days. I didn't feel like getting out in 5 degree weather three times in 20 minutes every time I turned onto unmaintained pavement.
 


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alwaysFlOoReD

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A lot of people up here leave them engaged winter long. I do. Mileage suffers a little.
 

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"Splain me the difference"

Flexibility, Mileage and Decreased Parts Wear.
You have the option to unlock the front axle IF you ever want to. Say to use 4Lo to back a trailer sloooowly into a tough spot on dry pavement.

Say you have a 3.0 liter motor and not enough torque to keep up with traffic on the highway with the front axle resistance at highway speeds. (And it takes more gas to pull all that drive line and axle no matter what motor you have)

Lastly, why wear out parts when they are not doing anything?

By the way, I leave mine locked mostly through the winter, because I can. But I don't have to. (Flexibility)

One last "By the way", Don't Buy Rugged Ridge hubs! AVM actually work.
 

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As a side note, its good to engage them every now and again even during summer, keeps things from seizeing up and helps lube front axle parts
 

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Absolutely.
 

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In 2WD with hubs unlocked the front differential and bearings don't turn, the axle u-joints don't move, the drive shaft u-joints don't move

And they sit like that for..............................................???
Seals also dry out

So there is a school of thought that locking the hubs at least every few months would not be a bad idea to keep everything lubed
I think electric shift motors should be used to shift to 4low and back to 2WD once a month for the same reason, keeps the brushes in motor clean and gear lube spread out, don't have to drive it just shift it.

Yes miles do wear out moving parts, but dry starts can wear them out faster, :)

And hubs locked in 2WD on dry pavement is OK, its only in 4WD that it can cause issues
 
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In general use a U-joint doesn't handle extreme angles as well as a CV joint does. The switch to CV joints (for most companies) happened at the same time the wheel ends could no longer be disengaged from the axle shaft.

I usually lock my hubs in with the first snow in December and leave them locked until April and then leave them unlocked until the next winter, unless I think I'm going to need them. I haven't broken anything yet.
 

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Seems like Ujoints are much much stouter (and cheaper) however.
 

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Seems like Ujoints are much much stouter (and cheaper) however.
In general yes, but u-joints also like to operate mostly in the 1-3 degree range, CV joints are pretty much equally happy anywhere from 0 to 45 or 50 degree angles, so they handle being at that turning angle better. That's why we don't use u joints on front wheel drive cars and impact tools.
 

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In general yes, but u-joints also like to operate mostly in the 1-3 degree range, CV joints are pretty much equally happy anywhere from 0 to 45 or 50 degree angles, so they handle being at that turning angle better. That's why we don't use u joints on front wheel drive cars and impact tools.
Nah thats true. They do handle angles much better. But i still prefer good ol U joints. Espicially in truck duty. Youre in the snow tryin to get up on the road, tires spinning, front end grabs, yeah, U joints handle my right foot better.
 

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Nah thats true. They do handle angles much better. But i still prefer good ol U joints. Espicially in truck duty. Youre in the snow tryin to get up on the road, tires spinning, front end grabs, yeah, U joints handle my right foot better.
TIB/TTB is the only thing I will own that causes more work for me versus a different design that would do the same job. Beefier parts that cost less is the reason I tolerate the extra work to do anything with it.

Heck, one of the biggest reasons I keep the old RBVs around is how easy they are to work on.

Last winter I did a heater blend door (basically the same work as a heater core) in the Expedition, took me all weekend. The year before that I did the heater core in the Ranger twice, took me 20 minutes.
 

rusty ol ranger

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I helped my buddy put a heater core in his 00 F150. It literally required total dash removal. Total over engineered BS.
 

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Change your freakin coolant and you wont need to replace heater cores... :unsure:
 

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Change your freakin coolant and you wont need to replace heater cores... :unsure:
There is a bit of a story to that one.

This was near the end of reassembly after my frame-off. I took it out for a drive, first real one since getting it back on the road, got home, and it was puking coolant from near the heater core/hose connection because I didn't get a clamp on right. Well it puked into the heater core box, covered everything in there with coolant, and I was in a hurry, needed the truck and the heat because it was cold and snowing. I threw the heater core from the parts truck in, because the other one was covered in coolant, and went. Got two miles down the road on an engine at temp and had no heat because that core was plugged, so I turned around, cleaned my old one out as best I could, and put it back in.
 


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