Slipping off road


PaulZ

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Hi Guys, I've had my '99 Ranger about a month. I'm not a sports off roader, I bought it to back up my old tired Blazer in getting to my cabin, which is up a steep dirt road. It climbs my driveway great in the dry but today it was very wet and slippery. As I started up in 4WL the front started to slip and slide sideways towards the cliff. It's steep but not off camber. Didn't feel like getting stuck so I aborted.

The Ranger is stock, manual trans, mud tires. I believe it has trac lok (or whatever it's called) in the back, both tires spin the same direction on jack stands. Not so the front. Would that cause it to slide sideways climbing slippery surfaces? Unfortunately I don't have the original window sticker, don't know the options it has. Did they offer front trac lok?

The Blazer has the factory gov lock front and rear, climbs like a goat. Maybe I need to add it to the Ranger front? Not after anything super bulletproof, just need to climb my driveway.

Thanks!

34605
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: CFB3B5F7F32B37 Expires: March 30, 2020

adsm08

Senior Master Grease Monkey
Supporting Member
Ford Technician
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
32,433
Reaction score
1,719
Points
113
Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
Limited slip in the front of Fords, while technically an option on all the 4x4s, was extremely rare. I have only run across it in person on vehicles with factory plow prep, and one or two Expeditions that were very highly optioned. By the sounds of it your Ranger does not have it, which is not at all surprising.

That could contribute to your sliding issues if the front axle can't get traction on one side.

I believe LSD kits are available for that axle, but I would not go with a full on locker.
 

Josh B

Well-known member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
1,029
Reaction score
269
Points
83
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Hi Guys, I've had my '99 Ranger about a month. I'm not a sports off roader, I bought it to back up my old tired Blazer in getting to my cabin, which is up a steep dirt road. It climbs my driveway great in the dry but today it was very wet and slippery. As I started up in 4WL the front started to slip and slide sideways towards the cliff. It's steep but not off camber. Didn't feel like getting stuck so I aborted.

The Ranger is stock, manual trans, mud tires. I believe it has trac lok (or whatever it's called) in the back, both tires spin the same direction on jack stands. Not so the front. Would that cause it to slide sideways climbing slippery surfaces? Unfortunately I don't have the original window sticker, don't know the options it has. Did they offer front trac lok?

The Blazer has the factory gov lock front and rear, climbs like a goat. Maybe I need to add it to the Ranger front? Not after anything super bulletproof, just need to climb my driveway.

Thanks!

View attachment 34605
Nice truck, cool dog :D
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
14,355
Reaction score
1,001
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Yes, front differential is OPEN on all 4x4 Rangers, not sure on the 2019 models

1998-2000 Ranger used PVH(pulse vacuum hubs) up front, so you still have those since I don't see manual lock conversion
Troubleshooting guide here: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/ford_ranger_pvh_hub_operation_and_troubleshooting.shtml

My bet is that only 1 front hub/wheel was locked so you slipped sideways

I would convert them to manual hubs, shown here: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/AVM_hub_swap.shtml
Makes sure your wheel holes fit these hubs

For now you can lock both front hubs, seen here: https://therangerstation.com/Magazine/Apr04/offroad.htm
2001 and up Rangers have full time locked front hubs, won't hurt anything

And its a PERFECT Ranger, RED, and a nice dog as well :)

You can look on drivers door label to see what rear has, read here: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/axle_codes.shtml
L/S = limited slip, trac lok


You have a Dana 35 SLA as the front axle, Torsen makes a Limited Slip for that: https://torsen.com/product/ford-ranger-dana-35/

But they have been OUT OF STOCK for long time
 
Last edited:

PaulZ

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Thanks guys. Buddy the dog says thanks too.

Y'know, the vacuum hubs crossed my mind too at the time but I forgot about them on the way home. I bet that's it. I am going to lock them tomorrow per those instructions and try it again.

I've definitely been honeymooning with the Ranger. The paint is surprisingly perfect for it's age, I even waxed it. Here it is clean. At the time I wasn't sure I wanted a manual trans but it has grown on me. Also didn't know it was the last of the OHV 4.0, didn't even know they went to OHC. That's OK too, I don't need any more power than it has, as long as it stays reliable.

Rear axle code R6, LS 8.8, 3:73.

34628
 

Attachments

PaulZ

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Trying to get my hubs apart this morning. Before I break something..I see the pins refereed to in the outer cap slots, what am I supposed to do with the screwdrivers I poke in there? Push on the pins, pry, try to rotate by pushing on the edge of the slots?
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
14,355
Reaction score
1,001
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Haven't done this myself

But it says to separate the two white plastic pieces, then remove the metal pin from the white cap completely, its glued in

Then reassemble, the two white plastic pieces will no longer snap together with no pin to hold them together, but they and the spring will be held in by the black cover piece
 

PaulZ

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Thanks Ron, Haven't gotten that far, still trying get the outer cap off, where it shows them poking small screwdrivers in.

BTW, while waiting I pulled the door panel and am happy to report I have heard that infernal door gonger for the last time. But, I first unplugged the very bottom plug, which is white, and it didn't stop it. I then unplugged the black connector above and that did. So whatever the white plug does, doesn't at the moment. Any idea what it does, power locks maybe? Tough getting the fingers in there..
 

Josh B

Well-known member
Supporting Member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 15, 2019
Messages
1,029
Reaction score
269
Points
83
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
The only experience I remember having with 4WD prior to owning mine was at least 30 years prior, and wasn't a pretty picture. I went with a friend to hit some backroads on an icy day and wound up needing 4WD, and he jumped out to lock in the hubs, but alas, they were stuck. We spent probably an hour trying to get them broke loose and locked in, in an icy wet cold muddy ditch.

My first 4WD wasn't even advertised as such, simply because the light wasn't coming on, but I was told they'd been given a $300 estimate to fix it. That was the Ford part, I got the NAPA part for $100, about the size of a wiper motor and much easier to replace.

The first time I pushed that button and the light came on my driving experience was forever changed, and in the 14 years I've had it running it never once failed to operate, and I never once had to get out in the mud and ice and cold to hassle with any stuck ornery hubs :D

As far as being stronger I don't know, with the Limited Slip rear Diff and the 35 Dana front that thing goes up almost as steep as gravity will allow, and turning is more like a crawler (I wouldn't wish to use it on a nice lawn ;) )
 
Last edited:

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
14,355
Reaction score
1,001
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Thanks Ron, Haven't gotten that far, still trying get the outer cap off, where it shows them poking small screwdrivers in.

BTW, while waiting I pulled the door panel and am happy to report I have heard that infernal door gonger for the last time. But, I first unplugged the very bottom plug, which is white, and it didn't stop it. I then unplugged the black connector above and that did. So whatever the white plug does, doesn't at the moment. Any idea what it does, power locks maybe? Tough getting the fingers in there..

The outer cap ROTATES to unlock it
two flat blades in the slots and spin, says it can be very tough to do alone, there is a "special" Ford tool for this, lol, of course
 

PaulZ

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
46
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
Got it done. Going out to my cabin Monday to try the climb, will report back. If good I'll buy manual hubs. Since they went to locked hubs I guess gas mileage and wear are not a big concern.

Makes me wonder what the history is on Ford hubs, did they have other auto hubs? On my Blazer the hubs lock automatically, and to unlock you have to stop and back up a few feet. I guess Ford wanted to eliminate having to back up.

Thanks again for the help!
 

RonD

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
14,355
Reaction score
1,001
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
Yes, in the 1980s and 1990s the Auto Hubs were same thing as you described, by shifting transfer case into 4WD the front drive shaft and axle torque would cause front hubs to lock
When back in 2WD they should just unlock from lack of torque but yes you often had to backup 20-50ft to make sure both sides unlocked

Ford tried PVH in 1998, and had problems right from the start, so decided on Live Axle for 2001 but started using it on some Rangers as early as 2000, some say late 1999

Yes, locked hubs mean the front differential, axles and drive shaft are always rotating, but according to Ford that only causes .3 MPG loss
I think its actually better for differential, axle and driveshaft u-joints, sitting for months and months and then using these parts should cause more initial wear that if they were rotating all the time keeping oil and lube spread out

But with manual hubs you have the choice on whats best, lol
 

scotts90ranger

Well-known member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
4,112
Reaction score
107
Points
63
Location
Dayton Oregon
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
If either front tire is spinning (whole lot easier to spin an axle without a tire attached to it in an unlocked hub than a single tire breaking traction), both hubs are working, and to slide sideways means both front tires are spinning

a WHOLE LOT simpler solution is just to air down the tires a little, if you're running street pressure like 30psi, even dropping down to 20psi will be a game changer at least on the front tires and as long as you aren't driving for really long distances shouldn't hinder tire wear all that much
 

adsm08

Senior Master Grease Monkey
Supporting Member
Ford Technician
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
32,433
Reaction score
1,719
Points
113
Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
Makes me wonder what the history is on Ford hubs, did they have other auto hubs? On my Blazer the hubs lock automatically, and to unlock you have to stop and back up a few feet. I guess Ford wanted to eliminate having to back up.

Thanks again for the help!
Ford has never been able to build a highly reliable auto hub system. The one used on the TTB front ends was OK, but overly complicated and would stick/fail after a while. The PHV system had potential, but when the seals dry out and stop sealing they don't work so well. Some years of the Explorer and F-150 had a vacuum actuated center axle disconnect or CAD system that had similar reliability issues. My dad had one of those trucks for a few years and it seemed like every year that CAD unit was stuck the first time he put it in 4x4 for the year.

Ford eventually decided that .2 MPG loss wasn't enough to worry about and just put a live axle in the front, and eliminated the reliability issues.
 

4.0blue98

Active member
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
288
Reaction score
173
Points
43
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 OHV
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
Round
My credo
"eh screw it, its fine"
I gave up on my PVH's a few years ago. Mine wasn't bad when it worked and lasted quite a while from what I hear from others. At first I locked the OE ones like discussed above. Finallly I put AVM manual hubs on last year when I replaced the factory hubs/bearings. I really like the AVMs. The removal of the OE PVH's are a pain but a gentle prying of each tab and a piece of wire to hold the tabs out worked for me. After getting most of the tabs held out, the hub will come off without breaking anything. If you aren't going to reuse them then you really don't have to be gentle with them.
 


Top