01+ Live Axel to Manual Hub Conversion - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-27-2009
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01+ Live Axel to Manual Hub Conversion

Has anyone converted their 01+ live front axel to manual hubs?
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Old 06-27-2009
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I'm not sure if he finished but there is info here:
https://www.ranger-forums.com/forum2...on-03-lii.html
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Old 06-27-2009
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we did it on 0rangeredge2s 4x4 conversion
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Old 06-27-2009
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You'll get mixed opinions on this.
Here's mine...
If you are locked up front, big tires, low gears, etc and think you are likely to break CV joints, the manual hubs are good. Because you can unlock the hubs and drive home if you need to. Problem is, the AVM hubs aren't perfect. They are a huge step above vacuum hubs, but they occasionally just fall off under heavy torque because the way they are "secured".

Having low range 2wd is fun sometimes too.

Though the live-axles are pretty solid, not much to go wrong with them imo.

What you'll need is the hub/bearing assemblies and CV joints from a vacuum hub truck, and AVM manual hubs.
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Old 06-27-2009
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Thanks. I think I'm planning on staying with under 33" tires (got 31" now that are almost new), and would possible like to put a locker up front. Does anyone make a selectable locker for the front?
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Old 06-27-2009
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Only Aussie for the front. It is a lunchbox locker.
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Old 06-27-2009
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Yep, only the aussie locker (automatic) for the front.
I ran the aussie in my sport trac (same front end) with 4.88 gears and 33's, but for less than a year. Only a few good trail runs after the front locker. I didn't break anything but I carried backup CV joints. I would imagine the AVM hubs would have a hard time holding up but I never had a front locker with the AVMs on my ranger...?
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Old 06-27-2009
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Stick with the live axles. More reliable. You won't randomly lose hubs. Besides, to convert to manual hubs you'll have to spend quite a bit to convert to an inferior setup IMO.




If you wheel hard carry some spare CVs. I keep a spare set in my toolbox just in case but so far havent needed them.
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Old 06-27-2009
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Well I'm 2WD now, so I gotta buy the parts anyhow. Just trying to see which parts I'm going to want/need. I think I'm going to keep it with 4.10 gearing and 33" tires.

Last edited by icthusrulz; 06-27-2009 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 06-27-2009
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So why do the other Dana 35 products not work on Rangers? What's different?
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Old 06-27-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icthusrulz View Post
So why do the other Dana 35 products not work on Rangers? What's different?
The gears will work as long as they're standard cut. The carrier is a bastardized version of the d35 and smaller than a normal one, thats why no d35 lockers will work unless they're specific to the ranger/explorer.
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Old 06-28-2009
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So far I've been very happy with my manual hubs. It's a 98-early 00 setup. But like everyone else has said, it requires new CV shafts, hub/bearing assembly and the AVM hubs. The hub and bearing assembly runs around $125 a side locally. CV shafts were roughly $60 a piece and the AVM hubs were $150 for the set. So you're looking at over $500 just to get this setup. Mine survived the hard wheeling of the sand dunes and it spent most of it's time in 4Lo.

If you need more help, I should be able to as I've done the conversion from 2wd to 4wd with the manual hub setup. RazorsEdge did the 2wd to 4wd conversion with Live Axles so he should be able to help too. Justin (Toreador4x4) did most of the work for my swap so he's a valuable resource too.
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Old 06-28-2009
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I also never had a problem with my AVMs on my 98 ranger with 33's, but I know a lot of others have, that's why I caution people.
Mine saw a lot of hard use in Oregon sand dune, tight rutted muddy trails, 1-2 feet of snow, etc etc.
I'll just say, if you get into wheeling a lot, I would either have a spare set of AVM's with a manual hub set up, or a spare set of CV joints with a live axle setup.
The difference in cost between either setup is not much since you'll have to buy all of the parts anyway.
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Old 06-28-2009
Kikaida 01
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If you have an 01, you could also run a lockright or a no-slip up front.
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Old 06-28-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kikaida 01 View Post
If you have an 01, you could also run a lockright or a no-slip up front.
I don't recall if those applications are available up front or not, however the aussie locker is less expensive and has a better warranty. Aside from that, they are all pretty much the same, functionally.
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Old 06-29-2009
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I have manual hubs and wouldn't trade them for anything. There have been a couple times when I have thought that it might be simpler to switch to a live axle set up but in the end the benefits always seem to outweigh the negatives, at least to me.

I wouldn't say that the AVM's are terrible, but they do have their flaws. I personally have lost two and sheered one completely in half. But I rail on them harder than most.
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Old 06-29-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner View Post
I have manual hubs and wouldn't trade them for anything. There have been a couple times when I have thought that it might be simpler to switch to a live axle set up but in the end the benefits always seem to outweigh the negatives, at least to me.

I wouldn't say that the AVM's are terrible, but they do have their flaws. I personally have lost two and sheered one completely in half. But I rail on them harder than most.
Yeah...
The main benefit really is that they are relatively cheap/easy to replace, and allow you to keep driving. Also they effectively create a "weak point" that is not a CV joint.
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Old 06-30-2009
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I run a no-slip up front on my 03. As far as I know 01 live axle and 03 live axle are the same (w/out PVH hubs). Aussie locker warranty and the warranty on my unit are pretty much the same. BTW, I've run a no-slip for going on five years w/out any problems. Worth every penny and quiet too.
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Old 06-30-2009
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How does the no-slip handle compared to the open diff in 2wd and 4wd?
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Old 06-30-2009
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No slip is Powertrax/Richmond Gear and Aussie is just Aussie. It unlocks when when you don't have torque from the engine going to it and the wheels need to turn at different speeds like when turning. Some people say that it can lock at low speeds making it difficult to turn but more people say it drive just fine.
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Old 06-30-2009
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I know how it works (I've got one in the rear of my truck now). My question is with the live axel, is it noticeable in the front in 2WD? How is handling changed in 4WD? I vaguely remember someone saying that they can be a bit unpredictable and jumpy. I know the rear in mine is very torque sensitive (Lock-Right) and will start to make the truck buck if in a tight turn and changing from engine power to engine braking. I can imagine this could be a nightmare if coupled with the same thing in the front (but the No-Slip is supposed to be a little more refined I believe). So how is it working for you?
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Old 06-30-2009
Kikaida 01
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Not noticeable, except....when I drove in snow and ice when I lived in Washington/Oregon. Then....things got interesting. BTW, I would like to thank the Oregon and Washington DOT for the making the shoulder sections of your highways so nice and green. They provided me with the traction that I needed when the road filled with black ice.

Last edited by Kikaida 01; 06-30-2009 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 06-30-2009
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The front locker with a live axle is completely transparent in 2wd since no torque is applied. You can sometimes hear the clicking in parking lots making tight turns. Personally I loved hearing them both clicking, reminded me how much I love traction, lol.
In 4wd it isn't bad in mud, sand or gravel. The steering gets heavier and you better keep both hands on the wheel when you hit the gas. I ran in 4x4 on dry pavement a couple times (in a straight line), and it was funny to coast and the truck would slowly wander off the slope of the road, but touch the gas and it just goes dead straight.
I didn't have the front locker in for the Oregon winter before I moved, but I pulled a loaded trailer through Idaho/Utah/Wyoming through blizzards in 4x4 while moving out here. Honestly it isn't all that bad in snow, just requires extra attention, and it is easier to coast a bit through turns. With the rear locker I didn't need 4x4 as much anyway, and only used 4x4 when I needed it. Making tight turns in the woods I'd kick it in 2wd sometimes to save some stress on the front end components.
My lockers were never harsh and never bucked, but the sport trac was automatic. Auto lockers can suck sometimes with manual transmissions from my experience.
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Old 07-01-2009
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Do you have the lock-right or the no-slip (? The one that's got extra springs and is quieter)? I was talking to my brother who has had both kinds and said no matter how hard he tried he couldn't get the no-slip(?) to buck like the lock-right did in a hard turn.

Another question: I've got the lock-right installed in the rear of my 2wd Ranger right now and when I took it the the beach and got into deep oft sand, the rear wheels would alternatly lock and unlock as the powered wheel got all the torque, broke traction, and then shock loaded the other wheel with torque. This would alternate from side to side causing the truck to violently shudder. Has this happened to anyone else? Does this occur with the "soft" lockers?

I was 20 miles up the beach from south padre and did want to get stuck. Ran it like that for about 150 yds. Shortly thereafter I had to replace the universal joint at the driveshaft. The bearings had been pulverized to dust, but the stock open diff crosspin only suffered cosmetic damage.

Last edited by icthusrulz; 07-01-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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  #25  
Old 07-01-2009
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Maybe it's not setup right. My aussie was nice and smooth in mud, deep snow, deep sand, etc.
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