Which is better live axle or hub'd? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 04-14-2008
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Icon5 Which is better live axle or hub'd?

Which is better or do you like better? I'm thinkin of puttin in an axle from a 98-01 that has the vacuum hubs but replaced with manual hubs for a couple different reasons. But I don't don't own a truck with the IFS axle with hubs and was curious as to if it were as strong as what a "live" axle is.
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Old 04-14-2008
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not sure with the explorers personally because i know one front axle has a axle disconnect

now on rangers late 00+ has "live" axles where the front axle is always spinning and the t-case is disconnected..

where as 98-00 * (early) has PVH= Pulse Vacuum Hubs, where it sends vacuum to the hub to "lock" in the front axle. now those hubs suck and there is the AVM hubs that are mail order and you can replace the PVH with manual hubs to engage/disengage the front axle...

which IMO is better then live because you can turn off the front axle to keep the drag and wear down. over the live axle
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Old 04-14-2008
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I have the PVH and they are locked all the time. I am waiting to see if the third site I ordered from has them or not, When I order them I get a statement the next day that they are out of stock. From what I hear they are good for 1/4 to 1/2 a mpg increase, my front end did have alot of resistance when turning the tires.
If you leave the hubs unlocked while you are in 4low do you technicly have 2low and can you drive like that?
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Old 04-14-2008
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Yeah, see my explorer has that center axle disconnect in a way I like because there isn't drag like you had said redneckstone, but that isn't something I want to depend on, and don't want to go SAS, so was thinking either go live axle or go with 98-00 that had the vacuum hubs but automatically replace those with manuals like I had seen some people do on there rangers and rangers are the only ones that had that axle with the PVH. And no technically with a ranger t-case you don't have a true 2low even if your hubs are unlocked because the t-case is still pushing the drive shaft and gears in the diff but won't be pushing the tires. I want to find out some info about the GEM's because I'd like to throw an electronic 1354 t-case in my ex like my first gen ex's had and if I do this I will deff. have to change out axles.
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamExploder View Post
And no technically with a ranger t-case you don't have a true 2low even if your hubs are unlocked because the t-case is still pushing the drive shaft and gears in the diff but won't be pushing the tires.
If there is no drive to the front wheels when in low range, it is 2WD-low.
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Old 04-14-2008
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It is 2wd if the there isn't power at the front wheels but I don't consider it a true 2wd if the front axle is rotating.
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Old 04-14-2008
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So theres really no way of switching a live axle over to manual hubs without changing the front diff?
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Old 04-14-2008
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Originally Posted by k.blakeley View Post
So theres really no way of switching a live axle over to manual hubs without changing the front diff?
From the way I understand the way these axles are set up no.
But see 95 and 96 explorers are setup in a way that I'm not really going to get into but will say the 4.0 4X4 version ok when in 2wd mode our axle is disconnected internally and when switched to 4auto or 4low the axle connects with vacuum so when in 4auto its a "live" axle, and I don't want to depend on that working when out on the trails and I don't particularly want a "live" axle I miss having control over locking hubs in when I'm ready to use my 4X4. My main question here though is, I want to know how dependable the axle is with the hubs and vise versa I want to know how dependable the hubs are with the axle. Like how durable the whole setup is because I want manual hubs without doing a SAS :) Plus like I said would like to put in a normal t-case in this out of a ranger or first gen explorer and the GEM turns the axle on and off.
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Old 04-14-2008
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Originally Posted by k.blakeley View Post
So theres really no way of switching a live axle over to manual hubs without changing the front diff?
on rangers yes. you need the CV shafts and hub/bearings.
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Originally Posted by TeamExploder View Post
Yeah, see my explorer has that center axle disconnect in a way I like because there isn't drag like you had said redneckstone
one still spins. just 1 axle disconnects
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Old 04-14-2008
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Originally Posted by Redneckstone View Post
on rangers yes. you need the CV shafts and hub/bearings.
Out of what? Where can you buy them new?
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Old 04-14-2008
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Yeah one still spins but if I get in a position that I need the 4X4 and that would for some reason not work at that time that one axle won't benefit since it has no locker.
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Old 04-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k.blakeley View Post
Out of what? Where can you buy them new?
you need 98-00

there is a thread on this in this site if you search


Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamExploder View Post
Yeah one still spins but if I get in a position that I need the 4X4 and that would for some reason not work at that time that one axle won't benefit since it has no locker.
thus the reason to put a ranger axle in..
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Old 04-14-2008
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Yup the whole reason I made the thread (not trying to be an *** or anything if I came of that way), I want control over the axle being engaged with the wheels or not but me not having experience with those axles and hubs, I want to make sure that those hubs will hold up as well as what the "live" axle will, do you know if they have the same strength?

Last edited by Glen4X4; 04-14-2008 at 08:05 PM.
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