Can you manually unlock the front hubs when they fail? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-15-2012
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Can you manually unlock the front hubs when they fail?

My 99 Ranger 4x4 has what I believe are the vacuum pulse hubs. While troubleshooting a howling noise going down the highway I discovered today that the front axles are turning all the time. The driveline is going in and out of 4wd as it should but the axles stay locked in. Im gonna order manual hubs but want to drive in the meantime. Is there an easy way to unlock them manually until the new hubs come in?
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Old 04-15-2012
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Pull the front driveshaft.
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Old 04-15-2012
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In my experience the howling noise is the first stage of your 200 dollar wheel bearing failing. To check it, lift the front of the truck, grab the tire top and bottom, and shake it. Any play here means the bearing is shot. The pvh trucks have a wonderful orange snap ring that needs to be replaced everytime you change the bearing.


The 4wd issue can be checked at the same time.

The pvh hubs get gummed up and just stop working, some times they get stuck disengaged or engaged. Either way your tcase is shifting correctly but the hubs are locked in 4wd.

I would pull the hubs, will need to pull the rotors off to get a screw driver into the locking clips to get them out. Or you can pull the drive shaft, which likes to eat 8mm sockets. Make its a 6 point socket, it will crack a 12.

You can pull the locking hubs clean them with brake cleaner or parts washer if you got one, then relube them with a light spray oil. Like a silicone spray or LPS 2, avoid heavy lubricants like grease.


These are the best prices I have found, i just did one in Jan. I think I need to the other-side now.

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rabs
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Old 04-15-2012
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You can pull the PVH hub without removing the rotor it is just harder. takes two screw drivers and some hands but it is possible.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlered View Post
You can pull the PVH hub without removing the rotor it is just harder. takes two screw drivers and some hands but it is possible.
He needs to check the wheel bearing, the rotor is just in the way. The 4 bolts that hold it together are easily removed. Or 2 if you just pull the caliper as an assembly.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Thanks for the info guys. So looking at timken wheel bearings at autozone. Looks like they come w/ a new pvh. I know manual is a definite upgrade but I only expect to have this truck another year. Is it worth the money?
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Old 04-16-2012
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Check to make sure its the wheel bearings before you go buy them, I am pretty certain it is.

I doubt the autozone parts come with new PVH hubs. Ford wants 150 or so a side for them. You can find the manual conversions for under 200.

If you plan on selling I see no point in spending the extra cash on it. Sounds like your 42wd works so I wouldn't screw with the locking hubs much anyway.
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Old 04-16-2012
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So I dug into it tonight. I dont feel any play when rocking it but Im not sure what Im looking for there but it seemed snug, did not rock any. So starting on the right side I snapped the hub off real quick and pushed the "plunger" down in the middle to disengage and put it back on It stayed that way and made it through a test drive so far. Not sure I can assume it will stay unlocked as long as I dont put it in 4wd but thats my hope for the short term. On the other side I could not get the hub to stay disengaged. I cleaned good but Im pretty sure its just shot so for now I left it off and put the wheel back on so I could get it off the jackstands. Any reason I can not drive it with the pvh hub off? other than getting dirty it didnt seem like it would hurt. Dont need to drive the beast much till parts come in accept when its storming and dont want to ride the bike.
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Old 04-16-2012
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The locking hub somewhat holds the cv shaft, I doubt it will hurt it.

With out the hubs and the noise is still there only thing left will be the bearings.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Originally Posted by Blhde View Post
The locking hub somewhat holds the cv shaft, I doubt it will hurt it.

With out the hubs and the noise is still there only thing left will be the bearings.

If its ok to drive without the hub I will get it out tomorrow to see how it sounds now. The highway in front of my house is too rough to tell how loud things are. Hopin to get off work early to check that out further,

On the plus side learning a lot about Rangers this week. Been drivin this one for 2 years with very little done to it other than changing the oil and keepin other fluids topped off.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Thanks everyone for the help
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Old 04-16-2012
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I don't know if i would drive it without the hub.
if you think your bearings are making a noise, have you tried taking the hub off with the truck in the air, then spinning the wheel by hand? if the bearing is making any noise, usually you can hear it.
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Old 04-17-2012
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The unit bearings are quiet with out weight on them, until they get the rotor rubbing the caliper. You will notice significant drag on them.

Other then the howling to grinding noise they make when they die, there is slop in the assembly.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Other than the slight noise from the brakes on the rotors Im not hearing anything spinning it by hand. didnt get time or a test drive before work but gonna give that a go soon as I get home.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blhde View Post
The unit bearings are quiet with out weight on them, until they get the rotor rubbing the caliper. You will notice significant drag on them.

Other then the howling to grinding noise they make when they die, there is slop in the assembly.
Yea, i've always felt for slop, but usually if they're to the point of making noise while driving, you can hear them while spinning free.
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Old 04-25-2012
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Search for thread on disabling hub lock, bend the metal clips inside out of the way and re-install w/ inner plastic piece in unlock position. I priced the manual lockers a few months ago, WARN i think, $140.
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Old 04-25-2012
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Originally Posted by Magnus View Post
Search for thread on disabling hub lock, bend the metal clips inside out of the way and re-install w/ inner plastic piece in unlock position. I priced the manual lockers a few months ago, WARN i think, $140.
Warn does not make hubs for PVH trucks.
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Old 04-25-2012
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AVM and Mile marker do.
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Old 04-26-2012
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AVM = Mile Marker = Rugged Ridge







Either AVM makes them or Rugged Ridge does either way these 3 are all the same and this is about the best price I found.

http://www.tellico4x4.com/product_in...ducts_id/26509


Whatever the case this thread is dead until the OP posts a solution.
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2012
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Well the new wheel hubs came in yesterday and the rugged ridge manual hubs the day before. Got the left side done today. All extra noise is gone. gonna dig into the left side tomorrow or next weekend depending on the weather.

thanks to everyone for all of the guidance
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