Locking Hubs - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 07-19-2006
rolla_guy72's Avatar
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Locking Hubs

What exactly do they do?

Do they lock the axles like a locking differential?

Or do they just "turn on" the front axle like a 4WD Shifter?
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Old 07-19-2006
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Depends what year your vehicle.

0 something up the axles are live, and always locked in. So The 4wd shifter puts the tcase into 4.

98-00 has Pulse Vacuum Hubs. The 4wd solenoid locks the front hubs using a vacuum and puts 4wd in.


Basically the benefit of lockablehubs to most people is that when you "lock your hubs", they're locked. Unlike my Pulse Vacuum, which went out on me.
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Old 07-19-2006
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I'm not talkin' about rangers, just any axle in general.

So you have to lock them in and then put the truck in 4wd?
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Old 07-19-2006
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its like this.

when engaged,a splined bore twists toward the end of the axle shaft, basically mak9ing the link from the hubs to the shafts. so basically the shaft spins freely until you lovk the hub/hubs. locked hubs on an open diff would be exactly like what you are running at all times. well not exactly in structure but exactly in acheived purpose.

now if you had a locker in front, you could unlock your hubs and itde basically feel like 2wd. or you could only lock one and get some front traction but have easy turning ability.

ill try to get some pics of mine from the d44...
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Old 07-19-2006
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Awesome, that cleared it up a little bit. So I'm guessing it's sort of a slightly complicated issue.
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Old 07-19-2006
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Turn the hubs to "lock" position to essentially lock the front axle together so it can recieve power from the transfer case when it is in 4wd.

some axles, like the Super Duty Dana 50, has a feature that u can still lock the hubs but still uses some sorta of activation when put into 4wd so u dont "need" to lock the hubs for mild driving.

there are a few styles of hubs...Auto hubs, manual hubs, drive flanges and...

here are some pics of when i rebuilt my front end:
the hub hat and hub


hub "hat" removed, exposing the internals:


hub "hat", cap screws and some of the internals:


more pics of the inside:


also note there is a large nut inside that needs to be removed that holds the wheel bearings together and on the truck. after this nut is removed with the special socket the whole rotor assembly can be removed reveling the spindle.

those pics are of a standard Dana 44 axle with factory warn/ford locking hubs.
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Old 07-19-2006
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So... I had a Dana 60 front with an ARB locker, I would still need to "turn on" the hubs when I get to the trail, but only activate the locker when I need that extra bit of traction?
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Old 07-19-2006
optikal illushun's Avatar
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well, this is where is gets a little hazy.

normal operation of a differential is that both wheels spin until one looses traction. we all know that. with a locker, both wheels are consistantly locked together for maxinium traction. this being said for the rear axle...semi floating.

now for the front, to even get the front axle enguaged u need to lock the hubs then throw the 4wd on. this will make it act like a standard or open differential. with a selectible locker it will lock both axle shafts together AT the carrier when enguaged.

so essentially, the front axle will not spin in normal driving with the hubs unlocked. with the hubs locked the front axle spins but does not recieve and power because the transfer case is in 2wd. when the transfer case is in 4wd then the front axle recieves power.

so even if ur in 2wd and enguage the locker it will not do anything. so yes, u have it correct.

Hubs - 4wd
4wd - locker
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Old 07-19-2006
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sweet, thanks. that pretty much done it.
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