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Old 05-11-2007
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SOF v. Manual T-Case

So I am rethinking my next vehicle purchase(s). I was looking at getting an FSB for a weekend toy and then get something a littel more gas efficient.

So onto the question. I don't really know how the different 4x4 t-cases work. I have seen push button and manual. First off is SOF different from push button? Some FSBs have two buttons:

Some have the manual ones

And then there are trucks with the **** SOF.

What are the differences and which ones have manual hubs, is there anything that says you have to be moving to get the 4x4 to engage, can someone break them all down for me please?

Thanks,

J
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Old 05-11-2007
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I honestly don't know anything about the SOF, however my 89 Bronco is an XLT with a manual transfer case and it came with auto hubs. My fiance, Jen's 90 Bronco is a Custom (lowest model) and has a manual transfer case with locking hubs.
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Old 05-11-2007
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there are a lot of Solid axle trucks with push button 4wd......if it is a push button or manual t-case just depends on what is offered.....it has nothing to do with what type front suspension/axle you have......the lockouts are not engaged by the t-case, but either by manual or automatic operation.........

you can have a manual t-case on a TTB axle, or even on a SLA front suspension........just remember that the FX4 Level II's with a manual t-case had the independent front suspension...........the newer 3/4 and 1 ton trucks that have a solid axle come with a push button t-case........it all depends on the truck and options you can get....
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Old 05-11-2007
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also, the full size Bronco had either a manual t-case or an automatic t-case.......with the auto t-case it operates like a Ranger auto t-case.......
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Old 05-11-2007
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so with hubs, what is the dif between the auto and the locking?
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJustin
so with hubs, what is the dif between the auto and the locking?
auto hubs = you don't have to get out and lock them in 4wd mode
manual hubs = you have to get out and lock them in 4wd mode

advantages of auto = not getting out
advantages of manual = Stronger, less wear on axle parts while driving on the road, cheaper to replace if you break 1

if you get something with auto hubs and you are going to wheel it, your 1st mod should be manual locking hubs.....
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifted97ranger

if you get something with auto hubs and you are going to wheel it, your 1st mod should be manual locking hubs.....
Not necessarily, from my experience, the hubs usually go first... then the driveshaft falls out from having too much lift, etc...

Switching over from auto hubs to manual hubs aren't hard. I had to do this because one of mine was blown from the beginning... otherwise I'd still probably have auto hubs right now.
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Old 05-11-2007
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so i have manual hubs and im out 4 wheeling, before i put it 4h or 4lo i get out switch the hubs and then can i put right into lo or h or should i be moving, in neutral...etc. sorry just never knew this since it didnt matter with 2wd...
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJustin
so i have manual hubs and im out 4 wheeling, before i put it 4h or 4lo i get out switch the hubs and then can i put right into lo or h or should i be moving, in neutral...etc. sorry just never knew this since it didnt matter with 2wd...
if you go wheeling, you should lock in your manual hubs before you leave the pavement or gravel.....that way you don't lose momentium.....you wont have to stop, get out in the mud, and lock in the hubs.....you can just throw here in 4wd HI and go......

now to put any vehicle in 4LO, you have to be in neutral and almost stopped.....might as well say stopped, it is like 2 mph at max......

notta problem, that is what we are all here for
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Old 05-11-2007
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Once you engage the hubs, you do not have to be moving to put it into 4WD hi or low. If the hubs are engaged, you can put it into 4WD hi while moving but you must stop to put it in 4WD low if you have an electric shift transfer case. You can shift into 4WD low while moving with a manual shift transfer case but it is not advisable.
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN2 FX4
Once you engage the hubs, you do not have to be moving to put it into 4WD hi or low. If the hubs are engaged, you can put it into 4WD hi while moving but you must stop to put it in 4WD low if you have an electric shift transfer case. You can shift into 4WD low while moving with a manual shift transfer case but it is not advisable.
you should be stopped even if you have a manual t-case to go into 4-LO....the gear reduction is such a great change, that it could and will seriously damage the t-case shifting to 4-LO while in motion....

and there is no difference in a manual t-case and an auto as far as a shifting pattern......the only difference is that an auto t-case has an electric driven motor that shifts it instead of a "manual" operation........they both require the same shifting methods regardless...
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Old 05-11-2007
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You don't have to lock your hubs the second you are off of pavement unless you are going to be hitting some deep mud the second after.

It is harder to drive with locked hubs, the truck -at least mine anyway, pulls everywhere and makes driving at faster speeds dangerous (which following N3elz happens often). If I am first to approach a hole, I crawl the hole first, if it seems like its going to be too deep or sticky, I will back out and lock the hubs.

Afterthought: If I do get stuck for whatever reason in a hole, well that's why I've got a set of hip waiters with me.
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Old 05-11-2007
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awesome thanks guys!

last question in the pic i posted above there are 2 buttons, but i have searched and searched and can not find a better pic, but those are the 4x4 switches but why only 2?
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangerJustin
awesome thanks guys!

last question in the pic i posted above there are 2 buttons, but i have searched and searched and can not find a better pic, but those are the 4x4 switches but why only 2?
One for 4hi and one for 4low...
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Old 05-11-2007
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Sorry for the bad picture, but this is of my FSB, and you can just barely make it out...
One is "4x4" and the other is "Low Range"

You have to put it in "4x4" before you can put it in "Low Range"

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Old 05-11-2007
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so when i want to go back to just 2wd press whichever one is on and it will be fine?

EDIT: finally a good pic, so if im in low and i want out of 4x4 completely, i press the lo again then turn off high and im back in 2wd?
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Old 05-11-2007
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Better pic:

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I assume that to go into to 4hi you depress the 4x4 button. To then go into 4lo you depress the LOW RANGE button. To go back to 2wd drive you release the LOW RANGE button, and then release the 4x4 button...
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Old 05-11-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msl747
I assume that to go into to 4hi you depress the 4x4 button. To then go into 4lo you depress the LOW RANGE button. To go back to 2wd drive you release the LOW RANGE button, and then release the 4x4 button...
thats what i thought, thanks.

anyone feel one set up is better than the other?
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2007
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Well, my F150 has SOF with a **** instead of a button, and its fine for me, but this truck is never going to see any heavy duty off roading...
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Old 05-12-2007
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I personally would feel more comfortable with a manual t case. Simply because you know 100% that you put it in 4 wheel drive, and also it is probably less prone to fail then the push buttons. The buttons are electronic and can go out for a reason or no apparent reason. While there can be problems im assuming with the manual t case.. I just know if I had one itd be less prone to failure.
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