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Old 02-17-2016
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: middletown
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Mechanic Disconnected Hub?

Last year brought my truck a (1994 XLT 4x4 V6) to a mechanic for noise coming from my front end. He called me the next day and told me that he had to replace a ball joint. He said while taking everything apart he found something else wrong and the 4 wheel drive won't work unless he fixes it. He gave me the option of paying $800 for the whole thing or just disable the 4 wheel drive and pay the $200 and fix the 4x4 at a later date.

My question is, what do you guys think the problem is cause he never told me. I am thinking the hub assembly... But on my vehicle would this just be the locking hub or the whole rotor/hub?
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Old 02-17-2016
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Welcome to the forum

The Automatic hubs were a problem as they got older, and new replacement parts haven't been available for many years, 1997 was last year for that type, '98-'00 were a different style which were actually worse than the older style, Ford abandoned auto hubs in 2001 and all Rangers from then on got full time locked front wheels/axles, "Live Axle" is what Ford called that.

Your best option is to switch to manually locking/unlocking front hubs, where you need to rotate the hub mechanism manually on each front wheel to lock it or unlock it.
Couple of How-Tos here: Automatic To Manual Hub Conversion
TRS Magazine - Ford Ranger Manual Hub Swap

No pulling off the rotor or wheel hub is needed.

Hopefully when the mechanic did the ball joints he replaced the u-joints in the front axles, they are not an expensive part and easy to change when doing ball joints.

Many with manual hubs leave them locked through out the winter months, so they only need to shift transfer case to 4WD and back to 2WD as needed, thats the way it is on all 2001 and up Rangers, except they can not unlock front wheels in the Summer.
Have front wheels locked only cost about .3MPG so not a big deal, but not 0MPG either, so unlocking them does save a bit.

Last edited by RonD; 02-17-2016 at 12:46 PM.
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