Why did Ford go to the live axle setup? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-02-2008
k.blakeley's Avatar
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Icon5 Why did Ford go to the live axle setup?

Personally I like the old manual hubs with the transfer case shifter. Why did they do away with that and go to the electronic transfer case? Whats the pros/cons of the live axle?
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Old 03-02-2008
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A live-axle (also called solid-axle, beam, or dead-axle) suspension is an automobile suspension that uses a single-piece axle to connect the front or rear wheels, side-to-side. This contrasts with an independent suspension (IRS) design which uses constant velocity joints to link the wheels, allowing the wheel on one side to move vertically while the other does not.

Live-axle is considered inferior to independent suspension because the drive components (shafts, gears, etc) are part of the suspension and move with it, thus greatly increasing unsprung weight and decreasing traction. Until the 1980s it was the most common form of driving axle found in the average rear-wheel drive car.

A typical live axle consists of a solid tube with a central casing containing the differential, with the wheels mounted on each end of the tube. The drive shafts (for driven wheels) run inside the tubes. The whole assembly is connected to the vehicle body or chassis by links and springs. Because the axle follows the road, with the vehicle body moving above it, drive is supplied to the axle via a swinging propeller shaft and universal joints. While relatively cheap to manufacture due to its simplicity, its weight (which is part of a vehicle's unsprung weight) can lead to handling problems.

credit given to www.madabout-kitcars.com
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Old 03-02-2008
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^Thats not what he means.

He is questioning the vacuum hubs vs the "live" hubs that are on rangers now.

IMO they got rid of the vacuums because they were unreliable. And the electric case because its easier for women and dumb people to use.
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Old 03-02-2008
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found this on a website makes a little sense

"In Fords wisdom that knowing eventually the hub seals or the vacuum won't work they gave you a overiding way of getting the hubs to work.
Some people will tell you that the manual hub is there because if your already stuck. in a snow bank or ditch.You need to have movement to alow the system to shift into 4wh.If that is the case then you get out and lock the hubs.
ESOF can be a bad thing or a good thing depends on when it works".
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Old 03-02-2008
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live axle hurts gas mileage and causes parts to wear faster because they are always moving. i hate it, i want manual hubs. i don't know any advantages to live axle.
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Old 03-02-2008
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The advantage is for all those lazy-asses out there who don't wanna get out to lock the hubs to use 4x4. Ford tried the PVH setup, but quickly realized it was crap and didn't work very well. They later switched to a live axle so you could shift into 4wd 'on the fly'.
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Old 03-02-2008
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actually it does not lower MPG enough to even matter. your foot does most of the MPG stuff.

it has been proven to not wear the parts any faster either. moving that fluid all the time and turning the CVs are keeping them loose, free and well oiled.

live axle isnt that bad, and i think PVH stinks. now if it was a true manual hubs that would be awesome.
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Old 03-02-2008
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Can I put manual hubs on mine and will that stop the front axle from turning untill I put it in 4wd? Or would I have to get a manual transfer case also?
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Old 03-02-2008
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To put manual hubs on yours you'd have to get the wheel bearing units and CV shafts from a 98-00 ranger, you'd also have to get the AVMs of course. It can be done, but it would cost in upwards of $500 with no real advantage.
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Old 03-02-2008
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its a manufacturing stand point also. Less parts is better for business. Liveaxle is much simpler then the PVH or Manual hubs. So if you can get away with making less parts and having a simpler installation, you increase profits.
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Old 03-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zabeard View Post

live axle isnt that bad, and i think PVH stinks. now if it was a true manual hubs that would be awesome.
It's funny how for the longest time '98-'00 4WD Ranger owners like myself had to worry about the probability of the PVH system failing on us with seemingly no options available except to buy over-priced PVH replacement hubs from Ford. With virtually no gurantees as to how long the new PVH hubs would last. I remember what a lousy feeling that was.

Then it was discovered that the PVH hubs could be modified and locked in permanently (removing vacuum from the equation), essentially putting them on par with the '01+ "live axle" setup. This helped to ease the anxiety of many a PVH Ranger owner.

Then, after a very long wait and many broken promises and false alarms, the AVM replacement hubs from Brazil finally became available here in the US. Which means that nowadays a '98-'00 4WD Ranger owner has the option of going with a "true" live axle/manual hub setup.
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Old 03-02-2008
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live axle means parts always turning. IFS or not dosent matter

i am old fat and lazy, there is no way i want to get out and lock a hub to use 4x4 when i can simply pull a lever and have instant traction!
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