Locking hub recommendations? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Power Strokes 1994-1997 Upgrades and Aftermarket Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1994-1997 Ford F-Series with Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Locking hub recommendations?

'97 F350 crew cab 4x4. I don't like manual locking hubs and want to replace them with automatic locking hubs. Because I'm in and out of 4x4 so often I just leave them locked all the time, but I would prefer an automatic hub instead for better mileage. Does anyone manufacture quality automatic locking hubs for the '97 F350 Dana 60?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 02:55 PM
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Warn hubs have lasted the best for me. I have close to 200,000 miles on mine. I use my 4 wheel driver almost weekly.

2002 f250 7.3 4x4 256,000miles. Bone stock other than hutch mode and edge evo programer I use for gadges most of the time. I also have air bags on back for towing.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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I cannot locate a link for Warn automatic locking hubs for the F350; can you share a part number?
Thanks,
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 04:13 PM
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I don't believe that there is a aftermarket kit for automatic hubs.

99.99% of everyone goes the other direction. For automatic hubs you are going to have to do some wiring and run vacuum lines to get them to work.

What's wrong with just leaving your hubs turned in? When I was working and drove a truck with locking hubs I would just turn them in with the first storm of the winter and not turn them out until the following spring. I even did this with my personal vehicles with zero problems.

96 F250 PS XLT 4X4 long box, 5sp,4.10, manual hubs,pyro+boost guages, Dark Toumaline, add a leaf, Dale's TYMAR, and HX hose, downpipe, coolant filter, Luk clutch
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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What's wrong with just leaving your hubs turned in?
That's what I'm doing now; I just hoped that there was an autolocking hub available.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-16-2019, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaCowboy View Post
That's what I'm doing now; I just hoped that there was an autolocking hub available.
I am with you, I like the convenience and improved fuel efficiency of the auto locking hubs.

It may be time for you to upgrade to a modern Powerstroke like the 7.3


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 10:28 AM
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There are mechanical automatic hub locks, that need NO vaccum or wiring. But IDK if they fit that axle. Study this picture & its caption; then the ones on your truck:


(phone app link)


If you can't find some locally, those are still in my junkpile & for sale. E-mail me through my profile here or on SMN.


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 12:03 PM
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My experience with the auto-locking hubs was poor. Pickup was equipped with them from new. First winter we had LOTS of snow, stuck plenty. SOP is rock it back n forth to get yourself free. Hub fails. New one on warranty. After the 3rd go-round at the dealer to get a hub, they ask me what I'm doing to break them. I say my piece, and we all arrive at the same conclusion- when rocking, the hub cycles from lock-unlock-lock and so forth. Too much weight and power, and BANG! They wouldn't warranty backwards to twist-outs, so I bought a set and they're on the D50 front axle out in the scrap pile. Never had a lick of trouble after.

My $0.02...!

'94 1/2 F250 4x4, SuperCab XLT, 5 spd, SMF w/ Valaeo clutch, 4.10 (syn. lube), Rotella 5W40 Syn, manual hubs, B&W Gooseneck hitch, Cooper ST Maxx tires in 235/85R16, authentic TYMAR intake, 4" AFE exhaust, FRP mod., SD starter, Isspro boost/pyro,digital thermometer, homebuilt exhaust brake, 194K Fresh factory injectors at 186K, TS-6 chip. Dana 60 conversion! "Its only a pickup. Trucks have a button on the shifter!"


'12 F150 Supercrew, 4x4, 5.0L, Lariat, 146K, "Race Red" and no speeding tickets yet...


1996 Bronco, last of the line! XLT, 5.8L, 160K and going strong!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:29 PM
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I used to think that, but they don't unlock when reversing in 4WD; only when the hub rolls the opposite direction of the last time it was driven by the (stopped) axle stub. And it takes ~1.5 revs.

And the ones in my pile can be switched to LOCK.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:21 PM
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Reverse disengages auto locking hubs?

Is that only on these 94-97?

I don't have it on my 2000 & 2002 and I used the auto locking all the time and prefer it to manual hubs.

Sure sounds like a knuckleheaded design to have reverse disengage a hub.


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2002 F-250 4x4 CC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 182,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II, AIC, Bilstein 5100, Stancor GPR, Marinco Mod, B&W Turnover Ball, Michelin Defender LTX


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2002 F-250 4x4 SC LB 7.3 PSD w/ZF-6. 177,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. ScanGauge-II. Bilstein 5100. Noco Mod. Michelin Defender LTX 285/75/16.

SOLD:
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2000 F-250 4x4 SC SB 7.3 PSD w/4R100. 164,000 miles.
NOS Black CPS. Rebuilt Fuel bowl w/gold spring, 6.0 Cooler, Walker BTM, Stancor GPR, Michelin LTX M&S2.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:33 PM
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In order to unlock the hubs you would back up a bit.

Also to lock the automatics in you had to be moving. If you got stuck and couldn't move the front end you were done for.

I have also seen them unlock when backing up even when the transfer case was engaged in 4x4.

96 F250 PS XLT 4X4 long box, 5sp,4.10, manual hubs,pyro+boost guages, Dark Toumaline, add a leaf, Dale's TYMAR, and HX hose, downpipe, coolant filter, Luk clutch
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:47 PM
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I’ve had them engage for no reason on dry pavement. Life gets very interesting at 60 MPH when that happens. Then you hope the next offramp has clean restrooms
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 08:40 AM
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Automatic hubs have minds of their own at times.

I have seen them unlock in reverse even with the switch and even the levers in 4x4 mode.

And as Buffalohead mentioned I have had them engage at higher speeds 5 miles after you have put the switch or lever into 4x4 mode. One time that happened I thought that the whole front end was coming apart or that I had hit a brick wall.

I have never trusted them and I have owned and have been driving 4x4 vehicles since the early 70's both personal and on the job.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 09:12 AM
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Anything can malfunction - especially when neglected, like auto hub locks usually are. But the pure-automatic hub locks are designed to lock only when the axleshaft is driving them. Generally, the truck will roll because of the rear wheels. But the fronts will lock even if the rears are slipping and the fronts aren't rolling. They only unlock if the axle is NOT driving them, and the truck moves the opposite direction of the last time the fronts were driven. They do NOT unlock every time the truck changes direction.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 09:33 AM
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No one said that they unlock every time but they have been known to unlock.

Plus I have seen 4x4 vehicles stuck in one place even after having the 4x4 engaged with auto hubs because the front end won't move.

96 F250 PS XLT 4X4 long box, 5sp,4.10, manual hubs,pyro+boost guages, Dark Toumaline, add a leaf, Dale's TYMAR, and HX hose, downpipe, coolant filter, Luk clutch
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