I'm a new powerstroke owner, it's an 03, 4x4 CC 7.3L with 6spd manual and shift on the fly turn nob 4x4.
I really poured over this truck before purchasing but managed not to check if I could lock/unlock the hubs (I did check it went in and out of 4x4 and 4low properly but as the weather was lousy and threatening to snow so I just left them locked, which is how they were initially). When I tried to unlock them after weather cleared I couldn't turn them by hand, but it was dark out and I thought maybe they were just "faux" manual hubs or something. However, I changed my oil today and looked closer and they definitely look like manual hubs, however I literally can't turn them AT ALL, I even have an old pipe wrench that fits very nicely in the gaps and all I could do was start twisting the plastic bar that is supposed to turn the hub. This hub doesn't have the traditional arrows for lock and unlock that I'm used to seeing so I can't even tell which way they should turn, but I tried both and couldn't budge them a bit.
In addition to this, I've noticed a light growl at very low speeds, when the truck is more or less idling and not under accel or decel pressure. It goes away promptly if I accelerate It's similar to the sound I remember hearing around the same speed on my brother's old 78 chevy 3/4 ton and maybe is just how big trucks sound, but I'm not used to it and not sure if it indicates possible dry transfer case or something
1. I'm thinking I clearly need new manual hubs.
Does anyone have a diagram of the hub assembly and know if I need any special tools and about how long it takes? I'm mechanically competent but need to know if I'm looking at needing a press or custom tool or something.
2. Is there an aftermarket hub that is better/more reliable/cheaper?
3. Is the light growl typical when idling along in these beasts?