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Old 11-16-2005, 06:51 PM
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Hubs Locked?

I need some opinions....
It started snowing tonight here in Michigan ....and needless to say the road crews werent ready. Most of the streets around here are a solid sheet of ice, and on my way home tonight i saw about 4 accidents in less than half a mile. I actually ended up backwards in a main road twice, only doing 5mph.
I finally got out locked the hubs and threw it in 4wd. Here's what i was wondering...
Is it a bad idea to just leave the hubs locked so you can just shift into 4wd on the fly? I've heard both ways, some say it's hard on u-joints and parts, some say they've always done it and it's not a problem. This is actually my first Ford, and all my other trucks have had auto locks so I've never had to worry about it.
I'd appreciate any input.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:06 PM
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I would not recomend running down the highway with the hubs locked in but around town Under about fifty mile an hour I think is okay I have worked on a lot of Fords with manual hubs and have never seen a u joint fail from the hubs being locked in usually the enviroment there running in is. Spinning the tires and suddenly stopping them such as hitting dry pavement is harder on u-joint then anything. Now if the wheather gets decent and you know you wont need 4wd kick them out.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:22 AM
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That's a really good question...... I'm wondering about it as well.... I spend most of the winter heading over passes and usually lock my hubs in before I leave my house (don't want to have to stop to lock them in and let all the idiots get by that I just spent 1.5 hours passing) ... Is that ok? OR, should I wait till closer and suck it up and just pull of the road?

Also, is there a specific speed one should be under when kicking it into 4WD?
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:17 PM
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I've always kept it below 45mph in 4wd, I figure if its bad enough to have it in 4wd I shouldn't being over 45 anyways, and if the pavement is clear enough to go over 45, it's too dry for 4wd......that might not be right, I'm no mechanic
As far as the hubs...I'm still not sure. I can't imagine it would hurt anything, as far as I know they just unlock to help the truck roll more freely and reduce unneeded wear on parts ....but man it'd be nice to be able to shift on the fly.

We'll see what everyone says.
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:18 PM
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i thing Chevelle hit it on the nose, if you are commuting around 45 MPH or slower and you expect to need 4 wheel then leave the hubs engaged (Note: the added rolling resistence of the hubs being locked but the x-fer case in 2H may increase the chance of loosing control on ice)

As far as when you can engage 4 wheel i do at speeds slower then 25 MPH and at a steady speed (Any torque either accelerating or engine braking is what would damage the clutch on a part time transfer case)

two other tips for slippery conditions: add some weight to the rear of the truck, this will help with traction. My dad had a '79 F-250 with 460 and 2 wheel drive he had 20 Cinder blocks (700 pounds) in the very rear of the bed. Also a little known trick with auto transmissions is to take off in 2nd gear, if you you put your shifter in to 2 your transmission will ignore 1st gear and take off in second. this reduces torque to the wheels which helps you avoid sudden wheel spin.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:24 PM
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james what about on my o5 it has auto and lock on the hubs not lock and free. Would you use lock just for serious wheelin and auto for snow&ice commuting?
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Old 11-17-2005, 07:37 PM
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Thanks James & Chevelle.......makes sense to me
I think if it's real bad outside I'll just lock them up, just in case.
If it's not i'll keep them unlocked as much as possible.
I put 360lbs in the back today and I'm putting another 120 in tomorrow...so all in all I'll have just under 500 lbs in the back. Hopefully that combined with some finesse on the gas will keep me going forward from now on.....I hope.
Thanks again
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Old 11-18-2005, 07:29 AM
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Great info guys! I drive the winter conditions all the time, but this is the first time in this truck and haven't had manual hubs since my 90 F250/460, sold that in 97.... I know the A$$$$ end on this PSD is probably going to need all the weight I can get back there while still leaving room for other items.... soooooooooo, which would be better, cinder blocks or sand bags?

Heading over next week for turkey day and always like to be prepared for any driving conditions.
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Old 11-18-2005, 09:01 AM
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In my older 4WD's, with lock in/out, I would do just that. Lock in in bad weather, noting to stay within a reasonable speed. I agree that over 45.....no real need for 4wd probably. I used to run with mine locked in now and then anyway for a few short miles. Heard it wasn't too bad of an idea.....not sure. What I miss in my '05 is not having "free". Sometimes I need a little "grunt" when backing my trailer but don't necessarily need the 4WD. I liked it when I could put it in 4L and not have to worry about the front binding when I turned the wheels a slightly in the driveway.
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Old 11-18-2005, 08:01 PM
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holy crap i just lost about a hour's worth of work for my reply to this thread....


okay...

bdcnst> i use auto all the time, the manual is just there for back up. the auto feature is vaccum operated (look for the hoses going into the top of the hubs)

Banshee34> it doesn't matter, just get some weight back there like 500-800 pounds

FireFighterE33>i was going to mention somthing about atlas t-cases then found some other good info on new process gear case identification, also that NP had been bought out buy Daimler/chrysler and some other company. Then i was dreaming up how to break out the high-low range function from the 4x2-4x4 function and how cool it'd be to have 2L-4L shift on the fly and even neutral with a electronic t-case.. but alas i lost the meat of my post and i'm too flipping tired to do it again, sorry i'll reast up and re-attack in the AM
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