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I have a 2006 F-350 XLT with the electronic 4x4 engagement. When I turn the switch to 4 high, it does not seem as if the hubs are being vacuum locked. If turned manually, 4x4 works fine. I’ve been on YouTube and trying to read articles about this issue and it seems that a lot of people have this problem. I tried the hvac vent trick to test for a vacuum system leak and the hvac system did not switch to defrost. I’m wondering if my locking hubs are shot? They are both very hard to turn and I have to use pliers every time and I am afraid they will break when I need them most. Has anyone solved this issue before?
 

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Sometimes need to lube the seal where the knob turns in the metal part to make it turn easier

Does the vacuum pump run? all the time? -- you only need to key on to test -- it is mounted on the RH fender liner
if the pump is running, pull the line connector off, and put your finger over the port -- does the pump stop?
 

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Sometimes need to lube the seal where the knob turns in the metal part to make it turn easier

Does the vacuum pump run? all the time? -- you only need to key on to test -- it is mounted on the RH fender liner
if the pump is running, pull the line connector off, and put your finger over the port -- does the pump stop?


Yes. When I turn the key on to the run position, I can hear it running for a few seconds and it will then shut off.
 

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The auto lock hubs work like an ink pen -- push to lock out, push again to release
the vacuum solenoid operates the same way

Easiest way to test the system is with a vacuum gauge, or better yet a hand held vacuum pump -- such as the one harbor freight sells

Need to verify the solenoid is actuating and that the lines to the auto hubs can hold pressure
can test the lines and hubs from the vacuum solenoid port
a tee and short piece of vacuum hose would help


PS: if you need to replace the solenoid, only use a genuine Ford -- the Doorman is junk
 

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I have a 2006 F-350 XLT with the electronic 4x4 engagement. When I turn the switch to 4 high, it does not seem as if the hubs are being vacuum locked. If turned manually, 4x4 works fine. I’ve been on YouTube and trying to read articles about this issue and it seems that a lot of people have this problem. I tried the hvac vent trick to test for a vacuum system leak and the hvac system did not switch to defrost. I’m wondering if my locking hubs are shot? They are both very hard to turn and I have to use pliers every time and I am afraid they will break when I need them most. Has anyone solved this issue before?

If I may interject here. I’ve been there several times these hubs. They are a pain, and have been since the day they invented them.

The plastic selector seal gets dried out, dirty, etc. That’s why it’s hard to turn. You can try WD40 (insert your favourite penetrating oil here) around the circumference of the selector it self. And then work it back and forth to work it in and loosen it up. Sometime it helps. This will not help the vacuum system issue, only the selector turning issue. And it only lasts so long, depending where you drive.

Best is to remove the hubs, disassemble them, remove the actual selector from the hub - clean, grease and reinstall the selector - and the hubs overall. But they just do the same thing again - dry out, hard to turn, etc etc.

As for the vacuum system, it’s just pain to chase as well. See above posts, and many other threads here.

If you do not need/care about the auto lock, Warn hubs are the way to go. You will not have auto on them. Easy to instal. DIY in the driveway. Then block off the vacuum system. Again, several ways to do that. Lots of threads on it.

Cheers,
 

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If your going to clean and lubricate them 40 or 50 wt motor oil is what Ford recommends, wheel bearing grease is to thick and it can make the hubs hard to turn.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
If I may interject here. I’ve been there several times these hubs. They are a pain, and have been since the day they invented them.

The plastic selector seal gets dried out, dirty, etc. That’s why it’s hard to turn. You can try WD40 (insert your favourite penetrating oil here) around the circumference of the selector it self. And then work it back and forth to work it in and loosen it up. Sometime it helps. This will not help the vacuum system issue, only the selector turning issue. And it only lasts so long, depending where you drive.

Best is to remove the hubs, disassemble them, remove the actual selector from the hub - clean, grease and reinstall the selector - and the hubs overall. But they just do the same thing again - dry out, hard to turn, etc etc.

As for the vacuum system, it’s just pain to chase as well. See above posts, and many other threads here.

If you do not need/care about the auto lock, Warn hubs are the way to go. You will not have auto on them. Easy to instal. DIY in the driveway. Then block off the vacuum system. Again, several ways to do that. Lots of threads on it.

Cheers,




I know they’re easy to take off, but how hard to disassemble? Is it just a snap ring or clip that holds the gear assembly together and they will just slide apart?
 

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If your going to clean and lubricate them 40 or 50 wt motor oil is what Ford recommends, wheel bearing grease is to thick and it can make the hubs hard to turn.

For the selector, I’d recommend a good silicone grease, or a marine grease. Doesn’t wash out as easily, oil is a little on the light side imho.

No matter what you do, they wash out, get dirty, dusty etc etc. Get sticky again. All depends where you’re driving.
 

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I know they’re easy to take off, but how hard to disassemble? Is it just a snap ring or clip that holds the gear assembly together and they will just slide apart?

I can’t remember the exact disassembly on those, been a few years since I had a set apart. I’d have to go find a old set in my parts and see exactly what the procedure is. You can probably google an exploded view of the parts diagram. If you’re going to keep the truck, I’d recommend a full set of shop manuals. Everything will be in there. You can buy them on eBay on a CD these days.

To answer your question, they are not difficult to do in your home garage. Just keep track of how they come apart. If I remember correct, some of them can be disassembled wrong, and still fit back on the hub.

Do you need/want the auto?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can’t remember the exact disassembly on those, been a few years since I had a set apart. I’d have to go find a old set in my parts and see exactly what the procedure is. You can probably google an exploded view of the parts diagram. If you’re going to keep the truck, I’d recommend a full set of shop manuals. Everything will be in there. You can buy them on eBay on a CD these days.

To answer your question, they are not difficult to do in your home garage. Just keep track of how they come apart. If I remember correct, some of them can be disassembled wrong, and still fit back on the hub.

Do you need/want the auto?

I would like the auto to work if I can figure out what the issue is. I’m going to go to harbor freight and get a hand vacuum pump and test if the lines and hubs hold. If it becomes too much of a hassle, I will just use them as manuals. But definitely going to take them apart to spray/lubricate them so they’re not super hard to turn. Thanks for your info!
 
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