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Auto Locking Hubs explanation

129147 Views 24 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  97_7.3_4X4
Ok Ive gone through a lot of threads here and cannot find an answer to my question.

I have a 2001 F250 7.3 Diesel. I just replaced both auto locking hubs and wheel bearings. All tested fine and according to my mechanic, all is working normally. I want to know if 4WD low engagement is the same as getting out of your truck and locking the hubs manually. If I have my hubs in the "auto" position, why do I still have to get out and rotate the hubs into manual. Some people are telling me that because of limited slip differential that I dont have full 4WD until I get out and change the hubs to manual. So my question is why have auto locking hubs if I still have to manually change the hubs.

It seems like I have half 4WD until I lock the hubs myself. Then its great. I've gotten stuck in snow many times thinking I have engaged 4WD when I haven't.
Its frustrating when everyone with 4WD is just plowing past you.

Thx anyone

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Yes, both hubs lock. the dash knob is just a vacuum operated way of locking the hubs to the end of the axle and also shifts the transfer case.

Locking the hubs (either with the automatic vacuum method on the dash or getting out and turning the knobs) locks your wheels/hubs to the axles. the differential is still a differential. It does not lock the 2 halves of the axle together. The wheel with the least amount of traction will get the most power in an open differential type set up.
Excellent post. Just what I was looking for and the reason for joining. As a follow-up, I found the below:

Is your 4WD ESOF (electric shift on the fly) not working? Chances are the hoses to your vacuum operated hubs are dry rotted or the steel fittings at the hubs are rusted and leaking. DIESELSITE 4WD ESOF hose kits will replace the fittings and rubber vacuum hoses. These hoses are a stainless braided upgrade to your OEM hoses.

These upgraded hoses are made from Teflon lined, stainless steel braided lines. Your purchase will include both the driver and the passenger side hoses. Manufactured to fit 1999-2004 Ford Superduty 5.4L / V10 / 7.3L - F250, F350


Just bought a pair after 2 hours of swearing at my F250 PSD 7.3L stuck in the Ohio mud yesterday while I watched my left rear spin and other Uniroyal 285/75/R16s just laughed as I switched manual locks and the "magic 4x4 button" waiting for my daughter to come get me with the Suburban 1500.

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