What Do Locking Hubs Do?

Locking hubs were made to engage and disengage the front wheels from the front shafts. The idea was to keep the parts that weren’t needed in 2WD mode from rotating, thus increasing gas mileage.

To use the brakes, you must first stop the vehicle, then shift the transmission into a 4-wheel drive. If you try to start the vehicle while the brakes are applied, the transmission will lock up and the brakes will not work. It’s best to wait until the brakes have stopped working before starting the vehicle.

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Freewheeling wheel with no locking capability

Freewheeling hubs or locking hubs engage or disengage the front axle half shaft from the hub of the front wheels.

Part-time four-wheel-drive vehicles come in a wide variety of forms, with a wide variety of ways to select 4WD. Older vehicles often come equipped with freewheel hubs that allow the driver to choose between 4WD and AWD. It can be tricky to find the proper setting for your vehicle, especially when it’s raining or snowing.

What Is The Difference Between A Manual And An Automatic Locking Hub?

There is no limit to the speed of a vehicle that can be driven on a public highway. However, you should not exceed the posted speed limits. You should keep your vehicle within the safe speed range of 70 miles per hour. So you can keep up with your limit when your hubs lock, but it isn’t a rule.

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Automatic wheel locking hub

If the 4WD is engaged and the hub locks are disengaged, nothing much happens. But that rotation will not be transferred to the back wheels.

The purpose of the locking hub is to prevent the transfer of power from the rear to the front when the vehicle is in 4WD mode.

I would suggest that you disconnect the locking hubs when you are not using them. The noise level will be lower, and you will be able to drive more quietly on the road. If you need to use 4WD, you can lock the hubs, but do not unlock them until you are ready to shift into 4WD.

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Modern auto wheel locking hub on an AMG modified Mercedes

Is A Locking Hub The Same As A Diff Lock?

No, a locking hub is not the same thing as a differential lock. In 2WD, a locking hub does not lock the front axles together, it locks both driveshafts together. The front and rear wheels are still turning, but the rear wheels are no longer pulling. Red lines indicate rotating parts.

The most common cause of a locking hub not engaging is rust, dirt, or poor workmanship on the part of the manufacturer. If this is the case, you should have the car inspected by a professional mechanic. If the problem is with the transmission or transmission case, you should have it checked by a professional.

They aren’t doing anything but locking the axle to the hub. Locked is locked as long as they are not broken. In special cases, changing the direction of travel will temporarily unlock the hubs. I’m not sure if our hubs work like this. If they do, then manually locking them will stop this moment of unlocking.

If your automatic hub system is properly working, the hub will lock. If you have an open differential in the axle, power will go to the wheel that has the least traction. If you have a limited-slip differential, the power goes to both wheels.

If you have a “locker” in the axle, it will lock both axles together like a solid rod between the wheels and both wheels will turn. (OK, they can unlock when needed in a mechanical and when you turn them off in the case of air or electric locker).

Can I Use Wheel Locks Instead Of A Diff Lock?

No. None of this has anything to do with the hub locks (manual or auto) to have true 4wd where all wheels get power, you need lockers or solid axle front and rear… but that’s not very friendly on the street. That’s why they have differentials.

Solid or locked axles each tire to spin the same speed on that axle and that’s bad in turns because you need the outside tire to rotate faster than the inside or the wheel will slip on the inside (the chirp from an axle with a locker in a corner or sometimes a spin-out).

A no open or LS differential allows each tire to rotate at different speeds.in the case of my truck, I have 2-3wd in a sense. LS in the rear that will hold spinning to a point (1-2 wheels) and an open front differential that give me 1 more wheel with power. 3wd until the rear LS lets go and only 1 spin giving me 2wd.

So you don’t have to get out and turn the hub lock. why are there manual hub locks on automatic hubs? When they don’t work automatically, you can get out and lock them manually and get unstuck.

Auto Or Manual Diff Lock

I get better 4×4 action or true 4 wheel drive. Is there a manual way to lock my auto hub? No (OK in some cases yes). If your hubs are locked, they are locked whether it’s the internal auto-lock working or manually.. they aren’t doing anything but locking the axle to the hub. Locked is locked as long as they are not broken.

In special cases, changing the direction of travel (forward to back, or back to forward) will momentarily unlock the hubs for example a ’97 Ford Ranger does this.

You’ll find that your vehicle will turn out to be more maneuverable and you’ll have more control over it when you’re on the move. You can also increase your gas mileage by keeping your windows and doors closed at highway speeds.

Locking wheel hubs are great. They are necessary for certain applications and some people need them for their older trucks. For the 4x4er with 2 or 3 locking diffs, you may want a locking for looks or for additional protection against the elements. So what do locking hubs do? They lock your wheels from free spinning.

Thanks for reading and stay dirty