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Posted: 12/10/2003 6:31:07 PM EDT
Ok, I've gotten different opinions over the years as to when it is ok to lock in the hubs.


In fact, it has gotten me fairly paranoid to switch into four wheel drive unless the roads are completely covered.


I've even heard that you can cause serious damage by simply driving on snow covered roads and hitting spots of dry pavement.

Anyway, I'd like to take advantage of the 4X4 that I have. But don't wan't to damage anything either.


How bad does it need to be to for you to switch into 4X4? Slushy? Snowy? Icy? Worse?

I've been driving 4X4's for awhile, but don't know if I have been to cautious and not taking advantage of what I have more often than I shoould.


poll incoming........
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:34:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 6:35:59 PM EDT by Scottman]
Re: Damage if you hit dry pavement, whoever told you that must be a blockhead. What if you're hill climbing and hit a patch of dry pavement? duuuh... In bad weather I switch to 4wheel when I feel like I need a little more control and/or momentum preservation. Sometimes that's slush, sometimes it's rain (first rain on new asphalt? That's oily shit. In a pickup with nothing in the bed, you do a lot of spinning.) So it depends on my feel for what kind of control I have. Scott
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:38:59 PM EDT
Hubs? Only primitives use hubs. Land Rover CW
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:43:45 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cold_Warrior: Hubs? Only primitives use hubs. Land Rover CW
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Rovers are nice. But the seats sure make my ass and legs sore. Still not sure why they can't make more comfortable seats.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:47:47 PM EDT
Cuz that would raise the price another 10K. My hubs autolock when I pull the tc into 4hi.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 6:49:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 6:52:44 PM EDT by TheHurtgenForest]
Wet/slippery conditions on streets and highways = 4 High. Snowy conditions on highways = 4 High. Extreme snow = 4 Low or 4 High depending on how bad it is. Off roading = 4 wheel drive period. BTW - Locking in the hubs doesn't put you into 4 wheel drive. It's not until after locking in the hubs and then shifting the transfer case will you be in 4 wheel drive.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:00:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TheHurtgenForest: Wet/slippery conditions on streets and highways = 4 High. Snowy conditions on highways = 4 High. Extreme snow = 4 Low or 4 High depending on how bad it is. Off roading = 4 wheel drive period. BTW - Locking in the hubs doesn't put you into 4 wheel drive. It's not until after locking in the hubs and then shifting the transfer case will you be in 4 wheel drive.
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How old of a system are you talking about,the newer ones aren't like my old 81 manual hand cranked hubs! Get up to speed alltherealgoodnamesweretakensoblowme Bob [:D]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:02:36 PM EDT
What he said. About the worst thing leaving the hubs locked in all the time will do is decrease your gas mileage. You actually have to put it in 4wd before you are doing anything. Locking the hubs just causes you front axles to spin with the tires. Supposedly driving on dry pavement can cause your 4wd to bind up a bit but it shouldn't result in any catastrophic failure...just increases wear. I avoid the whole thing by having electric hubs...which aren't as good for real offroading but work great for only needing 4wd for ice/snow and some occasional mud. Short answer: When the weather starts getting bad lock em in and leave em...then you can simply engage 4wd when you need it without having to get out of the vehicle.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:02:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 7:05:31 PM EDT by Waldo]
Mine work automagically. In fact they're always locked, but the axle has a splitter.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:03:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 7:04:43 PM EDT by glazer1972]
Originally Posted By Cold_Warrior: Hubs? Only primitives use hubs. Land Rover CW
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I thought only morons who couldn't figure out how to turn hubs liked electronic shift on the fly and other systems.[;D] I like manual locking hubs. Lock them in before you leave the house.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:13:32 PM EDT
Originally Posted By glazer1972:
Originally Posted By Cold_Warrior: Hubs? Only primitives use hubs. Land Rover CW
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[red]I thought only morons who couldn't figure out how to turn hubs liked electronic shift on the fly and other systems.[;D][/red] I like manual locking hubs. Lock them in before you leave the house.
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Only techno-peasants would have to shift into 4wd. CW [+]:D]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:17:56 PM EDT
My 81 K-10 came with auto =matics which meant you have to back up to enguage them(which is a no go hell you are stuck you can't back up) so I replaced mine with manuals! You get stuck you get out turn them to lock and drive on! Pluse with the auto-matics after taking them out you have to back up untill you hear or feel them unlock(if not when you turn a corner the hubs and drive shafts can exit the wheel housings! Bob
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:19:45 PM EDT
Before I could attempt to give you an intelligent answer (not that I could, but I could attempt it), you'll need to explain a few things. Like what exactly is snow? Slush? I'm familiar with ice, but how do you get a 4x4 into a drinking glass? I have to agree with Scottman, whenever you think you need it, use it. "I've even heard that you can cause serious damage by simply driving on snow covered roads and hitting spots of dry pavement." IIrc, this mostly has to do with turning. The outside tire needs to be able to slip a little bit to reduce the stress on other components, i.e. u-joints, differntial gears, etc. On dry asphalt, the tire doesn't slip as easily, causing premature wear. This seems to be a bigger problem on older vehicles, as the parts are already worn to a certain degree. I have also been told that some manufacturers use a slightly different gear ratio in the front diff., which can cause problems with the rear wheels trying to turn faster than the front(or vice-versa). Right, wrong, or otherwise, this concludes my attempt at an intelligent answer. Thank you and good night.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:35:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bobbyjack:
Originally Posted By TheHurtgenForest: Wet/slippery conditions on streets and highways = 4 High. Snowy conditions on highways = 4 High. Extreme snow = 4 Low or 4 High depending on how bad it is. Off roading = 4 wheel drive period. BTW - Locking in the hubs doesn't put you into 4 wheel drive. It's not until after locking in the hubs and then shifting the transfer case will you be in 4 wheel drive.
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How old of a system are you talking about,the newer ones aren't like my old 81 manual hand cranked hubs! Get up to speed alltherealgoodnamesweretakensoblowme Bob [:D]
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I am up to speed. He asked when is it a good time to "lock in the hubs?" And I replied "locking in the hubs doesn't do a thing until you shift the transfer case." In other words, he can go outside right now and "lock in his hubs" and drive like that forever. It can snow like a sonofabitch and his next question should be "When is a good time to shift my trnsfer case into 4 wheel drive?" [:D]
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 7:46:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2003 7:49:10 PM EDT by offctr]
I go with manual hubs and lock em when the roads start getting bad or in weather where they might be needed,then if I need 4wd I shift the transfer case in and I'm good to go. Automatic hubs are nice but can be fikle just when you need them most plus most folks dont maintain em or check the cluthes and stuff for wear and function. You wont damage the vehicle by locking the hubs and running in two wheel drive till you need 4 -- your milage may suffer a bit but thats all. running with hubs locked and in 4wd on dry paved roads is discouraged by some manufacturers in some vehicles as it does not allow for slip between the front and rear axles and can wear out or break some of the transfer case or diveline components. Also some vehicles have problems running in 4wd at hwy speeds as the 4wd system can make the vehicle hard to control at 55 or above especially in turns unless they were designed as full time 4wd systems. Certian other factors come into play such as IFS or solid axle and wether the front axle has U-joint steering knuckles or CV joint half shaft type arrangement. some vehicles with "automatic" hubs really arent they are just a gear under a cover and are locked all the time with an axle "disconnect" on one side of the axle which is vacum or selonoid operated when the case is shifted in 4wd. Between the disconnect mechanisim and the differential in the front axle the front wheels freewheel in two and are locked in four.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:18:23 PM EDT
I just push a botton and TOD engages.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:21:46 PM EDT
I don't my, my Explorer has AWD. I just turn the knob when I want to be cool and do it myself. [:D] My Porsche stays parked. It is absolutely one of the worst cars on ice.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 8:29:40 PM EDT
November.
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 9:15:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/10/2003 9:18:07 PM EDT
Axel [ROFL] Lots of variables here; 1) If you are using Auto Hubs (Very nice UNTIL they fail to lock up in a frozen mudhole. Then TOTAL SHIT. Replace them if you EVER go offroad) if using autohubs, lock them in when you start getting some icing. Slush isn't too bad unless you're gunning it in which case you should go back to a geo metro cause you'll kill someone someday. 2) If you are using manual hubs (bummer when it's cold but NICE when in a freezing mudhole miles from the road and you can lock them in with some vise grips) then lock them in when the snow starts flying. Then just shift between 2H and 4H/4L when you need it. The locked hubs don't hurt anything, just a **slight** degredation in gas mileage but I've never been able to tell the difference (81 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 and 79 Jeep CJ 5) 3) the "ruining stuff" on dry pavement comes from; a)Older, fully locked systems with lockers, on dry pavement, turning. The outer wheel can't unbind and you can blow a hub out. b) never, "open" differentials shouldn't do this unless you are in a parking lot, locked in 4L and doing full power cookies. Even then they'd probably survive. So just put er in 4 wheel and don't sweat it. If you hit any really dry, high traction surfaces and feel the urge to drive in circles, take it out of 4 wheel and either backup to unlock the auto hubs, or leave the manuals locked in. In case you missed it before, if you EVER leave pavement, especially for very far and with family members, get MANUAL hubs and travel in a group. I learned a very hard lesson about auto hubs once that you don't want to relearn. Same thing goes for "shit on the fly" [sic]. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. For "serious" offroad, I like transfer cases I can put in 4h/l with an iron rod, not a button. Then if the rod snaps off I can still shift 4h/l 2h with my vise grips. Enjoy, if you want to hit me offline for clarification on anything, feel free. matt crashburnrepeat
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:52:07 AM EDT
Lock hubs in September, unlock in March. [:)] Unlock when you have a couple hundred miles of clean dry pavement. 4wd when ice is on the road, or could be. 4 low when driving through 8" of snow or more.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 3:53:26 AM EDT
Ok, sorry for not stating what I was really asking. When do you ACTUALLY PUT IT into four wheel drive. I've got a Ford F-150, and it has auto locking hubs. And like I said, I just want to avoid doing any damage. Crash, care to share you horror story regarding auto hubs? Might give me a heads up to something I can avoid. I've always liked manual hubs myself. But imagine it would cost an arm and a leg to replace what I've got.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:14:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 4:15:58 AM EDT by Hoppy]
It depends on whether you have full time 4WD or part time. Most 4X4's have part time transfer cases. This means that the power is split equally between front and rear. It is recommended that you only use this if the front wheels can slip on the road surface. You can use this if you're going in a straight line and have no problem, but if you turn the wheels you will have the front trying to go a different speed than the rear and the transfer case will bind on you and you will break it if it's bad enough. Try shifting into 4WD on dry asphalt then making a tight turn and see what it feels like. AWD and full time 4WD have a special coupling that allows the front to operate independently from the rear and the binding problem is taken care of, so you can use them at any time. Unless your Ford is a high end model, you've probably got a part time case and should only use 4WD when going in a straight line or when your wheels can slip in a turn, otherwise it *will* bind on ya. Hoppy
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:02:38 AM EDT
An older friend of mine has this philosophy towards fourwheel drive: Go just as far as you can in twowheel drive. Stop. Put it in fourwheel drive. Turn around and go home. Not real adventuresome, but pretty smart.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:18:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:44:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: Lock hubs in September, unlock in March. [:)] Unlock when you have a couple hundred miles of clean dry pavement. 4wd when ice is on the road, or could be. 4 low when driving through 8" of snow or more.
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this is my policy, also... tho- with worn mud tires, my tacoma needs 4wd in the rain. 130k miles and no major probs thus far.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 7:55:58 AM EDT
When I lived in Angel Fire New Mexico, we would put our vehicles in 4WD in November and take them out of 4WD in May....if the snow and runoff were well gone by then. The best rule about 4WD and serious off road stuff is that having a kick-ass 4WD system and the knowledge to use it will only get you further from home when you get stuck. My personal best is sticking a Ford F-350 Crew Cab Diesel in an underground runoff stream. I was on a fire road and broke through about 18 inches of soil to the water below and then got stuck in the mud BELOW the level of the water. So for those of you keeping score, we have gone through 18 inches of soil, through about a foot of space, through another foot of flowing water and then into a couple of feet of mud under the water. Visualize this, the entire truck was sitting below the level of the fire road, I had to roll down the window and crawl out UP onto the road level. I began to dig a 'ramp' up onto dry ground and succeeded only in removing the soil holding the front of the truck up out of the mud below and the truck kept sagging deeper into the stream with every shovel. I tried two winches on the front of the truck and only blew them up, I tried every trick I had ever heard of and after three days of 'camping out' by the truck and working my ass off, I finally hiked out and got help. It took me three days to get help and then we had to use a Caterpillar to dig the truck out. We could only get the Cat in after a couple of months have gone by and the runoff had dried a little bit. My boos was PISSED at that one, but after he saw the stuckedness of my truck, he backed off and started laughing at my misfortune. Still the record!
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:04:29 AM EDT
hubs get locked in when the roads get bad, i unlock them when the roads are dry and clear, if it gets nasty i just shift into 4X till i get to good road again, i really want a foor or two of snow
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:16:14 AM EDT
I have been driving 4WDs all my life, and I just got my first truck with auto hubs, auto transmission and electronic 4WD switch. (F150) Can anyone tell me if it is still true with this system... if you get stuck before you can turn the switch, you can't get into 4WD? One of my old 4wheelin partners use to say "the only difference between 2WD and 4WD was 100yds and an extra 4 hours of digging" [:D]
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 8:17:35 AM EDT
You mean you can actually UNLOCK the hubs? Hmmpf...I gotta try that once in a while. Mine stay locked pretty much year round. I don't mind the reduced mpg.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 9:35:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/11/2003 9:38:19 AM EDT by The_Emu]
I lock the manual hubs on my 4runner at the first snow flake. Then engage 4wd with the(manual) trasfercase at the first sign of slipping. im not real worried about gas milage. Disengage 4WD in the parking garage. Going up the spiral ramp in 4wd is hard on u joints. other than that, leave it in as much as you want. Ben, the Emu.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 10:01:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy: MOST factory 4x4s come with open differentials.
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I disagree, unless this has changed in the past couple of years. As of '99, most of the trucks I was exposed to had non-diff transfer cases. Only Grand Cherokees, and full time 4wd systems had a diff option. Both my '99 4Runner SR5, and K1500 GMC have non diff transfer cases, and don't like high traction situations while in 4wd.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 10:49:13 AM EDT
Mine get locked in when there's snow covered/patches of dry pavement. Wet or snow if forest road. I've owned a 4WD vehicle continuously since 1983. First one was a Chevy S10 4WD. Ok, except it started falling apart at 70K miles. Shift on the fly vacuum operated 4WD. Didn't like it as much as manual lock-ins. With manual lock-in, you can use granny gear even when you really DON'T need front tire drive. Real nice, especially here in AZ where it's dry most of the time. 4WD DOES NOT help you slow down (much) or stop-I learned the hard way, and see it happen to people all the time up north where it DOES snow in the winter. I think it's funny when I'm coming back from Flagstaff, doing 25MPH, and have some assclown in a Lexus or BMW SUV zip past me doing about 50MPH, only to see him on his side in a ditch a mile or two ahead. It should be mandatory on the little "THIS VEHICLE HAS A HIGH CENTER OF GRAVITY AND WILL HANDLE DIFFERENTLY" sticker they put on the visor of SUVs to remind you that you still need to go slow, but that you WILL get there. It pisses me off to see ORV commercials where the driver is hauling ass offroad. Another lesson learned the hard way-if you have a 4WD vehicle, sooner or later you'll drive somewhere you never should have driven in the first place. If you have doubts about the road or surface, turn around and go back or at least get out and reconnoiter a little bit. One more lesson learned: 4WD and CHAINS absolutely kicks ass. I have a set for my 4WD Toyota and last year drove around Flagstaff one weekend when the streets were 4" of snowpack and it was like the streets were dry. Drove right up inclines that other 4WDs were making, but with a little trouble and tire spin. Actually, two years ago the GF asked what I wanted for Christmas. I said a brush guard & winch setup. She said, "Fine, find it and how much it costs" (what a babe). After looking around-it would cost about $1300 installed-I realized that actually, I really don't use my 4WD very often, even for a person that's logged hundreds of miles offroad since I moved to AZ-and that $1300 for a brushguard and winch would actually be an expensive dust catcher and make someone more apt to steal my PAID FOR truck. Didn't get it-she got me a Browning Buckmark instead. Like I said, what a babe.
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 11:43:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/11/2003 4:11:06 PM EDT
All this vacume assist, push button electric crap is for housewives. Real cavemen prefer manual lock in hubs and a tranfercase shifter on the floor. I'd rather go to the trouble of getting out of My truck and locking them in than deal with automatic crap that may or may not work, and may not unlock afterward. Even with open differential, if you lock in the hubs, shift into 4WD and turn hard on dry pavement you'll bind up because the front end and rear end travel different distances. this is hard on your transfer case, u-joints, axles and tires, because something has to give. Leaving manual hubs locked in, and the transfer case in 2WD is fine, the front axles and driveshaft will coast along producing a small amount of drag on your gas mileage.
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