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I recently bought a 1999 Ranger XLT 4-door supercab 4x4 with 87,000 miles for $5800. I was so happy that the seller was willing to take my cheep offer I overlooked giving the 4x4 a good test. The problem is my automatic locking hubs fail when I put the truck in four wheel drive. One of my friends uncles is a ford mechanic and he cheecked out the problem and confirmed that it was the hubs failing to engage. I know a little bit about the pvh system used in the 98-00 rangers and I was wondering if anybody knows how to test the hoses and conections and make shure there is no loss of pressure with the system, or where i can get my hands on a good diagram of the pulse vacuum hub system. My plan is to test all the small thigs that can go wrong before I take it in the shop and spend hundreds, so if anyone has any advice or personal experience with working on the pvh system that they can share, i would greatly appreciate it. And also I am aware that a brazillian company offers a manual locking hub replasement that completely does away with the vacuum system, does any body recomend that, or should i avoid it? Thanks for your help.
First off, welcome to FTE!
First thing to check is the vacuum hoses that go to the hubs, make sure they're connected and look okay. I don't have the procedure to test it all, cause I can't find my Ford login info (doh!). Someone will probably chime in and tell you hot to test them. But basicly, if their shot, you have a couple options. 1) Buy replacement hubs which only ford sells for LOTS of $$$, and install on your own since you can't afford the labor on them now. 2) I've just recently heard that the superwinch manual hubs in Brazil will actually work with our Rangers, but I have heard of no one confirming it, or how to get them since they're not for sale in the US. 3) Convert the front end to always be engaged, just like the '01 and newer Rangers, it only takes a few minutes, and best of all.... It's free! Haven't done this myself yet, since my hubs are somehow still working after 94k miles, and I'm still covered under an extended warranty.
Well after working on it for 2 days with no results, I decided to take it into the shop. On top of the hub problem the parking brake sticks and it needs new brakes and rotors. I got a call this morning from my mechanic saying I would be looking at around a $1000 bill. I paid $5800 for the truck plus $1000 for all the work being done now. Seeing that I really paid around $7000 for the truck, I guess I really didnt get that good of a deal after all, it does have 88,000 miles. I guess thats still under blue book. Oh well, just let this be a lesson to you all, always cheek and make shure 4x4 works before you buy that dream truck! God I hope I never run into a 4x4 problem again, I've heard **** stories about people taking these trucks to the shop and putting new hubs on, then getting them back and still not having 4x4 work. Thanks for the help you guys.
Make sure the shop understands you expect 100% functionality of the 4x4 system when they are done. If your going with the new hubs, make sure you get a warranty ...there should be no reason for your 4x4 system not to work perfectly if you are investing that kind of money in it.
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