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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 10-07-2008, 09:39 PM
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Automatic to manual hub conversion

I know this subject has been discussed before but I need a definite answer and it seems like it is hub specific whether or not you need a conversion kit or not.

First off I am making the switch because the driver's side hub sometimes doesn't engage, and because manual hubs are more reliable. My pickup is a 1995 F150, the hubs have 5 bolts in them, plus I have push button 4x4 but I don't think that makes a difference. I am noticing that Warn and Mile Marker both have six bolts in them.

So this begs the question, do I need the conversion kit that they sell with their hubs or can I just go out and buy a set of Mile Marker hubs off the self and put them on?

Also what is your preference: Mile Marker or Warn.
Mile Marker's are less expensive, but I want to know the quality.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordenthusiasts View Post
I know this subject has been discussed before but I need a definite answer and it seems like it is hub specific whether or not you need a conversion kit or not.

First off I am making the switch because the driver's side hub sometimes doesn't engage, and because manual hubs are more reliable. My pickup is a 1995 F150, the hubs have 5 bolts in them, plus I have push button 4x4 but I don't think that makes a difference. I am noticing that Warn and Mile Marker both have six bolts in them.

So this begs the question, do I need the conversion kit that they sell with their hubs or can I just go out and buy a set of Mile Marker hubs off the self and put them on?

Also what is your preference: Mile Marker or Warn.
Mile Marker's are less expensive, but I want to know the quality.

Thanks,
Michael

You MUST use the spindle nut conversion kit when you go to manual hubs.

Warn p/n # 32720 uses a special 3 part kit that sandwiches a locking ring in between 2 nuts.
The stock spindle nut uses a small clip to hold the existing spindle nut in place. Very inferior and will back off thru normal use.

If you buy the standard manual hubs, p/n #9790, The internal part of the hub will have the 6 holes needed to bolt the outer cover in place.
The premium manual hubs, p/n #20990, also have the 6 holes but are much stronger and will last forever.

I prefer Warn simply for their warranty and customer service.

One last thing, Your auto hubs would not have 5 holes in them, There should only be 3 holding on the outer cap. My truck is a 96 and only had 3 screws holding on the outer auto hub cover.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:54 PM
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Well my auto hubs do have five bolts on the outside, if you would like I can post up a picture to show you. On the Warn website is says, "When Replacing Automatic 3 Hole Cap Screw Hubs, You Must Purchase Corresponding Spindle Nut Conversion Kit", and I have 5 hole cap screw hubs so does this mean I don't need it?
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:40 PM
kuzycc kuzycc is offline
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The five bolts you are seeing and comparing to the 6 bolts are just apart of the locker. You will be fine there, it is just where the dust cover (if you will) bolts to the locker assembly. I Had the same problem with Auto lockers on my 94 3/4 ton, the drivers side did not want to engage. I did not need any kind of a conversion kit, everything fit just fine and worked great. I went with the Warns, to me they cleary looked like a better locker. If you look at them side by side you will see what I am talking about, the Mile Markers were cheaply built compared to the WARN.
Its been about a year and a half since I did this, so everythings kinda fuzzy. But it was nothing different that removing the old lockers and installing the new ones. The WARN set I bought included the bolts and the spring-type snap ring to install, it was pretty simple.
Let me know if there is anything else I can clarify.
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:16 PM
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Kuzycc, did your auto hubs have the five bolts on the outside? I am kind of leaning toward not having to get the conversion kit because of previous posts that I have read, but I am just not 100% sure yet.

I figured that the Warns were going to be the ones that everybody uses because they are so well known for all their products, but I just wanted to see everybody's opinion on the Mile Marker's too.

Anybody else do the hub conversion and not have to use the spindle nut conversion kit?
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:53 AM
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Bump

Anybody else have some light they would like to shed on this subject?
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:50 PM
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It is my understanding that the 3 bolt auto hubs need the conversion kit where as the 5 bolt auto hubs do not need it.

It is also my understanding that the conversion kit consists of new bearing retainer nuts only and that it is cheaper to just buy the nuts for manual hubs at the auto parts store or wrecking yard.

I just had my '95 3 bolt auto hubs apart and the bearing nut is an extremely large hex nut whereas my '93 with manual hubs had a nut with a built in springloaded ratchet that utilized the standard spindle nut socket.

Some on other boards recommend that the earlier style nuts as shown in this picture (the 2 nuts with a washer w/ holes) but I'm not sure if it fits all years spindles. As you can see the spindle needs to have a flat for the washer to lock the assembly in place.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:07 PM
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Thanks, McLeod for some more information on this subject. The links were nice to know what you were talking about. It looks like I will just buy a set of hubs and if for some strange reason I need the different nut I can do as you said and go to an auto parts store or wrecking yard.
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Old 10-13-2008, 06:31 PM
Lou Braun Lou Braun is offline
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I did this conversion on my '96 F-250. Since the auto hub had 3 screws I had to install the conversion kit.

As McLeod mentioned, if your auto hubs have 5 screws you should not need the conversion kit. The 5 screw to 3 screw changeover happend somewhere around 94 to 95.

When you pull the auto hubs, look inside to see how the wheel bearings are retained (this is a dandy time to check clearance too). If you have the two piece retainer you don't need the conversion kit.

Warn's web site gives some decent diagrams of the bearing retainer and of the conversion kit.

Lou Braun
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:09 PM
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Thanks Lou Braun, for shedding more light on this for me. I think I finally understand what the conversion kit is and what it does, so I am convinced that I don't need it.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:29 PM
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Interesting thread, I just picked up a pair of hubs and the conversion nuts and lock spacers from the bone yard for $20. Mile marker brand, never heard of them, any good?
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:09 PM
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I dont know if this matters with a Ford but I'll throw it out there-
My Friend had an '86 Chevy K10 with auto locking hubs. Well, a big snow was coming and the 4x4 didn't work. We determined it was the front hubs. So he bought a set of warn lockouts for $70. We didn't have to change ANYTHING to convert it- it went as smooth as could be. The warn lockouts for the old chevies also work for most fords except for the '88 F150 (those flange type hubs- my '88 had them)
I might look into converting my '91- Even with the hubs already engaged if you are in 2WD going down the road and put it in 4x4 it doesn't engage- You have to completely stop and just barely spin the rear tires and it will clunk and the hubs lock in.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:09 PM
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