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4 wheel drive question (manually turning hubs)

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  #16  
Old 02-08-2010, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by VaSheriff View Post
So..... what's the difference if I lock the original equipment hubs, disable the vaccum,
and use the switch to change into 4X4 high and 4X4 low? Will this accomplish the same thing?

Yes, it would accomplish the same thing. However the OE plastic hubs are really cheap and prone to sticking. Have you ever taken one apart? The entire internals are plastic and pot metal. Really cheap. The Warn or Mile Marker units are very nice Stainless Steel and will last forever. They only cost about $150 for the set (link to eBay listing -> Mile Marker 449SS Locking Hubs Manual ChevyDodge/Ford : eBay Motors (item 390153461179 end time Feb-09-10 03:45:36 PST) When I did mine, I sold the OE units for more that the pair of the Mile Marker were.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2010, 12:33 PM
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For those not familiar with the ESOF system or part-time 4WD, please note that driving in 2WD with the hubs locked will cause increased drag and lower MGP. While OK for the duration of a snowstorm, ie a day or 2, not so good for the entire month/season/year.

Here's where the extra drag comes from (in 2WD, front hubs locked):
Front tires drive the axle shafts, causing the ring & pinion to spin, turning the front driveshaft. This causes extra wear on the inner spindle bearings, carrier bearings, pinion bearings, pinion seal, t-case input seal & bearing(s).
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by howler4x4 View Post
For those not familiar with the ESOF system or part-time 4WD, please note that driving in 2WD with the hubs locked will cause increased drag and lower MGP. While OK for the duration of a snowstorm, ie a day or 2, not so good for the entire month/season/year.

Here's where the extra drag comes from (in 2WD, front hubs locked):
Front tires drive the axle shafts, causing the ring & pinion to spin, turning the front driveshaft. This causes extra wear on the inner spindle bearings, carrier bearings, pinion bearings, pinion seal, t-case input seal & bearing(s).
The Dana 50 axle used up front in the Ex is also the same unit used in the 2500 and 3500 Dodge vehicles. These do not have any disconnect at the hubs. It is only at the T-Case. They spin all the time in that application. That being said, I do not keep my hubs locked in at all times. I keep them in the "free" position until there is a need to use 4x4.
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2010, 12:52 PM
VaSheriff VaSheriff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howler4x4 View Post
For those not familiar with the ESOF system or part-time 4WD, please note that driving in 2WD with the hubs locked will cause increased drag and lower MGP. While OK for the duration of a snowstorm, ie a day or 2, not so good for the entire month/season/year.

Here's where the extra drag comes from (in 2WD, front hubs locked):
Front tires drive the axle shafts, causing the ring & pinion to spin, turning the front driveshaft. This causes extra wear on the inner spindle bearings, carrier bearings, pinion bearings, pinion seal, t-case input seal & bearing(s).
There's the magic answer! Don't want to leave the hubs locked all the time, eh? Stock equipment or aftermarket! Right?

So, if I am understanding the Mile Marker hubs, you don't want to leave them locked all the time as well. OK. They simply eliminate having to rely on the vacuum to lock the hubs in, you get out and do it by hand whenever you want 4 wheel drive?

For the first time in a very long time, I took my Excursion out over this past weekend. We just had our second storm of 20+ inches of snow, sleet and ice. The first was a week before Christmas. It really didn't seem like I was in 4 wheel drive. It felt more like 3 wheel drive cutting in and out with 2 wheel drive. The transfer case was definitely providing power to the front axle though. I think I might have one hub locking in on the front, and one isn't. I need to get it into my mechanic soon.
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  #20  
Old 02-08-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by VaSheriff View Post
There's the magic answer! Don't want to leave the hubs locked all the time, eh? Stock equipment or aftermarket! Right?

So, if I am understanding the Mile Marker hubs, you don't want to leave them locked all the time as well. OK. They simply eliminate having to rely on the vacuum to lock the hubs in, you get out and do it by hand whenever you want 4 wheel drive?

For the first time in a very long time, I took my Excursion out over this past weekend. We just had our second storm of 20+ inches of snow, sleet and ice. The first was a week before Christmas. It really didn't seem like I was in 4 wheel drive. It felt more like 3 wheel drive cutting in and out with 2 wheel drive. The transfer case was definitely providing power to the front axle though. I think I might have one hub locking in on the front, and one isn't. I need to get it into my mechanic soon.
Very possible. You can verify by reaching under the front behind the hub and trying to manually turn the axle shaft (turn using the u-joint). If it turns, it isn't locked to the hub. See if both sides are the same when you think you are in/out of 4x4. This is yet another problem that is eliminated by using aftermarket hubs.
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  #21  
Old 02-08-2010, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rlh68050 View Post
The Dana 50 axle used up front in the Ex is also the same unit used in the 2500 and 3500 Dodge vehicles.
The cover flange shape is the same, but 50/60 internals are different.
The Dana 50 only appeared in Fords.
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  #22  
Old 02-08-2010, 04:14 PM
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I couldn't turn the hubs to LOCK with my hands. Thought I needed new ones. The 24"+ snow that hit us made me think "I need to lock in the hubs." I took a red rag and draped it over the center ridge of the hub. Got a Big set of Channel locks and open up the jaws. Put one jaw on one side of the ridge and the other on the opposite side. with the jaws on the OPEN position it made the handles almost a V configuration. I DID NOT CLAMP DOWN ON THE RIDGE ,I placeDdthe jaws on their side. I turned them by the handles and whamo they broke loose, reversed the position and turned them back to AUTO. Did this a few times and now they are somewhat loose. What a difference with the hubs locked in. Now what do I use to keep them from not sticking. I did the lube recently but eliminated this part.
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  #23  
Old 02-08-2010, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazman View Post
I couldn't turn the hubs to LOCK with my hands. Thought I needed new ones. The 24"+ snow that hit us made me think "I need to lock in the hubs." I took a red rag and draped it over the center ridge of the hub. Got a Big set of Channel locks and open up the jaws. Put one jaw on one side of the ridge and the other on the opposite side. with the jaws on the OPEN position it made the handles almost a V configuration. I DID NOT CLAMP DOWN ON THE RIDGE ,I placeDdthe jaws on their side. I turned them by the handles and whamo they broke loose, reversed the position and turned them back to AUTO. Did this a few times and now they are somewhat loose. What a difference with the hubs locked in. Now what do I use to keep them from not sticking. I did the lube recently but eliminated this part.
See my previous posts. Get rid of the OE units and buy some nice aftermarket ones. Your ESOF system does not work anyway as shown by the need for you to manually lock in the hubs (turning the dials).
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2010, 07:28 AM
Shafe76 Shafe76 is offline
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I'm interested in switching to the Mile Marker hubs that are listed on ebay. Can anyone tell me the difficulty involved in replacing the cheap plastic OEM ones with the Mile Marker ones?

My issue with the OEM's on my '00 X LTD 4X4 V10 is that I had to use a pair of vise grips to get them to move into position to switch to 4WD and applying all that force to one small section of the hub center strip is causing the plastic to crack. I attempted to switch back to 2WD by returning the hubs to the "free" position only to find my "4WD LOW" dash light is staying lit.

Does this mean that even if I switch to the Mile Marker hubs, I may still have an issue switching back and forth between 4WD and 2WD??

P.S. I'm in Southern Maryland (Lexington Park to be exact) and it's nice to see there's other X owners in my neck o' the woods with similar problems. Misery loves company!!
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2010, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shafe76 View Post
I'm interested in switching to the Mile Marker hubs that are listed on ebay. Can anyone tell me the difficulty involved in replacing the cheap plastic OEM ones with the Mile Marker ones?

My issue with the OEM's on my '00 X LTD 4X4 V10 is that I had to use a pair of vise grips to get them to move into position to switch to 4WD and applying all that force to one small section of the hub center strip is causing the plastic to crack. I attempted to switch back to 2WD by returning the hubs to the "free" position only to find my "4WD LOW" dash light is staying lit.

Does this mean that even if I switch to the Mile Marker hubs, I may still have an issue switching back and forth between 4WD and 2WD??

P.S. I'm in Southern Maryland (Lexington Park to be exact) and it's nice to see there's other X owners in my neck o' the woods with similar problems. Misery loves company!!
First of all, there is no link between the front hub position and the light on the dash. The light on the dash indicates T-Case engagement via the switch on the dash. If you are in 4WD LO, you are probably not doing the right things to get it out. You have to be in neutral with your foot on the brake and then switch to 4WD HI. Once in 4WD HI you can then switch to 2WD at any time. If the light on the dash does not change when you do these things, you have a problem with the T-Case motor.

For your hub sticking issue. Yes, a great upgrade is to swap the POS OE units for some nice Mile Marker or Warn ones. The install is simple and if you do a Google search you will find lots of info on how to do it. Once done you can cap off your vacuum lines and never have to worry about leaks that could affect your HVAC system too.
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  #26  
Old 02-12-2010, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazman View Post
I couldn't turn the hubs to LOCK with my hands. Thought I needed new ones. The 24"+ snow that hit us made me think "I need to lock in the hubs." I took a red rag and draped it over the center ridge of the hub. Got a Big set of Channel locks and open up the jaws. Put one jaw on one side of the ridge and the other on the opposite side. with the jaws on the OPEN position it made the handles almost a V configuration. I DID NOT CLAMP DOWN ON THE RIDGE ,I placeDdthe jaws on their side. I turned them by the handles and whamo they broke loose, reversed the position and turned them back to AUTO. Did this a few times and now they are somewhat loose. What a difference with the hubs locked in. Now what do I use to keep them from not sticking. I did the lube recently but eliminated this part.
I hit mine with WD40 around the outside circumference where they turn.....dirt and grime gets in there and makes the oring stick. Seems to keep them working for me.
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  #27  
Old 02-13-2010, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shafe76 View Post
I'm interested in switching to the Mile Marker hubs that are listed on ebay. Can anyone tell me the difficulty involved in replacing the cheap plastic OEM ones with the Mile Marker ones?

My issue with the OEM's on my '00 X LTD 4X4 V10 is that I had to use a pair of vise grips to get them to move into position to switch to 4WD and applying all that force to one small section of the hub center strip is causing the plastic to crack. I attempted to switch back to 2WD by returning the hubs to the "free" position only to find my "4WD LOW" dash light is staying lit.

Does this mean that even if I switch to the Mile Marker hubs, I may still have an issue switching back and forth between 4WD and 2WD??

P.S. I'm in Southern Maryland (Lexington Park to be exact) and it's nice to see there's other X owners in my neck o' the woods with similar problems. Misery loves company!!
I just replaced my ESOF hubs yesterday with a set of Mile Marker Hubs I ordered on Wednesday of this week. I did the swap in a slush covered parking lot at work in about a half hour. You don't even have to jack up the truck or remove the wheel. I removed the hubcap, used a pair of vice grips to squeeze the retaining ring for the factory hub and pried it out with a small screw driver. The factory hub was corroded in place so I had to beat it a little with a hammer to loosen it up. Once loose, it pulls right out and you're ready to install the replacement hub. There was some rust that I cleaned up with a wire brush, then I slipped the replacement hub in place, locked it in with the new retaining ring provided and put the cap on with the 6 allen head screws and wrench provided. I repeated the procedure for the other side and voila, I have four wheel drive again. I still need to plug the vacuum lines and figured I could wait until I could get the truck inside to do that. My factory hubs were corrided solid, were not working on auto anymore and couldn't be moved into the manual position, even with a large pair of channel locks.
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  #28  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:13 AM
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i replaced my auto hubs last year. the autos were so gummed up that the dial broke when they were turned with a BIG set of channel locks. i replaced with the warn manual hubs. i think a new set of oem auto hubs were about $325.00 each.
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  #29  
Old 02-13-2010, 11:49 AM
VaSheriff VaSheriff is offline
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Quick question, don't the Mile Marker hubs not stick out as far as the original equipment?
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaSheriff View Post
Quick question, don't the Mile Marker hubs not stick out as far as the original equipment?
That is correct.
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