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  #1  
Old 05-17-2004, 09:46 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Manassas, VA, USA
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F150
Posts: 30
Manual locking hubs

What do manual locking hubs do? I noticed that my truck comes equipped with them but I have no clue what their function is. Can someone enlighten me? (I could probably read about it in my owner's manual but I'll probably forget by the time I go home tonight!)

Second, when you shift into 4WD is there a light or something that should come on indicating the vehicle is in 4WD. My old F150 Lariat had that, but I don't see it on this truck.

Thanks.

Dave.
2004 F250
XLT
crew cab
5.4L
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2004, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: LaGrange, Kentucky
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F250 PSD
Posts: 124
Welcome to the world of manual 4wheelin'. The manual locking hubs do just that - locks the hubs to the front driveshaft. When you are not in 4WD, you want the front wheels to spin free from the front drive shaft or you will be using extra power to drive your truck - worse gas mileage. When you need 4WD, you lock your hubs so that the front driveshaft forces the front wheels to turn, hence 4WD? When you shift into 4WD, the 4x4 indicator should light onto the dash as you assumed, but then again I have a 99 and am not 100% sure about your 2004 - but it should.

runnert
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2004, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Manassas, VA, USA
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F150
Posts: 30
I see

That makes sense.

I actually found an owner's manual on line and found out a little more and it seems to jibe with what you're saying.

Allow me a follow up: why did I not have to manually lock the hubs on my 03 F150 Lariat SCrew? Could it have had some sort of electronic locking system???

Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2004, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: LaGrange, Kentucky
Vehicle: 1999 Ford F250 PSD
Posts: 124
Dave,
Your lariat is a high-end model truck and will have auto-locking hubs.

runnert
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2004, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: WV
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F250SD
Posts: 161
Post Hope this helps...

Dave,

If your truck is equipped with electronic-shift-on-the-fly 4wd you have the 4x4 switch on the dashboard. Your hubs will have two positions, "auto" and "lock".

In the "auto" position, the hubs will function just like your F150 did. The hubs are locked in and out automatically when you switch the 4wd control off and on. With the hubs in "auto" the dashboard switch performs 2 functions-it engages/disengages your transfer case AND locks/unlocks the hubs.

In the "lock" position, the hubs are locked in no matter if the 4wd switch is off or on. With the hubs on "lock" the only function the dashboard switch performs is to engage or disengage the transfer case.

The manual "lock" position is basically an override system in case the automatic hub locking system fails (which is not uncommon on all makes of auto-engaging 4wd vehicles). If the dash switch fails to engage the hubs you can get out and turn them in manually to the lock position.

For normal driving just leave them in auto and forget about them. If you keep them locked all the time you will get decreased mpg due to the increased drag on the front axle and also unneccesary wear on the front tires and axle.

If you have the manual 4wd system (the big black non-transmission lever on the floor) you a totally manual 4x4 system and have to lock the hubs in manually each time you want to go 4wd. All the the lever will ever do is engage the transfer case. The hubs are always completely dependant on you turning them in manually.

As far as the 4wd indicator light, my truck has the esof system (switch on dash) and auto locking hubs and it does have a yellow indicator light on the left side of the dash. It has a lighted "4X4" and a "LOW RANGE" depending what range you're in. In 4 low both of them light up.
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'03 F250 SuperDuty XLT 4x4 SuperCab Triton V10
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2004, 07:41 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Manassas, VA, USA
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F150
Posts: 30
Thank you Hillhound and others

Wow, this is excellent information. Thank you!

I checked this morning and the hubs are in the "Auto" setting, but I swear when I engage the ESOF to 4x4 hi there is no light in the gauge cluster to indicate that. I'll double check again tonight. It could be that the light isn't working.

Again, thanks.
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2004, 10:30 PM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: WV
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F250SD
Posts: 161
Post

Can you tell if the truck is actually going into 4wd? When my F250 was new, I had to drive a few yards before it would engage. After it broke in it engages sitting still. Alot of guys complain about the reliability of this system but mine's been flawless so far-I have my truck in/out of 4H several times a week and I think using it regularly keeps it in good working order.

Try putting it in 4H in some dry grass or gravel. Stomp the gas and see if your front wheels pull.

Also, you might try putting the hubs in "lock" and see if the light will come on when you flip the ESOF on. If it lights up in "lock" but not in "auto" your front hub actuator is defective.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2004, 06:50 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Manassas, VA, USA
Vehicle: 2003 Ford F150
Posts: 30
It works..

Last night I moved the hubs form automatic to manual and back, if for no other reason than to get "a feel" for doing that. When I went back inside and engaged the ESOF, the 4x4 light came on.

Go figure.

Thanks.
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:50 AM


 
 
 
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