Go Back  F150online Forums > F-Series Trucks > 2004 - 2008 F-150
Can you drive a 4X4 F-150 w/o the front axle installed? >

Can you drive a 4X4 F-150 w/o the front axle installed?

2004 - 2008 F-150

Can you drive a 4X4 F-150 w/o the front axle installed?

 
  #16  
Old 07-17-2007, 08:37 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Ethan. I think you're right.

And I agree about the road dirt/debris getting into there from the backside if the axle wasn't there, so I probably shouldn't do it.

Only reason I was asking is because I'm going to install the lift over the weekend (this weekend) and the axle shop isn't open. Then the following week the guy I know who is going to install the gears for free will be on vacation. Looks like I should just wait until the following weekend to install the lift.

Thanks again.
 
  #17  
Old 07-17-2007, 09:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 49
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would think all of your gear oil would run out of the big opening that would be where your axle was? LANSD!
 
  #18  
Old 07-17-2007, 09:42 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 6,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The front axle is sealed, the cv axles are too, sealed. I just thought about it, the hub is bolted via 3 bolts so that should not fall off, but debris as mentioned before will get in iirc.
 
  #19  
Old 07-18-2007, 01:00 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ball joints hold spindles, and bearing assemblies are bolted to spindles. I think this is probably universal for IFS 4x4.
 
  #20  
Old 07-19-2007, 12:25 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: CO
Posts: 742
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah. On second thought that would be possible to do if you sealed off the hole in the back of the spindle after crawling under the truck. Hard to do and probably not a great idea.
 
  #21  
Old 07-22-2007, 08:58 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tidewater, VA
Posts: 182
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It actually looks like a design very similar to my wife's '02 Explorer.

Her's is a 4x2, but there's a splined hole in the hub for a 4x4 axle - they use the same hub for both. There's a seal to keep dirt out of the bearings, but the splined hole is wide open all the time, because all it does is pass through the hub to the backside of the wheel. The bearings are sealed seperately.

So if it is like her Explorer, except for rust on the splines if you leave it exposed too long, I can't see where anything should be a problem.
 
  #22  
Old 07-22-2007, 10:35 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you have a 4x4 then DO NOT DO IT !!

I broke my front differential in my Chevy Blazer this past winter going deer hunting. I had to drive it 2 miles with 3-wheel drive as I busted the front left halfshaft in two.

I got out the differential and put everything back together to drive it down the road a little ways so that a tow truck could come and get it. I drove no more than 1/4 mile with no differential and it destroyed one hub. All the pressure to hold the tires on came down on the ball joints. The ball joints helf up but the hub come apart and the bearings were exposed.
 
  #23  
Old 07-24-2007, 02:21 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't pretend to be an expert on 4x4 (but I'm no dummy), but CV axles don't suspend hubs and/or spindles. I could see how running just one axle (if you kept it in 4x4) could potentially wreck a differential. Maybe I'm confused or I'm reading your story wrong.
 
  #24  
Old 07-24-2007, 02:27 AM
freekyFX4's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 4,480
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Josiah
I might not even run 40's, I just want the added lift. I'm getting over my truck, really wish I had a new SD, hopefully it will push me to finally sell and eat the loss in mods.
LOL...I have the new SD and wish I had your money to spend on mods!
 
  #25  
Old 07-24-2007, 05:53 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Nates06SCab
I don't pretend to be an expert on 4x4 (but I'm no dummy), but CV axles don't suspend hubs and/or spindles. I could see how running just one axle (if you kept it in 4x4) could potentially wreck a differential. Maybe I'm confused or I'm reading your story wrong.
The axle pulls the hub inward keeping the tire on. If the halfshaft is not present then you have an outward force on your ball joints as well as the full weight of the vehicle coming down on the bearing. The halfshaft provides a stabilizing feature to balance the weight on the front end.

Yes driving in 4x4 with just 3-wheels activated can trash a differential. I already knew mine was trashed after noting it broke the support brackets of the differential that connects to the frame. So why hold back if you HAD to get home.

Does that make any more sense?
 
  #26  
Old 07-26-2007, 02:27 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Florida
Posts: 936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah, but CVs are made to "float" at differential end. They are not bolted in at the differential (from what I've seen on many makes/models), so I can't see how they support the suspension. They should move in and out of the differential slightly as the suspension flexes. Otherwise they would pull the axle joints out of socket. At least that's what I think...
 
  #27  
Old 07-26-2007, 08:23 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Clifton Park, NY
Posts: 192
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Turd Furguson
The axle pulls the hub inward keeping the tire on.
I agree with this statement on a non-full floating solid-axle with c-clips, like many 1/2 ton rear ends.

I disagree with this statement on an ifs axle like our trucks have. The axle half-shaft is designed to transmit rotation only. The cv joints are not designed to handle the torsional load of driving the wheel as well as a tensile load of holding the wheel on. The ball joints handle the vertical and horizontal loads. Even in a non-ifs front end, the axle shafts only transmit rotational force. You break one off road, you pull the wheel, pull the shaft out, stuff a rag in the axle to prevent losing all the diff fluid, and limp home.

If I'm wrong I'll eat my hat, but as a mechanical engineer I believe it would be a dumb way to design an axle to rely on the half shaft to do anything but drive the wheel.

CJ
 
  #28  
Old 07-26-2007, 09:28 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to give you guys an update. I've torn the truck apart and you CAN drive without the axle. The nut on the end of the axle does not hold anything together, but that is not true for all IFS vehicles. I figured by the wimpy size of the nut that it wasn't designed to hold the wheels or hubs or anything else one. All that nut on our trucks does is prevent the axle from popping out of the splines if the suspension drops. Trucks like the 2002 Ranger 4X4 have huge axle nuts... way bigger than the ones on the F-150 and they do in fact hold the bearing together so if you drove one of those w/o the axle installed the wheels would fall off.

Like I said... tried and tested the wheels won't fall off a 2004+ F-150 w/o a front axle installed.
 
  #29  
Old 07-26-2007, 07:01 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: CO
Posts: 742
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good to know.
 
  #30  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:16 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Orlando,FL
Posts: 248
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It may have worked for a 2004 f150, but driving a 2000 4x4 f150 without a CV axle will destroy the hub. I found out the hard way today.

My CV boot is torn and needs to be rebuilt. I was already working on my truck putting a suspension lift on, so I decided to take the CV axle out, and continue putting the truck together. I thought that the CV axle doesn't support any weight of the vehicle so there should be no problem driving with out it. I drove a maximum of 1/4 mile and heard some grinding noise. I stopped to see what it was, and the hub was coming apart. Live and learn.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Can you drive a 4X4 F-150 w/o the front axle installed?


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: