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Old 09-24-2008, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Locking hubs or auto hubs?

I was wondering if you can change the locking hubs from a 1995 2 door tracker to auto hubs? what would you have to do? are they better or are you better of with locking hubs or is it a personal prevents thing?
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Old 09-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, it's a coincidence but i was about to post a question about the opposite (auto to manual), which i know is possible

I've been having problems with the auto-lock hubs and I've been told that manuals are more reliable
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never had an issue with my Auto-Locking Hubs but I believe in preventative maintenance like the owner before me. Over 88,000mi. thus far. Personally I like the convenience of Auto-Locking but would imagine that manuals have their advantages too.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have researched auto verses manual hubs and found out that on some 4x4s with auto hubs that one wheel is always locked and one wheel turns free until there is torque applied to lock it. With the manual hubs both wheels turn free until you lock them. According to what I have read, the auto hubs cause the vehicle to use more gas because one wheel is always locked. I don't know if the auto hubs on Trackkicks work this way because I have manual hubs.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DO NOT CHANGE YOUR HUBS TO AUTO-LOCKING HUBS. The problem with these hubs is when you go off road the seals on them will wear out. The springs will get rusty and will not unlock. You also have to use them more frequently so they won't seize. Talk to any off-road shop and see what they say. Many are swapping out the auto-hubs for manual. Less worry and more reliable. You will know when it is in 4x4 mode and when it is not. Auto hubs sometimes stick and do not release. Good luck.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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+1 on leaving the manual hubs. I also like the fact that I know that my hubs are really unlocked.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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and auto hub love to not engage , just when you lost all traction ,
gee aint that a PITA , is that not when you need them the most?

one guy here posted the following.
auto locks. ( applies to all worse case traction loss)

Im off road, and on this very convoluted ground , looks like moon scape.
one wheel in the front is now hanging in space (left Front) and other 3 are on ground.
i loose forward momentum.
i cant get the front axles to move the right front wheel. I try 4wd, but nothing.
the trick i heard was to apply the brakes, rappidly and you might hear those silly auto locks go , click. and off I went.

ICE will do the same thing.
if the the autos fail , use the brakes. tap tap , harder, till you here them lock.

many Auto locks will fail the above test. (old and dirty or whatever)
you can do this test in a drive way. (send kids to bed)

and I agree , minus ten for Autos.
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i like my manual hubs, according to the sun visor i would have to drive my car backwards a certain number of feet to unlock them if i had auto hubs

i can't complain with 181000miles and no maintnence on the hubs they work good with a pair of pliers, in the winter a can of wd 40 is added but i like knowing when i turn them one way there locked and unlocked the other way.

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Old 09-26-2008, 12:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My tracker has 150,000k with auto hubs and haven't let me down yet. Have not even taken a look at them either... need too. CV Shaft boots on both outters are gone too.
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've had experience with both auto and non-auto hubs (just not on the same rig).

Brand new pickup (had about 18000 miles on it) and headed home up the hill. Pulled the lever to engage 4X4 and the light came on. . . all is well. . . sort of.

Started the climb and then there was a grind and a bang. Hubs fine, tranny fine, 4WD still works- but I don't ever want to hear that bang again. Manual says that sometimes you will hear a noise- this is normal. . . . uh. . yeah. . . right.

Sidekick has manual hubs. I like the fact then when hubs are in and I'm cruising that-- as soon as I pull the lever I'm in 4WD. . . no waiting. . . wondering. . . . and NO BANG!

I've never seen an auto-hub rig that didn't say that the grinding, chattering, clunking bang is normal, but I can say if the 4WD goes out in the kick I'm pretty sure that there will be some warning (hub chatter/cv-joint clacking/etc). I've heard from people that have the same pickup that I do that one day it works and the next it don't. . . And when they quit there is no quick-get-me-home fix. When it's done it done until you change out your defective part.

Manuals are better IMHO even if the auto is more convenient. I might even change the pickup to a manual setup if it's affordable. I might even save some gas doing it. . .

If it isn't broke, why fix it?

just my two cents.
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