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Leaving the front hubs locked

Transmissions, Transfer Boxes, Axles, Drive Shafts

Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Clem » 15 Feb 2016 08:04

Other than fuel consumotion, is there any reason not to leave the front hubs always locked? Is there a good reason to leave them locked? On Series Land Rovers there were not hubs as standard. In part it was found that hubs would cause the front propshaft splines to keeping knocking at the same point on bad roads, eventually damaging them.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Michael » 15 Feb 2016 08:23

I would say it is better to leave them unlocked, no damage will be done when they are always locked I think, but why pay more on fuel and increase wear on your drivetrain when you have the option of disengaging them. :mytwocents:

Also even when your vehicle is in 2x4 and the hubs are "locked" your sideshafts, diff and propshaft will turn. Not sure if the hubs were designed to turn constantly on high speeds?
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby ricster » 15 Feb 2016 09:23

Its a catch 22 situation Clem, but from what I have read over the years is that it is good every now and again to cock up the hubs to splash the oil around in the diffs and transfer case. This only needs to be done once in a while. We go 4x4'ing say 3 times a year, to me that is enough. But it can be felt on the steering when the hubs are locked on a tar road ( PLEASE NOTE - NO 4x4 ENGAGED ). So I do it when I remember for maybe a 1km or 2. The auto locking hubs only lock the hubs when 4H or 4L is selected. So lock the hubs with the wheel spanner and drive around the block in 2H..... get home and set the hubs back to Auto.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby bogeyman » 15 Feb 2016 09:33

In my opinion it is better to disengage when travelling at high speed.
The front propshaft vibrates and is not happy at highway speeds.
The freewheel hubs are there for a reason.
The cost of replacing that double knuckle u joint will also convince you.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Clem » 15 Feb 2016 13:48

Thanks guys.

I locked mine yesterday just to drive a few kms to lubricate things and haven't unlocked them yet. The manual says to do this periodically. I can't feel the difference when driving around town or the freeway.

I was just wondering. I'll leave them in the auto position then.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Peter Connan » 15 Feb 2016 17:42

Firstly, the manual says to lock them for at least 50km per month (speaking under correction here), to get lubrication spread properly. It gives no limitations in terms of speed and duration.
Also, if you look carefully in the manual, it shows a fixed drive flange option, which is presumably fitted in some markets.

Deducing from these two facts, I seriously doubt you can do any harm, as long as you grease the front prop-shaft at the same intervals as the rear.
On proper overland trips I tend to lock my hubs the first time I hit dirt road, and leave them locked until going through the border post on my way home. Thus I have left them locked for a couple of thousand km at a time on a number of occasions.

I have yet to notice any issues resulting, and can't even see any negative effect on my fuel consumption. In fact my two best consumption figures have both been achieved with hubs locked.

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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby David M » 15 Feb 2016 18:01

My manual says 16 km per month. Obviously if you have used it in 4x4 for that distance do not worry.

I drive dirt roads almost every day so just put it in 4x4H once a week and I reckon that keeps everything happy. Also no need to manually lock. Just listen for the click when they engage and you are A for away.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Clem » 16 Feb 2016 07:28

Thanks Peter. Are the hubs stronger and less prone to shock failure when manually locked (as opposed to autolocked)?
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby Stefaansie » 16 Feb 2016 07:57

Hi Clem,

I did damage my old GQ's auto unlock due to the fact that it was old and the grease/lube inside the hubs got sticky.

I also read that you should drive in 4x4 every now and again, and that's what I did. Problem is that it didn't disengage properly when hit the tar( I didn't listen for the click), and after a few km's there was a 'not so lekker' sound coming from one of the hubs.

I'm sure when the grease/lube is still fresh, it should lock/unlock much easier.

Bottom line, I wouldn't do it on tar/high speed again, unless manually locked with the spanner. Even then I would be very reluctant.
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Re: Leaving the front hubs locked

Postby roelf prinsloo » 16 Feb 2016 08:33

As ek reg verstaan sal die hub in auto net inskop as die krag van die sideshaft se kant af kom. As jy dus in auto jou voet van die poeier afhaal loop die wiel vry .Dit is dus beter om die hub te lock sodat jy ook kan teruggear ek help rem.Dit is wat nissan my verduidelik het,help my reg as dit nie so werk nie asb.
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