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Ford F-250 Super Duty Locking Hub

Unlocking the Secrets to Troubleshooting Your Ford F-250 Super Duty Locking Hub

Locking hubs are a common accessory to most 4-wheel drive vehicles such as the Ford F-250 Super Duty. It basically allows any off-roader to take control of the front wheels independently to better maneuver it in difficult terrain. Due to the pressure off-road vehicles usually put on their locking hubs, they are prone to abuse and damage. Know exactly when that happens with these troubleshooting tips to common problems experienced with a Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub.

4-wheel drive that doesn't engage

Once the 4-wheel drive function won't engage, it's about time you check on the health of the Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub. Locking hubs are generally in charge of switching your truck's drive system from the normal 2-wheel drive to the more powerful 4-wheel drive. So when you feel like your pickup truck's front wheels won't pull even after engaging its 4-wheel drive, be sure to visually inspect its locking hub. Watch out for broken hub surfaces, chips, and rust. This could all lead to a damaged hub and eventually a 4-wheel drive that doesn't engage properly.

Locking hubs that won't unlock

While failure of locking hubs to engage is common, a hub that won't unlock is a rare, and dangerous, case. That is why they should be inspected at the first signs of failure. The most noticeable sign of a locking hub that won't disengage is a loud popping noise coming from the hub. Also while driving, be sensitive to the wheel's movement while on the road. If it feels like you're driving with the 4WD in motion even if it isn't, you should inspect if your locking hubs are still responsive by physically turning the front driveshaft and wheels.

Grinding or slipping noise

Whenever your hubs fail to engage, another problem you'll experience is an uncomfortable grinding noise coming from under your truck. When this happens it's a good idea to check your vehicle's locking hubs for a possible loose bearing. To check this, jack up your car and access the wheel's front driveshaft. Get a feel of its grip and whether or not it is too tight on the wheel. When spun, the wheels should turn freely.

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  • Tips on How to Take Care of a Ford F-250 Super Duty Locking Hub

    A Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub isn't built to outlive your pickup truck. But wouldn't it be nice to extend its life just a bit more? The solution to this lies in good maintenance of your truck. Keep your locking hubs in check with this few simple maintenance tips and tricks:

    • Always keep your hubs clean.
    • Dirt and grease tend to build up in and around a Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub. If left unattended, it could and lessen the hub's efficiency to properly lock and unlock and also cause rubbing on the tires. Cleaning a locking hub is simple and requires only a few garage tools to get done. Use a brake cleaner to get stubborn grease out of the surface. You can also soak the hubs overnight in a heated up solution of ATF (automatic transmission fluid). Be sure to reach all parts of the hub to ensure a through clean.
    • Replace damaged O-rings, washers, and bolts immediately.
    • Although they might seem insignificant at first glance, parts such as O-rings, washers, and bolts can make or break the efficiency of your Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub. So be sure to replace worn-out or corroded ones before they can harm the rest of the hub assembly. This can be done with the use of a locking hub service kit. This kit comes complete with all the replacement fittings needed to keep a locking hub working at its best condition.
    • Don't force the dial in a manual locking hub.
    • There are many factors that contribute to a sticky dial in a manual Ford F-250 Super Duty locking hub. That is why there also many ways to get that dial to turn without forcing it. Before you get tempted to bang that knob into opening, consider greasing the part to loosen its grip first.
    • Regularly inspect the hub's cover and housing for cracks and chips.
    • Sure, that hairline crack on the hub's surface might look harmless now. But keep in mind the enormous pressures a locking hub has to go through. The amount of stress placed on the hub can turn that crack or chip into a bigger repair problem.