Those who have braved the offroad a few times might be familiar with the importance of locking hubs. It’s what gives you extra traction, as the locked hubs transfer part of the engine’s power to the tires at the front. So, what happens if you try to get this trick working and your hubs fail? Well, that’s when your trusty truck ends up with power directed only to the back wheels. Here’s how you can avoid getting yourself into this trouble, by learning to replace manual locking hubs.
Why manual hubs?
First of all, they give you the reassurance that you’ve definitely locked them as you have to do it by hand. That kind of control is only given by manual hubs and for many offroaders, that’s enough of a reason to stick to them over automatic ones. The last can be a little unreliable depending on the quality and also consume more fuel compared to manual ones, which trigger fewer parts of the front drivetrain when they get rotating as they unlock.
However, no type of hubs are immortal and the years of dirt and dust will eventually prove too much for them to not be replaced. Doing so is quite straightforward and requires you to replace both of them. You’re gonna need a pair that’s sturdy and that you’re sure will stay engaged, so make sure you do your research.
Okay, now that you’ve got your new hubs, how do you get them in your truck?
How to replace the hubs
This process will probably take you about 30 minutes in total so you don’t have to worry about delaying any trips you’ve planned. Ready? Here’s how you do it:
1. Start by getting a 9/32-inch hex and use it to remove the screws that hold your manual hubs’ caps in place.
2 Get to the locking hub assembly by removing the cap.
3. Next, you’re gonna need the blade of a small screwdriver to lift the visible end of the spring-like retaining ring, get the retainer out and chuck it away.
4. Your defunct hub will present quite a lot of rust and dirt so watch out. Pull out the hub assembly by using two of the socket-head retaining screws.
5. Give a clean to your hub before inserting your new hub assembly by using the mounting screws to handle it.
6. Get your new locking ring installed right in the groove of the hub.
7. As you get your new hub assembly on, make sure to align the tab on the inside with the notch.
8. Finally, add the hub cap with the six screws provided and make sure to torque them to 35-45 in./lbs. Before you go, turn the dial to check that the hub lock easily moves from ‘free’ to ‘lock’ and vice versa.
Now that ya know how to replace manual locking hubs, it’s time to think about the next best thing to keep your offroad truck in check. That’s obviously a heavy-duty bumper, but with so many available which one should you get for your beast of a vehicle? Thankfully, we collected all of the best bumpers available in our Ultimate Bumper Guide. If you’re still unsure, you can also get in touch with us via live chat or by calling us on 281-404-2124.