Purpose of a Locking Hub
Introduced to the general public in 1949 by Arthur Warn, locking hubs revolutionized four-wheel drive by allowing the wheel hub to simply disconnect from the axle, allowing the axle to be at rest.
Locking Hub Advantages
Aftermarket locking hubs have become popular due to advances in technology and better, more durable materials such as using Chrome-Moly steel (SAE grade 4340) for internal components.
Benefits of a locking hub include:
- • Reduced wear on the front axle components due to not rotating during normal driving operation.
- • Greater fuel economy due to reduced drag when the hubs are unlocked.
Hardcore Locking Hubs feature all steel construction, including Chrome-Moly internals, as well as a low-profile bezel and selector to reduce impact with obstacles and a coating on the locking gears for decreased friction.
Assembly of a Locking Hub
- Remove Existing lock-out or flange assembly
- Remove, repack, and replace wheel bearings if needed
- Inspect splines for burrs, rust, or other debris
- Lubricate hub spline and axle shaft with high pressure grease
- Assemble coil spring into hub
- Coat spacer with high pressure grease and seat it against the spindle or snap ring
- Coat the coupler and driver with high pressure grease then mesh the drive and couple pieces together and install into the hub over the axle
- While fully compressing the assembly install the axle snap ring (if applicable)
- Install the Cam Spacer into the retainer plate
- Install the hub snap ring into the hub
- Test for proper operation of the cam spacer by compressing into the hub several times
- Apply high pressure grease to the ears of the cam spacer
- Apply O-ring lube to O-rings and assemble them onto the selector
- Align the arrow on the selector with “LOCK” label on the bezel and install the bezel / selector assembly into the hub
- Install nylon washers and apply Loctite 242 (or equivalent) to threads
- Install bolts and tighten to 22 in-lbs.
More info on installation can be found here.