2003 Ram DC front drive shafts to save gas?

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Since the front axles are always turning, is there any reason you couldn't disconnect the front drive shafts and axles to save gas? I never use 4x4 any more.
What was Dodge thinking when they decided to get rid of locking hubs??
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John wrote:

You could remove the front drive shaft but axles shafts would still turn and so would ring gear. Dodge did it his way to save money and to make engaging 4wd a no brainer because the front axle is always turning so it is easier to sync it with Tcase output. Dodge scraped hubs in the 70's and broguht them back in the 80's then scrapped them again several years ago. VERY poor judgement indeed.
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I was planning on removing the axles too. I'm not sure if the front differential will leak oil at the output shafts once the yokes are removed. Is it safe to say the yoke will not stay in without the axles in place?
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John wrote:

The wheel yoke will stay in place but the diff would leak oil like a sieve whithout axles in place. If you are serious, you should look for a tube axle used in some models or Dodge Pickups with 2wd (3500 models in the 90's) as it would be eaier to mod and de mod the truck that way if you got a complete front tube axle.
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Why did you get a 4x4 in the first place then?
If you're serious about this, the you need to remove the axles, remove the U-joints, then re-install the outer stub shafts, because they hold the wheel bearings together. You'll also want to remove the differential from the case, drain the fluid, and make some kind of rubber plugs for the axle tubes, so you don't load them up with road crud (assuming that at some point you'll want to put this all back together).
If you save 2MPG, I'll be impressed.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

People did all this stuff years ago, a friend butchered his 78 Power Wagon's front end for a whopping 1.2 or so MPG. Insane at 3 bucks a gallon, even at 5 bucks, it's still crazy.
BDK
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BDK wrote:

The "insane" part was Dodge building the truck without lockout hubs to save a few busk and costs. There is NO excuse for a new 4x4 truck to ne sold with no front axle disconnects. YOu do aslo gain smoother and quieter operation because you will no longer have a front axle spinning up in the truck and the MPG gain will be a lot higher in winter when front axle lube is thick from cold.
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Isn't winter when you want the 4x4 more than any other time?
I believe Dynatrac now offers a manual hub conversion kit for these trucks. If you're concerned about MPG, that would be the way to go, rather than disassemble the front end (because, presumably, you bought the 4WD because you felt you'd need it at some point).
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I just moved from the northeast to the southeast desert where it hasn't snowed since the ice age. You make 2 MPG sound petty, but that's another 70 miles per tank of range. At $3/gallon and 20,000 miles per year, that's a significant amount of savings every year.
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Assuming 18MPG before, and 20MPG after, 20K per year, and $3/gal, you'll save $330 a year, or less than a dollar per day. I was assuming you wanted to remove the front axles for a while, then put them back in when you thought you'd need them, then take them out again, etc. If you want to do a semi-permanent 2WD conversion, then it starts making a little more sense. I still don't think you're going to get a solid 2MPG increase, especially since you won't experience any of the cold-weather operation that thickens up the gear oil.
By the way - where's the desert in the south-east? :)
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Ooops, sorry, I meant the Southwest, In Arizona.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

I am a "old timer" so to speak and I can rememebr when trucks had lockout hubs optional and when I drove my 4x4s back then I could tell if I forgot to unlock the front hubs because you could feel it and see it in the fuel range. It can make a lot more difference than you think at times. There is not excuse to make a 4x truck without the abilty to completely diengage the front axle when in 2wd. How many 1000's or barrels of fuel a day is wasted across the country from "dragging" the front axle around in 2wd on a lot of the 4x4's out there. Also remember that the ujoints in a solid front axle are not constant velocity in a turn so when ever you turn the are straining to speed up and slow down the axle shafts as they go thru each 360 degree revolution and the sharper you turn, the more they strain, even without drive applied to the axle (it is worse with drive applied)
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I totally agree. It makes absolutely no sense to spin a bunch of gears, bearing, shafts, u-joints, and seals that should be at rest. Besides the loss of mileage, how about wear and tear?
Is this another thing you have to give up to have a truck that is less expensive than a Ford or GM product? Or do they also have full-time locked hubs. At the very least, why not offer it as an option?
I remember my 80 F-150 had locking hubs. If they were engaged, you could feel it in the steering wheel. It made a bit more noise. It also needed a little more force on the brake pedal to stop it. Unlocked gave you a noticeable difference in gas mileage as well as a smoother ride.
Dynatrac does offer a kit, but at $1500, it's not cost effective. At $330 savings per year, payback in five years isn't worth it.
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John wrote:

Ford offers lockout hubs on some SD models and GM disconnects the right front axle shaft so the other side spins off in spider gears and ring and pinion does not move (not perfect but a lot better than taking every thing along) Dodge missed a perfect opertunity to "fix" this problem in 03 when they started using a new front axle in 2500 and 3500 4x4 trucks built for them by AAM (the one that made the tried and trued 10.5 inch 14 bolt for GM for years and the then new 11.5 that GM uses in 2500 and 3500 trucks and GM's IFS front drive axles) It uses the same 9.25 ring and pinion as used in GM IFS in 2500 and 3500 trucks but Dodge spec'd it to have no disconnect or ablity to support lockout hubs. It is a shame because it is a very stout axle but has no support to disconnect the axles in 2wd with a redesign.
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Any hub conversions for the AAM front axle?
Al
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"Big Al" wrote:

Been trying to find one, few leads but nothing concrete
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Dynatrac now has a kit available. Some guys over on the TDR worked with them to get this developed, and several have already purchased and installed kits. You can read all about it here:
http://www.turbodieselregister.com/forums/showthread.php?t 948
Or just call Dynatrac at 714-596-4461 and get the info. straight from them. Be forewarned - I hear it's an $1,800 (retail) kit.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

I have Emailed them for more info on it a few days ago but no responce yet. Kinda strange.
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Lots of companies like that are slow to respond to e-mails... give 'em a call - you'll get the info. much quicker
If you look through that thread on TDR (the last 3 pages or so), you'll come across a person's name and direct phone number at Dynatrac that was taking the orders for this kit.
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Called them this afternoon. They are sending me the info. Any idea where I can find some illustrations of the stock setup?
Al
2004 CTD
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