2003 Ram DC front drive shafts to save gas?

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Don't forget to factor in the $$$ lost that you paid originally for 4x4 that will be a complete loss when you go to trade it in or sell it ... unless of course you are planning to put it back together. In that
case, factor in time and frustration to undo then redo.
Craig C.
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Have you ever had to go knee deep in mud to find the f@#!! hubs to engage 4 wheel drive?
Personally I prefer to have slightly increased consumption in order to have (almost) instant 4x4 availability than to have the added complication of the locking hubs.
Again, that's me... (And by the way, in Greece we 're paying about 4,5$ per gallon for some YEARS now... Oil will NOT be cheap for some time so get used to the idea...)
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The idea of locking hubs is having the ability to drive on paved roads and highway, where most people to 99% of their driving, with the front differential disconnected from the wheels.
If mud is even remotely possible, you leave them locked. But the rest of the time you drive, you leave them unlocked. I know when I'll be off road in advance. Besides, there isn't much mud in the desert.
When I lived in the NorthEast, I only needed the hubs locked on a regular basis during the snow season, December, January, and February. The the other nine months of dry weather, I still had to have the front differential working for no reason.
Speaking of Greece, I have a house in Greece, just outside of Athens (Byronas). I have a tiny car there with a tiny engine. There is a tax when you buy a car with an engine bigger than 1.8 L. This car gets goog enough mileage with a 1.4 L engine that I dont have to worry about the price of fuel.
With Greece's lack of super-highways (besides the one that goes to the airport) and constant traffic, small engines are fine there. Besides, Athens has a mass transit system almost as extensive as NYC. The busses and trains cover the city well.
Where I live, in Arizona, there is no mass transit. Highways cover the area well. Due to how spread out everything is here, everything is far away. I drive 500 miles per week, so at $3 per gallon, I have to go for every mile per gallon I can. I can stand the inconvenience of locking and unlocking my hubs once or twice a month when I do go off road. Saving wear and tear is nice too.
By the way, fuel prices in Greece proove that national politics have little to do the price of fuel. Greece has always had a pro-Arab stance in the world political theatre. Yet, they have always paid a lot more for fuel than we do.
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proteusdiver wrote:

What is so darn hard about getting out and locking the hubs BEFORE you drive through a mud hole? Be driving 4x4 for about 35 years now and Dodge wants to make as much of a no brainer to use as possible to try to sell more of them and how many 1000's of barrels a fuel a day is wasted because Dodge is to cheap to put them on?. Then there is all the needless wear and tear on the front drive axle that is not even needed 99% of the time. Yeah really great idea not to have them on a truck and instead have that bastard hub the is a pill to work on if bearings or ujoints need service! We cussed at those things in the 70's when Dodge came out with them too.
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Ditto what Sno said! Years ago I was the only one of my friends that had a Ford. It had locking hubs and their GMs didn't. They made fun of me when I would pull over and lock my hubs when the snow started or to go off road. They were convinced their full time hubs were better. Till I pointed out to them that my 200,000 mile F150 was still on its original front differential seals, bearings, gears, ujoints, AND oil.
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And it's 3rd engine, 2nd transmission, 4th T-case... :)
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

My 89 4x4 burb is still all factory issue after 175k and still going strong. You are doing something wrong big time. I can get 200k plus out of a engine and trans regularly and have on other vehicles too. This one has been cross country and across the rockies more than a dozen times too.
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Nope, I'm doing something right. I've never (intentionally) owned a Ford :)
You really need to stop taking everything so seriously.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

So I should post BS answers then?
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As opposed to... ?
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Sorry to disappoint you but that 1980 Ford F-150 was on its original engine (4.9L 6 cyl), transmission, and tranfer case. The only major repair I made was replacing the rear tranny seal and the clutch replaced twice.
I also had a 1990 Ford Bronco. 180,000 miles with zero problems.
Luckily, my 2003 Dodge is also trouble free after 43,000 miles on it.
I agree with the Snow guy, if you're using up engines, trannies, and tranfer cases that fast, look for your problem with the driver, not the drive.
With today's lemon laws, no manufacturer is going to sell a product they may have to buy back. In my opinion, Ford is usually a better product than Dodge. But this time the reputation of the Cummins sold me. The softer ride of the 2500 vs the F250 also sold me.
And, by the very nature of this thread, less cylinders = less moving parts, is a good thing.
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John wrote:

In theory, two internal combustion engines of same displacement but different number of cylinders, the one with less cylinders will be more fuel efficent because of less surface are for heat loss from expanding gasses
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Simple case in point: about two weeks after purchasing my '03 3500, I was driving to a friend's house. Coming down the road was a tractor pulling a BIG trailer full of hay bales. It was pretty wide, and the road was narrow. I decided to pull over and give him room. Unknown to me, that wasn't all grass alongside the road - there was a ditch dug in there, covered with grass. The right side of the truck dropped about two feet - enough that the skid plate was doing it's job. (Incidentally, the tractor passed by with only about 10" to spare). Without 4WD, I never would have been able to drive out, and if I had manual hubs, probably couldn't even get to the passenger side to lock it. Instead, I just flipped the knob, and eased it out and back onto the road (then spent about 40 minutes hosing all the mud off of my brand-new truck :)
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