Since I don't have manually locking hubs, I would have to assume that
my truck uses some sort of inertia locking mechanism at each front
wheel whenever the front transfer case is engaged. It seems to work
pretty well, but I've heard that nothing beats manual locking hubs. I
had manual hubs on an older Bronco and it was fantastic in the snow
1) Is my assumption about the auto-locking hubs correct (that they
engage when the transaxle has forward twist, but spin free otherwise
similar to a 10 speed bike rear cog)?
2) Does anyone have any opinions about the OEM hubs vs. replacing them
with manual locking hubs? I'm going to be tearing the hubs apart this
winter or spring, so if it makes sense to replace them, I will.
3) Is there a hybrid out out there that is auto-locking with the
option to do a full manual lock?
No. K trucks don't have transaxles to begin with.
Front axle engagement on your 93 is accomplished via an actuator
on the front axle housing that moves a locking sleeve into place
connecting the inner half of the right front axle shaft to the
There are kits for Dodge trucks which are similar to your Chevy,
the kits are around $1400.00, there may be a kit available for
Chevy, never paid much attention though.
IIRC, the Dodge kit involves new spindles, new axles, new brake
rotors, new wheel bearings and the manual lock out hubs.
It does get you double tapered roller bearings that can be
serviced like in the good old days.
Late model Fords have vacuum operated automatic hubs with manual
override, very maintenance heavy, expensive to fix and failure
No it doesn't have a locking hub of any sort. GM uses an inter axle
disconnect on the right side of the front differential housing. Inside
it there is an actuator with a collar that slides to lock the right axle
together. Very good system and easily repaired. On the 93 the most
common failure is the actuator unit. It uses a wax pellet that expands
as it heats up. When it is cold the front axle can take a while to
engage. The repair is a newer motor driven actuator, or a cable that you
install to manually control the engagement. The cable is actually more
expensive than the motor driven unit.
No way to replace them because they don't exist. Also there is nothing
in the outer knuckle to tear apart anyway. You have a front hub bearing
that is replaced as a unit.
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