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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although I have disassembled and lubed hubs on a couple of fords I never paid much attention to them. Didn't have to convert those or anything. But I don't like the full time concept and what to know what you can share about the change out? How well it worked, how involved it was? Brands? Mileage, Etc.

There are also several levels of hubs or kits whats with that? do I really need to do a whole yolk change out to make it happen?

Also I noticed a setup by a company called Syntec (noticed it on ebay) it is expensive probably out of my price range as mostly this stuff looks to be but has anyone tried this one looks like a nice product and uses mostly universal parts. I'll probably have to look for something used or something but this kit seems to be an impressive product. Is 5 on 5 bolt pattern.
Thanks for your responses Bob Harrison
 

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My rigs came with hubs for over 40 years. I actually don't miss them. I will be curious what you come up with.
 

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Manual hubs should really be more properly called 'unlocking' hubs since the OE hubs are locked 100% of the time. There's no benefit to them on the road since modern unit bearing hubs and front axles don't offer the drag that older setups did. I've had manual hubs on both of my TJs and the only way I can tell when they were locked or unlocked when driving on the street was to get out and look at them. There's certainly no difference you can detect when they are locked or unlocked when driving on paved streets.

The key benefits of manual hubs is they are rebuildable and you can unlock the hub after some trail breakages and drive home. They can also come in handy for some trails when you have an automatic front locker you want to disengage when steering has become difficult but you want to remain in 4Lo. Unlocking the front hubs while in 4Lo gives what is in effect 2Lo.
 

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The previous owner of my TJ put manual full size warn hubs on all four wheels which also involved warn full floater rear axle shafts and cj front rotors on all four wheels as well as going to a 5 on 5.5" lug circle

I think it was primarily done for flat towing with all four hubs unlocked

But as Jerry said front hubs unlocked makes no driving or noticeable mileage difference

4 manual hubs plus two ARD lockers does let you power any combo of 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 wheels but the actual useful uses were well covered in Jerry's post
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Am surprised it does not make for more difference mileage wise. Do I understand Warn quit making them for the TJ? Thanks for your responses. Bob Harrison
 

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That is my understanding but I think Jerry has posted that he knows who now has the rights to continue making them

All has lifetime warranty but warn could not even find me a replacement rear lug stud

One other observation
Jeep went from cj manual hubs to yj CAD to TJ with front axle shafts and front driveshaft always spinning with front wheels

Around the year they stopped the YJ and CAD NP/NV also changed the 231J transfer case in two ways (besides the rear slip joint design)

1 They got rid of the needle bearings between the chain sprocket and the rear output shaft and increased the shaft diameter to take up space where needle bearings were

2 They got rid of the bronze syncro

I think they did this because with the solid hubs of the TJ the front output chain and both sprockets are always spinning at same RPM as rear output shaft so no need for needle bearing or syncro

However if you have manual front hubs unlocked the front driveshaft chain and sprockets are basically still while rear output shaft is spinning with rear driveshaft at least when in 2wd

So far I know of no one with wear issues on sprocket but makes you wonder

By the way all the SYE kits use a large diameter output shaft requiring removal of the needle bearings on the early cases unless you do a hack and tap
 

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Warn still sells hubs & parts for them but they no longer make their hub conversion kits for TJs. Warn sold that line to Randy's Ring & Pinion but Randy's never really did anything with it. They never gave me anything but confusing or incorrect answers the couple times I contacted them. I recently purchased a pair of spare hubs from Warn as insurance.
 

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Jerry will say that there is little to no mileage improvement with hubs. He's been saying that for years. His statement is normative and he never provides critical data or information, as Is typical of him. People then go on repeating what he says. I love selectable hubs. Unit bearings are a manufacturing expediency, and they appeal to a larger market. IMO, selectable hubs should be on any rig that really is used as a 4x4. I make no claim to know how much of an improvement in mileage you get with locking hubs, but I don't believe in free energy like like some people do. If you unlock your hubs, your front end stuff no longer spins, so that energy is not wasted. Locking hubs have a multitude of other benefits that you really only get your head around when you have and use them.

Prices have gone way up or I would put them on all my jeeps.
 

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From my experience, dealing with Randy's Ring and Pinion is a drag, or I would have multiple Jeeps with locking hubs. I have been looking at alternatives, like spyntec. They are excellent to deal with but are still expensive.
 

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Say what you want but I have 13 years driving two TJs with manual hubs and my personal experience is zero difference in mpg between when the hubs are locked or unlocked. I've only seen one person claim better mpg on a TJ with unlocked hubs and they're not offering the data to support that claim either.

I'm certainly not going to waste my time to generate the data to satisfy just one disbeliever. Could there possibly be a miniscule mpg difference a lab could detect? Of course but there's certainly not enough difference that I can detect. And certainly not so I would care if my hubs are unlocked when I'm on the highway. And that's good enough for me.
 

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Say what you want but I have 13 years driving two TJs with manual hubs and my personal experience is zero difference in mpg between when the hubs are locked or unlocked. I've only seen one person claim better mpg on a TJ with unlocked hubs and they're not offering the data to support that claim either.

I'm certainly not going to waste my time to generate the data to satisfy just one disbeliever.
" personal experience" is useless when it contradicts sciences, physics and common sense. And from what I have read, you can correct me if I am wrong, you ride around all the time with your hubs locked, via your locking hubs, on the highway.
 

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To be sure, I never considered MPG improvement in my choice of using Locking Hubs. One of the many reasons that I like them is that my axle and drive shafts don't spin, and my differential is not spinning, when I am not using my locking hubs. So my differential is cooler, as are all my joints. That is because there is no friction from spinning, and that is how I know they improve mileage.
 

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If you want to persist in your belief that unlocked hubs make a significant improvement in mpg, you just go right ahead and believe that. Be my guest, I'm not here to waste my time convincing you one way or the other.
 

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Mine are always locked in the back so I can drive.

Typically front are locked in winter and unlocked on road in the summer but no significant mpg difference noted but as of last year I got dedicated winter tires and I think summer vs winter gas blend may be different at the pump

So the tire difference makes further comparison not as accurate

But I never saw a notable MPG difference

I am a guy who even put Nissan pickup manual hubs on a fixed hub 96 pathfinder ( only cost $20 as hubs straight bolt on and got them at you pull it)
I could tell driving if hubs were locked in 2hi by a hard to describe feeling but again did not see notable mpg difference or significant handling difference beyond that noticeable but hard to describe steering feedback
 

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If you want to persist in your belief that unlocked hubs make a significant improvement in mpg, you just go right ahead and believe that. Be my guest, I'm not here to waste my time convincing you one way or the other.
I never said that that they make a significant gain in MPG, because I don't just make stuff up, repeat what others have said, carry and reiterate my opinions over and over for years on end without putting up some data.

I will say that a spinning drivetrain that generates heat is getting its energy from somewhere, not some fairytale land where energy is free.
 

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I'll agree with that all energy that ends as heat came from somewhere

Put a paddle wheel in an ocean tide and you took that energy from a combination kinetic energy of earths spin and the energy of the moons orbiting

Just do't expect to be able to detect slowing of earth spin or change in the lunar orbit
 

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I'll agree with that all energy that ends as heat came from somewhere

Put a paddle wheel in an ocean tide and you took that energy from a combination kinetic energy of earths spin and the energy of the moons orbiting

Just do't expect to be able to detect slowing of earth spin or change in the lunar orbit
I can easily detect the heat on differential.
 
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