Ford F250 is one of the sturdiest models yet to come from the long line of manufacturers. But a question that may arise to you – how does the front locking hub work on a F250?
The front locking hub on F250 works by attaching and detaching the front axles. When not locked in, the front wheels axles work separately and only allow rear wheels to spin. When locked, the van is on 4WD. The rear wheels will also get power directly from the engines and work on a vacuum-actuated system.
If you are interested in the functions and details of the locking hub, this article will help you. It will let you know about the ins and outs of the locking hubs. Let’s jump into the basics!
Table of contents
- What Is A Front Locking Hub?
- Auto Vs. Manual Locking Hub
- How Does Front Locking Hub Work?
- Front Locking Hub On Ford F250
- 2019 F250 Manual Locking Hubs
- Why Does Ford Still Have Locking Hubs?
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Final Words
What Is A Front Locking Hub?
The front locking hub, also called the freewheeling hub, is attached to the four-wheel vehicles’ front wheel. It enables the front wheels to pivot unreservedly when detached from the front hub.
Opening and closing of the locking hub determine the friction created on the wheel. There are mainly two types of locking hubs. Here are some details on both.
1. Manual Locking Hub
In the manual locking hub, there is a knob to work with. When needed, a driver will have to rotate the knob to adjust the Locking Hub.
2. Automatic Locking Hub
The automatic locking hub doesn’t need manual fixing. It adjusts itself when torque is applied during driving.
Auto Vs. Manual Locking Hub
Auto and manual locking hubs have their benefits.
In an auto-locking hub, the driver doesn’t have to take much of a hassle. With the help of the driving shaft, it can be adjusted. There is no need to put the car in neutral. But in the manual locking hub, the driver needs to get out of the car and adjust the nob.
The manual gives the driver a bit of freedom to work with the locking and unlocking when necessary. But in auto, it shifts itself only when necessary.
How Does Front Locking Hub Work?
The front locking hub works by making 2 wheels drive into 4 wheel drive.
Your four-wheel vehicle can work as 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive. There are two axles in your car.
When the hubs are unlocked, the axles work separately. They spin regardless of each other. They can be pushed from the rear axle whenever you push them. This is 2WD.
But when the front locking hub is locked, the two half axles are connected. Now the drive works as 4WD. The two axles will spin together. You are now ready for 4WD.
Front Locking Hub On Ford F250
The Ford vehicles now come with auto front locking hubs. But the model from 2005 to 2020 allows you to upgrade it to manual locking hubs.
In the automatic front locking hubs, the driver doesn’t need to change it manually when the torque is applied when the vehicle is in the run, the hub locks and unlocks itself when necessary.
How To Lock Hubs Ford F250?
In automatic lock hubs, Ford F250 will lock itself. You will apply torque with the help of the driveshaft. It will force the hub to slide in. Thus, you can lock Ford F250 hubs.
This model has an option to be upgraded to the manual lock hub. In that case, the driver will have to get down, rotate the knob to lock or unlock. The driver will have to decide when to shift between 2WD and 4WD.
How Does The Front Locking Hub Work On A F250?
The primary function of the front locking hub on F250 is to turn the vehicle on 2WD or 4WD when necessary.
When the van needs to have light driving or not carrying much weight, it shifts to 2WD. This allows spending energy on the front wheels and letting the other two wheels spin. It helps the Van to work properly and lightly.
Sometimes F250 might be used to carry a bit of weight. In that case, the van having 4WD will allow more of a balance. The locked hub will allow spending energy on all of the wheels. Thus the van gets the required grip and power to carry such loads.
How To Replace Locking Hubs On Ford F250?
You can replace the locking hubs on the Ford F50. For this, you will need –
- Wire brush
- Bearing grease
- Rubber Mallet
- Penetrating oil
By following these steps, you can replace a locking hub.
- With the help of the screwdriver, you need to remove the slot.
- Now with pliers or fingers, remove the snap ring.
- Use penetrating oil to loosen up the hub.
- With the help of the rubber mallet, hit the hub sidewise to loosen up completely.
- Now pull out the hub.
- With the wire brush, clean the slot.
- It’s time to attach the new hub.
- Reattach the snap ring.
2019 F250 Manual Locking Hubs
Now the owner of 2019 F2050 gets a new option. Their vans can be upgraded to 2019 F250 manual locking hubs.
In the manual F250 locking hubs, the driver will have to get down from the van and use the knob to adjust the lock. After that, the driver will get into the truck and will have to start the van. Before starting, the gear has to be in neutral mode. This will allow the axles to adjust.
The same process is to be done both in locking and unlocking.
Why Does Ford Still Have Locking Hubs?
Ford still has to lock hubs to allow the customer to choose between auto and manual locking hubs. Heavy-duty vans like F250 are on off roads on snow or sands. They are primarily used as work trucks. If the car is in a vacuum-actuated system, the 2WD will not be able to work. It will fail to move forward.
Ford is concerned about this issue and has a manual locking hub in all trucks except F150.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is the Ford F250 locking hubs direction?
To lock in the Ford F250 locking Hub manually, turn the knob clockwise. It is locked. Turning anti-clockwise will allow you to unlock it.
Can you leave hubs locked on F250?
Leaving the locking hub locked will not damage the vehicle. It will also not tamper with the handling.
How do I know if my locking hub is bad?
There are some signs like noise and disengaging. If you notice any of them, you need to replace the hub.
When should you replace locking hubs?
When you suspect a problem, you should change the locking hub. Even if it doesn’t seem to have an issue, it is better to change it in 2-3 years of interval.
Do you have to lock the hubs on F250?
In case of heavy-duty work, you will need the hubs locked on an F250. It will help you with vacuum-actuated systems. Otherwise, you can drive on 2WD.
In this post, we tried to answer your question about how does the front locking hub work on a F250. Also, we tried to add some more information that can help you deal with the locking hub on your ford car.
Hope this information will come in handy the next time you take your favorite car out for a drive. Drive safe and know about the features to keep your car on its best performance!
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Thomas is a retired Motor Mechanic, a Father and a Grandfather. He writes from his 20+ years in the automotive industry to help you find and solve anything related to Car repairs, Maintenance and Care.