98 ranger 4x4 auto locking hub problem | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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98 ranger 4x4 auto locking hub problem

crimsonwhite33

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December 5, 2008
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City, State
georgia
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 ranger 4x4 xlt
I have a 98 ranger 4x4 that would'nt go into 4wd, the light on the dash would come on and the motor on the transfer case was working properly but the hubs wont engage. Iknow that they are operated using a vacuum so i checked for leaks in hoses and checked to see if i was getting vacuum from the vacuum solenoid. No leaks on hoses and i had vacuum but wasnt sure if it was getting enough to engage the hubs, so i tried putting vacuum directly to the hub and they engaged. Problem is that now they wont disengage even though i take the vacuum off, so now my hubs are locked and the axels and driveshaft turn all the time even though im in 2wd. im afraid that one might disengage while driving and cause damage. What would cause the hubs to stay locked? And where should i start to get this vacuum operated system to work properly? faulty vacuum solenoid? vacuum leak in hub? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 
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brianjwilson

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July 8, 2004
Messages
628
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Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Ranger, 05 Sport Trac
These hubs are notorious for this. Do not waste time fixing them, they will break again.
Search AVM manual hub. The manual hubs install in about 10 minutes, and used to cost $110, probably slightly more.
My auto-hubs on my 98 used to stock locked lots of times, never hurt anything. Just get the manual hubs...
 
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4LO 4.0

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Joined
June 1, 2007
Messages
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City, State
AUGUSTA, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 RANGER 4X4
I permanently locked mine over 2 years ago because the crappy vacuum hubs would not work. Ford only used this set up for 3 years because they realized it was crap and the 01 and up Ranger all have permanently lock hubs so it's not like it will hurt anything and it always works.

Best of all it's totally free and takes about 5 minutes to do.

http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/Apr04/offroad.htm
 
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john4870

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Joined
February 10, 2009
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City, State
sparta TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 xlt
Thank you so much for your advice and the link you have saved me so much money. I have not had 4x4 for almost a year. I locked them and it works grate. Thank you so much your the man>
 
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35Remmy

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March 4, 2008
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City, State
Binghamton NY, Hazleton PA, Northern NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
'88,'99 Ranger, '00 EX
So now you're in 4x4 all of the time?
 
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john4870

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February 10, 2009
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City, State
sparta TN
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 xlt
No not all the time just when i turn the 4x4 switch on 4 wheel drive and the transfer case comes on, but my hub's are locked all the time. I have not seen any difference in the way the truck drives in 2 wheel drive even at high speed. I love it.
 
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35Remmy

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March 4, 2008
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City, State
Binghamton NY, Hazleton PA, Northern NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
'88,'99 Ranger, '00 EX
Good to know...although I guess I've been lucky. I use my 4wd about 3 times a day and have never had a problem ('99 Ranger).
 
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4x4xbrian.com

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Joined
October 20, 2006
Messages
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Location
Watkins Glen Ny
City, State
Watkins Glen Ny
Year, Model & Trim Level
01 ranger
Callsign
Btilden
solid hubs better!

I had a 99 ranger 4x4 stopped working... the prob was the hub assy. the vac leak is internal. the problem is these hubs are $350 ea! I swapped mine out for 95 explorer hubs and cv's from a scrapper and now I will never have to deal with this again. ps the even worse failure on the stock hubs is abs sensor you can not stop at all ,not if but when this fails!!! if your 4x doesnt work your close to a brake failure. just experience.
 
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RedNeckASR

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Joined
March 15, 2012
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City, State
Missouri
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 Ford Explorer
i have a question. would it be possible to manual hubs for a 98' ranger on a 96' explorer?
 
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nite82hawk

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Joined
November 16, 2014
Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ford Ranger 4x4 XLT
I permanently locked mine over 2 years ago because the crappy vacuum hubs would not work. Ford only used this set up for 3 years because they realized it was crap and the 01 and up Ranger all have permanently lock hubs so it's not like it will hurt anything and it always works.

Best of all it's totally free and takes about 5 minutes to do.

http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/Apr04/offroad.htm


Hi. New here. I have a 99 4x4 Ranger that last year the 4x4 stopped working. I'm looking at procedure in the link and I'm trying to understand what is being done. Is all that is being done is removing that staple looking metal piece that's attached to the white plastic in the 4th picture? So when that is done, does the 4x4 disengage when it's switched to off? Any help would be appreciated as I need to do this soon because the snow has started to fall here. Thank you!
 
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