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Manual hub debacle


Elite Explorer
December 2, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Stryker, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 Explorer XLT
Alright, all you guys with manual hubs, chip in! Posted this on my build thread but hadn't heard much...

I went ahead and replaced my (2nd) set of busted automatic hubs last night with a used set of manuals. Everything with the install went really smooth (other than the retaining nut on the passenger side that I couldn't get a grip on to remove and finally beat it off with a hammer and cold chisel ), but I've run into a small problem...while the hub I placed on the drivers side (not that it matters) locks and unlocks flawlessly, the other seems to be locked all the time. Before I placed the hubs onto the axle, I removed as much sand and grit from them that I could, locked and unlocked the hubs, watching how they worked, and moved/tried to move the insides of the hubs when locked and unlocked. The hub I placed on the passenger side will unlock, but I have to pull the splined piece out myself, and when placing it onto the axle, it locks, whether I have to hub locked or guess is that it's just dirty, but also thinking maybe there's some kind of spring inside that is broken.

Should I take it apart, clean and lube everything up, and hope for the best, or just not bother disassembling the hub and grab one from the U-Pick-It? Thinking of grabbing another pair from the yard anyway, just as spares...

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What do you mean when you say you have to pull the splined part out yourself?

Are you using the three piece washer set that goes with manual hubs?

To clean and lube a manual hub, fill it with ATF and let it soak a bit, then dump out, drip dry and reinstall.

The splined piece inside the manual hub that, when you lock and unlock the hub, moves in and out (away from and towards the center of the vehicle). IIRC, that piece, when the hub is unlocked, goes out (towards the vehicle), but not on this hub.

I'll be mostly cleaning out in the shop today at work, so I'll zip the tires off real quick and use some of that "used" ATF I drained from the transmission yesterday when I attempted to get all the gear oil out.

And yes, I got the Mile Marker conversion kit for the hubs.

Since you're pulling the tires, swap the hubs side to side. Maybe that can show if it's the hub or the axle...

It's the hub itself; the parts inside and the way it's supposed to work...I have absolutely no doubt on this...

Ok, so I had that info backwards....but on another note, I went ahead and took it apart today because my curiosity was getting the best of me, cleaned all the parts, put it back together (more than once), soaked it in ATF all afternoon, and it works great now. :D


Superwinch Hubs... Only way to go.