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4x4 Let me down, and spent a few hours digging myself out...
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 Posted: Mon Oct 7th, 2019 03:04 am
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aroundincircles
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So I need to get rid of my vacuum hub system (I.E. the biggest pile of poo in existence). those who have done it, which did you go with? Live axle, manual hubs, something else I'm not aware of? 

Manual seems like it's the cheapest/easiest option, so leaning that way, any reason to not go manual hubs?

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 Posted: Mon Oct 7th, 2019 03:24 am
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aroundincircles
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Looking at these two options right now:

https://amzn.to/31VxEM0 - $149.99

https://amzn.to/339zxoA - $153.18

anything else out there that is an option?

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 Posted: Mon Oct 7th, 2019 12:04 pm
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Best to get the knuckles and half shafts from a 2000 made in 2000 and install them. Some people have had good luck with the lock outs,most no. Black06 has recently done the swap on a 98 I'm sure there are many more years knuckles and half shafts that work including explorers which never had the vacuum locks. I believe he took the parts for his off a 99 expo I had.



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 Posted: Mon Oct 7th, 2019 02:53 pm
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410customs
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the lock out hubs for the 98-99 ranger are GARBAGE I dont like them one bit
Get rid of the vacuum system and get a live axle from later Ranger or Explorer as JAMMAN said... it is the best route



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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 01:44 am
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Welllll..... the wheel locks are $150 on amazon, and maybe an hour total to install.

To get the steering knuckles, half shafts, wheel hubs, and knuckles, is over $500... Plus will I need new brake equipment? and looks like I'll need new ball joints, and a bunch of other little parts, so we're looking at well over $700 and a day to do all the work... 

I think it's worth buying the locks for now, giving them a go. I mean, all they have to do is lock the wheel and keep it locked. What issues do people have with them?

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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 02:48 am
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aroundincircles wrote:
Welllll..... the wheel locks are $150 on amazon, and maybe an hour total to install.

To get the steering knuckles, half shafts, wheel hubs, and knuckles, is over $500... Plus will I need new brake equipment? and looks like I'll need new ball joints, and a bunch of other little parts, so we're looking at well over $700 and a day to do all the work... 

I think it's worth buying the locks for now, giving them a go. I mean, all they have to do is lock the wheel and keep it locked. What issues do people have with them?

Its usually cold and wet when you get stuck and have to get out to manually lock your hubs....



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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 03:09 am
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aroundincircles
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Eddie Money wrote:

Its usually cold and wet when you get stuck and have to get out to manually lock your hubs....



Oh, I don't daily drive my truck, it's used to drive to the hardware store, or when I plan on going off road/camping. And I live in PHX, its more likely to be 115+ degrees and super dry... But I air down when I go off road, so that requires me to be outside, standing by the tires, it isn't much to flick a switch to lock the hubs. and then I have to air up, again, standing by the tire for more than a few moments, and a flick of the switch isn't much to unlock. It's more about reliability, If I flip the switch, will it do what it's supposed to do? will it do it every time?

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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 06:54 pm
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Unfortunatley the manual hubs for the 98-99 ranger break easily and do not hold up hardly at all

So when you are in 4x4 and using it is when aftermarket hub will break and you get stuck the most because you are already in 4x4 and in a hard spot demanding torque applied to the wheel and SNAP goes the plastic bits
Can always carry a spare for this
maybe they have improved the design in the last 2-3 years? I am not sure. The ones I saw from I think Trailmaster and then Mile marker all failed for my stepson on his 98 Ranger. Eventually he went to the explorer live axle

But that's okay if you want to try them because the factory vacuum system is problematic also, and it cant hurt.


You can get used CV axles and control arms, knuckles from a explorer. Replace the wheel bearings, ball joints and brakes while in there and its a real nice upgrade.
For big $$$ upgrades I like I just save for a few months and collect the parts as I can.
Craigslist is great for this.

Good luck with whatever you decide


Glad ford got rid of the CAD in the 95-96 explorer and the vacuum hubs in the 98-99 ranger
The live axle setup in the 97-01 Explorer and 2000-11 Ranger is WAY better pretty tough too.... but then it has torsion bars LOL It is always something that needs to be upgraded

I keep the hubs on my 88 Bronco II, 97 f350 and 01 Excursion locked from November - april most years and just switch in and out of 4x4 as needed.
The last thing you want to do is wait until you need your hubs to get out and lock them

Last edited on Tue Oct 8th, 2019 07:03 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Tue Oct 8th, 2019 09:33 pm
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aroundincircles wrote:
Looking at these two options right now:

https://amzn.to/31VxEM0 - $149.99

https://amzn.to/339zxoA - $153.18

anything else out there that is an option?

https://www.12degnorth.com/axles-front 

Seems to be Mile Marker and Warn out there too but I Don't see the Warn locks with 12N, just the Warn winches but if they have one they should have or get the other(?)..

And i Agree, for the cost of buying two sets to keep an extra around vs towing out of the back 40 or worse - the Booglaoo sticks/desert! its a good concept in thought.



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 Posted: Wed Oct 9th, 2019 01:44 am
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aroundincircles
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410customs wrote:
Unfortunatley the manual hubs for the 98-99 ranger break easily and do not hold up hardly at all

So when you are in 4x4 and using it is when aftermarket hub will break and you get stuck the most because you are already in 4x4 and in a hard spot demanding torque applied to the wheel and SNAP goes the plastic bits
Can always carry a spare for this
maybe they have improved the design in the last 2-3 years? I am not sure. The ones I saw from I think Trailmaster and then Mile marker all failed for my stepson on his 98 Ranger. Eventually he went to the explorer live axle

But that's okay if you want to try them because the factory vacuum system is problematic also, and it cant hurt.


You can get used CV axles and control arms, knuckles from a explorer. Replace the wheel bearings, ball joints and brakes while in there and its a real nice upgrade.
For big $$$ upgrades I like I just save for a few months and collect the parts as I can.
Craigslist is great for this.

Good luck with whatever you decide


Glad ford got rid of the CAD in the 95-96 explorer and the vacuum hubs in the 98-99 ranger
The live axle setup in the 97-01 Explorer and 2000-11 Ranger is WAY better pretty tough too.... but then it has torsion bars LOL It is always something that needs to be upgraded

I keep the hubs on my 88 Bronco II, 97 f350 and 01 Excursion locked from November - april most years and just switch in and out of 4x4 as needed.
The last thing you want to do is wait until you need your hubs to get out and lock them

My end goal is to do a SAS, I would hate to spend a bunch of money on a whole front end, just to scrap it when I am ready to do the SAS in the front. I don't do hard trails, Just washes in the desert. The sand gets deep. The trail I ran, 99% of the time I have done it in 2wd without issue. heck when I had my jeep patriot I did that trail a bunch. Just for what ever reason, this time, the sand was SUPER deep in that one area. Once I got out I could see where at least one other person had to dig themselves out not 20 feet from where I sank in the sand. I am kicking myself for not taking some pictures.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 9th, 2019 02:21 am
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410customs
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air down!
In sand letting a ton of air out of your tires will gain you tons of flotation and can get you out of that hole!


You can take them down to about 12-15 psi and air up at the first opportunity.
If you have an air compressor I am not afraid to go down to like 8 psi in sand, mud or snow...that really makes a big difference
I know that has saved my a** a time or two.

Last edited on Wed Oct 9th, 2019 02:22 am by 410customs



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 Posted: Wed Oct 9th, 2019 03:11 am
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aroundincircles
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410customs wrote:
air down!
In sand letting a ton of air out of your tires will gain you tons of flotation and can get you out of that hole!


You can take them down to about 12-15 psi and air up at the first opportunity.
If you have an air compressor I am not afraid to go down to like 8 psi in sand, mud or snow...that really makes a big difference
I know that has saved my a** a time or two.

I was. I air down every time. I was running at ~16psi (its where the tick is at on my gauge). Still sank like a rock.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 10th, 2019 08:17 pm
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aroundincircles wrote:
My end goal is to do a SAS, I would hate to spend a bunch of money on a whole front end, just to scrap it when I am ready to do the SAS in the front. I don't do hard trails, Just washes in the desert. The sand gets deep. The trail I ran, 99% of the time I have done it in 2wd without issue. heck when I had my jeep patriot I did that trail a bunch. Just for what ever reason, this time, the sand was SUPER deep in that one area. Once I got out I could see where at least one other person had to dig themselves out not 20 feet from where I sank in the sand. I am kicking myself for not taking some pictures.


With respect, your stock IFS is better than a stock solid axle in terms of handling and ride comfort, but just not as good when it comes to durability or wheel travel. Once you start talking about upgrades to either system or what you convert your own suspension to, all that goes completely out the window. If you think there's anything about maybe going a long travel IFS which will make it ride better than a solid axle or even a stock IFS setup, you may not understand what you're asking about. Unless you're building a specific ORV rig, meaning a full on desert racer or rock crawler to trailer to location, the daily grind of ride quality or control is entirely a function of spring rate and shock valving; SAS will get old really quick.  Handling is a function of those things and suspension architecture. Wheel travel is a function of suspension architecture. All a long-travel setup will do is change your suspension architecture - it will give you more wheel travel, it will change your handling for better or worse depending on how you do it, and it will have no effect AT ALL on ride quality.

How low you can sink the diffs or frame in the sand/mud, If you really consider the logic in it, you will only find other ways. More difficult albeit due to confidence in "not getting stuck" and eventually find a way or manage to get stuck in the future. And if that was with SAS then, now what? SAS wasn't the answer was it?

So - if you're breaking CV shafts, you need a solid axle.

If your CV shafts are strong enough but you're bottoming out your suspension, long travel might be a good upgrade.

If you aren't hitting the bumpstops and aren't breaking CVs, then neither a solid axle or a long travel suspension will be any improvement in any category, and you again need to ask and answer the question what do you want from the truck?

Define that, and we can give you better advice.

Your stock truck can handle 99.99% of what you say your asking of it just fine, you don't need to upgrade anything in order to go lots and lots of very cool places. So define what you need from the truck that it isn't doing now, and you'll have a much better idea of what modifications you need to make.

4x4 leaving you having to dig out once or three times a year is a matter of having some better recovery options. I know some aren't cheap by any means or become complicated in purchasing due to needing other modifications or larger ticket items in connection with but buy yourself a set of even MAXTRAX  and you would have been out in 20 mins most likely by yourself. 

For better ride quality, leave your IFS alone. This is why the industry is constantly offering new tire designs, suspension systems, shocks, control arms, springs, recovery gear, winches, MAXTRAX, snatch/tow straps, recovery points, even that shovel on the rack, etc... At some point investments in such items just make it easier in recovering yourself faster so you're not wasting time and you're enjoying the outdoors more.

Although personally, any mild catastrophe shy of breaking things always makes the trail runs more interesting and in a weird way, fun. Maybe its because we're out with the fellas and sometimes the ladies too and when we setup camp, get the fire going, food cooking and the beers passed out its a story to talk about and in future conversations. If its too easy of a run, were you really out wheeling anyway?  ;-)


.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 11th, 2019 04:57 am
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12° North Industries wrote:
aroundincircles wrote:

My end goal is to do a SAS, I would hate to spend a bunch of money on a whole front end, just to scrap it when I am ready to do the SAS in the front. I don't do hard trails, Just washes in the desert. The sand gets deep. The trail I ran, 99% of the time I have done it in 2wd without issue. heck when I had my jeep patriot I did that trail a bunch. Just for what ever reason, this time, the sand was SUPER deep in that one area. Once I got out I could see where at least one other person had to dig themselves out not 20 feet from where I sank in the sand. I am kicking myself for not taking some pictures.


With respect, your stock IFS is better than a stock solid axle in terms of handling and ride comfort, but just not as good when it comes to durability or wheel travel. Once you start talking about upgrades to either system or what you convert your own suspension to, all that goes completely out the window. If you think there's anything about maybe going a long travel IFS which will make it ride better than a solid axle or even a stock IFS setup, you may not understand what you're asking about. Unless you're building a specific ORV rig, meaning a full on desert racer or rock crawler to trailer to location, the daily grind of ride quality or control is entirely a function of spring rate and shock valving; SAS will get old really quick.  Handling is a function of those things and suspension architecture. Wheel travel is a function of suspension architecture. All a long-travel setup will do is change your suspension architecture - it will give you more wheel travel, it will change your handling for better or worse depending on how you do it, and it will have no effect AT ALL on ride quality.

How low you can sink the diffs or frame in the sand/mud, If you really consider the logic in it, you will only find other ways. More difficult albeit due to confidence in "not getting stuck" and eventually find a way or manage to get stuck in the future. And if that was with SAS then, now what? SAS wasn't the answer was it?

So - if you're breaking CV shafts, you need a solid axle.

If your CV shafts are strong enough but you're bottoming out your suspension, long travel might be a good upgrade.

If you aren't hitting the bumpstops and aren't breaking CVs, then neither a solid axle or a long travel suspension will be any improvement in any category, and you again need to ask and answer the question what do you want from the truck?

Define that, and we can give you better advice.

Your stock truck can handle 99.99% of what you say your asking of it just fine, you don't need to upgrade anything in order to go lots and lots of very cool places. So define what you need from the truck that it isn't doing now, and you'll have a much better idea of what modifications you need to make.

4x4 leaving you having to dig out once or three times a year is a matter of having some better recovery options. I know some aren't cheap by any means or become complicated in purchasing due to needing other modifications or larger ticket items in connection with but buy yourself a set of even MAXTRAX  and you would have been out in 20 mins most likely by yourself. 

For better ride quality, leave your IFS alone. This is why the industry is constantly offering new tire designs, suspension systems, shocks, control arms, springs, recovery gear, winches, MAXTRAX, snatch/tow straps, recovery points, even that shovel on the rack, etc... At some point investments in such items just make it easier in recovering yourself faster so you're not wasting time and you're enjoying the outdoors more.

Although personally, any mild catastrophe shy of breaking things always makes the trail runs more interesting and in a weird way, fun. Maybe its because we're out with the fellas and sometimes the ladies too and when we setup camp, get the fire going, food cooking and the beers passed out its a story to talk about and in future conversations. If its too easy of a run, were you really out wheeling anyway?  ;-)


.

I used to drive an XJ, which had solid axles. I'm perfectly fine with driving a vehicle with solid axles. it does 99.9% of what I'm doing TODAY. Eventually, I would like to go to a v8, 35" tires, solid axles, etc. again, this is not a daily driver. It is a toy. I would like to do more difficult trails, Like I used to do in my XJ. I currently have small kids (my youngest is 3years old). so I won't be doing anything till they are a bit older. as it is I have to lift the younger ones in and out of the truck. 

My thing with sas, is I didn't want to spend $800+ on going to a live axle setup when I plan on ripping that all out eventually. I'm OK with spending $150 on some manual lockers in the short term. 

I was headed out to my favorite shooting spot. Got a new gun, had a few hours. Kids were taking a nap, Wife was working on project, would have been home in time for dinner. Getting there requires a short drive on this, normally very easy, trail. Normally I bring all my recovery gear. I got complacent which is 100% on me, and didn't bring anything with me. I used to have a jeep patriot, and often drove this trail with 0 issues at all. I've been down this trail a dozen times or more, never engaging 4wd. I think it is simply because of the recent rains have washed the sand in the washes into banks that were soft and much higher than they usually are, changing the aspects of trail I was normally very familiar with. I've honestly never had to actually dig myself out before. I have had to resort to using my come along once, but normally... I'm much better prepared. This is 100% on me. but also my 4wd SHOULD have worked, and it failed me as well. 

My old XJ:



and my patriot:



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 Posted: Fri Oct 11th, 2019 05:08 am
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If you're curious, Here are some videos that cover the whole trail ride. I should really edit them together, this video is at least 5 years old, probably 6 years old. 

https://youtu.be/5sbdilM2AbM

https://youtu.be/hV11G9ulntc

https://youtu.be/XivOeI15SyU

https://youtu.be/EEcDsYLez84

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 Posted: Mon Dec 2nd, 2019 02:25 am
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Just wanted to follow up, Did some pretty serious off roading yesterday, The locking hubs performed flawlessly... Now I need to get a lot more clearance... 

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