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66-96 Ford Broncos - Early & Full Size

Automatic Locking Hubs 3 screw 1996 rebuild?

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From searching it seems well established that the factory auto locking hubs are garbage. But can the factory auto locking hubs be repaired? What goes bad causing them to fail? In looking at a removed set, the parts all seem ok and I don't see much if any wear but they won't work and I'd like to have a better understanding of why.

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yo f2502011,

Mine busted out twice in my 96; bought the 96 new and "over maintained" it w/frequent cleaning and lightly lubing the auto hub assy

The Cam Assembly (Part of Hub Body 1K105) grenaded

Ford used to sell a repair kit, but It was over $100.00; so Warn man hubs were cheaper; I do not see that auto hub repair kit listed in Ford's on-line Motocraft catalog; http://www.fordparts.com



I have some Swaps to Manual LINKs in my site @ http://www.broncolinks.com/index.php?index=107





Automatic Locking Hub, F-150 and Bronco

1 3A329 Halfshaft

2 3C132 Rolling Diaphragm Seal (RDS), Axle

3 3299 Integral Spacer Needle Bearing Seal

4 3123 Bearing, Caged Needle

5 3105 Front Wheel Spindle

6 3254 Spindle Rolling Diaphragm Seal

7 1190 Wheel Hub Grease Seal

8 4221 Inner Wheel Bearing (with Bearing Cup � 4222)

9 1102 Front Disc Brake Hub and Rotor

10 4221 Outer Wheel Bearing (with Bearing Cup � 4222)

11 3B549 Wheel Retainer Key

12 Steel Thrust Washer (Part of 3B458)

13 Plastic Thrust Washer (Part of 3B458)

14 Splined Thrust Washer (Part of 3B458)

15 1K104 Capscrew

16 1K104 Cap

17 Lock Ring (Part of 1K106)

18 1K105 Hub Body

19 3B457 C-Ring

20 Cam Assembly (Part of 1K105)

21 Wheel Retainer (Nut) (Part of 1K105)

A Tighten to 4-6 Nm (35-53 Lb-In)

B While Rotating Front Disc Brake Hub and Rotor, Tighten to 68 Nm (50 Lb-Ft) to Seat Wheel Bearings. Back Nut Off 90 Degrees (1/4 Turn). Tighten to 1.8 Nm (16 Lb-In)




This is from my Section 05-03C: Wheel Hubs and Bearings, Front Wheels, 4-Wheel Drive 1996 F-150, F-250, F-350, and Bronco Workshop Manual

Automatic Locking Hubs

If contamination is found in the wheel end, the path must be determined and corrected. Path possibilities are through the hublock seal, wheel bearing seals or the axle spindle seals.


NOTE: While the vehicle is hoisted, shift into 4-wheel drive from a dead stop and not while rear wheels are rotating in order to avoid slamming the hub locks into the lock position.



Raise vehicle on a hoist so that all wheels are off the ground. Start engine (6007) with vehicle in neutral and transfer case in two-wheel drive. Front wheels should spin freely by hand. Put transfer case in 4WD and put vehicle in gear. Front and rear wheels should rotate together. Put vehicle in neutral and spin front wheels by hand in the forward direction. The front axle and front driveshaft should rotate with the wheels. The additional load of the drivetrain components should be felt once the hub has been engaged. To disengage the hubs, spin the wheels in the opposite direction until an audible click is heard. Spin wheels forward again and they should rotate freely without the axle and driveshaft rotating. Repeat the procedure, only shift into 4-wheel drive and put the vehicle in reverse. This time the hubs should release when the front wheels are spun in the forward direction.



Road Test


When checking front hubs for proper operation, road test the vehicle to make sure the hubs will remain engaged while under load. This is accomplished by engaging 4-wheel drive and taking the vehicle through several turns (both forward and backward) on dry pavement. This will put an additional load on the front wheel at the outside of the turn because it is traveling the greatest distance.


Driving through several turns while traveling in different directions will make sure that both sides of the hub teeth have been tested under load. Hubs that are not sufficiently engaged will pop out when loaded. This is due to the driveline releasing windup and is an indication of hub malfunction.


If slippage is suspected, mark the tire and axle shaft with chalk (after locking the hub) and apply a heavy torque load several times. Then inspect your original indexing marks. If they are no longer aligned, the hubs are not remaining locked when under load. They will have to be replaced.


Should hublocks become submerged in water or mud for a long period of time, water may get past the seals and into the hubs and axle. In this case, all water must be expelled from the system. The axle must be drained by loosening the axle cover and 4x4 Gear Oil F1TZ-19580-A (WSL-M2C191-A) used to refill the axle (F1TZ-19580-A has no equivalent). Disassemble the hubs using procedures in this section and repack the wheel bearings using procedures in this section and dry off the hublocks. Reassemble hubs using procedures in this section. Refer to Section 05-03A or Section 05-03B for replacement of outer axle shaft seals or spindle inner seal and bearing

inner seal and bearing.

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One of the first repairs my '91. I have to give it to you for trying to figure out why the auto hubs are garbage. I didn't even bother. I just yanked the auto hubs and installed some manual locking ones.


There comes a time when you would rather be driving as opposed to fixing; however, these days I find myself doing more of the latter. ;-)

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Link just takes me to the front page of the BroncoGraveyard.com and when I type it in to search it just comes up with the 4 prong wrench, not the six point one I need... Can you repost your link or just tell me what the size is? Thanks.

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yo T,



Here is a 1996 Bronco/F-Series Workshop Manual (Partial)




Section 05-03C: Wheel Hubs and Bearings, Front Wheels, 4-Wheel Drive




Look at the Torque Specs for the bearing nut (AKA 21 — Wheel Retainer (Nut))

While Rotating Front Disc Brake Hub and Rotor, Tighten to 68 Nm (50 Lb-Ft) to Seat Wheel Bearings. Back Nut Off 90 Degrees (1/4 Turn). Tighten to 1.8 Nm (16 Lb-In) If you just need to remove and replace the auto hub, some use just a large flat blade screwdriver to back that nut off.


See if you can "borrow" the hub socket & torque wrenches from local parts store Loan-a-Tool proggie; such as @ auto zone, Pep Boys, O'reilly's, etc.


Special Service Tools Required:

For vehicles equipped with automatic locking hubs, remove C-ring or snap ring and three-piece thrust washers (spacers). Remove the cam assembly and wheel bearing nut retaining key. Remove wheel bearing retainer (nut) using Hub Nut Wrench T95T-1197-A (F-150, Bronco)


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