Car Locking Hubs

Ask any rally or off-road racer and he'd tell you how exhilarating it is to climb extremely steep uphill tracks, negotiate quick minimum-radius turns in gravel pits, or half-drive-half-surf over desert dunes. If you've tried those stunts, you'd agree that the thrill of putting a 4WD's full potential to use is incomparable. And if you know your racing vehicle well, you'd know better than to ignore the locking hub-the component that lets you drive your 4WD vehicle on- and off-road while at the same time taking care of your ride's drive train and transmission.

You can find this component in almost any four-wheel drive vehicle. Just look at the wheels of any 4WD SUV, truck, or car and you'll see that they have these special hubs that seem to protrude more than those in front-wheel and rear-wheel drive vehicles. Called locking hubs, these 4WD wheel or axle assembly components allow you to shift the drive train setting from 2WD to 4WD. The hubs do that by engaging or locking the front wheels with the axle shafts when you switch to 4WD mode. To shift back to 2WD, you only have to twist the hubs' dials back to the "unlock" position if they're of the manual type, or switch the transfer case back to 2WD setting if they're automatic hubs.

Found in both full-time and part-time 4WD vehicles, the locking hub system allows you to efficiently traverse rough roads by increasing traction when you shift to 4WD. It also allows you to smoothly coast downhill or on paved roads by minimizing mechanical drag when you shift back to 2WD. Because of such functions, this special hub provides other benefits such as improved fuel efficiency, reduced vehicle vibration, a more quiet operation, and reduced wearing among driveline components.

You'll know a hub is failing once you hear a grinding noise and your front wheels are having a hard time turning in sync when you shift into 4WD. To prevent these from happening, clean and lube your hubs regularly. Otherwise, replace the damaged hubs immediately. Installing a car locking hub on each wheel is relatively easy. All that's needed to be done is to jack the vehicle and remove the lug nuts and, finally, the wheel. At the end of the axle, there's a hub drive-flange secured by several Allen head bolts; remove them. The snap ring follows and then the cover plate of the old hub. Use a vulcanizer to the wheel flange and to the back of the new hub. Once it "gums," press the flange against the new hub. Then, reinstall everything else to complete the assembly. 

Now, for hardwearing and perfectly matching hubs for your ride, just look through our catalog. Here at Parts Train, we have the complete line of locking hub replacements from top and trustworthy aftermarket manufacturers in the industry. We've got great deals ready and waiting for you, so check out catalog today!