Manual Locking Hubs

manual-transmissions
nissan
frontier

#1

I am considering replacing the factory hubs on my Nissan Frontier 4x4 with manual locking hubs. I figure it will help with my fuel economy and save wear on my front axle parts. Is it worth the effort of installation and $170.00 for the new hubs?


#2

Let me see if I get this correct. You want to replace a set of functioning automatic hubs with manual locking hubs OR the hubs you want to replace the “always locked” type.

If the hubbs you want to replace are the automatic type I say no, but if the hubs you want to replace are the always locked in type I say "yes’ as this clearly is an upgrade.


#3

Not worth it.


#4

You will kick yourself the very first time you are in a ‘‘4x4 right now !’’ situation and reach for the lever/switch and nothing happens. Guaranteed.

I had an 80 Bronco with manual hubs.
I had a 92 Explorer with automatic hubs.
I have an 08 Expedition, auto hubs and an 06 Escape hybrid AWD
I will never go back to manual hubs.
The Explorer was my baby, kept it for 17 years before up-sizing to the Expedition. In this weekend’s four corners weather I wish I had the little Explorer back. The Expedition is comparatively heavy and is not near as nimble in this snow and ice as the Explorer.


#5

Nissan Frontiers 99% likely have automatic hubs that unlock when you disengage the 4wd. What makes you think otherwise?


#6

Automatic hubs have a bad habit of not working as designed…“Full Time” 4wd is hard on the front drive-line and gas mileage…Manual hubs work fine unless you weigh over 300 pounds and can’t see the hubs without a mirror…


#7

Thanks everyone for your replies. I should have been more specific in my first post. My 4x4 Nissan Frontier is from 2002. The weather is not very severe here in Tennessee so I don’t use four wheel drive very much. I just assumed that the hubs are the “always locked” type but maybe they are the automatic type like andrew_i mentioned. I will check into it. Thanks again for the help.


#8

Maybe Toyota has a clue. They work fine on my father’s 1990 4runner and disengage properly. You notice the difference when they lock and unlock by a whirring noise.


#9

Automatic hubs have a bad habit of not working as designed…

I’ve put over 300k miles on two vehicles with autolocking hubs…Used 4wd EVERY year…NEVER had a problem what-so-ever…and all original…If you’ve had problems with them…then maybe you should consider buying from a company that knows how to design and build them correctly.


#10

Most 4wd owners have no clue whether their “automatic” hubs are working or not…They just assume they are and drive on in blissful ignorance…Half of them engage and never disengage again and their owners are completely unaware of this…

If the OP can get a set of manual hubs for $170 (!) I say go for it…


#11

Most 4wd owners have no clue whether their “automatic” hubs are working or not…They just assume they are and drive on in blissful ignorance…Half of them engage and never disengage again and their owners are completely unaware of this…

Where you getting your stats from??

In my experience I know the hubs were locking…because 4wd was engaging…If you drive 4wd enough…you know when it engages.


#12

This is a rare situation. Anytime you might encounter this situation, you can pre-lock the hubs early, then flip the switch when you need it.

I wish manual were an option, and replaced both with manuals as soon as one auto started to act up on my Ranger. Never looked back. It’s so much better. I just leave em locked all winter, unlocked in summer, except for any off-roading