Locking Hubs (1 Viewer)

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Hello all,
New guy here, so please go easy on me:). Just got my awesome 1996 LC FZJ 80 (Ron Burgundy) and a mechanic I know told me to get a Locking Hubs to make little more efficient on gas when driving on highway or ease roads, anyone who did this mod, did you notice any difference on fuel or the way the car drives? Thanks for any help.

Edi

BTW. : This is an awesome forum.
 
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I haven't done the mod.
There have been a number of conversations on here about the mod.
The evidence is pretty convincing that the lock-out hubs will have zero effect on mileage.
If you are at stock height or 3" max lift, leave it AWD unless you have front drive shaft vibs.
You may need the lock out hubs to kill vibrations, but don't bother with them if no vibs.

YMMV, I am only condensing wisdom shared here on MUD.
 
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In short, the amount of time it will take to save enough gas to make up what you spend on the modification is not really worth it.

I have my front shaft out right now for servicing, so I’ve been driving around in rear wheel drive. It’s fine, but especially on a heavier vehicle, having drive to the front wheels does help it handle better in general.

Not worth it IMO, but to each their own
 
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TurboDennis

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Waste of money. Buy a Prius instead.

For fuel economy, yes - waste of money.

However there are other advantages to switching to locking hubs, so i wouldn't say that it's a waste of money overall.
 
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a mechanic I know told me to get a Locking Hubs to make little more efficient on gas

Locking hubs alone won't do anything for you. In fact, it would effectively disable your vehicle unless you also locked the transfer case.

Locking hubs + a part time kit will get you a very small increase in mpg, but only at continuous highway speeds. Around town, you're penalized by weight more than anything and you won't see any improvement.

It's not worth it unless you have very specific needs. Like avoiding drive shaft vibrations with a tall lift, and you live somewhere like the desert where road traction is never an issue and you only want 4wd when you're off road.

In every other situation, converting to part time is a disadvantage.

The only other "advantages" are lighter steering, being able to spin the tires more easily, and being able to run mismatched tires without burning out a viscous coupler. Those aren't actually advantages in my mind, though.
 
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Thanks for the answers and tips guys, very helpful. So that settles, No to Locking Hubs.
Thanks again much appreciate,

Edi
 

mudgudgeon

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However there are other advantages to switching to locking hubs, so i wouldn't say that it's a waste of money overall.

The only advantage in going to FWH and part time is eliminating drive line vibrations with lifts over the 3" range.

Beyond that, you compromise handling and on road safety for a very minor reduction in maintenance items.

For a lot of people, the conversion is misguided.
 

mudgudgeon

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The only other "advantages" are lighter steering

Read "lighter steering" as more understeer, and it translates to a disadvantage.
When driven accordingly, AWD gives more positive steering when 'driving' around a corner vs coasting around a corner
 

TurboDennis

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The only advantage in going to FWH and part time is eliminating drive line vibrations with lifts over the 3" range.

Beyond that, you compromise handling and on road safety for a very minor reduction in maintenance items.

For a lot of people, the conversion is misguided.

There are two advantages to running locking hubs on a stock full time AWD rig that i can think of:
1) Ability to run a mis-matched spare tire without frying the VC in the t-case (assuming you have one). This alone is making me consider installing locking hubs on my truck. Most people don't rotate the spare, so the spare will usually have full tread while the other tires are often worn. The difference in circumference can be enough to fry the VC.
2) Ability to totally disconnect the front end relatively easily, if you were to break something on the trail. You would need to remove the driveshaft, of course.

These are not HUGE advantages, by any means, but for a relatively low cost of locking hubs, i don't think it's a bad idea to install them.
 
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Read "lighter steering" as more understeer, and it translates to a disadvantage.
When driven accordingly, AWD gives more positive steering when 'driving' around a corner vs coasting around a corner
Yep, exactly. It’s not a big deal as I’m putzing around town, but I’m looking forward to getting my DC shaft and having power to the front again
 
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There are two advantages to running locking hubs on a stock full time AWD rig that i can think of:

1) it would be a lot cheaper just to rotate your 5th tire next time you put new ones on.

2) as long as you're talking about pulling the front drive shaft, it's barely more work to pull the front drive flanges.
 

Broski

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You all forgot burn outs and donuts 😝 cant do those with full time 4 wheel drive
 
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I can't really do a burnout or donut with the 1FZ-FE. I can spin one rear tire up if it's raining, but is there anything sadder than a one-wheeled burnout in the rain?
 

Broski

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I can't really do a burnout or donut with the 1FZ-FE. I can spin one rear tire up if it's raining, but is there anything sadder than a one-wheeled burnout in the rain?
Theirs sand, dirt, snow, and mud.

Sorry I forget that some people drive them on the street 🤷‍♂️😝
 
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Read "lighter steering" as more understeer, and it translates to a disadvantage.
When driven accordingly, AWD gives more positive steering when 'driving' around a corner vs coasting around a corner
I think you mean oversteer here. In my experience, with RWD (especially with LSD in the rear) it's easier to kick the rear out when accelerating into a corner. Technically, AWD is safer and more "sensible" no question. It's more likely to keep a straighter line. But if you're a revhead like me, you'll probably prefer the ability to deliberately swing out the back end. More fun. Safety be damned. Everyone knows the most enjoyable cars will try and kill you every now and then afterall. I spent my teenage years learning to drift a LN106 Hilux though, so you guys should probably all ignore me. It's a wonder I'm still alive.

One advantage nobody's mentioned here is that the front drive flanges on AWD models seem to be made out of silly putty. If you stick locking hubs on there, they'll never need replacing again, even if you just leave them permanently locked and run it as an AWD vehicle. Locking hubs aren't actually an expensive mod, they're a trivial bolt-on you can do in no time for very cheap if you can source the hubs for a good price.

If you're only thinking of doing this for fuel gains, don't bother. There aren't any. If you want to try it for the hell of it, I say go for it, just don't spend a fortune, and you haven't lost anything. If you don't like how the vehicle drives with the hubs unlocked, you can always leave them locked afterall.
 

mudgudgeon

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I think you mean oversteer here

Nope. I meant understeer.

I'm very familiar with oversteer, and the fun that can be had with a powerful rear wheel drive vehicle.

I tend to drive more aggressively than most. I've driven all my cruisers with the front shaft out, and in rear wheel drive mode. Every time, I noticed the front end will drift wider in turns than it does in AWD.
Take that a step further, and acceleration around bend, the front end will turn in more sharply in AWD.
This is easily demonstrated on a motorway with long sweeping turns. To feel the effect, hold the steering wheel steady, and decelerate. The turn radius increases, the vehicle drifts wide in the turn. Still holding the steering wheel steady, accelerate. The turn radius tightens as the front wheels drive the front end into the turn.

AWD let's you push a big heavy cruiser through windy roads a lot faster than most people are comfortable with.
 

mudgudgeon

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