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I might be buying my brothers 1997 Nissan Kingcab 4x4. Has 138,000 miles on it and has the manual transmission.

How can I find out if it has a locking differential in the rear?

Also, how do locking hubs work? I am a Jeep guy so unfamiliar with this. All I know is when you put it in 4x4, you have to also get out of the vehicle and manually lock each front tire. How exactly does that work when engaging/disengaging 4x4. Why is it not automatic?
 

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Is is designed to keep the 4x4 component in the front end from wearing prematurely. Also they say that a unlocked hub helps to get the vehicle better gas mileage. I am also a Jeep man who went to a Nissan 4x4 truck. I didn't know at first that when using the 4WD you had to lock the hubs. Once you lock these suckers in 4x4 the truck works just as well as a Jeep. One of the things that I like about locking hubs in the ability to put the truck in 2 wheel low range without locking the front hubs.
 

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To find out if a have a limited slip rear diff. (LSD) you can jack up the rear of the truck and turn a tire by hand, if they both turn in the same direction, then it's a LSD. With the front hubs locked the truck will work exactly as stock. With them unlocked only the hubs turn with the wheels. The axles, diff. and front drive shaft don't turn so that saves wear on all these parts and gives you the better mpg and a quieter ride. You can leave them locked all the time but you lose out on the benifits they are designed to give you.
 
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