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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following is from the Binder Bulletin:

In reply to:

Automatic Locking Hubs Explained - Top

IH Scouts were shipped with at least two different styles of automatically-locking front hubs. These two styles were designated "Lock-o-Matic" and "Auto-Matic".

These hubs have two dial positions, labeled "AUTO" and "LOCK". ("FREE" and "LOCK" on the "Lock-O-Matic" hubs.) When in "LOCK", the hubs function just like a manually-locking hub. When in "AUTO" or "FREE", however, these hubs will free-wheel until torque is applied to the front axle shafts. When the transfer case lever is pulled, and torque is applied to the front axle drivetrain, friction pads are engaged inside the hub and the hub acts as though it were locked. This locking action is effective in both forward and reverse, just as in the case of a manually-locking hub. The only circumstance where these hubs are NOT locked (when a manually-locking hub WOULD be) is under engine- or compression-braking.

A thin coating of light grease is sufficient for the internal parts of any "selectable" hub style. Automatic locking hubs, however, are particularly vulnerable to failure from over-greasing. Packing the entire hub interior with thick grease can prevent the hub fron disengaging properly. One or more hubs that fail to unlock properly can cause the entire front drivetrain to be "driven" in reverse from the rolling tires, even when the transfer case is in 2WD.

Bill Thebert
The Binder Bulletin
Joel F.
Marquette, Michigan
Project No-Bucks
'68 Jeepster Commando
'79 Scout Traveler
 
G

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Well that helps me out a bit.. The 10 bolt Im putting in the front of my jeepster has the Lock-omatic hubs and wasn't sure what the deal was with them looking so big and funky.... They sure are easy to turn, and as long as the work I will use them.... Have you heard any bad about them?? If so I will change them before they have a chance to break on me...

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bob,

The only bad thing that can happen is this:

In reply to:

Packing the entire hub interior with thick grease can prevent the hub fron disengaging properly. One or more hubs that fail to unlock properly can cause the entire front drivetrain to be "driven" in reverse from the rolling tires, even when the transfer case is in 2WD.
So don't pack them with grease and you'll be okay.

Joel F.
Marquette, Michigan
Project No-Bucks
'68 Jeepster Commando
'79 Scout Traveler
 

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Hmmm...my Jeepster came all original from the original owner with only 38k miles...I have auto locking hubs but there is no "free" position or "locked" position for the hubs. In fact when removing the front wheel you would think it is 2wd with the way it looks. And for compression braking not working in 4wd...it works on mine. There is no way I could go down slick steep hills in 4wd low without 4 wheel compression braking. Maybe the scout models were different. I have my original owners manual so I will get it out and quote the system for you.

Budd
68 Jeepster
 

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Budd - You may not have hubs that disconnect - it may be the original set-up.
Locking/unlocking hubs were put on by the dealer, not factory installed, as I recall. Warn and several others were doing great selling aftermarket stuff the factory didn't offer.
There were probably near a dozen different companies making lock-out hubs then, all competing for the business.

I had an old Wagon that didn't have lockout hubs till I put them on. The hub looked like a flat plate bolted on. The inner side of the plate had splines that slid over the axle splines, connecting the axle to the hub - simple.
The wheels were connected to the axles all the time.

I know for certain that at least some of the so-called "Automatic" hubs did not work in reverse. I was with a guy that had them, we slid off the muddy trail into a bad spot. I had to climb out and hang over a cliff to reach them to flip them to "Lock" so he could back up. Not fun. Seems like they were Warn, but could have been something else. They simply had a one-way spraque clutch in them, I had them apart later.

98% is Understanding it
Just throwing parts at it doesn't solve anything.
 

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iv'e got a commando, that i recently sold, that had "sears" hubs on it. iv'e never seen anything like them. the aluminum "handle" would'nt hold up to any rock bashing, but for a street jeep, they work fine.

toad
4-72' commando wagons
72' half-cab
01' f-250 4x4, super cab, longbed, V-10
artic cat 300 4x4
01' kawasaki KLX 300R
92' kawasaki X-2
 

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Important General Information
1. On vehicles equipped with manual type selective drive hubs, place the hubs in the locked position before shifting into 4WD. On vehicles equipped with automatic type selective drive hubs, bring vehicle to a stop before shifting from 2WD to 4WD.
2. It is recommended that transfer case shifts not be performed with the vehicle in a turn.
3......

This was quoted from the original owners manual.

Well..."automatic type selective drive hubs" are factory. They do work in compression braking, and in rock crawling. I can even testify that they work in reverse.

Budd
68 Jeepster
 

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Toad - How's that idea of running auto hubs unlocked with welded or spooled spiders working out?
Tried it yet?

Good?

Bad?



98% is Understanding it
Just throwing parts at it doesn't solve anything.
 

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Bud - is this what your hub looks like (approximately?).



If so, you have what Rich is talking about, full time hubs that came from the factory. The dealer would then sell lock-out hubs from the aftermarket to allow you to unlock the front axle. Its a true "shift-on-the-fly" system, but causes the front axle and driveshaft to turn all the time, reducing your milage etc.

David Goodrich
'67 Jeepster Commando
225, Saginaw 4-Speed, D44 w/Powrlock, D27 w/Lockrite and Disc Brakes, 2" rear add-a-leaf, 33 x 9.5 (uncut fenders)
 

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the pic above is what's commonly known as a dry flange. handy to have one on the
trail.
to clarify something. if you have warn lock-o-matic hubs, they have auto and lock
positions, they do not compression break. if you have some and they do, they are
not working properly. they only work when the axle overruns the speed of the hub.
therefore they also work in reverse.
rich
yes i did put a set through the ringer at dixie run. as i said before the turning radius
was greatly improved. the pluses are that while doing easy to mild driving/crawling,
driving around in 2wd, then being able to switch to 4wd, without getting out is great.
the drawback. if you get to a hard to a "hay ya'll watch this" obstacle, you'd better
go ahead and lock them in.

toad
4-72' commando wagons
72' half-cab
01' f-250 4x4, super cab, longbed, V-10
artic cat 300 4x4
01' kawasaki KLX 300R
92' kawasaki X-2
 
G

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I've had those Warn Lock-o-Matics on my 73 Commando since new. $100 option, dealer-installed. They've worked fine for 28 years, far as I can tell. Only ever had 'em apart once, about 20 years ago. Last time I went to lock them manually, they were so stiff to turn I had to use Lock-pliers to move the dials. Of course, it WAS below zero outside and I WAS stuck in three feet of snow at the time.

I have never been able to "shift-on-the-fly" into 4WD in my Commando. Is there a secret? I can, however, shift OUT of 4WD on the fly.

I also can definitely testify that there are plenty of occasions when these particular hubs will not pull in reverse in 4WD until you get out and manually lock them. It happens all the time with mine --- always has. They pull in forward direction, but put it in reverse and the front wheels do not spin backwards. Climb out and lock 'em. THEN you've got 4WD in reverse. (Which is exactly what I was doing in that below-zero snowstorm.)



Chas Langelan, Mt. Airy, Maryland
 
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