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Automatic hubs not locking, grinding instead?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by foxman, May 30, 2003.

  1. foxman

    foxman 1/2 ton status

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    Thoght it was the t-case (stock 10 bolt front axle, 90 k5) but with all 4 off the ground in 4 hi the hubs are kind of grinding or clicking and not turning. I can feel the hubs and there's a kind of bibration in both sides... Maybe the front spider gear??? Once in a while it will catch but untill then, it is grinding like crazy. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif What is the problem? I want to make a 300 mi trip this weehend.. Disconnect front drive shaft?

    please help!!!

    Thanx!

    Jeremy
     
  2. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    Do they grind only when in the "lock" position, or all the time?

    I would take the front hubs out and inspect them. Either they are shot or just need to be greased up.

    Might not be a bad idea to upgrade to some manual hubs anyway. My experience is nothing but problems with the auto hubs.

    Thomas.
     
  3. BlazerWheels

    BlazerWheels 1/2 ton status

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    Spend the $$$ and go get a set of manual hubs. It only takes a few minutes to change each of them, and then there are no worries.
     
  4. foxman

    foxman 1/2 ton status

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    Are the hubs the problem?
    If so where Do I get the manuals?
    Is it easy to rebuild the Auto's?

    Thanx!
     
  5. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Sounds like the auto hubs are shot, swap them over to manual before your trip. Most part store have manual hubs in stock. You do not need the conversion kit.
     
  6. Stoopalini

    Stoopalini 1/2 ton status

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    It sounds as though the hubs are the problem, but without more information it is impossible to tell. You should really take one of them out and look at it.

    It is not easy to rebuild the autos. When I took mine out, I fully intended to put them back in. I got so frustrated trying to get them back in, I went out and bought manual hubs.

    Any autoparts store should carry them. Autozone, Pep Boys, Advanced Autoparts, etc ..... Of course, you could always go to a 4x4 shop like 4-wheel parts?

    Thoams.
     
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Here was my "symptom" of bad auto hubs in my '83, with some background.

    Had just recently taken them apart, cleaned them up, re-greased, and checked for proper operation.

    Took the thing up to the mountains, approached a stream crossing that has a steep, typically slick exit, but nothing that will stop a vehicle with 4wd and good tires. Stopped, put in 4lo (to keep from destroying the exit) with plenty of room to the crossing, and started across. As soon as the rear wheels hit the hill, it was obvious the front wasn't locked. I could hear the "whirring" noise, but wasn't sure what is was. I tried a couple more times, no dice, still no 4wd. So with this being my only way out, I hit the exit running, and got about halfway up before I lost momentum, and the rears started spinning. I just kept it pretty much floored, and finally *BAM* the front hubs locked and I got up the hill. I'm really surprised I didn't break anything when they locked, but the tires were kinda bald and only 31's.

    So anyways, if you've had occassion to be in a situation where you needed 4wd, and noticed it wasn't working, but you still had forward movement, it is likely the POS auto hubs.

    If you like "stock" stuff, usually the 1/2 ton GM spicer hubs can be purchased at wrecking yards or from individuals parting trucks, typically for around $40. Have a pair of old Spicers on my truck, about 3 years on them, haven't let me down yet.
     
  8. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    i had pretty much the same noise with my auto hubs, i went ahead and bought manuals to do the switch, when i pulled my autos out, the driver's side came out in more pieces than it should have. the best thing you could do is switch to manuals, that way you know when they are engaged, or disengaged. mine didn't disengage once, i drove for about 20 miles wondering why my truck was handling funny.
     
  9. downtime2nite

    downtime2nite Registered Member

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    lubed my auto hubs with slick 50 wheel grease two years ago. just tore them down to check & re-grease if necessary, they looked great and the grease was still the blue color as new, just for what its worth, auto hubs are fine if you maintain them.
     
  10. gumneck

    gumneck Registered Member

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    Saw this post and had a question. I'm at work right now and don't have my service manual. Does getting to the hub(auto locking) to grease and maintain require any special tools or pullers? How tought a job is it to do?
    /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
    tks,
    Tom
    91 blzr
     
  11. BowtieGuy3

    BowtieGuy3 Guest

    I've never had a problem with Auto Hubs on any truck I've had. Then again I inspect them at every brake service, and get all the parts up there all slathered in the slippery snot. I do know that one time when I was bashing my Cherokee around, that I did get a whirring noise sometimes in 4Hi, and almost guaranteed in 4Lo. Turns out the T-case linkage got jacked around and was out of adjustment just enuff to make it slip out of either of the 4's on occasion. Linkage geometery might be worth taking a look at, afterall, it is free to eyeball and fix.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. Sample

    Sample 1/2 ton status

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    Your mom likes to grind too.
     
  13. TruckNutzDude

    TruckNutzDude 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Your mom likes to grind too.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    So does your sister /forums/images/graemlins/ignore.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     

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