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  1. #1
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    Default Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    I am in the process of buying a vehicle for a specific purpose . (Jeep wrangler 4L TJ auto) (2 door - Hard top) as the vehicle will be long in the tooth I have done a reasonable amount of research on the model and I am happy so far.....One thing though ...mates of mine in the USA advise that I fit Free wheel hubs... and have given many reasons ... one is improved fuel consumption , less wear and tear , smoother ride ......

    What do you guys think.....

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    Default Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    The TJ is not a permanent 4wd.

    Edit: sorry I didn’t think about fuel consumption

    I would rather start with lowering the diff ratios, it made the overdrive gear useable without it I spent most of the time in 3rd .
    Last edited by Jeanvn; 2021/10/15 at 05:11 PM.
    Jean van Niekerk
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    No, it is not permanent 4x4 but the shafts and diff turn when the front wheels turn/roll ....only when in 4x4 does the gearbox enguage the transfer case....but the diff etc still turn but without power when not in 4x4..

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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Definately an advantage. On my Nissan I presently have a slip joint on my front propshaft that has some excess wear and hence a vibration. Does not bother me as I can disconnect that part of the drivetrain at the hubs for high speed dtiving.
    Also great to have low range capability with only drive to the rear wheels if you need to move a heavy trailer at lower speed and with more control.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    As @beefreesani said, its good to have 2Low sometimes.
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    It isn't required. Very little fuel savings.
    Jakes Louw
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiceman View Post
    As @beefreesani said, its good to have 2Low sometimes.
    Agreed that will be very handy.
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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    No, it is not permanent 4x4 but the shafts and diff turn when the front wheels turn/roll ....only when in 4x4 does the gearbox enguage the transfer case....but the diff etc still turn but without power when not in 4x4..
    I didn’t really think about that, it should theoretically save some fuel/ wear and tear.

    What do you plan on doing with it?

    I had one as a toy for a couple of years but with all the mods it was lots of fun off-road but a pig on it.

    I am not a fuel consumption watcher but guess I got between 5-6km/l with mine which meant that I started to look for a fuel station after having driven around 250kms
    Jean van Niekerk
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Installing Warn hubs on your new truck was trendy years ago in the states…

    Save your money for a snorkel

    David Vierra
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkNV View Post
    Installing Warn hubs on your new truck was trendy years ago in the states…

    Save your money for a snorkel
    Exactly
    Jakes Louw
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    My car is used for everything. Daily commute, trail weapon and "overlanding", as well as normal family road trip holidays.

    I have this habit when overlanding. The first time I hit dirt road, i lock the hubs, and I leave them locked for the rest of the holiday. Yet I generally get my best fuel consumption on these trips.

    However, I do find the ability to be in low 2 (by un-locking the hubs) useful quite often. Not only does it make reversing a trailer much easier, but I also often use it in heavy traffic.

    However, solid drive flanges are stronger than free-wheeling hubs, so if the usage case involved less towing and more heavy-duty rock-crawling, I would prefer solid drive flanges. I have never broken a hub myself, but know several guys who have. Note, this is on Patrols not Jeeps, but I am sure the rationale is the same.
    Last edited by Peter Connan; 2021/10/16 at 06:42 AM.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    I must say that having 2wd low range is a bonus. A while back I had to move a water trailer we have here with a 2500L "damsak" on the back. Too much effort getting the tractor out, when the Sani can do it with the torque I have in low range, it's easy. And at 26 meters per minute idle speed, I have super control.
    David/Hillbilly - 1997 SFA Nissan Sani 2,7 TD - 5" lift on 33" tires - Dual Transfer with 4.1 gears

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkNV View Post
    Installing Warn hubs on your new truck was trendy years ago in the states…

    Save your money for a snorkel
    Wat is die nut van n snorkel anders as kosmeties?
    Vrywaring: Niks wat ek hier kwyt raak moet hoegenaamd as feite beskou word nie.

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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Connan View Post
    My car is used for everything. Daily commute, trail weapon and "overlanding", as well as normal family road trip holidays.

    I have this habit when overlanding. The first time I hit dirt road, i lock the hubs, and I leave them locked for the rest of the holiday. Yet I generally get my best fuel consumption on these trips.

    However, I do find the ability to be in low 2 (by un-locking the hubs) useful quite often. Not only does it make reversing a trailer much easier, but I also often use it in heavy traffic.

    However, solid drive flanges are stronger than free-wheeling hubs, so if the usage case involved less towing and more heavy-duty rock-crawling, I would prefer solid drive flanges. I have never broken a hub myself, but know several guys who have. Note, this is on Patrols not Jeeps, but I am sure the rationale is the same.
    Peter - (Good name), Your rationale matches mine exactly.
    OK, I am speaking of my very old Isuzu KB.

    Fuel consumption is not an issue for me, not sure how relevant that is in this case, but from a practical use point of view:

    I have manually dis-engageable hubs on the front.
    Around town and normal driving I keep them unengaged.

    This saves wear on the hubs and "joints" I think.
    As that may be, it still means that (as was said) one can engage low range 4x4 (effectively then 2 wd rear) - so if in reverse gear, probably the lowest ration you could hope for.
    This is VERY handy for "crawling" up the incline of my driveway and maneuvering a trailer or caravan behind into position.

    Also good for inclines or slippery sufaces maybe not quite needing full 4x4.

    I don't think they make them like this anymore - too many electronics, automation, computer, traction control etc. systems to go wrong or cause unexpected results.
    But then, of course, I am obviously no longer "with" updated tech.

    Let's just say that I like my old girl the way she is with her manually dis-engageable hubs.
    Peter Hutchison
    Answering the call of the wild is just so much beter than answering the telephone.
    [B][SIZE=2][FONT=Calibri][SIZE=2][B]ISUZU KB 280 DT LE
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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    If there were notable improvements to fuel consumption to be had, free wheel hubs would be installed by the manufacturer. After all lower fuel consumption translates to lower emissions, specially lower carbon emissions, which would bring down the manufacturers fleet average.
    If it's not installed, it means no real world savings to be had.
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by HugoNotte View Post
    If there were notable improvements to fuel consumption to be had, free wheel hubs would be installed by the manufacturer. After all lower fuel consumption translates to lower emissions, specially lower carbon emissions, which would bring down the manufacturers fleet average.
    If it's not installed, it means no real world savings to be had.
    Of hulle het besluit bestuurder is te dom om te weet wat dit is, en hoe om te gebruik.
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reenen View Post
    Of hulle het besluit bestuurder is te dom om te weet wat dit is, en hoe om te gebruik.
    Orals om ons kan ons sien omtrent alle ontwikkeling gaan oor gemak. Die moeite om uit te klim in die koue of nat of modder om die hubs te sluit.
    Ek wonder of alle moderne IFS bakkies se hubs en side shafts saam met die wiele draai?
    Current - 2009 Mazda BT50 3.0CRDi 4x4 d/c
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  29. #18
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    I was asked what the vehicle is going to be used for ......

    In essence it is going to be a camera vehicle with a sophisticated jib/gimble platform mounted on the back and operated by a cameraman.....sometimes while in motion , some projects it will be used in static mode .......it needs reasonable 4x4 capability as well. It needs to be the "get there" and back vehicle as well...,two vehicles is just not practicle ...... cause of the extra manpower and expense . It will tow a small off roaf trailer to location as well.

    We want to operate with two crew maximum ....and be as self suffecient as possible...... the Wrangler has the ability to seat 4 ( no not sumo wresselers ) then with little effort convert it by removing the hard top and fittng the filming frame. Although it needs to only seat 2, from time to time a swambo or two will want to come along for the trip

    I did attempt using a Jimny, it was just to impractical , cant tow, limited internal space ... the Jeep is also small but at least I can tow a big enogh trailer.

    Considered the Mahindra Thar ...... ideal bar one point..... can only seat 2 legaly .

    (I learnt a lot from the Jimny..... but it remains far to much of a compromise for the purpose)

    From the info gathered on this thread I will be fitting freewheel hubs.....THANKS !
    Last edited by Hawkeye; 2021/10/16 at 02:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I am in the process of buying a vehicle for a specific purpose . (Jeep wrangler 4L TJ auto) (2 door - Hard top) as the vehicle will be long in the tooth I have done a reasonable amount of research on the model and I am happy so far.....One thing though ...mates of mine in the USA advise that I fit Free wheel hubs... and have given many reasons ... one is improved fuel consumption , less wear and tear , smoother ride ......

    What do you guys think.....
    If you fit free wheel hubs just make sure about quality. There are lots of Chinese knock off`s doing the rounds. Not nice to break one when you need 4x4 or it is impossible to engage.

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  32. #20
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    Default Re: Free wheel hubs - or not ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    I was asked what the vehicle is going to be used for ......

    In essence it is going to be a camera vehicle with a sophisticated jib/gimble platform mounted on the back and operated by a cameraman.....sometimes while in motion , some projects it will be used in static mode .......it needs reasonable 4x4 capability as well. It needs to be the "get there" and back vehicle as well...,two vehicles is just not practicle ...... cause of the extra manpower and expense . It will tow a small off roaf trailer to location as well.

    We want to operate with two crew maximum ....and be as self suffecient as possible...... the Wrangler has the ability to seat 4 ( no not sumo wresselers ) then with little effort convert it by removing the hard top and fittng the filming frame. Although it needs to only seat 2, from time to time a swambo or two will want to come along for the trip

    I did attempt using a Jimny, it was just to impractical , cant tow, limited internal space ... the Jeep is also small but at least I can tow a big enogh trailer.

    Considered the Mahindra Thar ...... ideal bar one point..... can only seat 2 legaly .

    (I learnt a lot from the Jimny..... but it remains far to much of a compromise for the purpose)

    From the info gathered on this thread I will be fitting freewheel hubs.....THANKS !
    In this case I have one concern about the chosen vehicle and sorry if I am straying way off topic.
    It is my understanding that these Jeeps are of uni-body construction. If that is the case, cutting the roof off could have disastrous effects.

    I would strongly recommend widening the vehicle choice to include Nissan Safari and Patrol, older Pajeros (up to the blister-fender) and Isuzu Troopers, depending on the exact ratio between budget and operational requirements.
    Beat-up rat rod of a '96 Nissan Patrol that bears the evidence of many wonderful adventures (and a few stupid indiscretions).

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