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Old 02-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Converting S10 4x4 to lockout hubs ?

Hello

I use a 2001 ZR2 Blazer as a runabout, daily driver, touring vehicle, off-highway, "everything" rig - and as such my efficiency modifications need to be as transparent as possible, for example I use the roof rack 2-3x a month so it stays on the vehicle.

Specifically in this thread I'm curious about manual lockout hubs for the S10/4x4 drivetrain. Anyone ever see such a beast? The existing 4x4 system uses fixed spindles which always turn the differential and a vacuum operated disconnect on the passenger side axle shaft. This prevents the front driveline spinning, which surely is good - but the diff itself is constantly turning, as well as the CV's etc.

I recall on my 120-horsepower Trooper when I neglected to unlock the hubs after drive in 4x4, the truck was very noticeably sluggish - comparable to driving with the A/C on in a 4cyl car - and would immediately become more "lively" with the hubs unlocked.

So... S10 lockout hubs... ever hear of 'em? Thanks!

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Old 02-18-2009, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They make them, though they are pricey. But you might look around and find a used set.

I have also read about something that disconnects the CV shafts instead. They use them when using a motorhome to tow a car whose transmission is not designed to be flat towed. Not sure about the prices on those.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Doesn't Warn still make manual hubs for S-10s?
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For 2001 S-10 Blazer, Warn.com lists: brush guard, grille guard, trailer hitch, winch, winch carrier, winch cradle, but nothing locking hub.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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How times have changed. I used Warn for years.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Got curious, so I poked at it a little longer.
1996 seems to be the last year for Warn Locking hubs for an F-150.
2004 seems to be the last year for Warn Locking hubs for an F-350.
Spot checked all the way back 1985 and no Warn Locking hubs for S-10 Blazer.
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I found a link yesterday for some, guess I should have saved it because I can't find it now. The hubs were about $430 and they were at listed for the correct generation S10. There were a ton of different applications listed.

But you would think that out of anybody, Warn would make them.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow... $430? Must be a pretty significant kit then, which I suppose makes sense now that I've looked into the design of my spindles Ah well, I guess it will have to be enough that at least my front driveshaft and carrier aren't spinning, just the CV shafts.

Next task will have to be cleaning up the ghastly underbody aero in a suitably durable way... clearly no attention was being paid to that when this vehicle was built
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I wouldn't worry about lockout hubs. The mass of the CV shafts is negligible compared to the tires and other driveline parts. The way the front diff is designed the pass axle is 2 parts, and uses a vacuum solenoid to engage the pass side to the diff, which is spinning in conjunction with the driver side. Yes, 25lbs of metal are spinning at all times. But when people swap over to the Bravada pass. axle, which is one piece, leaving the whole assembly rotating, and see no drop in mpg, I'm inclined to believe that the full weight of the truck (4000lbs) doesn't care about 25lbs rotating under.

At $430 a hub, It's not worth it. For twice that you could swap a 6.2D or 6.5TD from a FS chevy in and double the mileage. I'd like to use a Cummins QSB3.3T personally, but that requires a solid front axle to support the 780lb motor. But with 30+mpg with hotrodding, who knows. Finding a lightweight diesel that makes as much or slightly more power than the 4.3 is challenging.
/tangent.

I think you're just stuck. The 4.3 is thirsty, the driveline not the most efficient, and it's a heavy truck. Amazing that a FS can get better mileage and weigh 1500lbs more. Short of heavy mechanics there's not much you can do to improve mileage.

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