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Free Floating Manual Hubs


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Anyone done this to their truck? Which kit would you recommend?

 

Thanks.... :thumb1:

 

 

Even a one mile to the gallon gain will pay back these hubs in 14,000 miles. I think it's worth doing.

 

I hear complains on the stock set up anyhow... leavin' guys stranded 50 miles from nowhere etc. unable to get to a dealer for parts.

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I think Dorkweed and AH64ID have both installed the SpynTech hub conversion kit.  I have also purchased the Spyn Tech Shorty kit for my truck but haven't started the install yet but plan to get it done this spring.

 

There are several manufacturers and people have various preferences on why one kit is chosen over the other, but I have read pros and cons on each brand.  In the end you will have to pick the one that you like the best.  You will spend something north of $1600 for the Spyn Tech and even more for the other major brands.  I bought my kit in December because I had heard there was an upcoming price increase and I have talked to enough people about the Spyn Tech and they have been happy with them.  I felt their price was a little better than the others so I went with that kit.

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  I have the Spyntec shorty kit.  I saw a little mileage increase as a result.  You should see more since you have a '02 non cad axle.  The only special tool I had to buy was a spindle nut socket.  I bought it at autozone.  A good torque wrench is needed, I used one rated to 250 ft. lbs.  The install isn't bad, just time consuming.  I put in new u joints right away too.

  The biggest thing I noticed is better steering.  Less feedback coming through the wheel on bumpy roads.  Also 2 low is great, I use it often with trailers.  The mile markers work good and are easy to engage.  Overall I am happy with the kit and don't miss the unit bearings at all. 

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Another thing is the Spyntec kit fits '00 up to the 4th gens.  Not sure if they go to current year, but when installed mine it was up to the '12s I think.  I know it fits all 3rd gens, just haven't kept up with the latest 4th gens.  So you can install the same kit on it if you decide to upgrade to a newer truck.

Edited by ABennin
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  • Board Of Directors

Reading on the Cummins Forum, some old posts, I'm finding out the factory front bearings are kind of cheaply made. Cost a couple guys almost as much as the conversion kit to replace them. Not worth the headache getting stuck somewhere trying to get factory parts. This came from a truck owner who indicated the bearings are dealership part only. Don't really know on this though.

 

I'm wondering if this means new bearings for the free spin hubs are readily available with the right part numbers?

Edited by JAG1
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Nah,   aftermarket's  got plenty of   replacement bearings (hub kits)...  Problem is,    not all are created equal!!

 

I've been going with   Timken brand  hub/bearings  for  all my  ram 1500's,   (haven't had to do the  2500 or 3500 yet).

I got a  nice surprise  when I opened the box,  everything  said  'made in USA'...  rockauto  had  cheaper and more expensive  sets  than  these  Timkens...  so far so good.   

 

Far as   replacing bearings in the  spyn tecs....    I  sure  think  THOSE  bearings  are easily found  at    just about any  bearing houses.

(hint:   write down the  bearing numbers and  seal numbers  before installing!!!)

.............  I'd  have to think if  you   keep em  lubed,  and  adjusted,  they'll outlive  the  truck!.....

 

When  I  get  to the  suspension part of  my  97 build,   I'm going with  one of the free hub kits as well.    I don't want to take any chances!      The rig  has  a tick over  200k miles,  and   this rig is going to  see some pretty serious  hauling...   I'd sure hate to be   50 miles  off the  pavement  with a load of  cows,  and  have  a  front wheel  'flop' over..

Edited by rancherman
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With the Spyntec kit, on one of the pages it gives you all the part numbers from the manufacturer.  They used Timken, Chicago Rawhide, and Spicer parts with Dorman studs.  The instructions are sometimes a little hard to follow, but they give you a nice exploded view. 

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As in the 'old days'.    they can be   manually unlocked.    Then,   each hub  is  free wheeling.   Not  turning  the  axle, differential, or  prop shaft..   Ok,  with our  axle disconnect,   this isn't  such a problem...  but  it  still  is  turning  the  drivers side  axle,  and  the differential  case is   spinning....and  creating  friction in the  driveline.

 

Also,    Tapered  roller bearings   as opposed to   ball bearings  for  much higher   side load   pressure,  and  can be  disassembled  for  cleaning,  inspection,  and  adjusting.

 

Trucks  then  roll easier,  turn  freer.   Sweet having   2wd  LOW again!

drawbacks....  ya gotta get out and  lock  em in  BEFORE  you get stuck.    Wife just  found this out yesterday  on the  Toyota.

Edited by rancherman
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I have the Yukon hit, and have been very happy with the kit. I have the Yukon Hardcore lockouts, which are much stronger than Warn or MM, but have been threw some growing pains with them. Yukon has been excellent in assistance thru the issues and just last night installed their new spring spacers and issues are a thing of the past.

 

The Yukon kit is a little wider than the Spyntec, but that spacing should run cooler and have better bearing distribution. Then again all the kits run better bearing spacing than the OEM bearings.

 

Either way it's hard to go wrong, the freed up steering is great as is 2WD Lo. I have noticed maybe a 5% towing and 10% empty increase in fuel economy. It's not night and day how I use my truck, but still is there.

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  • Board Of Directors

You guys brought out some good information about these hubs. Even if you weren't looking for the mileage gains (which pay for the hubs at about 18-36,000 miles)  the increased reliabilty and having a 2wd lower range is enough to make it viable.

 

I get on rough enough roads to where a guy needs to creep along. This would be great for that.

Edited by JAG1
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Administrator

I personally do not see much advantage to free spin hubs being I'm already above the average norm for MPG with solid locked axles. Unit bearings last much much longer with smaller lighter wheels than wide heavier wheels and tires. So what every 8-9 year I change a set of unit bearing and able to reach into the 20's for MPG's. The only thing that does happen with free spin hubs is you not have a maintenance interval of hand packing the bearings and having to keep a part number list for the oddball parts you now modified to the truck. I will admit unit bearings are expensive but if you take care of your truck and not abuse the bearing with heavy/wide tires they should last a very long time.

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  • Moderator

I figured will all the back road stuff you do that you would have wanted 2Lo.

Yes there is a little more maintenance every 2 years, but you also don't have to worry about a front driveshaft or axle ujoint failing and leaving you stranded, or needing placed which on the axle shaft means removing the sealed bearing.

Most sealed bearings fail with little warning or miles to react and it seems aftermarket ones are only a fraction of OE quality.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a 4x4 differential rebuilding business. What I saw was the lock out hubs allowed the differential to not turn. The differential carrier would rotate to the heavy point and just stay there. The carrier bearings would be damaged by continued pounding in the same spot. The effect is called railroad knock. Lock out hubs never repay their initial cost with fuel mileage improvement, and they help destroy your carrier bearings that are mucho expensive to replace. My 4x4 has hubs but are never used except when tow bar towing.

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