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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
96 Bronco Autohubs-3screw not locking, convo to manual, best value brand?

After investigation, seems it is the hubs, both are not locking. Going the manual route. Not sure if I will do it myself, but we will see. The posted link bellow was interesting but was for a 5 screw auto hub change out. I'll have to see how difficult a 3 screw change out will be for me to do. Which manual hubs are the best choice for ease and economy for converting autohubs 3 screw to manual hubs.

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{Before I take my Bronco in to the shop, I'd like to troubleshoot, at least find the fuses for the 4 wheel drive system. My chilton guide book does not show any diagrams or any discussion of the electric part of the 4 wheel drive system.

Problem: 4 wheel drive does not work. Light comes on when button pushed for regular 4 wheel drive, I hear relays click( sounds like it is under the glove box) and some type of electric motor sound. Hubs do not lock or maybe they do, I just don't get front wheel drive happening.:banghead . Side note the light does not come on and no sound heard when low gear 4 wheel drive button is pushed.

What I'd like is some info on the electrical and location of the parts/motors on how the 4 wheel drive system is supposed to work. Maybe a link to some info or any advice on a step by step troubleshooting scheme that I could use to find out if my trouble is electrical or mechanical, thanks. And yes I did search.}
 

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Dead Horse
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do u have auto hubs?? thats prolly the problem, thats what happened to mine. and u have to have the truck rolling to shift into 4 low
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I can road test it, yes didn't all 96's have auto's?

I guess I first noticed the 4 wheel drive inop trouble when I got stuck slightly off the side of a dirt road in the mono lake area of california. It is some kind of volcanic dirt stuff. Anyway I was stopped and the button pushing did not engage the 4 wheel drive. I got out of the mess somehow lucky. Then driving up in reno during a storm the 4 wheel drive would not work.

I've never had a problem before, and I usually was stopped I think when I used 4 wheel drive. Last time I think they worked was up in Yosemite last winter.

I'll try driving and engaging the magic button as a functional test.
 

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jb77714 said:
and u have to have the truck rolling to shift into 4 low
No, the GEM won't shift into or outof lowrange unless the truck is stopped, brakes applied, and the shifter in the neutral position.

Adrianspeeder
 

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zrtbronco said:
Before I take my Bronco in to the shop, I'd like to troubleshoot, at least find the fuses for the 4 wheel drive system. My chilton guide book does not show any diagrams or any discussion of the electric part of the 4 wheel drive system.

Problem: 4 wheel drive does not work. Light comes on when button pushed for regular 4 wheel drive, I hear relays click( sounds like it is under the glove box) and some type of electric motor sound. Hubs do not lock or maybe they do, I just don't get front wheel drive happening.:banghead . Side note the light does not come on and no sound heard when low gear 4 wheel drive button is pushed.

What I'd like is some info on the electrical and location of the parts/motors on how the 4 wheel drive system is supposed to work. Maybe a link to some info or any advice on a step by step troubleshooting scheme that I could use to find out if my trouble is electrical or mechanical, thanks. And yes I did search.
First you need to see if the transfer case actually engages the 4x4 when the button is pushed. You can easily find that out by putting it in 4x4 (don't move the truck), turn the engine off, crawl under the truck, grab the front drive shaft and attempt to turn it. If it turns, it did not engage, (most likely the shift motor).

The next check is to see if the hubs engage. On auto hubs you have do drive forward about 10 feet to engage them and reverses about 10 feet to disengage them. Put it in 4x4, drive forward about 10 feet, disengage the transfer case, shut off the engine, jack up one of the wheels and turn the front shaft by hand. If the hub is engaged, the wheel will turn. Let that side down and jack up the other side and repeat the exersize. If all that works, it is OK. If one of the wheels doesn't turn then the hub is not engaging.

If you have a hub that is not engaging, it may only need to be taken apart and cleaned. If it is actually bad, you might want to consider a manual hub conversion. Yah, you have to get out to engage/ disengage them, but that is all part of the mystique :twotu: .

Good luck,

:thumbup

:thumbup
 

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Dead Horse
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adrianspeeder said:
No, the GEM won't shift into or outof lowrange unless the truck is stopped, brakes applied, and the shifter in the neutral position.

Adrianspeeder
sorry about the mis information, i have a manual, but i thought i seen somewhere about having the truck rolling to shift it.:doh0715:
 

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After you've troubleshot your transfer case and driveshaft rotation (by yourself.....please don't take it in to do work for you, it's incredibly easy. Just to give you an example, I swapped my hubs after I checked my case and front ds with the help of this forum, and I'm not anything more than a complete novice under the hood.....I may know what something is, but fixing it? haha!) get yourself a set of manual-locking hubs. You can ask and search all around here.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow, what a concept, read the manual

How the mind plays tricks, I thought you had to drive 50 feet backwards to disengage the hubs. Turns out the auto hubs can unlock when you stop or change direction.

So I read the manual. And I feel like a moron. So the manual basicly says that the only time you should be standing still(except low 4x4) to engage the 4 wheel drive is possibly in cold weather.

And since I never activated the low drive 4 wheel drive before, as suggested I followed the manual instructions and pow, there was a noticeable ker-thunk and then the light came on and I was in low gear. It was hard to tell if I was in 4x4 mode, but that kind of dispells to a degree any electrical problem.

I'll follow the current suggested method to test if I am in actual 4x4 mode. But I think I've done mostly what I can at this point and turn it over to the garage next week.
 

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zrtbronco said:
How the mind plays tricks, I thought you had to drive 50 feet backwards to disengage the hubs. Turns out the auto hubs can unlock when you stop or change direction.
Thet's new news to me. I didn't realize that the newer auto hubs didn't have to be moved for 10 feet to disengage them. That's truely a "Better Idea by Ford" :chili:

:thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is the HUBS!!! I think

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Ok, I re-read the manual( I guess my comprehension and vision is not what it used to be).

Ford 1996 Bronco Owner Guide:

"To shift from Two-wheel drive to 4x4:
To shift into 4x4, push the 4x4 button located on the instrument panel. This shift can be done at a stop or at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. When the vehicle is driven, the automatic locking, hubs will engage. If the direction is reversed from the previous direction, the automatic locking hubs will momentarily disengage and reengage. The automatic locking hubs may click as they automatically engage in the new direction.

-At extremely low temperatures, it may be necessary to slow down or even stop to shift from 2 wheel drive to 4x4

I guess I read more into that than is there, while reading the 4x4 to 2 wheel drive part: turning off the 4x4 button, and going in reverse 10 feet/3 meters will disengage the hubs.

ANYWAY, I followed the trusty advice and the button pushing did engage the transfer case, but when I tried the checking the hubs: the wheels would not turn as I jacked both wheels alternately. I did see the axle part that goes to each wheel turning as I moved the front drive shaft, but not the wheels.

Now I ask the next question in the troubleshooting step, how could both auto hubs go bad? Is it simple to pop off the hubs and clean them or something? No weird springs or tiny bolts/nuts going to pop off and roll down the driveway?
 

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zrtbronco said:
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Now I ask the next question in the troubleshooting step, how could both auto hubs go bad? Is it simple to pop off the hubs and clean them or something? No weird springs or tiny bolts/nuts going to pop off and roll down the driveway?
Sure it's possible and no it is not hard to take them off. Get a Chiltons or Haynes book and you will do just fine. I think Steve is pointing you to some helpful pictures.

You can do this yourself.

Good luck,

:thumbup
 

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I also suspected trouble in my '96. I got all 4 wheels off the ground and found that one of the front hubs was not engaging.

My Ford dealer replaced the hubs with aftermarket manual hubs at my request. The auto hubs are only suitable for "suburban" use as stated in the owners manual. I really prefer the manual hubs as I no longer have troubles with "pops" and "snaps" when off-road in 4wd. The sounds were the auto hubs letting lose then re-engaging.

The 4wd low light will not come on unless you come to a stop, shift into neutral, then press the button. This is because the logic will not engage the 4wd low under other conditions.

Red
 

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It'll make the H-L shift if you're still rolling, but you should only do it under 5 MPH. Rolling makes it easier for the gears to align & engage.
 

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i've got a 96 with auto hubs. do you really have to move forward ten feet to get them to engage? i know my transfer case is working fine but when im stuck(motionless) and engage 4x4 i get no help from the front end. twice this week i got stuck with one rear wheel spinning on ice while the other on gravel wasn't doing anything. is this normal? my brother's nissan had no problem in the same spot..not to happy
 

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i've got a 96 with auto hubs. do you really have to move forward ten feet to get them to engage? i know my transfer case is working fine but when im stuck(motionless) and engage 4x4 i get no help from the front end. twice this week i got stuck with one rear wheel spinning on ice while the other on gravel wasn't doing anything. is this normal? my brother's nissan had no problem in the same spot..not to happy
Get rid of that Auto Junk!! go manual, once you do you'll never go back!
here's the whole conversion from JBG for $89.00 i've been running this for a while and love it!!
http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-32132-1980-96-mile-marker-stainless-supreme-hub-conversion-kit.html
 

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thanks for the link, ya i plan on doing that.had some warn premiums on an 84 rode like a tank. i was just wondering if anyone might kno whats going on with my current setup tho
 

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i've got a 96 with auto hubs. do you really have to move forward ten feet to get them to engage? i know my transfer case is working fine but when im stuck(motionless) and engage 4x4 i get no help from the front end. twice this week i got stuck with one rear wheel spinning on ice while the other on gravel wasn't doing anything. is this normal? my brother's nissan had no problem in the same spot..not to happy
You have to roll backwards for 10 ft to get them to DIS-engage, everytime I put mine in 4x4, no rolling required. Your auto hubs may not be engaging.

As far as the rear, that is what it is supposed to do. When you have no traction modifier in the rear end (locker, limited slip, etc) when a tire starts to spin, the majority of the torque goes to that wheel. The only way to remedy that is to install a limited slip or locker.
 
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