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1978 Bronco Custom 351M
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I am rebuilding rear brakes on my 78 bronco (everything but the hub and drum back plate) and I noticed the right rear hub does not spin freely even with the tire off and the drum removed. Is that because it’s the drive wheel? The truck is manual transmission and is in neutral and the parking brake is off. I see the drive train turning when I spin it but not when I turn the left rear.
 

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If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
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1,900 Posts
On and standard differential both wheels are drive wheels. The way a differential is setup is which ever tire has the least resistance to turning is where the torque goes to. That is why when you get stuck, one tire will spin while the other tire is motionless. On a normal differential the tire spinning is the tire that in the mud, therefore you are stuck.

On a limited slip or locked differential, both axles receive torque so both sides pull the same regardless of resistance put on either axle. This is true up to a point on limited slip differentials, at a point they will slip.

I said all that to say the problem you are experiencing has nothing to do with a " drive wheel ".

What your problem sounds like to me is a bad axle bearing on the right rear axle. When you spin the wheels on a good setup you will feel drag and resistance, this is normal because any mechanical linkage has friction in it. But what you describe makes it look like there is much more friction on that right side. That probably means you have a bad bearing.

My advice would be to have both bearings replaced inside of your rear axle. Chances are they the original bearings and have a lot of years / miles on them.
 
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