Advice Needed: Choosing a Manual Locking Hub Conversion Kit

Snow318

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2019
36
Bossier City, LA
Glad I bought my knuckles a couple of years ago. I been stockpiling parts for a while now. Going to be another year before I got everything I want to build my Jeep.
 
OP
Mr. Bills

Mr. Bills

TJ Addict
Nov 24, 2017
1,159
Area Code 530
Isn't it risky to design a build around discontinued steering knuckles that cannot be replaced?

I know the likelihood of needing to replace a steering knuckle is almost never, but almost never isn't the same as never.
 

Blackjack

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 16, 2018
199
Kenai
For those looking at hub conversions I would avoid the RamMan kits at all costs. The idea of a simple bolt on kit is appealing but the execution on these is not IMO great. That Ranger locking hub that those kits use is crap from the day it was designed. The clip on retention will fail if you try to remove the hub with any frequency and will not stand up to any water exposure or tire larger than 31s. The only seal for where the axle stub passes into the spindle is a square cut o-ring. The RamMan is aware of this as he provides a long straw with the kits and instructions on how to try and lube the needle bearing and o-ring. I can apreciate what the were trying to do but after seeing a Dodge truck kit first hand that failed just from Alaska road grime I am not a fan.
 
Reactions: toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,409
Northern WI
For those looking at hub conversions I would avoid the RamMan kits at all costs. The idea of a simple bolt on kit is appealing but the execution on these is not IMO great. That Ranger locking hub that those kits use is crap from the day it was designed. The clip on retention will fail if you try to remove the hub with any frequency and will not stand up to any water exposure or tire larger than 31s. The only seal for where the axle stub passes into the spindle is a square cut o-ring. The RamMan is aware of this as he provides a long straw with the kits and instructions on how to try and lube the needle bearing and o-ring. I can apreciate what the were trying to do but after seeing a Dodge truck kit first hand that failed just from Alaska road grime I am not a fan.
Top of my head thought: It would require a special knuckle and outer shafts but I wonder if it'd be possible to adapt a '04 Ford unit bearing? Since a custom knuckle would be used, the backspacing could be corrected. Part for part, on the surface it seems that the price would be in line with the cost of a BBK combined with a Yukon hub kit.
 

Snow318

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2019
36
Bossier City, LA
Isn't it risky to design a build around discontinued steering knuckles that cannot be replaced?

I know the likelihood of needing to replace a steering knuckle is almost never, but almost never isn't the same as never.

I agree, but at the time I bought them they were readily available. I've bought all the hardware that goes with the kit (approximately $3,000 total) so I'm pretty deep in at this point. Imma run em.
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,915
Quail Valley, CA
Top of my head thought: It would require a special knuckle and outer shafts but I wonder if it'd be possible to adapt a '04 Ford unit bearing? Since a custom knuckle would be used, the backspacing could be corrected. Part for part, on the surface it seems that the price would be in line with the cost of a BBK combined with a Yukon hub kit.
04 Superduty or some other?
 

Snow318

Member
Supporting Member
Mar 6, 2019
36
Bossier City, LA
How long ago? I've been looking for a right for at least 2 years.

I'm not really sure to be honest. Time flys when your having fun. I've probably had them 3 or 4 years now sitting on the shelf maybe even 5 years. Been slowly been buying the other parts for them, RCV outer shaft, Warn Locking Hubs, rotors, brake calipers and etc.
 

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,409
Northern WI
You realize you are talking about a unit bearing that weighs more than a TJ steering knuckle does, right? What the hell are you going to use for a stub shaft even if you could get it to fit somehow?
How much weight does Yukon add? Worst case just run firmer shocks. You'd never feel it. Lol. I didn't think this through fully.

Stub shaft would have to be provided like Yukon does or RCV.
 

Blackjack

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 16, 2018
199
Kenai
Top of my head thought: It would require a special knuckle and outer shafts but I wonder if it'd be possible to adapt a '04 Ford unit bearing? Since a custom knuckle would be used, the backspacing could be corrected. Part for part, on the surface it seems that the price would be in line with the cost of a BBK combined with a Yukon hub kit.
It all boils down to packaging. Running a unit bearing allowed for a better scrub radius but at the cost of reducing the amount of area available for running anything other than a unit bearing. That was the problem when Warn developed the hub conversions and the resulting increase in track width. When you have to have things like bearings to support the axle stub and seals to protect those bearings it all adds up to the need for space.
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,915
Quail Valley, CA
How much weight does Yukon add? Worst case just run firmer shocks. You'd never feel it. Lol. I didn't think this through fully.

Stub shaft would have to be provided like Yukon does or RCV.
No, not weight because weight is good or bad, but weight because it is massive compared to a TJ knuckle. Be like sticking a 6" exhaust on a TJ.
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,915
Quail Valley, CA
It all boils down to packaging. Running a unit bearing allowed for a better scrub radius but at the cost of reducing the amount of area available for running anything other than a unit bearing. That was the problem when Warn developed the hub conversions and the resulting increase in track width. When you have to have things like bearings to support the axle stub and seals to protect those bearings it all adds up to the need for space.
Sorta, maybe, not so much. The 5.5" hub conversion doesn't add to the track width and the bearings are the thickness of the seal further apart than on the 4.5" kit.