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Advice Needed: Choosing a Manual Locking Hub Conversion Kit

toximus

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Reading through this makes me want to convert my front axle and put a spool in after my experience with lunchboxes

Has anyone run the smaller 5x4.5 kit?
If I did convert, are there any unforeseen consequences of running a spool in the front?
Yes. Look into front lockers on turns. Unless you only do tractor pulls?
 

Mike_H

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That brings up an interesting question... If you use a lunchbox or spool with locking hubs does unlocking the hubs have any effect on how the locker operates?
 

mrblaine

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That brings up an interesting question... If you use a lunchbox or spool with locking hubs does unlocking the hubs have any effect on how the locker operates?
They operate exactly the same as before. The only difference is with the hubs unlocked, no power gets transmitted to the tires to turn them since there is no longer a connection to them since the hub is unlocked.
 

mrblaine

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Reading through this makes me want to convert my front axle and put a spool in after my experience with lunchboxes

Has anyone run the smaller 5x4.5 kit?
If I did convert, are there any unforeseen consequences of running a spool in the front?
Not unforeseen. The front with a spool will work exactly like a locked up selectable with the hubs locked, it will be fully unlocked with zero power to the tires with the hubs unlocked.
 

ac_

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Not sure what I am missing but the same exploded view of his 5 on 5.5 kit would be identical as near as I can tell. The spindle even has the same recessed area at the base of the spindle for the seal that presses into the end of the bearing hub.
If that is the case, then I guess it is price!

Also the Spyntec comes with rotors I believe, where the Yukon doesn't which also saves some money and custom work.

also although they seem to be dodging the question, but their picture on their site shows it with Warn hubs. They don't seem to narrow it down for sure, they just keep saying premium hubs.

 
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mrblaine

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If that is the case, then I guess it is price!

Also the Spyntec comes with rotors I believe, where the Yukon doesn't which also saves some money and custom work.

also although they seem to be dodging the question, but their picture on their site shows it with Warn hubs. They don't seem to narrow it down for sure, they just keep saying premium hubs.

The Yukon kit includes rotors, we just can't use them for a bigger brake kit.
 
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ac_

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The Yukon kit includes rotors, we just can't use them for a bigger brake kit.
Oh looks like I missed that. Good info. It is probably the same kit then. Probably will come down to the best deal then.

I am also considering the sealed package from the first post. I may be the tester of that. It doesn't change the lug pattern so it is considerably cheaper.

If I go with the Yukon, or the spyntec then I have to either buy rear spacers, or new rear axles from y 8.8 then buy new wheels. But it looks like the all in one package comes with the same type premium hubs and keeps the same wheel lug pattern, but I am still waiting to hear back if it widens the front axle.

That will be a deal breaker in that my Ford 8.8 is already narrower. I am really trying to get around wheel spacers. I like the Yukon 5.5 or the Spyntec option as it doesn't widen the axle and i can just buy new dual drilled chromoly rear axles for the rear and still end up the same as I am, but the Yukon 4.5 widens the front even more so that is really out unless I do the c-clip eliminator which will extend the rear axle, but I am really trying to get away from that too.

Yukon kit doesn't come with rotors if you order from amazon:
 
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ac_

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Sorry to bring this back up, but I wanted to warn people of my experience here:

The Ram Man, Inc. 1999-2006 Jeep Wrangler 4X4 Unit Bearing Locking Hub Kit, SKU 000345, $1,795.
http://therammaninc.com/products/shop_view/1999-2006-JEEP-WRANGLER-4X4-UNIT-BEARING-LOCKING-HUB-KIT-345

I ordered The Ram Man Inc locking hubs to report on them and do a review. I told him that I was excited about buying the parts, and that I would do a review on my TJ forum.


I have read this whole thread multiple times, and considered everything carefully. Just as a re-cap I have a 89 Jeep TJ with a Ford 8.8 rear and standard D30 front. I re-geared to 4:88's, and I have the famous vibration at 60. I didn't diagnose anything for sure, so I am not saying that my front end is exactly the problem, but I thought either way locking hubs would be a great way to disconnect the front end regardless of the vibration.

I considered the ones that @Mr. Bills did, but that would change the lug pattern, Not a huge deal, but then I would have to change the rear axles too or run spacers in the rear, and buy new wheels. That equaled to a lot more money and more maintenance in the end. Also the Ram Man is actually 300 dollars cheaper now then when this post was originally made. I also considered the cheaper Yukon's because it wouldn't change the pattern, but would extend the front end 3/4 inch which is bad because the rear is slightly narrower than the front before I even start this project. Again I could run spacers in the back, but really not wanting to do that.

I looked at the Spintec(sp) as well, but their customer services was not great just trying to get information was like pulling teeth.

I liked the idea of the RAM man hubs because they used the factory bearings with some custom work, and nobody here that I know have has tried them, so I thought I would take one for the team and then report on them.

So while I was in Moab in the beginning of May, I started a Dialog with him, and what I presume is his wife. They answered all of my questions via email and replied within a few days each time. They sent videos, and I was getting really pumped for these. I thought I found a locking hub buddy. Then the day I got back from my Moab adventure I ordered a set for my TJ. I was pretty stoked!

Then after a few weeks of nothing, I emailed and got no response for a few days, then I called and called and called, never did they answer their phone. Not even once. Then I finally got an email saying that they would be shipped out the next week, so I waited and waited. Finally, not sure what to do, I tried to google the Ram man, and I am finding this everywhere. Parts never show up, can't get a hold of him. Doesn't honor warranties etc. So I checked BBB and found that someone filed a claim on there that sounded a lot like mine.

I filed a charge back with my bank and it was a huge hassle. My friends have been telling me that it usually isn't that much of a hassle, but I use a Credit Union from another state, and their Visa card is not in house so it was kind of a nightmare. Luckily for me the Ram Man makes you pay with PayPal so I paid with my credit card through PayPal, and they actually took care of me. It wasn't as easy as people make you think, but it worked. It was ruled in my favor, and I have been out 1495.00 for over a month and a half, and could take another month to get my money back. At least I know at some point I will get my refund.

I have been hesitant to buy new parts till I found out how this was going to end, but now I think I am going to properly diagnose my TJ before just putting hubs on to fix my vibration issues which may or may not be the front end. I still want locking hubs, but I may not need them right away. I am going to do things like pull the front drive line replace my broken trans mount, and rotate the tires and see what that nets me. After all of that if I still have the vibes. I may just go ahead and do what @Mr. Bills did with the exception of adding a c-clip eliminator in the rear so match the new lug pattern. A c-clip eliminator will extend my rear diff a 1/2 inch each side so it should level out the diff sizes in the end too.

My advice is to stay far away from TheRamManInc.com.
 
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Mr. Bills

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Sorry about your bad experience. Imagine how much worse it would have been had you received the product only to discover that the hubs from The Ram Man Inc. are crap.
 
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mrblaine

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A c-clip eliminator will extend my rear diff a 1/2 inch each side so it should level out the diff sizes in the end too.
The only available c-clip eliminator I am aware of is the one from Yukon. If so, the extra width is .900 per side.
 
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ac_

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Sorry about your bad experience. Imagine how much worse it would have been had you received the product only to discover that the hubs from The Ram Man Inc. are crap.
Yeah that is why I am warning others. It seemed like a great idea and I wanted them to work, but I think your set up is a lot more bullet proof anyway. I am not going to do it now unless I can pin down that the vibration is actually from the front end. I mean it road like a dream till I put the lift and gears in, but I just discovered my trans mount was completely wasted and maybe messing with pinion angles may net me some smother action, so if I can't dial it in I will probably buy the same kit you did, and do the clip eliminators in the rear and find some new wheels.
 

ac_

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The only available c-clip eliminator I am aware of is the one from Yukon. If so, the extra width is .900 per side.
but my rear is about that much narrower than my front now so that will work out good right? As long as the locking hubs don't extend the fronts anymore of which I believe @Mr. Bills kit doesn't, but the cheaper set from Yukon does I believe
 

bobthetj03

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but my rear is about that much narrower than my front now so that will work out good right? As long as the locking hubs don't extend the fronts anymore of which I believe @Mr. Bills kit doesn't, but the cheaper set from Yukon does I believe
Sucks to hear you're getting vibes now too. Not a club you want to be a member of brah!
 
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ac_

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Sucks to hear you're getting vibes now too. Not a club you want to be a member of brah!
Yeah but I don't think it was from the gearing. I beat the crap out of the under side of my tj at Moab. It is amazing how low a 4 inch lift with 33 inch tires are at Moab. I ended up bending the lower control arm bracket and blowin out my trans mount comletely which I think are contributing to my shakeyness and the popping out of 4 low. I just replaced the mount and changed to a TC cable, but haven't had time to drive it yet. I had to take off for vegas.

I had a fab shop in town in Moab straighten the lower control arm bracket and weld on gussets. From the front it looks really awesome but from the back side it still isn't straight. Although I don't think that will cause the vibe. I could probably lift the rear pinion slightly too, but I don't think that would cause this. I am going to drive it with the new mount and see if it shores up a little then I am probably going to pull the front driveline and see if that fixes it. If it does, i will probably have Tom Woods build me a new front driveline, and as a last resort change to locking hubs, just because I am so much crazy money into the jeep.

I will keep you posted? BTW I haven't been on your build page in a while in case it is there, but did the new springs do anything to solve your issues?
 

bobthetj03

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Yeah but I don't think it was from the gearing. I beat the crap out of the under side of my tj at Moab. It is amazing how low a 4 inch lift with 33 inch tires are at Moab. I ended up bending the lower control arm bracket and blowin out my trans mount comletely which I think are contributing to my shakeyness and the popping out of 4 low. I just replaced the mount and changed to a TC cable, but haven't had time to drive it yet. I had to take off for vegas.

I had a fab shop in town in Moab straighten the lower control arm bracket and weld on gussets. From the front it looks really awesome but from the back side it still isn't straight. Although I don't think that will cause the vibe. I could probably lift the rear pinion slightly too, but I don't think that would cause this. I am going to drive it with the new mount and see if it shores up a little then I am probably going to pull the front driveline and see if that fixes it. If it does, i will probably have Tom Woods build me a new front driveline, and as a last resort change to locking hubs, just because I am so much crazy money into the jeep.

I will keep you posted? BTW I haven't been on your build page in a while in case it is there, but did the new springs do anything to solve your issues?
I haven't had time to install them yet. Life keeps getting in the way. My life is crazy right now, so i hope to get at it soon.
 
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Gollywomper

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I think I am done chasing vibrations at the cost of handling.
I have 2 questions for those familiar with the smaller hub kit.
1 Is it complete? any thing else needed?
2 How does the smaller hub hold up? I believe Mr Blaine said they do fine in JV which is by far more extreme than my 1-2 trips in the rocks a year,if that. lol
So si there any reason not to pull the trigger on this?