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Post Info TOPIC: GM 4X4 systems are FAR superior to Fords.
Who has the best 4X4 systems? [2 vote(s)]

GM
50.0%
Ford
50.0%
Chrysler
0.0%


OUT-OF-HAND

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GM 4X4 systems are FAR superior to Fords.


In my workings with with various different 4X4 systems I have come to realize that the system GM uses to engage their 4X4's is far superior to that of Fords.

GM uses a an engagement mechanism within the differential to activate the front wheels of their 4X4's, while Fords has always used an ignorant ass engagement mechanism on the hubs. With a Ford 4X4 you can count on more cost associated with their systems, along with more frequent and costly repairs. Also I have found that without locking hubs on a Ford you could likelyfind yourself without 4X4 in more serious conditions. On newer Ford 4X4 trucks the auto engagement mechanism for the front tires is even WORSE, and without a doubt the most failure prone system on the market.

I thought I would bring this up given the amount of 4X4 repairs I have been having to address with all the snow we have gotten in this area recently.

I welcome anyone to rebut my claims, but a fact is a fact. A Ford 4X4 is much more likley to be Found Off Road Dead than a GM 4X4. My next 4X4 truck will be a GM.

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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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You're partially right, and partially wrong. In terms of reliability, I'm not going to dispute your claim of fewer failures with GM because I don't work on them and simply don't have enough information to support of deny that claim.

Ford uses a few different systems depending on the year and model of the vehicle. My 00 F150 uses a center disconnect system very similar to what GM uses. Also using a "GM style" center disconnect would be 4x4 Rangers and Explorers (not AWD). 04 and Newer F150's changed to an IWE or Integrated Wheel End system to control the the locking and unlocking of the "hubs" with vacuum. In those systems, the system will default to locking when vacuum is absent, and when vacuum is applied they unlock. On Super Duties, they use a Pulse vacuum system which sends a timed strong vacuum to lock the hubs, after which the vacuum is taken away and they stay locked... Then to unlock them a timed weak vacuum pulse is applied - kind of like clicking and unclicking a pen. On the Pulse vacuum super duties, you can still manually lock the hubs with the knob.

The reason Ford transitioned away from a center disconnect style system in favor of hub disconnect style systems was for the purpose of improving fuel economy. By disconnecting at the hubs themselves, you no longer spin the axle shafts in 2x4 mode which decreases the rotating mass, thus improving fuel economy.

So which specific Ford system are you bitching about?

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There wouldn't happen to be any bias there would there PowerStroker?

I'd like to see a photo of this center disconect with regards to Fords... Every one I seen had cumbersome hub locks either manual or automatic.

Not spinning the drive shafts in the front is why so many Ford rangers were in need of font U-joins, because as you know when they sit, they dry up. Dumb idea if you ask me.



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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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Have you even worked on a F150 "heritage"? The ones from 1997-2003 don't have locking hubs, they have a front axle center disconnect and run cv joints much like a chevy. It's really cold out, don't make me go out to the garage and snap a photo. I'm sure you can google it. 

-- Edited by PowerStroker on Sunday 6th of February 2011 11:36:06 PM

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"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."     Lyndon B. Johnson



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Guess they must be holding up better than the older ones because I haven't seen one yet. All I know is that same shitty locking hub system is present on my 03. Ill have to look at the front wheels on a newer F150. If there is no gaudy dick looking hub sticking out I'll know it must be true.

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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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Ah, well I can understand why you might complain about the PVH hubs on an 03. I replace those all the time on Duper Doodies through 04, but in 05 they re-designed them. The newer ones still work the same way, but they are much more reliable. There are other things that can go wrong with the system though, the vacuum pumps and vacuum control solenoids sometimes fail.

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"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."     Lyndon B. Johnson



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So it's safe to say that many Ford trucks are inferior in design than the GMC considering that vacuum idea was always a bad idea right there at the hub. I could see an vacuum actuator for engagement located in a more protected area, but even they fail, although much less expensive to repair.

I'd say it's a bad idea to leave a front axle motionless right there at the wheel, where consistant heat, vibration and road debree are prevalent and constantly exposed. Thus the reason I frown on the hub activated engagement design.

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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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Well, you're the expert.

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"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."     Lyndon B. Johnson



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PowerStroker wrote:

Well, you're the expert.


Why "Yes" PowerStroker... You are correct for once!

I am the expert!

And I say GM 4X4 systems are FAR superior to Fords.

 



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FAR BEYOND DRIVEN

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We had a 3/4 ton Chevy in our shop on the hoist. I couldn't believe they actually had an aluminum front 3rd member with independant front suspension and CV shafts. I was pretty shocked that they wouldn't go with a nice indestructable solid Dana 60 front axle like ford uses in 3/4 tons.

I'm sure the Chevy would ride nice, but in a 3/4 ton truck, I would have expected a real front axle. I wonder if their 1 tons use a solid axle like Ford?

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"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."     Lyndon B. Johnson



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I'm not saying Ford's doesn't put some heavy duty axles in their trucks. What I am saying is, what good is a heavy duty axle that will not engage the 4X4 hubs? The manual lock caps that they install on Super Duty trucks are a bad joke, in cold weather they bind up and or crack. The locking hubs are so problematic and temperamental you would be lucky to have auto 4X4 engagement should you find yourself stuck, you almost have to get out of the truck and chisel the manual locks into position.

Ill agree that once the axles are locked the Ford is pretty tuff off road, but too many times I have had to crawl around in muddy/snowy conditions because of faulty Ford 4X4 engagement mechanisms, and I am not talking about the motor on the transfer case, as that unit seems to be the same design for Ford or GM.

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So because the 99-04 Super Duty lockout hubs were prone to vacuum leak concerns and binding, you make catogorical claims that GM systems are superior across all years and product lines?

Do what you want, but the idea of hanging a snow plow on something with torsion springs and cv shafts just doesn't seem right to me.

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"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."     Lyndon B. Johnson

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