• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

4x4 without front axles

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
2003 4x4 FX4 4.0

Have a front differential problem. Is there any reason I can't pull the half shafts and run without them for a while? Need to make a road trip +/- 650 miles round trip.
 


Shran

Junk Collector
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
7,389
Reaction score
2,769
Points
113
Location
Rapid City SD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Should be no problem. Plug up the front diff with rags and run it. Don't listen to me
 
Last edited:

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
8,695
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
The stub axle is technically what keeps the hub from exiting the unit bearing.
 

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Shran,
That's what I'm thinking. Part of the reason I'm asking is that I pulled the axles yesterday. Zip tied baggie over the right end of the diff housing, foam plug in the left. Gorilla tape inside and outside of both spindles.

I had replaced both front hubs a while back, so I knew what was involved. But...

hit the road for an early trip this morning, and a little over an hour into the drive I lost the left hub.The good and bad is that halving the half shaft out let it do a lot less damage as it separated going down the interstate at 65 mph. No flailing half shaft to catch the tire.

Grump,
I'm sorry to say I might believe that also since it parted ways on me this morning. Going to have to look at the new one. Like it keeps the bearing into the back of the hub?
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
8,695
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
When you torque the axle nut it pulls the axle into the unit bearing and retains the hub in the bearings. With no axle nut or axle the hub will move. It probably wouldn't leave the vehicle because the brake rotor and caliper would prevent that... but the hub will surely float.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
8,695
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
So what I'm trying to say is... don't do that. It's an accident waiting to happen.
 

don4331

Well-Known Member
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
1,620
Reaction score
805
Points
113
Location
Calgary, AB
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.3
Transmission
Automatic
Vigness: Happy to hear you're still with us. But as Uncle Gump says running the hubs without the outer axle stubs is an accident waiting to happen. The rotor/caliper sort of holds things in but you probably sacrifice brake pads in the process.

You can separate the half shafts at the outer CV joint and just run with the outer axle stub secured in place.- which you might have to do if you are an hour from home.

Fun fact: Jeep made a stub axle that bolts into the unit bearing to hold everything together on 2wd Cherokees allowing them to run the same unit bearings whether it was a 4wd or not.. And as the Ranger and Cherokee share the same spline outers, it can be used in our vehicles. I have a pair in the extended repair kit just in case front axle decides to have kittens.
 

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Wish I had checked with you guys first. It's sitting on the side of the road now, have to get it in the morning once the rain qutes. Will replace the left one now from the way to higfh priced store so I can get it rolling to get it on the trailer, and will probably do the other side just to be safe. Hub assembly is a whole lot cheaper than all the other parts it took out, not adding in tow and shop fees if it happens several hundred miles away.
 

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Sad part is, I no longer have much use for the 4wd, but it's cheaper than getting another truck.

Another question. Where on here do you post on parting out a truck? I have a 98 4x2 extended cab 2 door that I need to part out. The bed, seats, dash, ands shift tube have been pulled. It ran but overheated when I parked it with two cold cylinders.
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
8,695
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Post it in the classifieds... under parts for sale. But be sure to include location and asking price.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
7,389
Reaction score
2,769
Points
113
Location
Rapid City SD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Hmm, I apologize for my misinformation. Most other vehicles I've worked on that have wheel bearing/hub assemblies like this are totally fine to run without an axle shaft in them, in fact some 2wd unit bearings are even splined for a 4wd application and are interchangeable.
 

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Understand. I was of the same mindset. Didn't even dawn on me that the front half shafts were part of the bearing retainer. All in an effort to save a penny or two I guess.

Hell, my dad had an old '45 International that the back U-joint went out. We ran it on front only for almost a month until we had time to replace it. Back when they were a solid front axle for 4x4.
 

vigness

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2016
Messages
120
Reaction score
35
Points
28
Location
Princeton, KS
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Don, what year Cherokee's? I might check into them.
 

superj

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
1,547
Reaction score
1,052
Points
113
Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
I drone my Isuzu trooper2 around in fwd when I sheared the ring gear bolts out back. Took a while to save up money for a rear end while in college
 

Uncle Gump

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
10,888
Reaction score
8,695
Points
113
Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Don, what year Cherokee's? I might check into them.
I'm not sure on the Jeep parts... however you could remove the outer cv joints from your existing halfshafts and just use those. You already have the parts. Doesn't even matter if they're broke...
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top