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Old 06-22-2021, 10:28 AM   #1
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Warn Locking Hubs Getting Very Hot

I am curious if its typical or something to be concerned about that my front locking hubs are getting extremely hot after typical 30-65mph driving scenarios (not locked, no hill descents). Came home from the lake the other day (temps in the 80s) and noticed the front chrome hubs casing around the locking dial were extremely hot to the touch. I have not taken a laser temp of the rotors but could next time. Maybe I have never noticed this before but it seems concerning. My first thoughts were some overheating of the wheel bearings or possible sticking calipers or that the locking hubs were actually engaged even though they were in 'free" position. Not sure and just wondering. Maybe this is normal. Maybe its reason for concern. Thought I would ask here first. Any first hand knowledge or experienced thoughts appreciated. NOTE: (New fr brakes, rotors, calipers in March 2021. Front Left wheel disassembled in June 2021 to service ABS sensor and grease and bearings reported to be good.)
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Old 06-22-2021, 11:32 AM   #2
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Jack a wheel up and spin the tire. Have someone apply the brakes. That answers about half of your questions.
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Old 06-22-2021, 12:15 PM   #3
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I check my hub, bearing and tire temp's several times a day using an infrared gun. As I remember, on my last trip with temps in 90's, my hub temps were never over about 110deg's. Tire and rear axle temps were similar. I am running Warn premium hubs. I would suspect your bearings may have been over tightened. Are both sides equal? Without knowing exactly how hot things got though it's hard to tell if it's an issue. I've had several sticking calipers, but never noticed excessive wheel or axle temps, and if the pads got that hot you likely would have smelled them.
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Old 06-22-2021, 12:17 PM   #4
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Had this issue after having the front wheel bearings serviced. In my case the wheel bearing wasn't adjusted properly after service which caused the wheel bearing to overheat and fail. Since you had similar service I would be suspicious of the adjustment.
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:50 PM   #5
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My first thought is take them apart, clean everything up, pack the bearings and see what happens. Like fw500a says, sounds like tight bearings.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplesez View Post
Jack a wheel up and spin the tire. Have someone apply the brakes. That answers about half of your questions.
What does this accomplish beyond determining that your brakes work? He needs to jack it up, place a screw driver or something threw the axle u-joint to prevent it from spinning and then spin the tire/wheel to see if the hub is actually disengaged or if it tries to spin the locked axle.
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Clarkboulder View Post
I am curious if its typical or something to be concerned about that my front locking hubs are getting extremely hot .)
I'm sure you have figured this out by now, but yes it's concerning. Professional shops often times have trouble correctly adjusting the bearings despite it being rather easy to do. I had new balljoints done, and one hub was misadjusted and 1000 miles later I discovered the wheel was loose, which was better than too tight I think, but they get adjusted incorrectly both ways, loose and tight. It needs to be pulled apart and the bearings inspected for any signs of wear. Personally, I insisted on all new bearings rather than run ones that could have been compromised.
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Old 06-23-2021, 08:48 AM   #8
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A chrome wrench in the sun will get too hot to touch so beware of false readings.

Took me a while to figure out why night temps side to side were the same, but not daytime temps.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarkboulder View Post
I am curious if its typical or something to be concerned about that my front locking hubs are getting extremely hot after typical 30-65mph driving scenarios (not locked, no hill descents). Came home from the lake the other day (temps in the 80s) and noticed the front chrome hubs casing around the locking dial were extremely hot to the touch. I have not taken a laser temp of the rotors but could next time. Maybe I have never noticed this before but it seems concerning. My first thoughts were some overheating of the wheel bearings or possible sticking calipers or that the locking hubs were actually engaged even though they were in 'free" position. Not sure and just wondering. Maybe this is normal. Maybe its reason for concern. Thought I would ask here first. Any first hand knowledge or experienced thoughts appreciated. NOTE: (New fr brakes, rotors, calipers in March 2021. Front Left wheel disassembled in June 2021 to service ABS sensor and grease and bearings reported to be good.)
Update on this post:
Thanks for the thoughts and ideas from you all. Took some laser temps and the rotors were hitting 322F and the rims/hubs were in the 170-180F range. Seems crazy hot.
I did some jacking and checks and the front wheels seemed to be quite resistant to turning by hand. The local 4X4 shop was unable to even look at the van for three weeks So I went to Brakes Plus for warranty (as they did the full front brakes replacement in March w/previous owner) to have them checked. Eventually, with prodding, they determined that the calipers were stuck and warrantied them. With some more prodding, they told me the hubs were torqued correctly, I asked for the ft/lb spec to make sure it jived with what I was told and they said 251 ft/lbs which was on target with what I was told. I had them change the rear brakes and drums as well (they were finally ready) just in case that was putting extra work stress (and heat) on the front. Picked up after service, did a couple short errands and drove home (5-8 miles total). The front hubs and rims are again pretty hot....measuring over 200F on the Rotors and 150-160F on the rims on a cool day in the rain. Everything has been checked, al beit by Brakes Plus people, so I am not sure why this still seems so hot. The rear rims and drums are completely different and basically ambient temp. At a loss for what to do next.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pntyrmvr View Post
A chrome wrench in the sun will get too hot to touch so beware of false readings.

Took me a while to figure out why night temps side to side were the same, but not daytime temps.
Thanks Yes I get that. Rear wheels on same side are ambient temp...even after driving...the front rims are heated by the driving somehow. The rims may act as a heat sink (they are aluminum Alcoa style) and don't have much in the way of air cooling.. But I have got to think there is something else going on here. Its certainly not just the solar heating.
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