The 4x4 Locking hub can be fitted to four-wheel drive vehicles, enabling the front wheels to be manually engaged and disengaged from the front axle shafts.
4x4 locking hubs are usually cast aluminum or stainless steel and the locking hub assembly is bolted to the front axle shafts of the vehicle.
When four-wheel drive is not needed the driver is able to disconnect the locking hubs, which provides a quieter drive and less road vibration. When four-wheel drive is needed, the driver can lock the 4x4 locking hubs and have the power and drive required to meet the road conditions. By disengaging the locking hubs, the parts not necessary for two-wheel drive stop rotating which is said to assist with fuel efficiency, by reducing mechanical drag. 4x4 locking hubs, also referred to as free wheeling hubs, are said to be of benefit by helping the front axle to last longer as it's not constantly in use so receives less wear and tear. When driving in challenging weather conditions, the driver can leave the hubs locked while in two-wheel drive, enabling an easy shift back into four-wheel drivee whenever the road and driving conditions require it.
4x4 locking hubs generally protrude out of the wheel and can suffer damage when driving, particularly in off-road conditions. Locking hubs can break fairly easily and are also subject to the elements and dirt from the road, so can rust and wear down over time. A broken 4x4 locking hub could lead to a break down situation and should be changed as soon as possible for reasons of safety. Buying the 4x4 locking hub will ensure a part that's specifically designed for the make and model of your vehicle.