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Author Topic: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara  (Read 5666 times)

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Offline liftedgvottawa

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Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« on: June 24, 2010, 04:37:22 AM »
So I was doing research on putting manual hubs onto my 99 Grand Vitara and could not find much on the net.  I went to a local wrecker and experimented because they had both trackers, sidekicks, and vitaras on the lot.  For those interested, the manual hubs for the 98 tracker (at least) bolt right onto the 99 Grand Vitara and engage the axles properly. Less wear on the front drivetrain components and better fuel economy will result since less moving parts and rotating mass. CV boots last forever too because they are not being used.  I know that my old 82 toyota truck bogged right down with the hubs locked, so i have a good idea as to how much additional drag there is from the extra moving parts.  Why any manufacturer makes them this way is beyond me.  I will update later with change in fuel economy.

Offline wildgoody

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 07:39:31 AM »
Good info, please report on the improvement in mileage

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 04:49:15 PM »
I know that my old 82 toyota truck bogged right down with the hubs locked, so i have a good idea as to how much additional drag there is from the extra moving parts.  Why any manufacturer makes them this way is beyond me.  I will update later with change in fuel economy.

I'll bet that your old 82 Toyota didn't have a freewheel disconnect built in to the front drive train, which your 99 Grand Vitara does.

Why do manufacturers make them that way?  Because that's what the buying public wants - who needs to get out in the mud/slush/snow to lock the front hubs when you shift in to 4WD - so Suzuki designed what they thought was an ideal solution - a freewheel mechanism that disconnects the front wheels from the drive train when in 2WD and automatically connects them when you shift into 4WD.

At least that was the plan - there were some flaws in the implementation.
'98 2.0 Grand Vitara

Offline wildgoody

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 06:35:42 PM »
Ya, but more crap to go wrong and leave you stuck somewhere

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 03:52:27 PM »
Ya, but more crap to go wrong and leave you stuck somewhere

Wild

Come on man - I did say there were flaws - and - since in this case, all he's done is add hubs, all that crap is still there.
'98 2.0 Grand Vitara

Offline wildgoody

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 04:56:47 PM »
Ya, I just meant the way they have gone from locking hubs
to shift on the fly with the automatic stuff, I would take the
higher reliability manual engage stuff
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Offline TNTracker

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 01:30:53 PM »
I installed manual lock outs on my 2001 Grand Vitara mainly because i did not like the cv shafts turning all the time. Even though the front end disengages the axles the hubs are still turning the cv shafts. I was also hoping for better milage but that didn't happen.

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 04:58:26 PM »
I installed manual lock outs on my 2001 Grand Vitara mainly because i did not like the cv shafts turning all the time. Even though the front end disengages the axles the hubs are still turning the cv shafts. I was also hoping for better milage but that didn't happen.

Thanks for chipping in TNT - this is exactly what I was getting at - Suzuki found a way to disconnect the front end without free wheeling hubs, so unlike the OP's Toyota, there isn't that much to be gained by fitting hubs.  Yes the CVs are still rotating, but they're "unloaded" - ie. not transferring any power, so, at least in my opinion, the resulting wear is minimal - the CVs on my '98 GV are in great shape, nowhere near the amount of wear a FWD vehicle would have had.
'98 2.0 Grand Vitara

Offline liftedgvottawa

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2010, 06:09:09 AM »
My first tank of fuel (since I bought the Vitara) was 26mpg (10.9L/100km) before the manual hubs.  I put them on right away and next tank was 29.6mpg(9.6L/100km).  14% improvement.  On my first tank I was driving empty and doing safety inspections and crap like that, second tank was hauling around family through the city, and my Dad is pretty big.  I raced it a few times on both tanks to attempt to be consistent. I drive 120kph on the expressway (75mph). Next is a K&N which may get me past the 30mpg mark. I figure the $100 investment will pay for itself in under 8000km (5000 miles).

Fordem-- while there is a freewheel disconnect, and there is no load on the CV's, but the boots will still wear since they are turning all the time, and there is still weight that is spinning in the cvs and axles, and it takes energy to turn that weight, just like bigger tires use more fuel, even if you re-gear your diffs.  The toyota axle shafts may only have been a little bit heavier than the cv shafts on the vitara, but are still connected to the ring and pinion and driveshaft, and more weight to turn equals more energy required to turn it. I gained 4mpg, not exactly an insignificant improvement.  If I had only gained 1 or 2, I might chalk that up to driving habit or weather, but a 14% increase is VERY compelling i think. I don't want to argue, I just put the info here for others who may be thinking of doing the same thing themselves. I have a significant increase.  I hope someone else who is environmentally/economically conscious reads this gets similar results.

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2010, 07:32:24 AM »
Oh - I'd say 14% and 4 mpg are very worthwhile gains - but your experience does not parallel TNTrackers (just as an example), and to be honest 29.6 mpg on a GV with nothing but freewheel hubs added - that number sounds more than a little high - in fact that 26 mpg "before" number  - I'd be happy to get even that much.

17 city, 20 highway, 18 combined.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/15573.shtml

Regarding the load on the CVs and the boots still turning - let me put it this away - I'm no stranger to front wheel drive & CVs, in fact my first FWD car didn't even have CVs - it had double cardans - given the age of my GV (I have a '98) and the mileage done, if the constant rotation were a problem, then the CVs & boots would have needed replacing already - they haven't.

The rubber boot - left on it's own will dryout & crack - rotate & flex it - it'll last longer - now if you've lifted the vehicle, to the point where the CVs are at an excessive angle, then yes, the boot will fail faster with constant rotation
'98 2.0 Grand Vitara

Offline cj

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2010, 04:37:15 PM »
GV's are known for their leaky front diff seal on the right hand side. By putting manual hubs in it stops the rotation and the leak doesn't seem to occur. Of course if you already have a leak then you still need to change the seal as well.

While you are there also consider adding in a bush that Suzuki makes to help with the seal problem even though the manual hubs will solve it as the bush provides support for the driveshaft which is no bad thing and may reduce its chance of failure offroad.

http://www.suzuki-forums.com/1g-1999-2005-vitara-grand-vitara/29722-cv-joint-free-play-2.html

Offline TNTracker

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2010, 06:58:12 PM »
GV's are known for their leaky front diff seal on the right hand side. By putting manual hubs in it stops the rotation and the leak doesn't seem to occur. Of course if you already have a leak then you still need to change the seal as well.

While you are there also consider adding in a bush that Suzuki makes to help with the seal problem even though the manual hubs will solve it as the bush provides support for the driveshaft which is no bad thing and may reduce its chance of failure offroad.

http://www.suzuki-forums.com/1g-1999-2005-vitara-grand-vitara/29722-cv-joint-free-play-2.html


This was the main reason i installed the manual hubs (front seal), but as far as gas mileage i was hoping it would help. I was lucky to get 17 mpg after the lift and 31" tires and after the manual hubs i still was lucky to get 17 mpg. By the way it only got 19 mpg before the lift and tires. Not saying it won't help just saying it didn't help mine at all. I could drive my z71 cheaper per week than my Vitara thats why i have an old model Tracker back for my daily driver, if my Vitara would have gotten 29 or even 26 it would still be in the driveway.

Offline bentparts

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2010, 06:08:52 AM »
Even though I don't have a GV, I found this thread pretty interesting. Good info.
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Offline wildgoody

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2010, 08:52:52 AM »
I wanted a set of those drive flanges for building a full floater
rear axle, or you could use lockout hubs for easy flat towing, just
unlock and roll, no driveline movement or shafts to drop for towing

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Offline cj

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Re: Better fuel economy=Manual locking hubs in Grand Vitara
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2010, 06:33:17 PM »
I wanted a set of those drive flanges for building a full floater
rear axle

That's what we have used or the ones off a SJ410 are also the same. The manual hubs have had issues coping on the rear according to some others in the past so we went with the flanges.