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A Brief History Of Early Warn Hubs For Jeeps

Discussion in 'Early Jeep Restoration and Research' started by maurywhurt, May 29, 2018.

  1. May 29, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Western North...
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    [​IMG]

    After discussing it with one of the site administrators, I've taken the historical information, documents, and photos recently assembled in the Warn M2 Hubs thread and reorganized these in a new thread showing them in a more chronological order. For those who followed the former thread, some of the content in this thread will be familiar (though not all, as much has since been added). As the facts have become clearer, I've continued to update the information below accordingly. Thanks to everyone who participated in the initial discussion!



    The "Standard" Warn Hub Caps were Warn's initial entry into the field of vehicle hubs, before it began to develop locking models. After WWII in the mid to late 1940's, the public purchased thousands of ex-military Willys MBs and Ford GPWs, as well as Willys' new CJ2a. In 1948, Arthur Warn, then a Willys-Overland dealer in Seattle, Washington, founded Warn Manufacturing and marketed the first free-wheel Warn Hub Caps.

    Warn Motors circa 1948:

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    This was posted by Dave Eilers on eWillys:

    "There was some early resistance to using the first generation of the Warn hubs, because jeep owners felt they’d purchased their jeeps for the four wheel drive capability. The initial hubs turned the jeeps into two wheel drive, which some owners felt defeated the whole point of owning a jeep. However, through education and marketing, the Warn folks slowly turned naysayers into advocates."

    From a 1995 Field & Stream magazine article:

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    The Warn Hub Caps, or Standard Hubs, also became known as "Summer Hubs" since that's when they were typically used, as they effectively converted a vehicle from 4WD to 2WD. Warn made two versions of the Standard Hubs - the earlier "hatched" pattern, below at left, and the later "dimpled" pattern at right:

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    The Standard "Summer Hubs" came in a metal case with instructions (below at left), which also served as a container for the removed parts. When installed, the hubs' integral needle bearings ran around inner race sleeves (at right) that were placed over the axle splines:

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    Initially, Arthur made door to door sales of his hub caps in Seattle, but his wife Sadie saw a larger market and placed ads in Popular Mechanics (below at top left), which started their mail order business. With orders coming in, to meet the increasing demand Arthur began working with Belleview Manufacturing in Portland, Oregon, a small four man operation working out of a two car garage. As the Jeep line quickly evolved, the market for Warn Hub Caps continued to grow.

    Some of Warn's early advertising:

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    In addition to direct mail order, Warn soon began to sell their hubs through dealerships and retailers as well. Below is an interesting testimonial for Warn Hub Caps from the early 1950's that Warn mailed to prospective customers and resellers. A larger, more easily readable copy can be viewed at More Unique Warn Brochures. (From Yyz's collection, linked to on the CJ2A page):

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    The flyer below, dating from the late spring or early summer of 1953, encouraged resellers to stock Warn hubs rather than competitors' models. It emphasized the expansion of Warn's scope of advertising to include ten different magazines.

    In this flyer Warn introduced two newly developed hubs, the Model WL-2 manual locking hub and the Model WA-1 "Automatic" locking hub. Note the wide variation in list prices between the three available hub models. (Also from Yyz's collection):

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    The initial WL-2 manual locking hub is often referred to as the Warn "5-ring" hub, due to the five black-painted recessed rings in its aluminum body. These hubs required exiting the vehicle to manually adjust them from 2WD to 4WD or vice-versa.

    The earliest version of the 5-ring manual locking hubs had an interesting difference from Warn's later designs. David Hoelzeman, the owner of a set of these rare hubs, noted in the Old Willys Forum that the dial of this first early model had to be rotated a full 360 degrees in order to lock or unlock them, and there was only a single red dial alignment 'dot' on the cap.

    On the later versions of the Warn 5-ring locking hubs, the dial rotated only 300 degrees, and there were two red alignment dots on the cap, one for 'lock' and one for 'free'. This change allowed the driver to tell which mode the hub was in at a glance.

    Shown below at top is a circa 1953 'one dot' 5-ring Model WL-2 manual locking hub, with cap to body screws and a 'tailed' indicator arrow (photos courtesy of David Hoelzeman); at bottom left, a circa 1956 to 1958 'two dot' 5-ring WL-2, with cap to body screws and a 'tail-less' indicator arrow (photo courtesy of Bruce Mullen); and at bottom right, a mid-1960's 'two dot' version, with no cap to body screws, a 'tail-less' indicator arrow, slightly smaller lettering and differently shaped finger grooves on the dial, and no alignment dot lettering for "Lock" or "Free" embossed into the cap (photo by G. Gordon):

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    Courtesy of Dave Eilers from eWillys, here's a rare mid-1950's installation guide and owner's manual for the 5-ring Model WL-2 locking hubs (images cut & pasted for readability). This manual is for the"middle" (circa 1956 to 1958) version of the 5-ring locking hub:

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    The Model WA-1 "Automatic" hub was the first production Warn hub to allow shifting in forward gears from 2WD to 4WD configuration, and back again, automatically, without the driver needing to exit the vehicle. However, they had to be manually locked in order to operate in 4WD reverse gear.

    By early 1955, Warn hubs for Jeeps were sold "exclusively by Willys dealers worldwide". These two ads (from eWillys) published that year describe the virtues of the Automatic Hubs:

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    The following pages from an early- to mid-1950s Willys mechandising document (courtesy of Dave Eilers) detail the functioning of the WA-1 Automatic Hub and the WL-2 Manual Locking Hub. As shown below, the earliest version of the Automatic hub had a single dial alignment 'dot', cap to body screws, and a 'tailed' indicator arrow:

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    The Model WL-2 manual locking hub shown is the earlier 5-ring type, likewise with a single alignment dot, cap to body screws, and 'tailed' arrow:

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    This 1955 Willys brochure, again from eWillys, differentiates the the Automatic Model WA-1 hub from the 5-ring manual locking Model WL-2 hub (oddly described here as "Semi-automatic"):

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    These pages from a 1955 Warn Hub Service & Repair Manual (from eWillys) show cutaway and disassembled views of the body and cap of the Automatic WA-1 hub and the manual WL-2 "5-ring" designs:

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    As the Automatic hubs were nearly twice as expensive as the manual locking hubs, they likely also generated greater profit margin for the company. Most of Warn's advertising during the mid-'50's focused on their Automatic hubs, and in turn, the later "Lock-O-Matic" hubs. This ad from 1955 features the WA-1 Automatic hub, which Jeep deemed "Approved Equipment" shortly after its introduction:

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    A set of the later 'two-dot' version of the Warn Automatic hubs, likely dating from late 1955 or very early '56, with cap to body screws and 'tail-less' indicator arrows, is pictured below (photos courtesy of owner Bruce Mullen). As Bruce noted, these hubs are marked left and right, and the indents and lettering were painted red. He further pointed out that these hubs have no internal springs, and that the rear is different from that of later Warn hubs.

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    This Warn flyer from early 1956 advertises the 5-ring 'two-dot' Model WL-2 manual locking hub along with the newly developed Lock-O-Matic Model WO-1 hub, which replaced the Automatic Model WA-1. Though the Lock-O-Matic was similar in appearance to the 'two-dot' Automatic hub, the Lock-O-Matic would engage in 4WD in both forward and reverse gears without the driver having to turn the dial to "lock", and there was no differentiation between left and right hubs. The earliest version of the Lock-O-Matic hub had cap to body screws and a 'tail-less' indicator arrow, as shown below.

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    (Note #7 above indicating a "steel hub body" on the WL-2 manual locking hub is in error, as in reality they were aluminum alloy. The WO-1 Lock-O-Matic hub did however have a steel body.)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  2. May 29, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    In 1955, the design of the Jeeps' front axles were changed. David Hoelzeman indicated in a post on the Old Willys Forum that the deeper-bodied 5-stripe (or 5-ring) version of the WL-2 manual hubs were designed to work with the axle shafts that had nuts on the end, including the early Bendix and Rzeppa axle shafts. Later model axle shafts had a snap ring, including the Spicer and possibly some Rzeppa. The following design revision by Bendix did away with both the nut and the snap ring, in effect making the axle shafts shorter.

    These shortened axle shafts in turn impacted Warn's hub design, leading to the development of the shorter-bodied "3-ring" manual locking Warn hub. Like the preceding 5-ring versions, the 3-ring hub continued to be denoted as Model WL-2. Either the 5-ring or the 3-ring versions of the WL-2 hubs could be used on the later Jeeps with the shorter axle shafts.

    A Warn brochure dating from 1956 is below (courtesy of Dave Eilers, images cut & pasted for readability). The stated guarantee against defects in material and workmanship was a bit vague at that point, being neither unconditional nor time-frame specific.

    Note the cap to body screws shown on "the latest model of the original Warn 'selective drive' hub", the 3-ring Model WL-2:

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    The following ad for the Lock-O-Matic hub is from 1957. It appears Warn trademarked the name "Lock-O-Matic" that year, something the company may not have been able to accomplish using the term "Automatic".

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    Also from eWilllys is this May 1957 article from Willys News on the Warn Manufacturing Co. (A more readable copy than would upload here is viewable on eWilllys at Early Warn Manufacturing Co. History ):

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    Another Lock-O-Matic hub ad from 1957, this one featuring the CJ-5:

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    The image of the Lock-O-Matic hub in this late 1958 ad does not show cap to body screws, so those had evidently been eliminated by that time:

    [​IMG]



    This artwork from a 1959 Warn brochure shows red painted finger grooves and lettering on both of the hubs pictured. In reality, these areas were painted red on the Lock-O-Matic hubs, but were black on the WL-2 manual locking hubs.

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    A later Model WO-1 Warn Lock-O-Matic hub without cap to body screws:

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    Again from eWillys, a 1959 brochure on the Warn Lock-O-Matic hub. By that time, Warn was offering an unconditional guarantee "against mechanical failure and to give complete satisfaction under all conditions" for a period of one year:

    [​IMG]


    As indicated in the 1956 brochure above, the earliest version of the 3-ring WL-2 manual locking hub (circa 1956 to 1958) had cap to body screws. Below at left is the next version of this hub, without cap to body screws, and with large lettering on the bronze dial (circa 1958 to early 1960s), and at center, the later version with smaller lettering (circa early to mid-1960s). The shapes of the finger grooves in the two dials are slightly different as well. These two versions otherwise appear to be identical, except that the dial of the earlier hub was attached with a slotted flat-head machine screw, while the screw used on the later version was an Allen type. A view of the rear of this model is at right:

    [​IMG]


    Dealer cutaway displays of a Warn 3-ring manual locking hub at left, and Lock-O-Matic hub at right are pictured below. The locking splines in the left hub are shown in the locked position, while those in the right hub are in the unlocked position. The same locking spline clutch assembly was used on both the manual and Lock-O-Matic hubs.

    In addition, the Lock-O-Matic also had a separate, secondary "Automatic Drive" clutch mechanism in the body (black painted portion) of the hub. When the splines were in the unlocked, or free position, and the transfer case was shifted into 4WD, the rotation of the front axle in either forward or reverse caused the secondary clutch to engage automatically, allowing the hub to operate as if locked.

    [​IMG]


    These enlargements from the following 1960 Warn catalog illustrate how the Lock-O-Matic hub's "Automatic Drive" functioned:

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    A 1960 Warn catalog featuring its hubs for Jeep vehicles is below. The 3-ring locking hubs are identified on the second page as Model WL-2:

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    This Warn catalog from 1964 shows their hubs made to fit vehicles by various manufacturers. Unfortunately, the resolution is pretty poor, but the last page shows both the Automatic and Lock-O-Matic hubs, as well as Locking and Standard. On that same page, note also that the hubs for Jeeps continued to be "Available Through Willys Dealers Only":

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    A cutout ad for Warn Hubs from a 1964 magazine:

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    This catalog dates from 1966. Though it doesn't list any of the Warn hubs for Jeeps, as they were in a separate catalog, what's interesting is that it does detail the re-numbering of many previous W-series model numbers to M-series model numbers. On the last page, note the columns under the headings of "Old Number" and "New Number". Also, the warranty period was increased during the 1964-66 time frame from one to two years (or 24,000 miles):

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
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  3. May 29, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Below is another Jeep-specific Warn Hubs catalog, this one from 1968. By that year, the former classification of "Approved Jeep Equipment" had been changed to "Special Jeep Equipment". In addition, the previous 2-year / 24,000 mile guarantee had been replaced by the lifetime "Warn-T", extending warranty coverage on the hubs for the life of the vehicle (excluding the finish):

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    The Lifetime "Warn-T":

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    The Warn Hub dash decals used during the mid to late 1960's:
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    The M-series Warn hubs are distinguishable by the presence of a small raised boss in the upper finger groove with the model number stamped into it. The start of the M-series model numbering was evidently tied to the use of Warn's hubs by International Harvester as optional OEM factory-installed equipment. This may have occurred as early as 1960, with the introduction of the IH Scout 80 in the 1961 model year.

    From an IH Scout forum:

    "Enter IH. In sizing up their competitor, the Jeep Universal, they obviously paid attention to its customers, how they used and MODIFIED their rigs. Warn's locking hubs caught their attention, and (IH) included the M1 on their option list making (IH) Warn's first OEM sale, and in the process started Warn's use of model number designations."

    The 3-ring manual Warn M1 hubs were apparently available only as OEM on the IH Scout, or through their dealerships, and were evidently all IH marked. Though the 10-spline M1 and WL-2 hubs were internally identical, it makes sense that IH wanted its OEM, factory-installed Warn hubs to be IH-specific in appearance.

    A Model M1, IH marked hub:

    [​IMG]


    Before being replaced by the next manual locking hub model Warn introduced, the "Spring-Lock", the older-format 10-spline 3-ring Model WL-2 hub was re-designated as Model M2. The Model M2 hub was identical to the later version of the Model WL-2, except for the stamped model number, which the unmarked WL-2 didn't have. Like the WL-2 hubs, the M2's were also sold only through Jeep dealerships throughout Kaiser's ownership of the brand. Warn M2 hubs, a.k.a. Kaiser Jeep Corp. (KJC) part number SE (for Special Equipment) 2063001, were manufactured during the later 1960's.

    An NOS Model M2 manual hub. As the remaining logo on the box indicates, this particular hub was made prior to the change from "Approved Jeep Equipment" to "Special Jeep Equipment", so was likely manufactured sometime before or during 1968:

    [​IMG]
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    The M3 hubs, a.k.a. KJC part no. SE 2063000, replaced the earlier, unmarked 10-spline Model WO-1 Lock-O-Matic hub. The M3-B and later M3-D hubs were manufactured during the latter part of the 1960s through the late 1970s. As was the case with the WO-1 hubs, throughout Kaiser's ownership of Jeep, the M3 Lock-O-Matic hubs could only be purchased through their dealerships.

    An NOS Model M3-D Lock-O-Matic hub. Based on the "Special Jeep Equipment" logo on the box, this one was manufactured during the late 1960s:

    [​IMG]
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    Here's a 1969 Warn catalog which features a hub I was surprised to find in a catalog of that vintage. On the third page, the Lock-O-Matic is shown next to Warn's "newest manually-operated hub", the Spring-Lock.

    On the last page of this catalog, which was printed in November of '69, it indicates that Warn Hubs continued to be available only through Kaiser Jeep dealerships. AMC assumed control of Jeep by February of 1970.

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    Here's an enlargement from the third page of the catalog:

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    An NOS Warn Spring-Lock 10-spline Model SE 2063003 locking hub. After purchasing Jeep in 1970, AMC continued to use KJC's part numbers, and to sell Warn hubs through Jeep dealerships. It is possible that Warn then began selling its hubs for Jeeps through the aftermarket as well. Based on the label logo, this hub dates from between the mid-1970's and mid-80's:

    [​IMG]


    A dealer cutaway display of a Spring-Lock manual locking hub is pictured below. One of the coil springs this hub was named for is visible, attached to the sliding locking spline (which is shown in the locked position):

    [​IMG]


    Having been first marketed in 1969, the Spring-Lock hub is essentially the same manual locking design Warn is still selling 50 years later. However, the four small coil springs connected to the locking spline in the original version were later replaced by a single large central spring. Here's the Warn Premium Hub sold for CJs today:

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    A 1972 AMC Jeep Special Equipment flyer featuring the Warn manual and Lock-O-Matic hubs then available for Jeeps:

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    This Oct. 1973 price list for the 1974 model year indicates the M-series and Jeep part numbers for Warn hubs made for Jeeps at that time. The manual Spring-Lock hub for the 1971 and prior CJ-5s & CJ-6s is shown here as Warn M-54 / Jeep SE 2063003. The automatic hub listed for the '71 and prior CJ-5/6s is the Warn M3-B / Jeep SE 2063000.

    Note also the Warn M-12 / Jeep SE 2063002 manual hub indicated for 1955 and prior Willys. This was almost certainly the renumbered later version of the 5-ring WL-2 manual locking hub pictured in the first post above.

    [​IMG]


    Lock-O-Matic M-series hubs were still in production when these were published, which based on the vehicles shown was likely between 1975 and 1978:

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    At some point during the late 1970's or early '80's, Warn resumed the use of the name "Automatic" on its auto-locking hubs. Both the body and cap of the "new" Warn Automatic hubs were painted black, and the shape of the cap was updated from the previous design.

    A set of Jeep SE 2063018 Automatic hubs:

    [​IMG]

    This same Automatic hub design was also OEM on the IH Scout during that time frame. From a Scout enthusiast website:

    "IH Scouts were shipped with at least two different styles of automatically-locking front hubs, the "Lock-o-Matic" and "Automatic". These hubs have two dial positions, labeled "AUTO" and "LOCK". ("FREE" and "LOCK" on the "Lock-O-Matic" hubs.)

    When in "LOCK", the hubs function just like a manually-locking hub. When in "AUTO" or "FREE", however, these hubs will free-wheel until torque is applied to the front axle shafts. When the transfer case lever is pulled, and torque is applied to the front axles, nylon friction pads are engaged inside the hub and the hub acts as though it were locked. This locking action is effective in both forward and reverse, just as in the case of a manually-locking hub. The only circumstance where these hubs are NOT locked (when a manually-locking hub WOULD be) is under engine- or compression-braking."


    "These hubs are often lumped together, and called junk, cheap and failure prone by some, yet praised by others. The fact is the Automatic represents a near clean sheet redesign with cost cutting as the primary goal and the addition of spring-loaded engagement as what appears to be a secondary goal. The interchangeable parts between the Lock-O and Auto are VERY limited. The intial Auto production took cost savings to the extreme....making them extremely failure prone junk you don't want any where near your truck. The worst piece was redesigned and is interchangable, but the rest of the cost-cutting measures and reduced strength/durability were retained. "

    From the IH8Mud forum:

    "Their weak point was the (nylon) friction pad clutch ring. If you ever actually PUSHED them (not really THAT hard), they would strip the blocks off the ring, and spin. After replacing about 3-4 sets of the clutch rings (they were a standard repair-kit sold by Warn), I never used them in "Auto" mode again, and replaced them with standard Warn locking hubs."

    I'd like to especially express my appreciation to Dave Eilers of eWillys.com for his assistance in assembling the above. Many of the images are from his collection, and he also provided very helpful info on the early Warn hubs. Thanks, Dave! - Maury
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  4. May 30, 2018
    Focker

    Focker I Hate Being Bi-Polar, It's Awesome. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Great contribution! (y)

    I'll make this a sticky.
     
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  5. May 30, 2018
    Keys5a

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    I don't think that all the later "automatic" hubs were black. I have seen them both with natural aluminum and black, more often aluminum. The black ones I assumed had been painted by a previous owner. Its interesting to see they came that way, all black.
    Its been a while since I've had a set of automatics on the workbench, but I seem to remember there are some differences between these and the Lock o Matics that preceded them. I seem to remember a coiled spring under the dial that the Lock o's didn't have.
    I need to see if I can lay my hands on a set to look at.
    Looking at the photo of the black hubs, its interesting to note that the box is from the AMC era, yet still lists the contents as Lock o Matic hubs, though the dial just says automatic.
    Maury, I can't believe the info you are digging out on the Warn hubs. Great work!
    -Donny
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  6. May 30, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    You may very well be correct re. the paint, Donny. The later Automatic hubs I found pictures of online were black - but there weren't very many pictures!

    Here's one of the IH version of the hubs:

    [​IMG]

    I've read the same thing you recall about the coil spring behind the dial, which evidently assisted in actuating the locking function.

    Maury
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  7. Jun 1, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Is anyone else surprised by the hub design that appeared in the 1969 Warn catalog above (which I just added into the third post)?

    I had no idea....
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  8. Jun 2, 2018
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member Sponsor

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    I certainly had no idea they were around back then. Also didn't realize those of that design are spring loaded.
     
  9. Jun 2, 2018
    Keys5a

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    I didn't know the manual hubs were called spring lock hubs, and didn't know that style hub came out as early as '69. I always thought those were a mid-'70s design as I remember them on the AMC intermediates. I never liked this style because the small allen bolts constantly worked loose, and the dial rim was easily damaged offroad making them inoperable (back in the day of skinny rims!).
    I still haven't dug out an old set of the later "automatic" hubs to confirm they have the spring under the dial like the "new" spring lock hubs.
    -Donny
     
  10. Jun 23, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Dave Eilers from eWillys wrote today to let me know about a couple more early-ish Warn manual hubs for Jeeps which ought to be mentioned in this thread. He sent a link to a page on the CJ3B site that included the photos below.

    Both of these hubs had plastic dials. Dave doesn't have any specific information about either, but he believes based on the patent date that the first one shown below (red dial) was likely manufactured starting around 1974. The second one (black dial) was likely a bit later, possibly from the late 1970s or 1980s. If anyone has any info, or better yet, an ad or catalog showing either hub, please post it below.


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    Thanks!

    Maury
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  11. Jun 23, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    While looking for examples of ads for the Warn plastic-dial hubs just above (which I haven't located any of yet), I came across this entertaining series of Warn Manufacturing Co. ads which were likely published in trade journals in the late 1960's:

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
  12. Jun 23, 2018
    mullen46cj2a

    mullen46cj2a Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Top row, second from left
     
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  13. Jun 25, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    For those who haven't seen them yet, Bruce Mullen (mullen46cj2a) has collected an impressive number of vintage jeep hubs, including Warns as well as several other brands. Here's a photo of his overall collection:

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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  14. Jun 29, 2018
    QCJeep

    QCJeep Current project DJ-6 1965

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  15. Jun 29, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    You're correct - I copied the images of ads, catalogs, etc. from many different sources on the internet, including your website, on which I found the 1969 catalog. (Note - I later found another more comprehensive 1969 Warn catalog on a Land Rover site that I replaced the previous 1969 catalog with).

    By the way, your site is great!!

    Maury
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. Jun 30, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    I found this image of the second 10-spline plastic-dial hub shown above, which it turns out is a Warn M252a:

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    Warn M252a Locking Hubs, 6 bolt 10 Spline NOS

    This IH thread indicates that the Warn M252a dates from 1984 or earlier, based on an '84 Warn catalog showing a rebuild kit number for it: Lock-O-Matic vs Automatic vs Automatic hubs

    Below is a 27-spline version of the same hub design with Jeep markings (Part No. SE 2063021). The box label would indicate a likely manufacturing date range from 1983 to 1987:

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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  17. Jul 11, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

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    Following up on the post above, Dave and I continued to search for information on the "red dial" hub:

    [​IMG]


    Dave had previously identified this hub as having been patented by Warn-Belleview in August 1973 (though the patent was filed for in January of 1972). This drawing is from that patent:
    [​IMG]
    We eventually discovered that oddly, although it was designed and patented by Warn, this hub was evidently manufactured by Dualmatic. The photos below are from an eBay listing for an NOS example of a 19-spline version of these hubs that were accompanied by a 1982-dated warranty from Dualmatic (which was at that time part of Wynn Automotive Products, along with Bestop):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    It's possible that Warn initially built and marketed this hub prior to Dualmatic's involvement; but if so, we were unable to find any definitive evidence of that. It is also possible, if unlikely, that Warn built these hubs for Dualmatic.

    If in fact Dualmatic manufactured them, which seems to be the most likely scenario given their warranty of the product, we were unable to determine whether Dualmatic bought the patent from Warn, built the hubs under license from Warn, or had some other arrangement with Warn that allowed them to produce these hubs. Yet another possibility is that Husky Products, then a subsidiary of Dualmatic, was the actual manufacturer of these hubs.

    Another factor lending weight to the probability that Dualmatic (or perhaps Husky) built these hubs is that, as was the case with other hubs Dualmatic produced over the years, versions of this hub design were likewise sold under different private-label brand names. In another eBay listing, an identical hub was identified as "EZ LOCK" brand, which was then further described as "OEM DANA SPICER" (though we've not been able to confirm that this is accurate). The same basic hub design was also sold under the brand name of "BESTLOK":
    [​IMG]
    Dave found the following ad in the July 1972 issue of Fourwheeler Magazine for another private-label version of the same hub, the "Easylok" (which may have been the same brand as the "EZ LOCK" referred to above). The ad's 1972 publication time frame predates Warn's patent of the hub design in '73, so Warn evidently allowed Dualmatic/Husky to start manufacturing them under "Patent Applied For" status:

    [​IMG]

    Dave also further researched the Bestop-Dualmatic connection and found the following information:

    An article from the L.A. Times states that Dualmatic was bought in 1974 by Wynn's. From The Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1974, Page 50:

    "Wynn's Acquisitions Wynn's International Inc., Fullerton, reported it has completed acquisitions for undisclosed cash amounts of Torque Engineering Inc., Northridge; ABC Leathers, South Gate; and Dualmatic Manufacturing Co., Longmont,' Colo."


    According to Moodys, Wynn acquired Bestop in 1981. Moody's Industrial Manual . Wynn then merged Dualmatic with Bestop to form Wynn's Automotive Products in 1982. (see strange lockout hubs)

    Update 3/19:

    Dave Eilers of eWillys.com just received and posted a 1979 brochure on the Easylok. Here's a link to it: 1979 EasyLok Hub Brochure
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    73 cj5, Hellion, Glenn and 1 other person like this.
  18. Sep 21, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Western North...
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    438
    Another couple of Warn hubs for Jeep CJs have surfaced.

    The first is the Warn Model M253C (or 21286), a 5 bolt, 27 spline model designed to fit the 1981-86 CJs (5, 6, 7, and 8):

    [​IMG]


    There was also a later hub produced for the same vehicles, the Warn 28751:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  19. Sep 21, 2018
    pfmg

    pfmg Member

    Billerica Mass
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    258
    Great info, i can share one of my prize possessions, old dealer cutaway hub from Pioneer Garage in Peabody Mass

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    73 cj5, ojgrsoi and maurywhurt like this.
  20. Oct 26, 2018
    maurywhurt

    maurywhurt Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Western North...
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Messages:
    438
    I was inspired by Paul's post, and subsequently found and photographed a set of dealer cutaway displays of both the Warn 3-ring and the later Spring-Lock manual locking hubs, and also found a good photo online of a Lock-O-Matic cutaway. I've just added these photos, along with descriptions, into the second and third posts above.
     

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