My Front 4wd Locking  Hubs  are bad.         
My locking hub caps are stuck, or my locking hubs don't lock or unlock.  My 4wd Test page.
My Hubs are clicking.  ( well? ; remove them, and drive and see if they stop clicking, bingo bad lockers. )

Suzuki Sidekick's 1989-2000  ( or Geo Trackers)  I will use the Sidekick/Tracker name interchangeably.
No Samurai  data here  ! This page does not cover any after market (non-OEM) hubs.
This is a 15,000 mile service point and more often, if you ford streams or drive in rain with bad seals in the hub (gasket and o-ring).

Quick Index:  JUMP/GO  LIST:     See my dedicated front wheel bearing page, here.

The spring side, on mine, I took the cap assembly with knob and spring , set it to lock, and then cleaned it in solvent, then blasted it with walnut media. and greased it.   (a no dismantle, trick)
The manual hubs all work if cleaned (no rust), and greased, if in Siberia , there are special lubes, I just use marine rated grease, for best water proofing.

NOISE? from the front end.?
( I hear a noise , & feel looseness, shaking ,or screeching , noise , clicking , any noises, just remove the locking hub caps and drive.)
Try 2wd, 4H and 4L, all 4wd modes,  to isolate noise. and lightly applied brakes can stop  bad wheel bearing noise.

See this drawing this is worst case on any Sidekick front end axles ends.  The below shows both old style and new style bearing locks. GM/GEO.
ID 36/39 (old style) and  37/40 found only on  GM GEO trackers and only 97-98 !
Part 29 is 2WD , manual hubs is ID 18

  < Click me to zoom 

MANUAL Locking HUBS                

BEGIN:   A VIDEO on manual lockers ?
If the wheels still have the plastic cubs covering the hub sides, then the wheel needs to come off.
Remove the  6 inner hex head bolts, shown below.

With a center punch mark the rotor, main hub, locking hub base at the free mark.
I do this so all things go back , to the same spot.  No guessing and faster.
Photo 1:  A 96 Tracker.


Fast Emergency Service:
  • Inspect, clean and lube just the locking part ( Fast service)
  • For faster service in a hurry , stuck off-road?
  • Pull just the out side cap off the manual hub with the 6 "Allen" hex socket screws.
  • Pull the cap outward. in the Unlocked position.  (do not force it, if stuck)
  • If it don't come then you need to pull the whole hub and then pound out the lockers from the inside. (rust happens)
  • If it does come off , then wire brush the dogs, clean it and lightly grease it and put it back where you found it.
  • Bingo, back in action.  Check for smooth action , turning the knob, if not , do it again.

Best practice , is  to not take the spring side apart. Just remove and separated the 3 parts on the right and clean them, do not attack (dissemble) hub cap/springs unless necessary!
My hub cap dial has an O-ring inside, and hard to find.
See all the hub pieces below:
I cleaned them all with paint thinner.(safe)  (a non caustic hot tank works better , these parts are aluminum )
I wire brushed the hub cap dogs (top right)  using a rotary wire brush, in a drill motor. (found light rust )
The Snap ring is easy on this hub, to remove. (top center top)
The design is such , it can't go back together wrong. (main hub/base)  But I do have the FREE index marked, onto the main body.
Do not fill them full of grease, only brush on. Filling them invites brake failure.
Use Extreme greases if need be: HERE:
The spline on the axle ends,  must not be rusted , clean them and lube them.

96 Tracker , actual photos.
Photo 2:

Hub cap greased with Marine GP grease.  (back side)
Photo 3:

Back side of Locking Hub base, greased with a brush all parts inside.
Next is Front side below:
Photo 4:

Front of hub cap (manual locker) greased and ready.
Install gasket  and assemble the complete hub as a unit, using the cap bolts and gasket.
The bottom inside of below Cap dog (unlocked view) is a pit,  brush on grease ,here , too.
Put extra grease at where the spring hits cap knob , which blocks moisture. (cross fingers)
Photo 5:

The LOCKING HUB is now 100% back together.  

Mount the locker Hub to the same index mark previously stamped on the main bearing hub ( Free label to center punch mark)
ON All bolts, I used anti-seize lube.  (except the 4mm tiny ring lock screws which get Loctite(tm))
When this is done, the job will look like photo 5 above.
Tighten all bolts and screws to spec.  
Drive 2 miles or so,  and do a panic stop and re-torque the WHEEL LUG BOLTS ! 
Your ready to WHEEL.


Some people use radial different greases or oils ,these people living  in extremely cold elements.
GM calls out there special grease, Suzuki calls for poor grade lithium grease , I ignore both.
The above grease marine grease  is rated to -40F per ASTM spec. If your hub is cleaned and lubed you should not have any problems.
Almost all fails (common) are due to lack of maintenance , not grease type.


For O-rings on locking axle hubs , look here.
Suzuki still sells the the parts.

Locking hub GREASES !  "Lockers"
Do not pack the wheel bearing hub 100% nor the locker (any section ) full of grease, grease expands when it gets hot and will hit the brake pads and (BAD HAPPENS!)
Do just brush it on.  Do read the page 3C8 in the FSM for what it needs, it states, GM 1052750 grease for lockers.  (hard to find that grease)

Do not use in the OLD STYLE Cheap Disc brake, rated wheel bearings grease, in the Locker unless the spec. shows ASTM D4693
If the dogs in the locker are all rusty? , no grease works, (duh?) clean off all rust FIRST !

Grease for locking hubs: (if you drive ,where it gets real extra cold, say below 0F  zero degrees F?)
The best grease is low temperature operation and waterproof for the hub.
The manual lockers , the dial rim likes to leak water into said locker,  its a weakness.
I use a marine light GP grease and works perfect. (some just use cheap lithium GP door latch grease)
Autolockers will take even more magic to keep working and even more very cold, I don't like them.

Meeting cold spec of ASTM D4693 ("-40C and -40F" not a typo!) and 15 Nm or less drag. Read the spec, it's real.
Note the 15Nm. = 132 inch/lbs or 11 ft/lbs drag. (worst case !, its way LESS at 0F)

Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease (passes D4693 low temp spec)       
Find it at Amazon.<<< I recommend this, as its OTC , that is over the counter.

Pennzoil red grease 707L     Find it here.

AMZOIL synthetic Multi-Purpose Grease, NLGI #0 (GLA)

For the totally Anal retentive? or perfectionists? (0.5Nm drag , wow !) starting drag, (turn the locker dial and it turns at -54c?)
Mobil Aviation Grease SHC 100
Mobilgrease 33

Low Temp. Torque at -54C (-65F), Nm (g-cm)
ASTM D 1478

Not so great, a  dry lube , when water gets inside, but you have to do what you must.  (more service in the extreme climates)
If in Siberia, do not use grease at all in the hub, use E&L DRY SPRAY on lube.  Ask any gun store for this. they know !

Real Mercury  thermometers freezes at -
37.89 F so, when that happens, you need a special grease. or dry lube.

If you don't ford steams and service the hubs each fall,  you can use any cheap spray or light lithium grease .
CRC makes that and is sold in Walfart.  YMMV or Your Climate Can Vary.... YCCV?

Swaps.   AUTO < >  MANUAL HUBS.
You can just swap locking and automatic hubs all you want , but on GM/GEO Tracker 97 and 98 , it takes GM kit.  (has the funny lock rings holding bearings on)
See here the kit  for making up your own 97+ tracker bearing lock nut down grade kit , if you hubs interfere with these hub parts.
Or you just hate the GM way.


Next 98 CAMI built Sidekick Sport or The ones that came on the '95 JDM Escudo    (By EZZIE )
Style 2 Auto 1
                         Style 2 Auto 2
Style 2 Auto  3

Style 2 are so much easier to clean than Style 1.

Timken , Loctite, NAPA are all private companies and are not associated with me or am I paid to recommend their products.
This document is just a journal of my repairs . Nothing more or less.

rev 11  , 1-27-11 t