Warn Hubs

As with so many aspects of my CJ2A, I became fascinated with all the various types of hubs and locking hubs that were available. The Warn hubs are probably the best known, and I've been trying to piece together the history from various online sources. Logically, you'd expect to go to the history section of Warn's website and find everything spelled out for you. However, in Warn's case it didn't help that much:

COMPANY MILESTONES (From the Warn website)  

1948 Arthur Warn invents the Locking Hub in Seattle, Washington

The first patent I found for Warn Locking Hubs was for 1956. I would guess they meant free wheeling hubs, but that doesn't explain the next entry.

1954 Warn locking hubs are offered as optional factory equipment by major domestic automotive manufacturers

No clue.

1956 Warn invents locking hub with both free and lock selections

Would guess these were Warn Locking Hubs. See below.

1959 Warn diversifies product with the introduction of the Warn electric winch, as well as an automatic hublock

Most likely the Warn Lock-O-Matic. See below.

Even though they aren't directly mentioned on the Warn website, the first hubs produced by Warn were free wheeling. If you wanted to switch from 2wd to 4 wd you had to swap the Warn "Hub Caps" with the original production hubs. Herm the Overdrive Guy has a NOS set that he has posted pictures of:

Unfortunately, I can't find a Patent to help nail down the date they might have been available. If you assume the Warn website meant free wheeling versus locking hubs in 1948, that would mean these were the only hubs available at the time many of our CJ2A's were produced. That's a stretch until more info becomes available. I'll post any info I come across later. Patent number anyone?

The next hubs Warn appeared to produce were their Locking Hubs. These appear to have come in a number of different variations. I'll add more pictures later, but here is a good parts breakdown:


Warn Patent 2,684,140

July 20, 1954

Appear to be Warn Locking Hubs



It appears the next hub Warn produced was the Lock-O-Matic. The Lock-O-Matic was described in a catalog as engaging and disengaging the front wheels automatically depending upon the type of drive the vehicle is being operated in. The dash stickers support this. I've also enclosed some Warn catalog ads I found online:


Warn Patent 2,884, 101

April 28, 1959

Appear to be Warn Lock-O-Matic Hubs


Obviously, there were later versions, but I haven't gotten that far yet. More to follow.