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BestLok and EasyLok Hubs

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Maury and I have been trying to determine how BestLok and EasyLok hubs are connected and how they are connected to Warn, Husky, and Dualmatic. The short answer is that we don’t quite know yet. But, below is what we do know. (Note, while Husky and Dualmatic are mentioned, it’s not a full history of either hub, histories I do need to address at some point).

In January of 1972, Richard Williams filed a patent, assigned to Warn-Belleview, for a new type of hub. Below is the image of that hub.

1972-patent-image-warn-belleview-patent-easylok

What’s curious is that there’s no documentation that Warn ever sold these hubs.

Even more curious, by July of 1972 this exact hub was produced and sold under the brand EasyLok, as advertised here, in the July issue of Four Wheeler Magazine:

1972-07-easylok-hub-fourwheeler-mag-ad-better

Why these hubs weren’t sold nor branded under any traditional seller of the time is a mystery to us.

Earlier this year, Maury spotted a set of hubs with the Warn patented design that were manufactured in 1982. Maury managed to get ahold of photos that show the hubs were manufactured and warranteed by BestopDualmatic (a joined company formed when Wynn industries combined the companies around 1974).
easylok-hub-dualmatic

easylok-hub-dualmatic2

From here, it only gets more interesting as the same hub was sold (dates unknown) under a different name, Bestlok. A set of NOS Bestlok hubs were sold on eBay. We have no documentation that identifies the company that sold these hubs originally.

bestlock-hubs

If any company was going to make hubs branded with different names, it would have been Dualmatic.

By 1972, Dualmatic was making hubs with its company name on them and making the same hubs for Husky, which sold them under the Selectro brand (along with other brands, perhaps Sears and Allstate being the best known). Here are two examples.

Dualmatic Hub:

dualmatic-hub-9

Same Hub sold by Husky under the Selectro brand (July 1972 Four Wheeler article):
1972-07-husky-selectro-hub-fourwheeler1-lores

1972-07-husky-selectro-hub-fourwheeler2-lores

Meanwhile, Husky even made a set of Husky hubs that were sold under the Allstate brands.

husky-hub-2 husky-hub-allstate

There’s some confusion about how Husky and Dualmatic were connected by then, but both were based out of Longmont and at least one unconfirmed reference by a librarian in Longmont suggested that Dualmatic owned Husky. In 1974, Dualmatic was bought by Wynn Industries and put together with Bestop as BestopDualmatic.

So, the evidence suggests that the Easylok/Bestlok hubs were patented by Warn, then built by Dualmatic and marketed under at least two different brands. As always, this history will likely evolve as we learn more.

A big thanks to Maury for helping work through this history. You can read more from Maury at this link (below his Warn history): http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index.php?threads/a-brief-history-of-early-warn-hubs-for-jeeps.131117/

 

 

 

8 Comments on “BestLok and EasyLok Hubs

  1. Luis

    David, I took a set off I believe a 63 or so CJ5 that an old man gave me for parts, I took the axles off because they were 4.27 ratio for my 3b and the front axle had this exact hubs on it, they worked fine and had the 1/2 turn feature, they appeared original to the Jeep.

  2. Mike P

    Ahhh, no wonder I could not find any details on these hubs since their history is a bit convoluted. Thanks for posting the info!

  3. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks Luis. Interesting the they looked original to the jeep. The earliest indication I’ve found for these hubs is the 1972 patent filing. Hopefully, more information will emerge about these.

  4. Will

    Finally! This is the hub that’s on my 70 cj5. I’ve never been able to figure out what they were. I had been thinking that it was some kind of factory hub, since they look original. But they must have been added a few years later. They still work fine, but the plastic knob part is in rough shape on both of them.

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