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Old 01-16-2020, 07:53 PM   #1
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Wheel Bearings: Timken vs. ????

Bearings have 9,000 miles on them, wheels 12,000 and I want to do a complete change out of the races, bearings etc. Many of this site have recommended Timken, which I used the last time. When I went to etrailer they said they don't carry Timken but will sell a complete wheel set including races, seals etc. I am concerned that the price is low and they may be Chinese manufactured bearings. Comments? Last time I had to purchase the bearings, races, seals in different places and I'd like to avoid this.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:07 PM   #2
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I would be a little concerned with those etrailer assemblies also unless i would know exactly what was in them.

I've really only used Timken or SKF bearings personally. I can't comment on any other brand.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:19 PM   #3
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I bought my Timkens on Amazon in complete sets Bearing/Race at a very reasonable price. For a few extra bucks it gives me piece of mind that I dont have to worry about cheap import parts that could fail in the middle of a vacation.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:58 PM   #4
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I just bought a drum to disc brake conversion kit for my 5th wheel. It came with China bearings. I'm probably going to get Timken's for it as long as they are still made here in the states. Some Timken's are not. And if they ain't made here I'll be looking at National bearings that still should be made here in the states
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelingjw View Post
Bearings have 9,000 miles on them, wheels 12,000 and I want to do a complete change out of the races, bearings etc. Many of this site have recommended Timken, which I used the last time. When I went to etrailer they said they don't carry Timken but will sell a complete wheel set including races, seals etc. I am concerned that the price is low and they may be Chinese manufactured bearings. Comments? Last time I had to purchase the bearings, races, seals in different places and I'd like to avoid this.
Sounds like you have been doing this bearing change out for a while.

I have a few questions.
How often do you replace bearings/races?
How often do you lube? Ez-lube axels W/grease gun?
How often do you remove the bearings, inspect, and hand pack?

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Old 01-17-2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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This is an interesting topic. I am a Timken fan and have a set of US made ones in my spares box. They’re in the spares because the originals looked great last time I did a repack. They’re China made and have delivered over 20k miles. I try to get around to a repack every couple of years and use the ez-lube in between. I priced new brake shoes a couple of years ago to discover a new backing plate with shoes installed was about the same price.
When I need shoes I’ll probably go that route.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelingjw View Post
Bearings have 9,000 miles on them, wheels 12,000 and I want to do a complete change out of the races, bearings etc. Many of this site have recommended Timken, which I used the last time. When I went to etrailer they said they don't carry Timken but will sell a complete wheel set including races, seals etc. I am concerned that the price is low and they may be Chinese manufactured bearings. Comments? Last time I had to purchase the bearings, races, seals in different places and I'd like to avoid this.
I've always got my Timkens from Drive Train America. Very reasonably priced and customer support is great if you have questions or need some assistance in determining which parts you need.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:17 PM   #8
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Go to a large auto parts house to look at bearings, Timkem bearings are made in several places, If not USA, made in mexico is better than made in china
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:58 AM   #9
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When was the last time you packed the wheel bearings on your tow vehicle or car? A repacking of wheel
wheel bearings should last longer than the trailer. Although I am repacking when I replaced the brakes or tires.

I love the hub caps with the grease holes in them. I install the bearings using a good synthetic hub oil like "Lucas" hub oil. Fill to just below the opening 1/8" to 1/4". The hubs will run cooler. You may think what are you saying here "run the bearings like the big trucks do" "yup" that is the way I do it on all my trailers.

Jmho and stop wasting your money
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:10 AM   #10
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There are many good brands of bearings made all over the world and I also would try to avoid Chinese made bearings.

If there is a local bearing distributor they can match something up.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:38 AM   #11
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Timken all the way. American steel, American made for the most part. The Malaysian ones are made to the same specs as the American made.
Tires, Brakes, Axle components are things NEVER to skimp on...they take care of you.
Dad raised me with "take care of your equipment and your equipment will take care of you"
After twenty plus years of Semi's, heavy equipment and then on to the Sheriff's Academy and 17 years counting on my Patrol Car......Dad was right (as usual)
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:39 PM   #12
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To my surprise, the roller cages on the last American made Timkens I installed on a previous TT looked inferior to the no name China brand I replaced. Voids and flash were a concern but they did not fail.

Therefore With our current FW I did not replace the bearings on my first brake check. Rather I cleaned, inspected and repacked only.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:46 AM   #13
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I replace my bearings every 12,000 miles or 3 years of travel. I put in some grease prior to every long trip; I inspect every 6,000 miles. I also hand clean and repack bearings every 6,000. On my TV I replace bearings at 40,000. The time and investment is worth it to me. We are almost 70 and want to assure that when we leave on a trip that the TT is travel worthy. If you've ever had a bearing fail you understand my thinking. On just a TV it takes hours to solve the problem if you are on the road. The last thing I want to be doing is a bearing replacement on the street. I learned about Timken's on this forum.
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:25 PM   #14
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I am retired now but I used to be a Quality Supervisor for the Timken Company. I have seen first hand the poor quality you get from most off-shore brands and I certainly wouldn't trust my rig, and the safety of my family and fellow drivers by using them. I may be biased but there's a reason that Timken has been around for 100+ years. They're the best, no question!
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:20 AM   #15
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On our trailer we tow our Jeep on, I repack/replace at least once a year.
If we have had a couple of long hard and very hot temps while towing, it is more often.
I use a good grease from Amsoil and Timken bearings.

When I first bought the trailer, the second trip, had a bearing failure 100 miles from home.
It messed up the spindle, and we had to cut it off and weld a new one on.
It took two trips to get everything home on that trip.
Dragged the trailer home with just 3 wheels and then went back for the Jeep with the tow bar to drag it home.
We could not drive the Jeep home, and the clutch went out while on the trails.

We also use the tire minder TPMS system on the trailer tires to monitor while running down the road.

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Old 01-29-2020, 01:06 PM   #16
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As a long time mechanic, I agree with the statement that the bearings should outlast the trailer with regular maintenance. The only reason that would warrant replacement other than paranoia would be discolored or grooved rollers or races. That will only happen if you have a lack of or contaminated grease or improperly installed/tightened bearings.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:44 PM   #17
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We put a lot of miles on our trailer, over 12,000 a year on three long trips. We've seen a lot of back-roads America and love it.

Every spring I have the bearings removed, cleaned, inspected and repacked with new parts as needed. I also have the brakes checked. It's well worth the $140 at a trusted facility with skilled, careful mechanics.

With the popup we had previously I repacked the bearings via the EZ lube hub, but have heard too much about voids, seal leaks and brakes, and unnoticed damage.

For the beating our little hybrid takes, I use nothing but the best. I have planned to carry a full set of bearing parts for both wheels and this thread has clearly led me to the Timkin store. : )
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:21 PM   #18
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In the southeast, Motion Industries is a good source and I have found they carry Timken and SKF as well as others. If not in stock at any one dealer, they get them overnight from their Alabama warehouse Bearings and related parts are all they do and I have found them to be helpful and knowledgeable over the years.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:07 PM   #19
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I have to laugh at all this talk about bearings. How often do you change or grease bearings in your car? Every year or only when you change break shoes? Junk yards are full of perfect bearings. A well maintained set of bearings will last a 100,000 miles or more.
Just changed the bearings in my Jeep at 130000 miles.
Yes I pull mine every 2 years to inspect, clean and repack. Do not use bearing buddys cause over greaseing can blow out grease seals.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:06 PM   #20
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I have to laugh at all this talk about bearings. How often do you change or grease bearings in your car? Every year or only when you change break shoes? Junk yards are full of perfect bearings. A well maintained set of bearings will last a 100,000 miles or more.
Just changed the bearings in my Jeep at 130000 miles.
Yes I pull mine every 2 years to inspect, clean and repack. Do not use bearing buddys cause over greaseing can blow out grease seals.
I'm with you to a point. I think about it the same way, how often does one change the bearings in their vehicle. Difference is most modern vehicles have bearing hubs that are maintenance free and last a lot longer because they aren't cheap China bombs like the ones found on these trailers. Sure, there are a lot of people that will never have a China bearing go bad. I always, every year, serviced the bearings on a previous trailer I owned and had one fail. I got lucky and made it home. $300 later I put in Timken's and never looked back. You get what you pay for.

It's funny you mention the 130k mark on your Jeep. I had to replace the front hubs at 80k on my Yukon and just last week finally figured out my 72mph vibration I had. It has 140k on it and time to service the trans, t-case, and diff's. The rear diff cover came off and the gear oil was grey and had a LOT of sparkle to it. Found the right side axle bearing was toast. New bearing, axle shaft, seal(s), and some Amsoil and we are driving vibration free again.
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