Rear Wheel Bearing Advice Wanted

Messages
91
Location
Long Valley, NJ
It seems as though the left rear wheel bearing on my 2006 Toyota Sienna LE AWD minivan is going bad. The low, growling noise volume varies with speed. When the highway makes a long sweeping turn to the left, the noise goes away, and when the turn is to the right, the noise increases. The van has roughly 150,000 miles on it. I am the original owner. I plan to drive the vehicle for at least another 50-100,000 miles. Looking at the selection on Rock Auto, I have quite a few choices with a wide range of prices. They are: Value Pro-$54.79 Pro-$55.79 Moog/National-$129.79 Timken-$130.89 Beck/Arnley-$147.79 SKF-$167.79 Does anyone have any strong feelings (good or bad) about any of these choices? I tend to feel that you get what you pay for, so I am willing to spend the money on the more expensive choices if worthwhile. Then again, I don't want to spend any more than I have to if there is little or no difference between brands. Thanks for your help.
 
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Messages
3,637
Location
Occupied Virginia
You're probably fine with anything other than the first two on the list. All are 'name brands' and trustworthy but nothing's guaranteed. Beck/Arnley will be reboxed from something else.
 
Messages
2,406
Location
Chicago IL USA
Timken or SKF for me, I only like doing the job once. I had a look at one of the "import" brand wheel bearings for my Golf once... it was laughably bad. So much so one of the outboard races and grease seals fell out while I was holding it.
 
Messages
1,154
Location
Richmond, VA
Honestly doesn't matter, but consider the return process through rock auto is a PITA. I had 3 timken hubs notchy out of the box and an SKF bearing with a bad tone wheel. O'Reilly had the parts, better warranties, similar prices, and they got them all next day and locally.
 
Messages
8,051
Location
Michigan
Nix on the cheapies. Timken, SKF, National are all OK. I think they're all made in China now, but going with an experienced name brand bearing manufacturer assures good quality steel and tight control of assembly tolerances. These are key in making good rolling-element bearings.
 

Tzu

Messages
363
Location
near Buffalo, NY
I tried AutoZone's Duralast wheel bearings on my daughter's old Grand Am, and one was bad a year and a half later. I got what I paid for! I've only used Timkin before that and have had good luck with them. I bought 2 Timkins from the store and 1 was made in China, 1 in the US. I asked for another US made bearing, but it made me think "China makes these now too?". If it matters to you, go Timkin US made and you'll be fine for a long time.
Originally Posted By: cb_13
Always used Timken myself. Never been let down so I haven't tried much else.
 
Messages
524
Location
sc/fl
Stay away from the first two unless you're about to sell the vehicle. The best one is the SKF, followed by National and Timken. Timken has had some quality control issues over the last few years. Haven't had much experience with the Beck/Arnley. Just my $.02
 
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Messages
3,431
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: brandini
Honestly doesn't matter, but consider the return process through rock auto is a PITA. I had 3 timken hubs notchy out of the box
As Trav notes in the post below, the Timken hubs were possibly supposed to be that way. I've seen you post this claim in another thread. Did you try contacting Timken or anyone to find out if they were supposed to be that way? I would have started to wonder if that was normal when the second one was the same as the first.
Originally Posted By: Trav
SKF or Timken. National is now Moog and quality has taken a hit. The first 2 are 100% junk the B&A is questionable. One poster complained about the bearing feeling rough right out of the box. This is normal and common not only with SKF or Timken brand. Explained here.. http://www.skf.com/binary/79-62165/TT09_008.pdf
 
Messages
3,431
Location
USA
I was doing some googling and found someone else talking about a rough Timken hub. http://www.amazon.com/review/RTX4TGK22BYDQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000X3ENPW
Quote:
Although sold by Timken, the part is not manufactured in the US. Still, Timken is adding value through manufacturing oversight, so I think the additional cost is worth paying to avoid getting a poorly made un-branded hub. It appears well made, though 100,000 miles of driving is the real test. I worried when I first turned the halves of the hub against each other in my hands and felt roughness - almost like there was a dimple in the race. Upon googling, I found a plausible explanation on a site called Brake Performance: "SKF GHG contains many performance-enhancing additives, some of which are in the form of soft crystalline structures when the grease is new. These crystalline structures can create a rough, coarse feeling when the hub bearing is first turned by hand, before the bearing has experienced significant rotation." To make sure I didn't waste time and money installing a bad bearing, I clamped the hub horizontally in a bench vise and spun it for 2 minutes with the car's spare adding enough momentum to keep it turning against the stiff new seals. Sure enough, the roughness almost disappeared. Maybe in an hour it would be gone entirely.
A month later he added that the bearing was smooth after being installed on the car:
Quote:
The new bearing is utterly silent after installation on the car. I bet if I removed it from the car at this point, it would feel completely smooth.
============ EDIT- And here's another one from Amazon. This person called Timken and they said it was normal. http://www.amazon.com/review/R1QHB3PPQANC1/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B000CL1WH2
Quote:
I bought two of these bearings and they both felt rough straight out of the box as if they have a flat spot in the bearing. I talked to Timken Tech Support and the guy said "due to the internal geometry it doesn't spin freely and will feel rough but once a radial load is applied it will smooth out". So basically once you install it and drive around there will be no issues.
 
Messages
1,431
Location
Missouri
Originally Posted By: Tzu
I tried AutoZone's Duralast wheel bearings on my daughter's old Grand Am, and one was bad a year and a half later. I got what I paid for! I've only used Timkin before that and have had good luck with them. I bought 2 Timkins from the store and 1 was made in China, 1 in the US. I asked for another US made bearing, but it made me think "China makes these now too?". If it matters to you, go Timkin US made and you'll be fine for a long time.
Originally Posted By: cb_13
Always used Timken myself. Never been let down so I haven't tried much else.
I have ran into the U.S. and China made parts situation with Moog. Not sure if they are moving manufacturing to China or just trying to sell two product lines under one name.
 
Messages
1,645
Location
SF Bay Area
I've used & sold a brand called Parts Master. It's made in china (of course). They hold up very well. Allegedly they're made from federal-mogul's china plant. I hate to say it but I've seen more timken bearings coming back vs. the partsmaster.
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
Originally Posted By: EricF
I've used & sold a brand called Parts Master. It's made in china (of course). They hold up very well. Allegedly they're made from federal-mogul's china plant. I hate to say it but I've seen more timken bearings coming back vs. the partsmaster.
I have some Parts Master ball joints on mom's 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. They look like they made a clone of the MOOG part, but they aren't perfect. On one of them, the hole for the cotter pin wasn't drilled through the center of the stud, and I had to use an undersized cotter pin to compensate for that. Hopefully that is all I have to do. That is really sad to see so many Timkin bearings returned. If one company stops building things right, it easily could mean that all replacement parts for one model of car could be horrible.
 
Messages
3,508
Location
Parts Unknown
SKF is a big manufacturer. I have National on my current car up front... iirc, mine were made in Germany. if you need a shop, I usually go to a former Halterman's Toyota master mechanic.... he has his own shop in Montague.
 
Messages
1,154
Location
Richmond, VA
Originally Posted By: Trav
SKF or Timken. National is now Moog and quality has taken a hit. The first 2 are 100% junk the B&A is questionable. One poster complained about the bearing feeling rough right out of the box. This is normal and common not only with SKF or Timken brand. Explained here.. http://www.skf.com/binary/79-62165/TT09_008.pdf
Good to know, someone should tell RockAuto.
 
Messages
1,048
Location
SE Wisconsin
SKF or Timken. I put two Timken wheel bearings on my truck 16 months ago - no problems yet. SKF is probably the better part, but is it $37 better? You have to decide that.
 
Messages
9,614
Location
Pennsylbammyvania
Originally Posted By: A_Harman
Nix on the cheapies. Timken, SKF, National are all OK. I think they're all made in China now, but going with an experienced name brand bearing manufacturer assures good quality steel and tight control of assembly tolerances. These are key in making good rolling-element bearings.
I just put two U.S. made SKF outer rear axle bearings in my car. They may have been older stock, I don't know. I also used their made in Mehico outer axle seals, and everything is fine. smile I just hope I can find their U.S. made carrier and pinion bearings when the time comes to redo the 10 bolt's pumpkin again. wink
 
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