Sealed car & truck wheel bearings

You must be purchasing some pretty poor quality bearings. I’ve gotten well over 200,000 miles on mine before replacement.

I’m still not sure how we all know they aren’t made to last long. Maybe this is correct for cheap ones.
Longevity is directly related to manufacturing precision.
Recently, I came across a video called The Science of Roundness which I think may have some relevance when it comes to describing the precision required for good bearing wear and longevity.

 
The term programed failure is what is happening. Some have said that people would not take the time to repack or grease them. that is their choice. Every one has the right to be complacent or stupid. I myself have great respect for my wallet.
Whats the difference between programmed failure and under designed?
 
I'm not going to tell you not to do it, it's not my vehicle. With that said, the chances of you gaining access to the bearing without introducing contamination is next to impossible. I have replaced a few failed hub assemblies but who knows how and what they were used for. One I know for sure had been driven through standing water and spent it's life in cow s**t. We have a Taurus that is nearing 400k miles on original front hubs and they're tight and not making any noise. I have one just starting to growl a little in my Tercel with 251k miles.

In the long run the trouble and mess you are going to go through won't pay off. Timken is the most expensive option for my Tercel on Rockauto at $38.79. If my math is right the cost of that bearing over the life of the car is $0.00016 per mile if I were to change it right now. Yeah I'm just gonna change it and forget it.
 
What maintenance does a passenger car wheel bearing need? I've never done anything to my bearings, and never have they needed replacement or attention. I am, however, old enough to remember when repacking a bearing was a maintenance item, but that was ages ago.
You repack the bearings of older cars because they were a different design. Inner and outer tapered bearings over a spindle secured by a removable hub attached to the brake drum or disc. When cars started to use front wheel drive, a drive axle had to connect to the front wheels so the spindle was redesigned for that and a one piece sealed hub and bearing was created with a hollow center section to which an axle could attach to. I supposed they could have designed that with bearings that could be serviced, but it would probably have to be much bigger and more expensive to make.
 
I’ve replaced rear wheel bearings on a 2010 Acura TSX with 230,000 miles and on front bearings a 2006 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 at 101,000 miles … in the past 5 years.
 
Whats the difference between programmed failure and under designed?
Programed failure simply means the part was designed a certain way so as it life expectancy is only good for a pre determined number of miles. You are right in saying, under designed. It was designed to fail on purpose after a certain amount of usage. sooner than later. Another perfect example of progromed failure is our beautiful new refrigerators. The life expectancy is now between 7 & 8 years. When products should be getting better the opposite is happening. We are being fleeced. Screwed or what ever else you want to call it. Yes I will do all I can to help others that want to be helped. If you know of a way to extend the life of a product, by all means share the knowledge. Are we learning from china? How sad.
 
Yeah, I kinda think the attempt to do this introduces more risk than it’s worth. *i tried this years ago on a failing clutch cable* and it very quickly made it worse. Off roading the Subaru (yes) got some water in the cable. I used a needle fitting on the grease gun to get me inside and allow me to force grease into the thing. It was a disaster in one week and I spent the $112 (1999 prices) for a new cable.

i have had sealed wheel bearings go bad, but my use preceded them. Towing heavy in endless mountains, the front hubs got so hot that the grease leaked out of them (never faded the brakes, but a witness told me my brakes were smoking for miles). But they didn’t fail for the rest of the time I had in that truck. one of the rear bearings was destroyed in that trip (also sealed bearing). The axle was so hot, you could feel the heat coming off of it simply walking by it in shorts. I have no idea the axle temp, but it starting making noise within days, that eventually ended up getting so very bad, and then replaced.
 
You repack the bearings of older cars because they were a different design. Inner and outer tapered bearings over a spindle secured by a removable hub attached to the brake drum or disc. When cars started to use front wheel drive, a drive axle had to connect to the front wheels so the spindle was redesigned for that and a one piece sealed hub and bearing was created with a hollow center section to which an axle could attach to. I supposed they could have designed that with bearings that could be serviced, but it would probably have to be much bigger and more expensive to make.
If only the old style could be reintroduced what a wonderful thought.
 
Whatever the cause the GM trucks, especially the HD's have a tendency for early failure. My 2005 had both replaced at 85k and then one of those SKF replacements at 105K. Strictly anecdotal but I helped quite a few friends replace units on their GM trucks also.
Same with Ford trucks, especially 4x4. Ive done several for people with GM SUVs too. Cars they seem to last forever if they don't hit curbs or anything. I think they are just not forgiving to any abuse. If I don't offroad they last much longer in my truck. Never seems like running dry is the issue. My BMW was over 200k when I sold it and sealed hubs were one of the few things I never had to fix.
 
You are right but only if the have enough grease. Some vehicles get 100,000 miles or more. Most fail between 50,000 & 75,000 mi.
How many hubs have you torn down that you can say with 100% certainty failed because lack of lubrication(ie. not enough grease as you claim or lack of grease)? You have a solution in search of a problem where I'm not convinced one exists. Reading back through this thread I'm not sure that any of us who have replaced one could say that either of the scenarios above were 100% to blame.
 
I got 160,000km off the factory unit bearings on my Trailblazer. I'm running GM, assuming OE replacements currently. Made in USA and ordered in from the dealer. Not cheap at all and ensuring I can get non commy made parts in the future is tough and expensive up here. If I pop out the ABS sensor I can use a needle to inject some grease down there. Thats the plan when I can get around to it.
 
How many hubs have you torn down that you can say with 100% certainty failed because lack of lubrication(ie. not enough grease as you claim or lack of grease)? You have a solution in search of a problem where I'm not convinced one exists. Reading back through this thread I'm not sure that any of us who have replaced one could say that either of the scenarios above were 100% to blame.
why do you think the mfgrs. seal the hub so tight that it is impossible to get inside to clean & re grease them? If you are happy with them go for it & buy them. The next thing you know they will be sealing the engines in our cars so that you cant change the oil. Im pretty sure that of all the wheel bearing failures that occur, most could have been prevented for a lot of added miles. How do you prevent a problem if you cant address it properly.
 
why do you think the mfgrs. seal the hub so tight that it is impossible to get inside to clean & re grease them? If you are happy with them go for it & buy them. The next thing you know they will be sealing the engines in our cars so that you cant change the oil. Im pretty sure that of all the wheel bearing failures that occur, most could have been prevented for a lot of added miles. How do you prevent a problem if you cant address it properly.
They’re not sealing them to make it impossible to clean and regrease them. They’re sealing them to keep contamination out.

Fantastic troll thread though. Best one I’ve seen in a while.
 
I think you will do more harm than good. I don't see much way to drill into the hub, with a large enough hole, and not introduce metal drilling chips.
Use a magnetic drill bit & blow air on it at the same time. You have to drill through the thin cover. The main body is heat treated because the race is ground into the casting & it has to be hard. A small hole is all that is needed . Using a hollow needle with zerk fitting attached pump in a small amount. Dont overfill with to much grease, most of todays wheel hubs use lithium #2 grease. An aluminum complex grease is my choice & it is compatible with lithum. The hubs on my truck are over $200.00 Plus labor. I have 88,000 miles on them and plan on keeping it a long time. I know several people who did not get that much so what do I have to loose?
 
You repack the bearings of older cars because they were a different design. Inner and outer tapered bearings over a spindle secured by a removable hub attached to the brake drum or disc. When cars started to use front wheel drive, a drive axle had to connect to the front wheels so the spindle was redesigned for that and a one piece sealed hub and bearing was created with a hollow center section to which an axle could attach to. I supposed they could have designed that with bearings that could be serviced, but it would probably have to be much bigger and more expensive to make.
The old style bearings the could be serviced were cheaper to make & lasted a very long time when properly maintained. The manufacturers are smiling at their new found endless stream of customers. I myself will be one of them some day but, that day is a long way off. I knew that my head was good for something other than a hat rack.
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The old style bearings the could be serviced were cheaper to make & lasted a very long time when properly maintained. The manufacturers are smiling at their new found endless stream of customers. I myself will be one of them some day but, that day is a long way off. I knew that my head was good for something other than a hat rack.
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Not sure why the rant. I have done numerous bearing jobs over the years. I don't miss repacking bearings with every brake job. I have a press for pressing in new bearing races, not everyone does, plus its a pain.

Most of the bearing units i have done have been well in excess of 100k except for a truck that prior to me owning it, was driven in salt water.

Having done both , I'll take sealed bearings every day of the week.
 
They’re not sealing them to make it impossible to clean and regrease them. They’re sealing them to keep contamination out.

Fantastic troll thread though. Best one I’ve seen in a while.
Do you really believe that making it impossible to do proper maintenance is the premise on which they made that design? I cant believe that they would go to that extent to protect a product that they see as replaceable. Grease, oil they ware out. Why then did they not put a zerk fitting on the part to extend it's life? certainly there is no contamination in the grease, especially when so much care was taken to keep contaminants out. Good grief how stupid do they think we are?
 
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