Was I right to change all end seals in bearings in

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the rear end? 98 MGM. Found small leak into the parking brake causing it to fail inspection. Axle Vent was clear and didn't hold vacuum. Anyway I went ahead and changed out EVERYTHING(both sides) with Timken bearings and Motorcraft seals and vlv high performance 80W-90 (the dealership said they use that product if they are low on Motorcraft). When I took the car for re-inspection to the dealer the tech said he would have just changed the bad seal. He said solid axle bearings rarely fail if there is oil(don't really agree). Honestly the bearings looked pretty good, but had very,very slight bluing.. but for $20 a set it wasn't worth to send them back. Axle contact surface looked almost new, that was a good sight!
 
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Originally Posted By: ford46guy
the rear end? 98 MGM. Found small leak into the parking brake causing it to fail inspection. Axle Vent was clear and didn't hold vacuum. Anyway I went ahead and changed out EVERYTHING(both sides) with Timken bearings and Motorcraft seals and vlv high performance 80W-90 (the dealership said they use that product if they are low on Motorcraft). When I took the car for re-inspection to the dealer the tech said he would have just changed the bad seal. He said solid axle bearings rarely fail if there is oil(don't really agree). Honestly the bearings looked pretty good, but had very,very slight bluing.. but for $20 a set it wasn't worth to send them back. Axle contact surface looked almost new, that was a good sight!
20 years ago I'd have done what you did every time- got it apart, fix everything you can reach. But today... my concern would be that the aftermarket bearings might not be NEARLY as good as the originals. So much bearing stuff these days is offshore-made, of questionable tolerance, questionable heat metallurgy, etc. its kinda scary. And I guess I have to pretty much agree with the tech. In all my driving (over 450k miles on one vehicle, 200k+ on two others, 300k on another...) I've never actually had a REAR axle bearing fail. Fronts- a couple of times, but never the rears.
 

ford46guy

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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: ford46guy
the rear end? 98 MGM. Found small leak into the parking brake causing it to fail inspection. Axle Vent was clear and didn't hold vacuum. Anyway I went ahead and changed out EVERYTHING(both sides) with Timken bearings and Motorcraft seals and vlv high performance 80W-90 (the dealership said they use that product if they are low on Motorcraft). When I took the car for re-inspection to the dealer the tech said he would have just changed the bad seal. He said solid axle bearings rarely fail if there is oil(don't really agree). Honestly the bearings looked pretty good, but had very,very slight bluing.. but for $20 a set it wasn't worth to send them back. Axle contact surface looked almost new, that was a good sight!
20 years ago I'd have done what you did every time- got it apart, fix everything you can reach. But today... my concern would be that the aftermarket bearings might not be NEARLY as good as the originals. So much bearing stuff these days is offshore-made, of questionable tolerance, questionable heat metallurgy, etc. its kinda scary. And I guess I have to pretty much agree with the tech. In all my driving (over 450k miles on one vehicle, 200k+ on two others, 300k on another...) I've never actually had a REAR axle bearing fail. Fronts- a couple of times, but never the rears.
There are people though who have rear bearing failures and then the expensive axle is ruined. I don't know if they bearing or axle (or low fluid) is to blame. That is what bothered me. The bearings I got though are made/labeled Koyo, which are really Timken(Koyo bought the brand and plant), which are the Torrington roller Bearings (what the OEM was stamped). The bearings are engraved USA, and I confirmed this with a call. The person I spoke with said what comes off the assembly line in (South Carolina I believe) goes to Timken (and other brand) boxes, GM, Ford, etc factories for those applications. That size bearing also has industrial uses as well.
 
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IF I have to open up the pumpkin, pull the c-clips, and remove axles ANYWAY, why not replace the axle bearings (with new, actually made in USA, SKFs), and replace the c clips with new, OEM GMs or AC Delcos?? It's a lot of labor vs. very little parts cost to not do so. wink
 
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