Wheel bearing brands for Camry

Messages
2,881
Location
NYC
So my Camry needs rear wheel bearings (bolt in hub style)
Ones noisy due to a fender bender back in February, the other because at 172k I might as well do both :unsure:
Fronts were replaced (press in) at 100k for a light howl at highway speeds
I swear here in NYC, you hit a pothole or expansion joint just right, it'll be noisy by the time you get to your destination🤯
OEM From Toyota (branded Koyo) is $400+, and that's too much for a car at this point in it's life
Anyone have experience with BCA Bearings by NTN?
Looking at the pictures, they are a spitting image of the OEM ones (down to the Koyo stamping on the integral ABS sensor)
At $132 each, that's a big improvement over $400
I'd have no problem paying that, If the quality is there
OTOH, I know NSK is a well known brand, at $72 each
SKF is more expensive ($140+)
Mevotech/Timken/Centric I've heard questionable things about ($60-$90)
Oddly, there's no aftermarket supplier for Koyo, yet they have a catalog
I saw them on eBay, but I have concerns, I've gotten a few knockoffs in my time

What say you?

-Mike
 
Messages
7,432
Location
Roanoke Virginia
I used to be all for Timken, then my Camry went through a few sets in a few months time and I said never again. I’d go SKF they are really good from the few times I’ve used them. At work we just get the cheapest ones from the parts store and they don’t last very long so make sure you get good ones. For the last set on my Camry I just got the whole hub and knuckle assembly because I got tired of pressing them in and out but they were front bearings.
 

JRed

Site Donor 2021
Messages
2,513
Location
Virginia
The BCA bearing I put on a while back was made in Japan and probably one of the best looking/feeling replacement hub assemblies I've ever put on and it was a very reasonable price. My local Federated Auto Parts stopped selling Timken and sells BCA in their place.
 
Messages
8,786
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Yo, AutoMechanic: You said, "At work we just get the cheapest ones from the parts store and they don’t last very long..."

Does this mean you work at a crappy shop? ...or are you just catering to cheap customers?
Seriously...known cheap parts? I'm shocked, shocked.
 

michaelluscher

Thread starter
Messages
2,881
Location
NYC
BCA it is then
Ironically, my sister's Taurus needs front wheel bearings (bolt in style) so I'll pick those up from them too
$40 each, much easier to stomach
$370 total 💲💲💲💵
Glad I do my own labor o_O
 
Messages
41
Location
Athens, AL
Well. I was all prepared to come and tell you Timken hands down but I see some lesser opinions and now I’m questioning. I’ve had good luck with Timken but maybe I haven’t done enough research. I’ve only replaced one on my trailblazer but it’s only been 1,000 miles since replacing.
 
Messages
7,432
Location
Roanoke Virginia
Yo, AutoMechanic: You said, "At work we just get the cheapest ones from the parts store and they don’t last very long..."

Does this mean you work at a crappy shop? ...or are you just catering to cheap customers?
Seriously...known cheap parts? I'm shocked, shocked.
Have to cater to customers mainly. We do make it clear on somethings that we will use OEM only like thermostats and a few sensors. Anything else is aftermarket pretty much and it comes from the parts store because it’s available, our customers won’t wait either they don’t want to pay and won’t wait.
 
Messages
26,361
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Well. I was all prepared to come and tell you Timken hands down but I see some lesser opinions and now I’m questioning. I’ve had good luck with Timken but maybe I haven’t done enough research. I’ve only replaced one on my trailblazer but it’s only been 1,000 miles since replacing.
For a domestic vehicle eg GM pickup Timken is still a good bet, most will most likely be made in the USA and high quality. Where Timken falls down in when it comes to imports, some may be first quality replacements rebranded but they may also be cheap Chicom white box crap.
They only way I would buy Timken for an import is if I can physically look at it and the bearings not just what is on the box if anything.

National was another very good bearing but when the parent company of Moog bought them and exhausted existing stock they started reboxing cheap crap. This is one example of a Timken rebox, okay it is a FAG made in China, that is okay. Schaeffler opened a huge manufacturing plant in China to serve the OE German car plants like VW, BMW, etc. the quality is in every way the same.
On the other side of this coin you may get one with nothing on the bearing or hub which is indicative of a cheap white box part.

fag.jpg



 
Messages
568
Location
Canada
Last time I bought a Timken for a Toyota, it was a reboxed Koyo so that didn't seem that bad. Kind of surprised to hear that Timken and National have been going downhill...these used to be once great companies. SKF seems to be consistently top notch, but they are also usually the most expensive.
 

michaelluscher

Thread starter
Messages
2,881
Location
NYC
Well, they showed up (next day shipping for $11)(y)
And I'm not happy (what else is new):rolleyes:
One is a Japanese appearing Koyo part (turns out the part number is the ABS sensor, not the bearing)
Excellent finish, feels and looks the part
The other is a NSK part :mad:
The NSK one is much rougher finished, and doesn't spin as smooth, almost feels like it's got a bump in it brand new
Now it wouldn't burn me up so much if I didn't know that I can get a NSK boxed NSK part for 1/2 the price
Now the good Koyo brand one is for my noisy L/S, the other would be merely a preventive replacement
But at 172k, I'd have preferred to do them both
I'm honestly tempted to just change the noisy one with the good part, and send the questionable one back and wait for the other side to fail before replacement
Or, rebuy an NSK one and save $70 or so
What a baffling ordeal, I swear half the battle fixing my cars these days is getting decent parts
I've attached pictures

Slightly OT, the front bearings for the Taurus were stamped NTN USA and seemed very high quality, excellent finish and turned real smooth
I give up 😭

Edit, I've looked at some pictures of different brands on different websites, some show remnants of the Koyo JAPAN stamp, and some look exactly like the good one

Since I'm not doing the job tomorrow, I might order several brands from several different places, and we'll play musical parts COO, maybe I'll get another Koyo part boxed up by someone else

SKF and Timken are looking promising

...I want off this ride 😭😭😭
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Messages
18,280
Location
Silicon Valley
I'd just fix it with the Koyo side and ignore the preventive maintenance (there is no such thing on wheel bearing). You might be trading a good OEM one on the car for a bad one, pick the devil you know.
 
Messages
511
Location
SW Missouri
I’m a Timken guy personally. Never had an issue. I install Timken bearings at work that cost thousands of dollars and can’t recall ever having a failure that was directly the fault of the bearing. I use them for anything from hub assemblies to trailer wheel bearings.
 
Messages
1,396
You really have to be careful with some of these brands: I find them all to be so cyclical in their production/business models. They change and they can change quick depending on their business goals for the year.

I have used Koyo and I wasn’t sure if they were OE, but apparently they are, and they were by far the best when I owned a Lexus. When I owned a Lexus I tried Beck Arnley and it’s only lasted me 7,000 miles - I couldn’t believe it! So, I ended up buying a Koyo and didn’t have a single issue with it for the life of that car. Beck Arnley sent me a replacement bearing...never even used it...still have it sitting in my desk (I should probably put it on eBay).

My advice: buy something with a warranty, whether that’s from a local parts store that accepts returns and covers warranty without issue, or through Amazon (free shipping and most companies do good with their customer service on Amazon).
 
Messages
35
Installed a Timkin on a minivan that lasted less than 1 year.... Annoying to have to redo the job.

Went with an SKF for the replacement, and that one has been providing years of service already... From now on I am sticking with SKF. I believe they are the OE supplier for a lot of manufacturers.
 
Messages
7,595
Location
California
Last time I bought a Timken for a Toyota, it was a reboxed Koyo so that didn't seem that bad. Kind of surprised to hear that Timken and National have been going downhill...these used to be once great companies. SKF seems to be consistently top notch, but they are also usually the most expensive.
Ditto. Except the one I got from Amazon was notchy. Two Uber rides, a trip to the local parts store and a Taco Bell run later I got another Timken that felt OK.

The Timken roller bearings I used on a friend’s Explorer were French. Better than the chicom Nationals that turned blue in a matter of two years.
 
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