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Old 06-30-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
turpentyne
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front wheel bearing preference?

We're going to replace the front wheel bearings (disk drums) on our '71 C10. Might as well, since we've got everything apart, but I'm not sure which I should go with. I've always gotten Timken, but maybe there's better. Besides this is a project with pops, and he prefers "made in USA." Timken haven't been made here in 15-20 years.

Looking on Rock Auto, I see SKF is the highest price on front bearings. Timken's there, National, Centric and Beck/Arnley.

I don't really know any of those brands, let alone where they're from or what their quality is.

Any thoughts?

By the way... I hope everything's gonna match up right. decades ago, dad put on the rotors off a '73 Buick/Olds or something. He said the rotor numbers match, but ya never know. Not the best of stamps, but it looks like we've got "3963996" along with "1 215" and "GM 93" and a few other stamps.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:33 PM   #2
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Only use Timken or SKF.

Timken actually makes their own "bearing quality" steel.

I worked for John Deere for 13 years in technical procurement. My degree is mechanical engineering. Bearings were critical for us and we tested the heck out of them.

For taper roller bearings Timken is the best.

For wheel bearings I consider them equal. I used SKF for my front wheel bearings last September. The Timkens were not available on the short notice I needed them.

In your case I would go with the Timkens and save the money.

Terry
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:02 AM   #3
RustyPile
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Timken is the undisputed choice for me.. I did a full brake job earlier this year on my '71.. New rotors, drums, shoes, pads, bearings, seals, calipers, rear wheel cylinders, and all 3 rubber brake hoses, and some "pre-flanged" brake lines to replace some rusty ones. I bought locally from a "Mom & Pop' owned parts store.. They had everything on my list in stock. I came home with new rotors, (Mine were too thin.. Check yours for thickness).. Don't forget new seals and a good quality hi-temp bearing grease. I did all that work in one day.. No waiting on the big brown truck to bring the stuff to me..
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Old 07-01-2019, 02:53 AM   #4
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Just replaced front wheel bearings on my truck with Timkens from amazon. They were marked "USA." I have also ordered Timkens from rock auto and they have all had "USA" on them. Great bearings!
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Old 07-01-2019, 03:04 AM   #5
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Timken...
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:36 PM   #6
turpentyne
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Got Timken bearings from Rockauto.

The inner bearings are made in U.S.
The outer bearings... France. Totally out of left field! I was expecting US, Japan or China.
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Old 07-10-2019, 07:17 PM   #7
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Timken has a lot of manufacturing in the United States. But they have been global a long time.

In the 1920's they purchased a major part of the bearing division of Vickers which had plants in England and France.
Up until that time all of the bearing technology from Vickers was already licensed from Timken.
In the end of the 1950's Timken bought out the rest of the Vickers bearing division and those plants became wholly owned by Timken.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

I bought wheel bearings from the Chevy dealer 30 years ago that said "Made in Japan". That blew my mind. That was back when we were giving it all to Japan. Now they've moved on to China.

In the early '80s I needed a caliper for my '71 K/20. The crossover book showed full-size Pontiac from these years as the same and that's what I pulled one off of in the junk yard
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Timken bearings get my vote, there is a reason we put them in almost every propshaft and halfshaft we sell for new vehicles.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:19 PM   #10
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

When i was a owner/operator i hauled for timken. There quality control was excellent. They checked every bar of steel b4 unloading it........... It took several hours.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:03 AM   #11
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Does anyone have a part number for the timkens, outer and inners? I hate relying on the monkeys at the part store if I don't have to.

I'm switching to 73-87 drop spindles on my '71 c-10,. Not sure if that matters. I did get new 73-87 balljoints for those who will chime in,thanks.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:34 AM   #12
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Cbo,

Don't think you can get them at the parts stores anyway.

Believe you will have to get them at on Amazon or RockAuto.

Fyi - on of the two brothers that own RockAuto is a engineer who graduated from Michigan, one of the very best engineering schools in the country.
Plus they have other engineers who work for them in procurement, supply chain. That is probably why they carry Timken front wheel bearings as one of their options. Quality.

Plus both brothers are car nuts who have restored vintage cars.
Researched them before I bought my leaf springs from them - big investment.

Terry
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

A clarification.

You probably can special order the Timkens from some parts stores, like Napa.
But to get the correct Timken part numbers, if you don't trust the people at the auto parts stores, I recommend you use RockAuto. They have a great easy to use website. No, I don't own stock. LOL.

Some other members posted to your thread that they got theirs form RockAuto, and it looks like they were the correct Timken part numbers.

But RockAuto should be less expensive, even with the shipping cost.

Terry
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #14
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

I won't use anything but Timken bearings.

Gary
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:51 PM   #15
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Are 67-72 timkens the same as 73-87s? I find the rockauto website kinda hard to navigate,honestly.

Also,what is the difference between the regular and "heavy-duty brake" version?

Last edited by Cbo; 08-14-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:00 PM   #16
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Holy Cow, Batman! The Timken website is impressive, inspiring faith in their product.

http://www.timken.com/engineering-tools/
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:19 PM   #17
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

if you can identify the bearing numbers you need, might try local bearing houses for better pricing..

kaman, applied industrial technologies (formerly king bearing), motion industries, even places like mcmaster carr, grainger etc.

good luck!
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:04 AM   #18
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Re: front wheel bearing preference?

Last set of Timkens I put in the front the outers went bad after 12 years. Please keep in mind I am not re-packing my bearings every 6 months or 6k miles either.

Its alot of work.
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