Yesterday, I jumped in bowtie6 and went for a drive when not far from home I heard the classic rumble that comes from a bad wheel bearing. On the way back home, the rumble developed a slight thumping.
I’m like, wtf? 😯 This is the second bad wheel bearing! Back in April 2012, I posted an article describing the Rear Wheel Bearing Replacement.
So with my cousin Jim’s help, we pulled both rear axles from the housing and inspected their bearings. Passenger’s side was normal; but the driver’s side bearing was very rough, as expected.
Jim busted the bearing using the same technique I described in the article from last time and sure enough, this is when we discovered the bearing’s race nicely pitted.
The majority of the race was in decent shape, except for the big round pit shown in the picture above. The ball bearings were not smooth and showed slight pitting with a very dull finish. Jim explained this is normal when particles from a bearing start to shear off and make a mush of themselves.
This picture above shows three of the worse ball bearings – sorry for the picture quality – and as you can see they are rather dull-looking. The crack on the race was caused by us when we took the thing apart.
And of course, this is crappy Chinese-made stuff. Jim has gone through 3 rear bearings on his TR4 and this is the second failure on bowtie6. Unfortunately, it appears these wheel bearings are no longer made in the USA and as expected, this is yet another example of poorly made products from China. Jim explained this is bad quality steel on the race and/or the ball bearings and that once the surface starts to peel, it is only a matter of time before failure.
I ran a few queries on Google today and found versions of this type wheel bearing made in Japan. From what I have read on some forums, the Japanese versions are of a higher quality. Needless to say, I’ll be ordering some soon. However if you know where I could find these bearings made in the USA, please let me know.