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Old 01-15-2019, 08:38 AM   #1
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Timken Bearing Upgrade

Hello all,

I wanted to gather some opinions from the forum. I am looking forward to some spring time maintenance and am considering a Timken bearing upgrade. I currently have Lippert 3500lb axles on a 2018 unit with original OE bearings. Has anyone done an upgrade to Timken bearings on these axles? If so, was it worth the upgrade as opposed to inspecting, repacking and reusing OE bearings? Did you run into any pitfalls or issues during the upgrade? If you performed the upgrade did you also use Timken bearing grease? Also, for those that have done the upgrade on 3500lb Lippert axles, do you have your Timken part numbers for bearings/race kits, seals and grease?

Looking forward to the responses! Thank you for your help!
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by billybigrigger View Post
Hello all,

I wanted to gather some opinions from the forum. I am looking forward to some spring time maintenance and am considering a Timken bearing upgrade. I currently have Lippert 3500lb axles on a 2018 unit with original OE bearings. Has anyone done an upgrade to Timken bearings on these axles? If so, was it worth the upgrade as opposed to inspecting, repacking and reusing OE bearings? Did you run into any pitfalls or issues during the upgrade? If you performed the upgrade did you also use Timken bearing grease? Also, for those that have done the upgrade on 3500lb Lippert axles, do you have your Timken part numbers for bearings/race kits, seals and grease?

Looking forward to the responses! Thank you for your help!

Are the Timkens sealed? If not you still need to inspect/maintain them. Don't understand why you'd do this. I'm on my third trailer and all had/have Dexter axles, no bearing issues to report (knock on wood).
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
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I just removed my chinese bearings on my 3500# Dexter axles and replaced them with US made Timken bearings and seals. Bought them on Amazon.


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I use Mobil 1 bearing grease. I use this to pack my bearings
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I made sure I removed all the old grease even though the Mobil 1 is likely the same base as the previous grease.

I also use a bearing/seal driver to install the races
https://www.harborfreight.com/10-pie...set-63261.html
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jeffnick View Post

Do you even read your own blog?


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I replaced the Chinese bearings in all 4 hubs with American made Timkins.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:53 PM   #5
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Timken Bearing Upgrade

Funny, not made in the USA on one post but the blog states differently!
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:10 PM   #6
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Funny, not made in the USA on one post but the blog states differently!
All the ones I bought on Amazon are made in the USA!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:34 PM   #7
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For those talking replace axle bearings with US made bearings, and specifing Timken, better look real close at the bearings you get. Very, very few small bearings, like your axle bearings, are made in the USA anymore. Even Timken makes many of their tapered roller bearings overseas (China, India) or Mexico especially after Gambrinus was shuttered around ~2012. Further, many of their boxed bearings with "Made in the USA" on them are not. They are assembled in the USA, but not completely made here. The housings/carriers are, but the bearings themselves are made overseas. Only the few still wearing "Timken" and "Made in the USA" on the housing/carrier are made entirely here and the number of those are dwindling.

Rick
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RJHuser View Post
For those talking replace axle bearings with US made bearings, and specifing Timken, better look real close at the bearings you get. Very, very few small bearings, like your axle bearings, are made in the USA anymore. Even Timken makes many of their tapered roller bearings overseas (China, India) or Mexico especially after Gambrinus was shuttered around ~2012. Further, many of their boxed bearings with "Made in the USA" on them are not. They are assembled in the USA, but not completely made here. The housings/carriers are, but the bearings themselves are made overseas. Only the few still wearing "Timken" and "Made in the USA" on the housing/carrier are made entirely here and the number of those are dwindling.

Rick
The ones I bought on Amazon say made in the USA in the housing.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:47 AM   #9
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Timken Bearing Upgrade

Iím really on the fence with this discussion.

I looked into replacing my bearings with Timken. The price of the full set of bearings and races is 2-3x. I donít mind the cost increase for a better product. BUT...

Folks may have their bearings inspected annually (I suspect this is a small fraction of RV owners) or more likely, they will have them replaced every 10k mi or 3-4 years. This is due to the cost of tear down. Logic: while you have it apart, you might as well replace bearings, brakes, etc.

So, I keep thinking if I get better bearings and they may provide more longevity but at some point they will need to be replaced and I wonder what that interval is. 2x life, 3x?

On our previous rig, we put on 45k mi over 7 years and I replaced bearings once. I didnít touch them for the first three years, but repacked them every year thereafter. I did have one failure at 5 years. This makes me think the inexpensive bearings have a life of 3yrs or so.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:59 PM   #10
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On our previous rig, we put on 45k mi over 7 years and I replaced bearings once. I didn’t touch them for the first three years, but repacked them every year thereafter. I did have one failure at 5 years. This makes me think the inexpensive bearings have a life of 3yrs or so.
In all the vehicles and trailers (including 3 boat trailers) I have owned over 50 years, I have only seen one actual bearing failure. That was an MGA I purchased used, where bearings had probably never been touched in the 18 year life (at the time) of the car.

With the boat trailers, and one was a 5K lb sailboat, replacing the bearings every 2 years made sense because of the leakage of salt water into the hub, and bearings were cheap back then.

With the A-frame and pop-up campers we have owned, I see no point in pulling the bearings at less than 3 year intervals unless there is a brake problem. It's still easier to pack a new bearing than it is to clean and repack a bearing, so I tend to replace the bearings if the cost is reasonable. Besides, the common cleaning solvents I used to use are much more difficult to dispose of now. With the relatively light loads on a pop-up, Chinese bearings seem to be just fine, even for 7 years with no attention (when I got lazy).

just my experiences
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