[Healeys] Existential Question on Bearings

Oudesluys coudesluijs at chello.nl
Thu Aug 10 13:31:32 MDT 2017

If the bearings show no wear there is no need to replace them. Wheel 
bearings, if adjusted and lubricated properly, seldom wear out.

Chinese/Indian etc. bearing manufacturers can produce bearings to the 
highest standards. However the problem is the cheap US, Japanese, 
European and Chinese brands want bearings at the lowest price possible 
and buy in cheap Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese etc. products that can be 
very good or awful because of a lacking quality control.

Brands like SKF, FAG, NSK, Timken etc. probably have bearings made in 
China too but to their own specifications and with their own quality 
control. These are just as good as those made in any country.
SKF possibly produces the best bearings of them all.

Kees Oudesluijs

Op 10-8-2017 om 19:24 schreef Bob Spidell:
> We've all probably lost a few of ours due to the state of the world, 
> but I'm referring to the important ones; i.e. wheel bearings, hub 
> bearings, gearbox bearings, etc.   I'm fixing to clean, inspect and 
> repack my front wheel bearings in the coming days, and I'll likely be 
> faced with a decision.  I don't recall exactly when I last checked 
> them, but it probably was 50K miles or (much) more. The 'existential 
> question?'  Well, should I replace the bearings on principle--even if 
> mine have given many years and miles of faithful service, and will 
> probably appear pristine--on the presumption that they have a limited 
> lifespan and are getting closer to that limit?
> Years ago, this would be a 'no-brainer,' as the younguns say: Given 
> the time and effort required to remove brake calipers/drums and pull 
> the dust cover, cotter key and big nut, I would have probably replaced 
> bearings and races, especially if they had 100K miles or more on them 
> (even with the hassle of getting end float correct).  Now, I don't 
> think that's a given since the quality of parts is more suspect than 
> ever.  Last time I replaced my rear wheel bearings--a no-brainer as 
> one was obviously toast--the new ones from Moss came labeled 'Made in 
> Italy.'  That was scary enough--although the Italians are known for 
> some pretty cool engineering and design--but I suspect anything I can 
> buy now will possibly (probably) be labeled 'Made in China.'   I'm 
> sure, someday, China will produce quality products--they may even come 
> up with some of their own, instead of buying/stealing IP from the US 
> and Europe--but I don't think that day is here (lest you think I'm 
> just being my normal bigoted self, I once had an airplane partner who 
> was in charge of QA for iPhones being built in China--suffice it to 
> say you wouldn't want to expose small children to his stories--and I 
> happened to be working a contract for Space Systems Loral when they 
> got busted for, uh, 'lending' missile guidance technology to the 
> Chinese*).   I don't know for a fact, but I suspect even 
> once-trustworthy name brands like Timken are 'offshoring'--a 
> nicer-sounding word for sending local jobs overseas--some if not all 
> of their production.
> So, when I remove and clean the bearings, and closely inspect them and 
> their races, do I replace them 'on principle,' or put the old ones 
> back in after thorough cleaning, inspection and repacking?
> Bob
> * SSL was using Chinese rockets to launch comm and weather satellites, 
> and the launches failed fairly regularly, so SSL helped them out with 
> guidance and stability technology.  Of course, there's no way the 
> Chinese would apply that same technology to make their ICBMs more 
> reliable and accurate; that just wouldn't be nice, would it?
> Now, it appears Boeing--please say it ain't so--is going to give 
> decades of engineering effort and experience to the Chinese for the 
> 'privilege' of building their planes cheaper there.  No way that will 
> come back to haunt them--and Airbus--nope, no way.
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