Wheel hub assembly failure?

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
What are the classic signs that your front wheel hubs are on their way out? I've been experiencing a slight vibration in my '06 Rainier felt directly through the gas pedal and steering wheel at highway speeds for the last year or so. It has gradually become more noticeable that even the wife has made mention of it. It's her DD. Stationary, at idle and under load, the truck performs as expected. It's only really apparent in drive over 25mph as it's intensity correlates directly with speed....even more so when turning the wheel a few degrees right or left at highway speeds. When shifting into neutral at 70 mph, the frequency (and intensity) are unchanged. As far audible characteristics...nada. Cabin noise is normal.

Before I move forward on a shotgun resolution, I'm suspicious of two components, front wheel hubs and power steering pump. Both have 97K original miles. Which of the above would generate frequencies of vibration that would resonate in the steering wheel and pedals? My 1st guess would be the hubs. As steering is affected, the PS pump can't be excluded either.
 

v7guy

Member
Dec 4, 2011
298
This would probably be better suited for the brake and suspension section.

I would think you are looking at suspension joints being the problem. It's generally very apparent during long sweeping turns on highways as a hum if it's the wheel bearings/hubs. It's pretty noticeable. Depending on the wear on the hub you can sometimes detect the play by jacking up the truck and grabbing it at 12 and 6 and shaking it. By that point the hub needs replaced very soon.

Very worn lower and upper a arm bushings can cause vibrations and so can balljoints and tie rod ends. It'll take a bit more investigation on your part to single out the culprit. An alignment shop could probably find the problem with similar results and more expense on parts replacement and labor.

At nearly 100k miles I wouldn't be surprised if any or all of it needs replaced.
 

Matt

Member
Dec 2, 2011
4,024
Does the noise increase steering or swerving to the left or the right? If it's the hubs, putting load on the affected one will increase the noise it's making.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
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Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I agree it's the hubs. The PS pump would change its noise if you went into neutral because it's driven by the engine, whose RPM goes down when you're coasting. You could also prove that by driving at 50 MPH, then downshifting to 3rd to make the engine RPM go up.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
Matt said:
Does the noise increase steering or swerving to the left or the right?

Yes, drove the truck yesterday on the expressway at 70 mph and the steering becomes a bit loose on those long sweeping curves. In behaves in this manner (the vibration and loose steering) until the road straightens out. I feel more tendency to over-correct in making turns in either direction.

Would it best just begin by replacing both hubs, or should I go after other suspension components such as the tie rods, ball joints, UCA, and LCA's? Any recommendation on a hub assembly manufacturer?
 

tblazerdude

Member
Dec 4, 2011
321
Brands I've heard good things about:

Timken
SKF
Napa Bearings (Seem to be re-branded Timken)
Carquest Premium brand

Brands I've heard bad things about:
Napa "Proformer" series
Detroit Axle (ebay)
Pretty much anything new on ebay for less then $100.

Look at the warranty on the ones you buy.
If it only has a one year warranty then it will only last one year.
Napa for instance has a 3 year 45k warranty.
Napa Proformer has a 1 year against defects only.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
tblazerdude said:
Brands I've heard good things about:

Timken
SKF
Napa Bearings (Seem to be re-branded Timken)
Carquest Premium brand

Brands I've heard bad things about:
Napa "Proformer" series
Detroit Axle (ebay)
Pretty much anything new on ebay for less then $100.

Look at the warranty on the ones you buy.
If it only has a one year warranty then it will only last one year.
Napa for instance has a 3 year 45k warranty.
Napa Proformer has a 1 year against defects only.
Rock Auto has Moog hubs available for purchase. Any positive reviews?
 

tblazerdude

Member
Dec 4, 2011
321
I have no experience with moog brand hubs. Someone else may have, and maybe they will chime in.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
I wouldnt go with anything other than Timken. Store brands seem to fail suprisingly early according to reviews. Although some of the failures can be attributed to improper torquing of the hub nut. My dad just bought a cheap one last year and its making noise again. We torqued it to 100 ft/lbs.

My neighboor got a timken last year and its still holding up on his voy.

Make sure to get an alignment done shortly afterwards to increase life. My alignment is dead on and my factory hubs have not gone out yet at 130k.
 

seanpooh

Member
Jan 24, 2012
461
tblazerdude said:
I have no experience with moog brand hubs. Someone else may have, and maybe they will chime in.

Don't buy a Raybestos wheel hub either.

I put in a Moog hub earlier on the driver side this year and haven't had any issues yet in ~20K miles. My passenger side has a Timken which has 2 years on them ~30-40K miles without problems. The Timkens and Moogs are around the same price... maybe Advance Auto has a good coupon to use.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,341
Ottawa, ON
Raybestos hubs are made in China crap. I had one self destruct within a month. All ball bearings gone! The other one was not too healthy neither. Replaced them with Timken. 10k km later, still good.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
Finished installing Moog hubs on both sides. If they fail prematurely, I'll reach into my pockets deeper and buy Timken. On a positive note, the replacement hubs are working as expected as the hum/vibration at highway speeds is no longer! :biggrin: On the other hand, I did an inspection of steering and suspension components and discovered some noticeable play in the passenger side outer tie rod. Since the truck was already prepped and lifted, another trip to Advance was justified....a topic deferred for another post.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
I always get about 20-30% off my order using the various coupon codes at Advance Auto. Their prices are so high on some things that I think they expect you to use it.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
CaptainXL said:
I always get about 20-30% off my order using the various coupon codes at Advance Auto. Their prices are so high on some things that I think they expect you to use it.

I've noticed that too on occasion. Many times, as in the case of these tie rod ends, Advance and Autozone were priced similarly and the $40 dollar off coupon was a blessing.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,341
Ottawa, ON
Was there anything anywhere as to indicate where the Moogs were made?
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Mooseman said:
Was there anything anywhere as to indicate where the Moogs were made?

Just doing a google search for other forums seems to indicate Moogs are made in China. But don't quote me on that. Some Timkens are made overseas but some are made in the USA or Canada.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
Mooseman said:
Was there anything anywhere as to indicate where the Moogs were made?

I don't remember seeing anything offering a country of origin on either the tie rod ends or the hubs. My guess is China. I highly doubt a US manufacturing site. I know a Craftsman wrench set I recently purchased is stamped "forged in the USA" even though I been told that they don't have plants located state-side.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,341
Ottawa, ON
I do know for a fact that the Timkens for our trucks are made in USA.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I had a couple of Michigan Bearing units proudly made in the USA. Sadly, they failed to survive even a year. I think I'm going back to junkyard OEM units. Paid under $50 each for a couple of those and they lasted over two years. Someday I gotta figure out how to use Tahoe hubs.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
CaptainXL said:
Amazon carries our Timken hub for $134 plus free ship. The Moog at Advance Auto is $158. Don't buy the Moog.

Timken 513188 Axle Bearing and Hub Assembly : Amazon.com : Automotive

Too late. Already installed on the truck. I used the discount code at AAP which helped me rationalize the decision. If these hubs fail within 12 months, I'll purchase the Timkens on Amazon.

As far as Roadie's comment "I think I'm going back to junkyard OEM units. Paid under $50 each for a couple of those and they lasted over two years", I guess the next question I have is an obvious one. Why are oem's holding up as superior in design? My truck is approaching 7 years of age with 100,000 transcontinental miles, many of which were driven on the pot-holed, salt-battered roadways of Michigan. Where is the design flaw in non-oem?
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Busterbrown said:
Too late. Already installed on the truck. I used the discount code at AAP which helped me rationalize the decision. If these hubs fail within 12 months, I'll purchase the Timkens on Amazon.

As far as Roadie's comment "I think I'm going back to junkyard OEM units. Paid under $50 each for a couple of those and they lasted over two years", I guess the next question I have is an obvious one. Why are oem's holding up as superior in design? My truck is approaching 7 years of age with 100,000 transcontinental miles, many of which were driven on the pot-holed, salt-battered roadways of Michigan. Where is the design flaw in non-oem?

This is just my perspective so just bear with me.

Ultimately a bearing would fail as a result of lack of lubrication. From a technical viewpoint with a good hub there should never be any metal to metal contact. There is always a thin film of grease lubricating the roller bearings.

Now, Timken being the OE worked with GM on the original design and manufactured the hubs correctly with the proper grease and seals and metalurgy in the bearings. Timken is not just known for hubs and bearings. They are also known to be one of the best when it comes to seals. My guess is that aftermarket hubs have inferior seals which holds the grease in which prevents metal to metal contact.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
CaptainXL said:
This is just my perspective so just bear with me.

Ultimately a bearing would fail as a result of lack of lubrication. From a technical viewpoint with a good hub there should never be any metal to metal contact. There is always a thin film of grease lubricating the roller bearings.

Now, Timken being the OE worked with GM on the original design and manufactured the hubs correctly with the proper grease and seals and metalurgy in the bearings. Timken is not just known for hubs and bearings. They are also known to be one of the best when it comes to seals. My guess is that aftermarket hubs have inferior seals which holds the grease in which prevents metal to metal contact.

So, is it a spoken truth that Timken was the supplier for all GMT360 factory wheel hubs? And if so, I'm puzzled as to why the numerous aftermarket companies haven't fabricated designs to match original specs, being that we're a decade and a half into an aging fleet of trucks??? A "guaranteed failure in wheel bairings after 1 year" is a bogus business model. :hissyfit: Are all Moog, Duralast, Driveworks, Raybestos, and Ebay hubs made in the same oppressive chinese factory?
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Im almost positive. GM has had a relationship with Timken for a long time getting contracts and being the OE for them.

Roadie would have more to say about this.

Aftermarket fraud isn't new to me but I just got done reading some stuff on the OS. It appears there have been a rash of Chinese knockoffs bearing the Timken name and black and orange box being sold on eBay and Amazon.

So I am going to emphasize some caution buying from online vendors. It would be worth calling Amazon to see if the hubs I posted the link too really are from Timken or some other seller.

As Roadie said, price is sometimes a tip as to the quality of the hubs. In this case $135 does seem awfully cheap. But I see that they are $150 at Autozone. Looks like they are coming down in price. I just hope not in quality. A good reason buy from a local store is in case you need them for warranty purposes.
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
CaptainXL said:
Im almost positive. GM has had a relationship with Timken for a long time getting contracts and being the OE for them.

Roadie would have more to say about this.

Aftermarket fraud isn't new to me but I just got done reading some stuff on the OS. It appears there have been a rash of Chinese knockoffs bearing the Timken name and black and orange box being sold on eBay and Amazon.

So I am going to emphasize some caution buying from online vendors. It would be worth calling Amazon to see if the hubs I posted the link too really are from Timken or some other seller.

As Roadie said, price is sometimes a tip as to the quality of the hubs. In this case $135 does seem awfully cheap. But I see that they are $150 at Autozone. Looks like they are coming down in price. I just hope not in quality. A good reason buy from a local store is in case you need them for warranty purposes.


A word of warning- I wanted to buy a Timken hub when I had to replace one of mine over the summer. So I went to Autozone, the only place in my area that stocks Timken (according to their website). The reason being that I want a physical store location I can take it back if it fails in the warranty period. I'm also leery of ordering something from Amazon marketplace and being sent some knockoff ccc. The Autozone store didn't stock them and had to order it but it would only take a couple days to arrive. So I figured it was well worth the wait. Here is a picture of my receipt:

View attachment 25373

It's clearly labeled as a "513188 Timken Wheel bearing/ Hub". When I came back to the store to pick up my nice, new, shiny Timken hub, this is what they chucked on the counter in front of me:

View attachment 25374

Clearly NOT Timken. And the box is all crushed from being tossed around. When I asked them why it wasn't Timken their response was, "They are all the same." As I was naive, I accepted that maybe this was a rebranded Timken, so I took it home. Before even opening the box I searched around on the internet and found very little about this particular company. I didn't get a picture, but I believe it said "Made in Korea" on the bottom of it (maybe it was Vietnam or China, can't remember). I took it right back to Autozone and said, "Sorry, I ordered and paid for a Timken. I can't take this." After haggling with the guy I got my money back. This is the reason I WILL NOT return to Autozone. I think this experience was borderline bait and switch.
 

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CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
dfc739 said:
This is the reason I WILL NOT return to Autozone. I think this experience was borderline bait and switch.

So the clerk messed up and grabbed the wrong part off the shelf. Happens all the time. Did they make good and get you the proper part?

If it was ordered and was on the shelf then they should have just grabbed the right part. Not sure why you asked for your money back?
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
CaptainXL said:
So the clerk messed up and grabbed the wrong part off the shelf. Happens all the time. Did they make good and get you the proper part?

If it was ordered and was on the shelf then they should have just grabbed the right part. Not sure why you asked for your money back?

I wish he had merely grabbed the wrong part. Remember that this store didn't actually stock them and had to order it from a warehouse so there wasn't a "wrong" part on the shelf to grab. This was what was sent for ordering the Timken hub. I don't think they actually carry Timken hubs anymore and it's just a vestigial part of their software. Even after I asked them about it, they said that was the "right" part. That's why I asked for my money back.
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
dfc739 said:
I wish he had merely grabbed the wrong part. Remember that this store didn't actually stock them and had to order it from a warehouse so there wasn't a "wrong" part on the shelf to grab. This was what was sent for ordering the Timken hub. I don't think they actually carry Timken hubs anymore and it's just a vestigial part of their software. Even after I asked them about it, they said that was the "right" part. That's why I asked for my money back.

Incompetent retail sales personnel along with 3rd class manufacturing equates to many "pee'd-off" truck owners. :yes:
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
That's just f'd up. I can see how an order can get messed up in the database or inventory. But to have the clerk push it on you without a reason or price adj. is a big deal in retail. Probably something he could have gotten fired over. Did you speak to the store or district manager? I would be all over them if they did this to me.
 

dfc739

Member
Jul 29, 2012
170
Des Moines, IA
CaptainXL said:
That's just f'd up. I can see how an order can get messed up in the database or inventory. But to have the clerk push it on you without a reason or price adj. is a big deal in retail. Probably something he could have gotten fired over. Did you speak to the store or district manager? I would be all over them if they did this to me.

The store manager was there and was the one that gave my money back. At first he tried to say that it was "just like" the Timken because it also came with a three year warranty. I told him that I didn't want to have to do the job again in six months or a year, even if the next new hub is a free replacement. It might be an isolated incident (I've had other smaller problems with this store) but something to be aware of when trying to get a Timken at Autozone.
 

Billdaman

Member
Jan 19, 2012
32
Rough day replacing the left front bearing today. First I replaced the bearing and dust shield and got as far as putting the caliper back on and discovered that the dust shield was on upside down! Then pulled everything back off and reinstalled, torqued everything up to spec and started the truck...ABS failure.

Reinstalled the old bearing ABS connector the ABS telltale went off. Back to Auto zone for another $170 Timken, Pulled all off replaced the bearing etc all is good.

Sad to see a Timken fail out of the box. I didn't attempt to replace just the sensor as I figured it was internal.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Billdaman said:
Rough day replacing the left front bearing today. First I replaced the bearing and dust shield and got as far as putting the caliper back on and discovered that the dust shield was on upside down! Then pulled everything back off and reinstalled, torqued everything up to spec and started the truck...ABS failure.

Reinstalled the old bearing ABS connector the ABS telltale went off. Back to Auto zone for another $170 Timken, Pulled all off replaced the bearing etc all is good.

Sad to see a Timken fail out of the box. I didn't attempt to replace just the sensor as I figured it was internal.

I highly doubt a Timken failed out of the box for no reason. But I guess anything is possible. The ABS wire probably got severed/pinched as it feeds though the brake shield. Either that or someone else screwed it up and it was put back on the shelf.
 

JB100

Member
Oct 31, 2012
20
I had to change both of mine last summer. One is an O'reilly and the other is an Autozone house brand. I have since put about 40K miles on them with no problems. Both of them were replaced in 100+F heat.. Who knew that Vegas was 95+ F at 6 am in the morning? I reused the original ABS sensors, I cleaned them up and put them back in place. No problems there. I now have 2 brand new ABS sensors in the back of the TB for spares. And what's strange is the 2wd and the 4wd use the same bearing assembly. Hmmm

I had one on a 01 Taurus that seized itself to the steering knuckle, this was on a car from NH, I beat on it till I was blue in the face. I ended up taking it to a shop and having it pressed out. That was fun!
 

Busterbrown

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
253
JB100 said:
I had to change both of mine last summer. One is an O'reilly and the other is an Autozone house brand. I have since put about 40K miles on them with no problems.

Good to hear. 2 months into my replacement hubs and so far so good. I'd be happy with just 5 years. The OEM's held up 7. Probably could have went another year but vibrations at highway speeds are like nails on a chalkboard for me.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
I read a good professional article on another site which I can't find. They say to make sure your other suspension pieces are tight and in working order and that you get a good alignment done after changing either of the hubs. Which makes total sense if you think about it. A bad or compensated alignment could have been the reason the original failed earlier than usual.
 

MoJoRisin'

Member
Jan 11, 2013
22
I specifically ordered Timken through Autozone a few months ago and had them do a price match from a Amazon listing. They will match the online price that includes shipping. Just present a printout of the online price. Not a problem on the part from them - not sure why someone would get something not in brand new packaging unless it was a return or someone bought and switched with something else. My store I deal with opens all boxes an physically pulls the part out for viewing before transaction in case of any problems.

Yes the routing of the antilock wire is a PIA and I can see how someone could screw it up and then return it and say nothing was wrong with it.

On the one that went bad for us (driverside) the rear seal was separated and the innerworks were quite corroded.
 

Billdaman

Member
Jan 19, 2012
32
CaptainXL said:
I highly doubt a Timken failed out of the box for no reason. But I guess anything is possible. The ABS wire probably got severed/pinched as it feeds though the brake shield. Either that or someone else screwed it up and it was put back on the shelf.

The bearing was new and not returned as the ABS wire was "Hanked" or taped up from the factory in three places. If it was previously installed that hanking tape would have been broken. ABS wire didn't get pinched because it never made it out of the garage. The Bearing assembly was in fact defective out of the box. Test with old bearing proved ABS light went out. Had to replace with another Timken which worked.
 

tom1999d

Member
Apr 24, 2012
32
I am looking into replacing a front driver's side hub assembly on my 07 Voy (104k miles) This about the same age the bearings failed on my 02. I had both replaced on the 02 at the dealer and never changed them again (234k miles - 120k miles ~ 114k miles) So reading above, the dealer put in the OEM types or very likely Timken. I'm a design engineer and Timken is one of the best bearing companies in the world (right up there with SKF, Barden, FAG, etc.) The earlier comment on seal failure leading to bearing failure is spot on. Lubrication contamination is the number one reason for bearing failure.
The dealer quoted me $625 for one side
My local repair guy (former GM dealer mechanic) wants $310 and will use Raybestos. I'll try to talk him into Timken otherwise I'll stick with the dealer for product quality reasons.

Tom
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,341
Ottawa, ON
Walk, no, RUN AWAY FROM RAYBESTOS!!!! Made in China crud. I installed a pair of these. One completely failed within a month. No warning, no noise, just bang. Bearings inside were gone. The other was on its way out. Replaced both with Timken and haven't heard a peep from them in over a year.
 

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