Best wheel bearings - Timken?

Need front wheel bearings. My dad always said that Timken bearings are the best. They are available on Rock Auto. I think they are still made in the USA.

Are they the best?

Timkin bearings are made in the US and in China. Generally a good bearing but so are FAG and SKF. SKF makes bearings in the US as well.

Just don’t by the cheapest. You generally get what you pay for. If you are concerned about the quality, buy from the Ford dealer. My local dealer actually has competitive prices on most parts.


Why not just go to a local parts store and tell them you want really good bearings . If by chance they don’t fit you can exchange them with out mailing fees.

Just make sure they are roller bearings and not ball bearings. In the Navy the roller bearing was known as the “anti-friction bearing”.

For years in the 1950s and maybe 60s, Timken had a full page ad near the front page of Popular Science. So Timken is the brand I always think of first, but I have bought maybe 3 automotive bearings in my life, and a thousand plus BBs for bicycles.

The auto parts store will sell you the proper bearing designed for your truck. Early trucks were designed with tapered roller bearings, later ones with packaged ball bearings. There is no choice, you use what the truck was designed for.

Besides, the counter person likely won’t know the difference anyway.


Not caring whether a bearing is a ball or roller could easily mean someone may die when that bearing comes apart while being used in the wrong application.

The customer will not have a choice between roller or ball bearings in a hub and bearing assembly.


True enough, but in other situations one can never underestimate what someone will do.

A guy had an older Subaru towed in once after replacing the front wheel bearings. A mid/late 80s model that did not use sealed hub units. This car used 2 ball bearings on each side with a spacer. He decided rollers were better but the spacer was too short so the new roller bearings were lunched pretty quickly.

Another person replaced the bearings and instead of ramming the CV axle nut down tight he snugged it up and backed off a bit; similar to what one might do with old RWD domestic front bearings. The car quit moving when the splines stripped out of both front hubs. Nothing surprises me.

I would worry more about bearings being mishandled prior to buying them or improper prep and installation than what brand I bought.

FWIW I seem to recall that NAPA owns Timken and much of their production is in China. But my memory isn’t what it used to be.

Timken owns a lot of brands that they acquired over the years, but no one owns them, except for those that bought their stock.

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Yes, Timken is still an independent 122 year old, publically traded, US company with a Timken as non executive chairman of the board. Cool!

Just buy your new bearings from a reputable company and beware of bargains. Electronics aren’t the only thing that the Chinese counterfeit.