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Chinese wheel bearing

got a new front unitized wheel bearing for a fwd car. i cannot turn the hub and flange while it is in my hands.
is this normal? are new wheel bearings just really tight?
or is my china bearing seized?

The bearing is pre-loaded and should not spin freely like a bicycle wheel but you should be able to rotate the inner race when holding the outer hub without a great deal of effort.


I’d bring it back for a replacement.

I’d at least get it moving first and see if it loosens up a bit after a few rotations. I’ve had some that were initially very resistant but then once I got them rotating were fine. Didn’t have any issues with them afterward.

take it back to the shop you got it from and compare with another new one.

Bought on eBay.
I am holding bearing.
It is not installed.
eBay 100% satisfaction policy
Result: annoyed purchaser.

A few months ago, I replaced the bearings an Acura CL. Those bearing did not spin very freely either. Once installed and tire mounted I could spin it at the most one turn. Might as well go forward with the replacement, drive it for a while and re-inspect. You could also go to an auto parts store and check what their bearings do.

Regardless what their reasons for changing to the compact ball bearing hubs I consider them a grand step backward in many aspects and their failure rate is at the top of my gripes with them.

Make/model/year? I want to see what they look like on rockauto…

According to my Toyota drawings the reason is for reduced rolling resistance.
I agree that it’s a step backwards. Any first-year engineering student would know that tapered rollers will withstand far higher loads than ball bearings. Ball bearings simply don’t have as much contact area. Ergo the lower rolling resistance.

Two weeks ago I needed a FWD wheel bearing/hub with ABS sensor for our old Chevy (250,000+ miles). I didn’t need an OEM part.

I ordered a heavy duty bearing from Rock Auto for $33.79 plus shipping. I got it delivered 3 days later for a total of $42.09! It’s a WJB Automotive and looked pretty nice, I have to say. On RA’s site they have a blurb about the bearing (with photo and cut-away diagrams) extolling the features of this part.

It was a little stiff when turning by hand, but I installed it and it’s been working fine.

It appears to me that the narrow spacing from the outer to inner bearing causes the single piece hub style bearing to be much less reliable than the old style design using individually serviceable bearings. The narrow spacing requires a much tighter pre-load plus lateral loading stresses them more. Early Subarus used ball bearings on the front but there was an inner and outer bearing installed about 4 inches apart and weren’t prone to failure. Also the Ford 8.5 and 9 inch rear axles used sealed press on ball bearings that took a heck of a beating with rare failure. Of course the quality of Chinese bearings is always questionable and most domestic name brand bearings are now sourced to Chinese manufacturers. Possibly even the OE bearing is a Chinese product.

I can recall GM’s closure of their Hyatt Bearing factory in Clark, NJ, in the late '80s.
GM announced at the time that they were moving future production to China–or to use the currently-approved pronunciation–“Gy-na”.
Thanks, GM!

Did you buy the bearing & races only, or did you buy the entire hub, which came pre-installed with a new bearing?

Sure the bearing isn’t just tight; per TwinTurbo? I’ve seen some sealed bearings that were very snug and near impossible to turn by hand. Fine in use though.

I also agree with mountainbike about rollers being superior to ball bearings.

I’m with the others who feel the new bearing may be too tight to turn by hand out of the box, but will be fine in service.

I will go out of my way to find assemblies with Timken bearings in them. Never had any issues with them so why risk it. I think the last loose one I bought was marked as made in China. Gave me pause as I thought they were still US made for automotive applications. Looking it up, there is conflicting information. One guy had contacted Timken about a bearing he bought from a box parts store that was in Timken box but marked as made in china. Timken said it was not their bearing. Since found a number of references to counterfeit bearings being sold… :rage:

IMHO Timken is the best on the market. They’re the #1 choice for any critical application.

Motion Industries owns Timken, Fafnir and Torrington bearings and National seals. Most if not all after market bearings from Motion are from Chinese factories they own. And Motion is NAPA.

bearing is for kids suv. same model as mine. for the next few weeks. i have a spare knuckle in my parts bin. correct side too. so i will just pull off kids old knuckle w/bearing and swap on my new stuff. yes, i have an axle puller and an axle nut socket. i am good to go. maybe the abs light will finally go off?