Wheel bearing replacement - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-21-2014, 02:42 AM   #57
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Smile American bearings

I got a kick out of referring to SKF as American bearings.

SKF stands for: Svenska Kullagerfabriken, translated means Swedish Ball Bearing Manufacturer!

My first job was as a stock boy for a bearing distributing company, Wisconsin Bearing in Milwaukee which was a subsidy of Berry Bearing in Chicago.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:15 AM   #58
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I got a kick out of referring to SKF as American bearings.

SKF stands for: Svenska Kullagerfabriken, translated means Swedish Ball Bearing Manufacturer!
In my grade school days there was a massive SKF facility a few blocks from home at the entrance to our neighbourhood. I remember asking my dad what SKF was? His reply: Spoons, Knives and Forks.
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:52 AM   #59
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When I went to a joint training exercise in Petawawa, Ontario, they asked if I wanted a "KFS". Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth I said "Sure". I was given a Knife-Fork-Spoon set. They were interlocked. They let me keep them when I left. The other American Soldier's had to turn their's in. I figured they found out My Mom's side of the family was Canadian I kept them in my mess kit when I came back. Now they're in our camper. I treasure them.

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Old 08-21-2014, 09:10 AM   #60
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Three times as much sounds ok to me for quality instead of scrap.
When we can no longer manufacture bearings, we will have already lost our next war.
I think that the " three times the cost" statement in this case is an poor excuse for cheapening a product solely to raise ones profit margins . In the quantity Dexter purchases bearings ,buying good bearings amounts to a small portion of the cost of producing an axle .The consumer is then stuck with the cost of replacing the inferior part . Look at the ignition switch on GM vehicles .GM supposedly saved 28 cents per switch by going cheap but what was the cost to the people who died from their choice . The difference in cost between cheap Chinese bearings and good bearings is probably less than $5 per axle .That cost seems rather minor to me when I am paying over $400 for a small trailer axle
Maybe they could cheapen up the brakes and save another $3
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:28 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I think that the " three times the cost" statement in this case is an poor excuse for cheapening a product solely to raise ones profit margins . In the quantity Dexter purchases bearings ,buying good bearings amounts to a small portion of the cost of producing an axle .The consumer is then stuck with the cost of replacing the inferior part . Look at the ignition switch on GM vehicles .GM supposedly saved 28 cents per switch by going cheap but what was the cost to the people who died from their choice . The difference in cost between cheap Chinese bearings and good bearings is probably less than $5 per axle .That cost seems rather minor to me when I am paying over $400 for a small trailer axle
Maybe they could cheapen up the brakes and save another $3
Well said.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I think that the " three times the cost" statement in this case is an poor excuse for cheapening a product solely to raise ones profit margins . In the quantity Dexter purchases bearings ,buying good bearings amounts to a small portion of the cost of producing an axle .The consumer is then stuck with the cost of replacing the inferior part . Look at the ignition switch on GM vehicles .GM supposedly saved 28 cents per switch by going cheap but what was the cost to the people who died from their choice . The difference in cost between cheap Chinese bearings and good bearings is probably less than $5 per axle .That cost seems rather minor to me when I am paying over $400 for a small trailer axle
Maybe they could cheapen up the brakes and save another $3
I think the question should be not if the bearings are made in China but what brand of bearings is Dexter using?

Many of the well respected bearing manufactures are having their bearings made in China or Mexico these days so one can't/should not judge the quality simple based on where the bearing was made. The major players in the bearing manufacturing sector all do the same quality control testing on their products regardless of where the plant is located. They have to as the multi million dollar industrial sector they supply is counting on it. An hour of down time due to a bearing failure can result in thousands of dollars of lost time. The industrial sector would not put up with a supplier who wasn't meeting the standard of product they count on. The main reason that the big names in the bearing manufacturing biz are turning to China and Mexico to produce their product is the cheaper labour costs in order to remain competitive in a global market.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:25 AM   #63
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I would expect that Dexter requires a certain level of QC for any part they use, they pay for warranty work so I would expect they would avoid doing business with a supplier that could not provide a product that avoided warranty work expense.

Not sure if every company would hold the same supplier to the same standards. Those cheap utility trailers might use the same bearing supplier but not be willing to meet the price of higher quality from the same supplier.

Nothing wrong with paying a premium price for premium quality, as an individual. From the manufactures standpoint they probably have to balance quality with pricing themselves out of a market segment. There is good, better, & best in most products. Sometimes the difference in cost between better and best is pretty high for the difference in quality. Pentium i5 vs i7 processor is one example. If you push your computer really hard maybe that premium price for a little more performance is worth it.

Some things that are a beast to replace or where failure is catastrophic it never makes sense to skimp on. Bargain parachute? No thanks! Bearings are pretty easy to replace and regular maintenance should avoid catastrophic failure. Heater core in a car that requires dropping the steering column and removing the dash to replace its probably good to buy the best replacement you can find.

If I was replacing bearings and seals I would probably NOT buy them at walmart based solely on price. Or chain auto parts store, but from a shop I knew had a reputation for good products. Alternator (rebuilt) from chain store 90 day warranty. Third time I had to replace the chain store one within the 90 days guess where I took my cash refund to get the part the third time. Yep NAAPA where rebuilt had a 1 year warranty.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:38 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I think the question should be not if the bearings are made in China but what brand of bearings is Dexter using?

Many of the well respected bearing manufactures are having their bearings made in China or Mexico these days so one can't/should not judge the quality simple based on where the bearing was made. The major players in the bearing manufacturing sector all do the same quality control testing on their products regardless of where the plant is located. They have to as the multi million dollar industrial sector they supply is counting on it. An hour of down time due to a bearing failure can result in thousands of dollars of lost time. The industrial sector would not put up with a supplier who wasn't meeting the standard of product they count on. The main reason that the big names in the bearing manufacturing biz are turning to China and Mexico to produce their product is the cheaper labour costs in order to remain competitive in a global market.
I am assuming that you are basing your opinion on something other than actual "hands on" experience.
If so,that's fine and may still have some merit.

Those of us who make the repairs, know what it is like to deal with inferior parts which barely perform to a minimum standard.
Same goes for hand tools. Poor quality tools which barely perform don't last. They often result in damage to the work or injury to the user.
More often than not, there is a "Made in China" sticker somewhere on these inferior items.

Controlling quality when ordering from a Chinese supplier, requires a lot of diligence, inspection, and air miles, resulting in a LOT of rejected product. While it can be done, it's no easy task.

The rejected product often goes to less diligent buyers, resulting in inferior products.

The price paid by the end consumer is often higher through the hidden cost of higher taxes, lower wages, and spoiled lives.

The unilateral practice of fairness is like the sound of "one hand clapping".
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #65
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I worked at an industrial coating factory. A young engineer decided to purchase Chinese process pipe for a project because it was 20% cheaper .The pipe met ASTM standards for tensile strength ,wall thickness ,roundness ,and all the other required standards . The pipe was also tested by a local certified testing lab to insure it met the ASTM standards . 6 months after the piping system was put in production the piping developed pin hole leaks which not only led to shutting down the process but injuring several workers with chemical burns . The steel used in making the pipe was from reprocessed steel and the Chinese mfg had not removed the impurities from the steel .The impurities in the steel reacted with the chemicals in the pipe and were eaten away leading to holes in the pipe. . The cost of replacing the pipe for materials alone was $160,000 .This cost does not include labor ,property damage ,lost production and the injuries to personnel .
Many times purchases of material and supplies are left to a purchasing agent working in some office with no knowledge of the final use .All he / she sees is the initial cost and is often rewarded for cutting costs no matter what are the consequences of their decision
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #66
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I'm pretty sure Dexter has pretty high standards for their bearing suppliers in China. Better alloys, and tighter tolerances than the run of the mill bearings produced by the lowest bidder. I think the more important point was made by Floyd. Can you imagine how much longer all of our war production would have taken in WWII; if at the time, we outsourced our bearing production to Japan or Germany? Deja Vu all over again. Do we really want all of our manufacturing moving to Red China?

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Old 08-21-2014, 12:25 PM   #67
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We are drifting toward politics and while where raw materials and manufacturing are locate should be an important issue of national interest it's not so much a FGRV forum interest.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:51 PM   #68
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An update and request for yet more input.

I replaced the bearings today. It was the first time for me after seeing it done a couple times. Everything came apart as expected and went together as expected.

A couple notes and questions:
First, someone asked about brands. I had Chinese something the past several times and went with Timken this time. Second, the EZ-lube tube was plugged, but was not hard to get working properly. Third, the last "mechanic" put a seal just past the inside AND the outside bearing. Hmm.... I have no memory of a seal belonging on the outside. Could someone please confirm for a 2009 scamp 13' dexter ez-lube axle that is true? Fourth, the spindle on one side cleaned up beautifully and was shiny and smooth. The other side has some slight grooves in it in certain spots. Question: was the 2009 spindle replaceable or do you have to replace the entire axle? How much damage to a spindle is acceptable?

Any feedback and advice is welcome. Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:50 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I think the question should be not if the bearings are made in China but what brand of bearings is Dexter using?


Many of the well respected bearing manufactures are having their bearings made in China or Mexico these days so one can't/should not judge the quality simple based on where the bearing was made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I am assuming that you are basing your opinion on something other than actual "hands on" experience.
If so,that's fine and may still have some merit.

Those of us who make the repairs, know what it is like to deal with inferior parts which barely perform to a minimum standard.
Same goes for hand tools. Poor quality tools which barely perform don't last. They often result in damage to the work or injury to the user.
More often than not, there is a "Made in China" sticker somewhere on these inferior items.

Controlling quality when ordering from a Chinese supplier, requires a lot of diligence, inspection, and air miles, resulting in a LOT of rejected product. While it can be done, it's no easy task.

The rejected product often goes to less diligent buyers, resulting in inferior products.

The price paid by the end consumer is often higher through the hidden cost of higher taxes, lower wages, and spoiled lives.

The unilateral practice of fairness is like the sound of "one hand clapping".
Actually my comments where based on having held in my little well manicure hands 2 years ago wheel bearings & seals for my trailer with the name SKF on them and the boxes said they were made in Mexico. Thousands of miles later the bearings on inspection are still in great shape. A few months ago I also held a Timken bearing in my hand with the box stating it was made in China.

You may want to check Timken In China from Timken.com - it appears they have a number of manufacturing facilities in China. The world is changing and few major manufacturing companies can avoid the need to turn to China in order to remain competitive.

The topic is of interest to me as I worked in supply control for a large N/A bearing distribution company for many years - my first job - got to hear from those who actually used the bearings in various applications. Mostly large production plants (mining and forest products companies) where down time was a four letter word. Later in my profession career it was my job to keep a large number of ocean going cargo vessels moving around the world & they also required bearings to keep moving, any schedule delays were a four letter word to me as well, so I can appreciate your comments as an end user as well.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:34 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by ericw View Post
An update and request for yet more input.

I replaced the bearings today. It was the first time for me after seeing it done a couple times. Everything came apart as expected and went together as expected.

A couple notes and questions:
First, someone asked about brands. I had Chinese something the past several times and went with Timken this time. Second, the EZ-lube tube was plugged, but was not hard to get working properly. Third, the last "mechanic" put a seal just past the inside AND the outside bearing. Hmm.... I have no memory of a seal belonging on the outside. Could someone please confirm for a 2009 scamp 13' dexter ez-lube axle that is true? Fourth, the spindle on one side cleaned up beautifully and was shiny and smooth. The other side has some slight grooves in it in certain spots. Question: was the 2009 spindle replaceable or do you have to replace the entire axle? How much damage to a spindle is acceptable?

Any feedback and advice is welcome. Thanks!
The spindle is not replaceable, but it could suffer some pretty good scratches without a problem. Just take some crocus cloth and sand off any raised scratches until the bearing slides on smoothly. Remember the inner race on the bearing does not spin on the spindle, so if it fits properly a few scratches won't matter.
There is no outboard "seal" as such, only a washer and a castle nut with a cotter pin to hold it in place. The dust cover with the rubber plug is the only outboard "seal".
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